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Commuter locomotives..

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Commuter locomotives..
Posted by Ulrich on Saturday, December 31, 2022 1:48 PM

RE "Metra receives first rebuilt SD70MACH".. why would a commuter rail operator purchase freight locomotives over a design like the MP54AC which is specifically designed for commuter work? I'm guessing the SD70s are cheaper, but perhaps there are other reasons.. 

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, January 1, 2023 4:31 AM

Ulrich
RE "Metra receives first rebuilt SD70MACH".. why would a commuter rail operator purchase freight locomotives over a design like the MP54AC which is specifically designed for commuter work? I'm guessing the SD70s are cheaper, but perhaps there are other reasons..

Money will be the primary reason. Equipment commonality, EMD vs. Cummins, also comes into play. I would also point out that Ontario's Metrolinx has been the only taker for the MP54AC.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, January 1, 2023 11:42 AM

Parts commoln to existing Metra locomotives have a part to play in this?

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Posted by Ulrich on Sunday, January 1, 2023 1:19 PM

Those sound like good reasons.. I see the Metrolinx MP units rolling through here all the time. They sure can accelerate a train of heavy coaches faster than anything else I've seen...

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Sunday, January 1, 2023 2:35 PM

maybe some one realizes that current built locos have too much computer software problems that cannot be fixed.    See ACS-64s and the new locos from Siemens.

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Posted by Ulrich on Sunday, January 1, 2023 3:47 PM

blue streak 1

maybe some one realizes that current built locos have too much computer software problems that cannot be fixed.    See ACS-64s and the new locos from Siemens.

 

 

I haven't heard any feedback on the Metrolinx units.. good or bad.. 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, January 1, 2023 3:56 PM

D.Carleton
Ulrich
RE "Metra receives first rebuilt SD70MACH".. why would a commuter rail operator purchase freight locomotives over a design like the MP54AC which is specifically designed for commuter work? I'm guessing the SD70s are cheaper, but perhaps there are other reasons..

Money will be the primary reason. Equipment commonality, EMD vs. Cummins, also comes into play. I would also point out that Ontario's Metrolinx has been the only taker for the MP54AC.

Metra is paying approximately $4.73 million per SD70MACH ($70.9 million for the first 15 units).  GO's first production order for MP54ACs came out to $6.3 million each ($63 million for 10 units).  MBTA's initial order for new design HSP46s with GE GEVO-12 engines works out to $5.73 million each ($114.6 million for 20 units). 

https://www.railwayage.com/mechanical/locomotives/first-look-metras-sd70mach/

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/commuterregional/first-mp54ac-testing-on-go-transit/

https://www.railwaygazette.com/boston-orders-motivepower-hsp46-diesels/35148.article

Going with rebuilt older units also means they can avoid the ongoing expense of emissions control systems, any new unit would have to meet Tier-IV while these rebuilt SD70MACs are going to be Tier-III at most.

Metra's most powerful units provide about 3600 traction HP (MP36 with a separate HEP genset), the SD70MACH should fall somewhere between this and a F40PH once HEP losses are taken off.  Metra obviously feels this is enough power for their trains. 

They're getting the reliability of the proven AC traction SD70 design and picking up what are essentially new units while also being careful with their money. 

I do have a couple questions that I haven't been able to find definitive answers to, only speculation on other forums.  How many traction motors does the SD70MACH have and if less than six, how are they arranged?  And what are the maximum HEP and traction power outputs?

This artist's impression (drawn well before the first unit was outshopped) seems to show only axle #3 without a traction motor.

52536819_1435645333239172_2904185241205735424_n

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Posted by Ulrich on Sunday, January 1, 2023 5:11 PM

According to the recent Trains article, the Metra units have four traction motors, with the two axles closest to the fuel tank being unpowered. 

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Posted by D.Carleton on Sunday, January 1, 2023 5:31 PM

Chicago is a funny place. (Understatement of the year and it's only the first.) Over a decade ago I was on an IEEE tour of a railcar manufacturer and they told us the story of how the CTA was specing their new "L" cars and wanted DC traction motors.  The transit community had to have an "intervention" to convince them they really wanted AC.

Metra has gone from the F40 to the MP36 to the F59 and now the SD70MACH. This lastest step introduces them to AC traction for heavy rail operations. We shall see how this evolves.

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