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North America Discuss Canadian and American Prototype railways.


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Old 11-13-2019, 10:11 AM   #11
Bryan Moran
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Thanks everyone, especially for adding the photos. I don't care for the looks of the Amtrak locomotives but I guess they are modern looking. I understand the old streamliners were not going to last into the modern era.

I did not put this out there because I plan to model in O Scale, I put it here because it was more of a Rail Fan curiosity, which all of your input has informed me more than placement in O Scale.

Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:17 AM   #12
Chaostrain
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Originally Posted by Bryan Moran View Post
My question is what is the Diesel(s) that Amtrak uses and why do they look different than freight Diesels?
Eye appeal.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:49 AM   #13
Severn
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There possibly is something to the fact that buyers perhaps want to see something that "looks" the part. But I believe amtrak has certain guidelines for it's passenger engines, and it may well be passenger engine manufacturers just happen to fit the bill -- and these have a look that perhaps has some function as well. And so I would guess it costs money to make swoopy things. For passenger trains which tend to be faster, it may be worth it to make the engines look and be more aerodynamic -- lower operational costs. Further blocky engines for freight trains in the US may be easier to build and that money saved there can be spent elsewhere -- because that's more important than little money perhaps saved for slower speed work that could be aerodynamic. .... But I'm hardly an expert, all speculation.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:38 AM   #14
Yellowstone Special
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Amtrak's passenger locomotives do look more streamlined than their boxy-looking, utilitarian freight locomotive counterparts.

However, the U.S. has always been eons behind other nations in passenger train advancements.

This is a photo I clicked back in August, 1973, of one of Japan's Shinkansen trains just before boarding. Even 46 years ago it reached speeds of 130 mph between Tokyo and Kyoto. Today they're even faster at 200 mph.

R1-07996-0007 (2).jpg

France's current TGVs are even more futuristic looking, with a super aerodynamic design that reduces head-end drag enabling speeds at 200 mph and up. Testing has put it at 327 mph, in one instance.

TGV_HIGH-SPPED_TRAIN_FRANCE.ADAPTIVE.767.0.jpeg

China and other countries are also either currently using or working on similar train designs.

I guess my point in all this is emphasizing that it's too bad the U.S. is so far behind in passenger train development. Other than the Acela in the Northeast, Amtrak has no dedicated high-speed passenger lines and is at the mercy of the freight railroads, which give their trains priority over Amtrak trains.

Amtrak's regional passenger train service including the Cascades in the Northwest, the Pacific Surfliners in southern California, and of course the Acelas in the Northeast, aren't bad, considering. But overland east-west train travel on Amtrak leaves much to be desired.

Our country is too large to accommodate east-west transcontinental high-speed rail service and Amtrak's current long-distance east west trains have a questionable future. But it would be nice to see more development of dedicated rail lines for high-speed passenger train service in other regions of the country in addition to the Acela in the Northeast.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:06 AM   #15
Severn
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it's simple. when we allocate transportation money. it largely goes to roads. and why is that?
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:31 AM   #16
Yellowstone Special
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it's simple. when we allocate transportation money. it largely goes to roads. and why is that?
Because Americans are car-crazy.

Sorry Bryan. Didn't mean to hijack/morf your thread about Amtrak diesels into promoting better passenger train service in the U.S. But the two are sorta linked, kind of.
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