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 Post subject: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 11:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
https://www.facebook.com/DanburyRR/post ... DGV3cZh4hl

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The Danbury Railway Museum is proud to announce the acquisition and delivery of a former Amtrak AEM-7 electric locomotive.
In the early morning hours of Friday, June 7, 2024, the Genersee & Wyoming’s Providence & Worcester Railroad successfully delivered ex-Amtrak AEM-7 #917 to the Danbury Railyard. This locomotive was brought to our attention by Anthony Raspantini, who also orchestrated its donation to the museum from Rail Propulsion Systems (RPS) in August of 2023. Orion Newall-Vuillemot had been working diligently since then to make arrangements to ship the engine to its new home. One of 54 units built for Amtrak by General Motors Electro-Motive Division and ASEA between 1978 and 1988, the AEM-7 was the workhorse of the electrified Northeast and Keystone Corridors until retirement in June of 2016. Because the design was based on Swedish SJ Rc4, the AEM-7 are affectionately nicknamed “Swedish Meatballs,” and their boxy shape also earned them the nickname “Toasters.”
This is the third piece of equipment to be delivered to the Danbury Railyard thus far in 2024. Along with the the AEM-7, the recent delivery of two early American electric locomotives, the S-1 built in 1904 and the T3-a built in 1926, expand our ability to represent the evolution of 90 years of design innovation and technological advancement on transportation.
Additionally, the museum extends its thanks to Amtrak, MTA Metro-North Railroad, and the Housatonic Railroad for their support of the project, as well as all of the individuals behind the scenes. We also extend a big thanks to Anthony Raspantini, Eric Moffett and the Seaview Railroad, Rail Propulsion Systems, the Providence & Worchester Railroad, and Orion Newall-Vuillemot. Without all of this collective generous support this project would not have been possible.
The locomotive will be on public display in our yard this weekend, come down and check it out in person!
Moving the engine is just step one, and while it is in good shape, it needs cosmetic work to make it an attractive display piece. Our goal is to raise $15,000 to cover the moving and restoration expenses so that future generations can interpret and appreciate the history of mainline electric rail locomotives in the United States.
Donations can be made online at www.DanburyRail.org/Donate or by mail to Danbury Railway Museum, PO Box 90, Danbury, CT 06813
Become a member, get involved, and support railroad preservation, to find out more visit www.DanburyRail.org/membership


Photos at the link.


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 12:50 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 1435
Location: Philadelphia, PA
These were good motors. This makes three in preservation: 915 at RRMPA in East Strasburg, 945 at IRM in Union IL, and now 917 at Danbury. They could use 12 kV or 25 kV, 25 Hz or 60 Hz with automatic switching.

In five years of going back and forth to Baltimore and Washington (Metroliners) I was only late once and there was snow that day.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:41 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1771
Location: Back in NE Ohio
As far as I know, there are two remaining AEM7s, in California being used for testing the electrification of Caltrans Bay area line. That line just opened last week, so I guess they are done with them, or will be soon. Does anyone know what is going to happen to them? Being the last operable ones they certainly should be saved if at all possible. I would definitely call this an "ahead of the torch" priority.


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:31 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 654
Location: Ipswich, UK
I was in the Bay Area back in March and both of the Caltrain ones were parked up at 4th/King Station. One has been painted in Caltrain Colours (with Herzog branding as well) but I don't know whether they have ever been used to test the overhead wires as was originally intended.......
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Photo taken from a passing train, so it's not as sharp as it could have been.
Last time I was in SF (Sept 2019) they were both in the yard at San Jose, so they have at least moved to the other end of the route since then!
Don't know whether anyone more local to the area has any info as to whether they have actually used the things at all?

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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 11:27 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Los Altos, CA
PaulWWoodring wrote:
That line just opened last week, so I guess they are done with them, or will be soon.


Well, don't jump the gun. They are still in final testing, although the electrification should go live later this year. See https://www.caltrain.com/status

PaulWWoodring wrote:
Does anyone know what is going to happen to them?


I have no inside information, but Caltrain might want to hang onto them for a bit, to rescue broken-down EMUs and to haul ballast/rail replacement trains, for example.


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 12:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
Well, the longer they are needed there the better for trying to secure their ultimate preservation somewhere. If 13 GG1s were saved, there certainly is room for five AEM7s.


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:23 am
Posts: 61
psa188 wrote:
PaulWWoodring wrote:
That line just opened last week, so I guess they are done with them, or will be soon.


Well, don't jump the gun. They are still in final testing, although the electrification should go live later this year. See https://www.caltrain.com/status

PaulWWoodring wrote:
Does anyone know what is going to happen to them?


I have no inside information, but Caltrain might want to hang onto them for a bit, to rescue broken-down EMUs and to haul ballast/rail replacement trains, for example.


Maybe they're saving them for use based out of Fresno, hauling ballast on the HSR?


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
I wouldn't use an electric as a rescue motor: too much chance the problem involves electric traction power. They should use something self-contained, i.e. a diesel.

Note: for years in Penn Station NY the DD1's could do rescue because they ran from DC third rail, independent of the AC overhead power.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:40 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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But California is supposedly deprecating diesels not much later than 10 years from now. Utility of battery-electrics might not be as great, and hydrogen is really more of a tri-power sort of approach. (I won't do more than mention ammonia...)

Most of the presumptive failures for the Commute district won't likely involve overhead-line damage, but they might require fairly rapid clearing of an immobilized trainset. For that purpose, something like an AEM-7 would seem to be sensible.

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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:01 pm 
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Location: MA
One would think an AEM-7 would make the perfect cabbage car.


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
There's only a handful left, so no, and I have hopes that one of them stays operable for somewhere like IRM.


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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2024 8:01 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:47 pm
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IRM has an AEM-7 already, and according to the linked press release they don't operate it because their catenary is 600V DC, while an AEM-7 is set up for 12, 12.5, or 25 kV AC.

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 Post subject: Re: Danbury RR Museum Saves Another Electric--an Amtrak AEM7
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2024 8:32 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1771
Location: Back in NE Ohio
OK, I'm not totally familiar with who has one. I've seen the discussions here about what it would take to get a GG1 or Little Joe to operate on museum level voltage, so it's not impossible to rework one to run at low speed if a museum wanted to. The Swiss have a number of historic electric motors that are operable and occasionally run mainline excursions on limited routes of their extensive national network. I'd like to think that that could happen here, like maybe between Harrisburg and Philly (maybe not all the way to 30th St.) with a preserved AEM7. And I'm not suggesting the one at RRMoPA be the one.


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