Amtrak ACS-64

We just got in the new Amtrak ACS-64 sets from Kato. This is the newest Amtrak locomotive that they just built up the road from us in Sacramento! These new sets just came out from Kato and include the locomotive, three coaches, and a cafe car. The set comes packaged in a seven slot bookcase, so you can add some more cars to your set. There are two different add-on sets for this, one comes with two coaches (set A), and the other comes with a coach and a cafe (set B). Altogether you could put together a very nice passenger train.

The design of the ACS-64 is based on the EuroSprinter and the Vectron platforms, which Siemens sells in Europe and Asia. Significant structural changes to the design were made to comply with American crashworthiness requirements, including the addition of crumple zones and anti-climbing features as well as structural strengthening of the cab, resulting in a heavier locomotive than the previous models. The body is a monocoque structure with integral frames and sidewalls.

The locomotives are able to operate from the 25 kV 60 Hz, 12.5 kV 60 Hz, and 12 kV 25 Hz power supplies used on the Northeast Corridor, and have a maximum power of 6,400 kilowatts (8,600 hp). The locomotives are designed to be capable of accelerating 18 Amfleet cars to maximum speeds as high as 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor in a little over eight minutes, with trains of eight Amfleets taking two and a half minutes to reach the same speed. They have advanced safety systems, including specialized couplers designed to keep trains from rolling over, jackknifing, or derailing during a collision. Additionally, the new locomotives are more energy-efficient than those that they replace, and lack dynamic braking grids in favor of 100% regenerative braking, depending on grid receptiveness. Energy generated from the brake may also be utilized to meet HEP needs, further reducing current draw from the grid.

Each locomotive has two electrical converter units with three IGBT based, water cooled output inverters per converter. Two of the inverters power the traction motors; the third unit supplies head-end and auxiliary power. The HEP/auxiliary inverters are dual-redundant and identical (rated 1,000 kW or 1,300 hp), allowing the locomotive to remain in service should one inverter fail en route. The locomotive bogies are fabricated steel designs, with low-lying traction links and center pivot pin. The traction motors are frame-mounted, with torque transmitted via a hollow shaft drive. Locomotive braking is facilitated by cheek mounted disc brakes on each wheel.

The locomotives are being manufactured at Siemens’ factory in Florin, California, with traction and electrical equipment being manufactured at Siemens facilities in Norcross and Alpharetta, Georgia. Traction inverters are manufactured in Alpharetta, and the traction motors and gear units are manufactured in Norwood, Ohio.Amtrak_ACS-64_601.jpg

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