Siemens SC-44 Charger seen rolled out across country to replace some older locomotives for corridor work.
The new Siemens Charger locomotives, with 16-cylinder, 4,400-horsepower engines, are both lighter and quieter, and meet EPA emission standards. The trains will travel the same speed as before—79 miles per hour—but they'll reach the top speed faster.
The new locomotives can also take you to from Chicago to Detroit, or Chicago to St. Louis, for example, and they can do it using one-third the fuel, emitting one-tenth the pollution, and at speeds up to 125 miles per hour. (The Chicago-St. Louis route has been cut from 5-1/2 hours to 4-1/2 hours thanks to the new engines and track improvements.
"A lot of our customers care about the earth and about pollution, and these are so much cleaner to operate, and they're better for our partners at IDOT and the customers because they're going to cost less to operate in that they get better mileage," said Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesman.
Just saw one while I was out for a cigar and thought it was pretty cool, I figure others might find it interesting as well. I have been taking my kids to go watch them do trackwork on the north-south line in Oregon and was wondering why they were so extensive in replacing all of the old ties. Although the speed limit is 79 I wonder if this will be increased with updated track and new locomotives. Here is hoping someone models it soon so I can waste money.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_Charger4400 horsepower, top speed of 125, and meets EPA Tier VI emission standards.
I currently live in Providence, RI and grew up about an hour outside of Pittsburgh, PA, which is where my parents still live.
We use the train all the time. It's 8-10 hours, but honestly that's as good as flying when you factor in all the additional delays -- an hour or two to get to the airport vs 20 minutes to get to the train station; have to get to the airport two hours in advance and deal with security vs arrive and walk right on with the train; then when you get there you're still an hour drive away from the airport vs a short bus ride or long walk from the train station. So yeah, the flight may only be an hour or two, but when it takes five hours longer just dealing with airport delays and additional transit, it's pretty much the same total time. Plus the train almost never stops -- if you book a train trip in December, you can be very confident that you're going to make it. If you book a flight, there's a good chance it's going to get delayed or cancelled due to weather, and you might end up having to drive home and try again another day -- or just get stuck in the airport. Plus the train is usually significantly cheaper (even moreso once you factor in additional transit that air travel usually requires). And the train is actually comfortable -- a coach class train seat is as nice as most first class airline seats, and business class on the train (which you can often get for just a few dollars extra) is like a goddamn living room couch! Even in coach got tons of leg room, multiple electrical outlets, wifi, a dining car, and you can move around pretty freely. The cheapest Amtrak seat is downright luxurious compared to any kind of airline travel. And it costs less, and it usually gets you closer to you ultimate destination.
I'm not sure I'd want to take a train across the country, but for anything less than 12 hours it's an obviously better choice. And I don't really want to fly long distances either -- I've turned down free trips to Hawaii just because I've done it once and that flight was absolutely not worth it. Maybe if you're gonna stay for a month or two, but for a one week trip you spend the whole damn week recovering from the fucking flight, and by the time your joints stop aching it's time to get back in the plane and do it again!