Is Amtrak ditching HEP for steam?

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BurlingtonJohn
Conductor
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:28 pm

Is Amtrak ditching HEP for steam?

Postby BurlingtonJohn » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:19 pm

On 31 Mar 17, I had just completed a circle trip onboard the Southwest Chief (Chicago-LA) and a private car trip (LA-Oakland-Chicago) aboard Silver Lariat, Silver Rapids (Silver Rapids Roomette A, thank you very much) and Silver Solarium behind the Coast Starlight and California Zephyr. These cars are some of the most amazing remnants of the famous California Zephyr and are well worth the ride. After I said my goodbyes to the awesome onboard crew, I was walking down the platform towards Union Station when I looked to my right and saw this view. Thought it was worthy of a photo, especially since I remember the days of steam heated cars. Couldn't help but think back to that time ...

Regards,
Burlington John

DSC_0651.jpg

Mark D
Conductor
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Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Is Amtrak ditching HEP for steam?

Postby Mark D » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:06 am

What sort of car is that thing? It doesn't appear to show any Amtrak markings. If it's a private car it's possible the owner had just started his genset to keep power after HEP is either cut for removing the car or it was shut down for the train for cars to be cut out of or into the train. Still assuming it's a private car, the owner can keep his own power on as long as it doesn't heat up the train line.
The vapor, assuming I'm close to the truth, would be from the exhaust just after startup. Assuming a muggy but cool atmosphere, water vapor would show well.
Now if someone can tell us what was REALLY going on, that would be great.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

BurlingtonJohn
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Re: Is Amtrak ditching HEP for steam?

Postby BurlingtonJohn » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:59 pm

Mark, it is a Amtrak Superliner dining car. According to a poster on another board,

"the steam is coming from pipes underneath the platform. The pipes are covered with a porous steel grate which lets the steam escape. The pictured platform is not used by passengers but for commissary and baggage. Union station still uses steam for some it its own operations."

Just thought it was a neat illusion, as if Amtrak was still using steam!

Regards,
Burlington John

Mark D
Conductor
Posts: 2944
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:01 pm
Location: Sort of between Litchfield and Forest City, MN.

Re: Is Amtrak ditching HEP for steam?

Postby Mark D » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:29 pm

Actually, Amtrak has used steam in the recent past. That is, when we've had to pull an excursion train using Amtrak insurance we had to operate as an Amtrak train and almost always had to drag an Amtrak diesel - or two sometimes.
But steam was the motive power, and officially it was an Amtrak train.
What I'd like to see is Amtrak having any one of the big excursion steam locomotives that are operable today, pick up the Empire Builder at some point - either right at the start in Chicago or somewhere along the way, and haul it all the way to the west coast and then turn around as #6 and bring it back.

It'll never happen.

Mark D.
Mark D. - The bottom of the information curve

tom c
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Re: Is Amtrak ditching HEP for steam?

Postby tom c » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:26 am

GEEEES Mark, how late would that train be with all the service stops it would need to make!

Tom C.
tom_at_srclry_com
Lost somewhere in Michigan instead of Colorado!


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