355/354 returning with P42's..?

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David Collins
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355/354 returning with P42's..?

Unread post by David Collins »

I got word from an engineer buddy that runs 352 on Mondays and Fridays that 355/354 is coming back, If I remember correctly, before the COVID shutdown, Amtrak ran the P42's on 353/355/354. I've also heard that bookend sets (engines on the front on back) may return as well. If that's true, would we start seeing P42's again since amtrak is slammed short for power?
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

Unread post by GTW6401 »

350 and 353 both had the new engines in early 2020. Whatever runs will need ITCS. I'd say just wait and see what happens.

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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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There should be enough Chargers to cover the runs. Assuming they've been maintained in a ready state.

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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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GTW6401 wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:31 pm
350 and 353 both had the new engines in early 2020. Whatever runs will need ITCS. I'd say just wait and see what happens.
Didn't the 55-69 pool have it tho? They ran alongside the chargers...
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

Unread post by SD80MAC »

Since MDOT paid for a chunk of the Chargers, they are going to use Chargers on any and all state-sponsored trains (Wolverine, Bluewater, Pere Marquette) whenever possible. I believe when Amtrak has to substitute a P42/B32 there is a fee accessed to the State. Even when Amtrak’s ALC42s come online, you will probably almost never see one in Michigan, since this will be Midwest SC44 territory.
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

Unread post by GP30M4216 »

I'm pretty sure I read that it is the 350/355 round trip that is returning in July. This would make sense as they use the same trainset. Either way, as SD80MAC said, the State of Michigan was one of the parties to the SC-44 order, and they will be used if at all possible on Michigan runs. Regardless, unless the ITCS is temporarily turned off, Michigan Line trains need to be ITCS equipped, which includes the SC-44s, and P42s 26-38, 126-128, and at least some (or maybe all) of that 55-69 block. I would be shocked to ever see one of the ALC-42s in Michigan. I don't think any will be fitted with ITCS, so they'd only be likely on the Pere Marquette.

I'm looking forward to the next Amtrak round trip coming back. More photography opportunities and choices for the passengers of Michigan!
Last edited by GP30M4216 on Fri Jun 25, 2021 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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The scuttlebutt I heard a few years ago was they went to 1 locomotive to save fuel/ maintenance etc.this likely accomplished that but also saved 3 locomotives for a dwindling P42 pool at the time. The trains get wyed on CN in Pontiac. With covid trains there has only been the need for 1 locomotive. Currently it seems one is additionally staged at Pontiac as rescue power. 350/355 would make the most sense to have 2 locomotives because of the “quick flip” at Pontiac, but time will tell what is decided/ power availability.
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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I drive by Pontiac Station/Yard several times a day and haven't seen a "staged" engine nor the passenger set during the entire Covid schedule
Ypsi wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:07 am
Currently it seems one is additionally staged at Pontiac as rescue power.
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

Unread post by NSSD70ACe »

Slightly on/off topic, are there any test trains out today on the AML? Definitely just heard Amtrak run through Kalamazoo and both 351 and 365 are near/in Indiana.
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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ballast train?

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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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^ That was my thought, there has been a ballast train running around down there recently with a pair of Dash 8s.
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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Test train of some sort today....

not sure yet how the brass plans to run the 350/355 equipment turn....

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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

Unread post by ns8401 »

AARR wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:26 am
I drive by Pontiac Station/Yard several times a day and haven't seen a "staged" engine nor the passenger set during the entire Covid schedule
Ypsi wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:07 am
Currently it seems one is additionally staged at Pontiac as rescue power.
There has been a charger staged next to the shed at the station a few times recently. I drive one of the buses that stops there these days.
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

Unread post by GP30M4216 »

So, I did a little research. The original poster is correct! 354 and 355 are coming back. So is 350. But 354 is actually replacing 352, effective July 19. Looking ahead with Amtrak's trip planner tool, 350 and 354 will be the new eastbounds, running on their same timetable as pre-Covid. Heading back west, 351 will continue, with the addition of 355 on its usual evening schedule.

As for equipment utilization, 350 can quick-turn as 355 every day, but I wonder if they will actually do that. What may be more likely is for 350 to turn as the next morning's 351, and 354 to turn as the next day's 355. This would enable a more thorough cleaning and preparation schedule overnight. We'll just have to wait and see.....same with the possibilities of any P42's.

That Amtrak didn't run 354 from the start confused me - this is the only train that makes a connection with nearly every long distance train at Chicago. It did provide another departure timeslot for the Chicago-Battle Creek route, letting the later slot be filled by 364. But that doesn't serve some of the busiest Michigan Line stations. 352 (and, frankly, 353) were both among the most popular for in-state Michigan travel, being the mid day runs. But they don't make the connections to the rest of the system. 350 and 355, meanwhile, run against the "morning inbound, evening outbound" operation to Chicago. They both serve Michigan-bound passengers as well.

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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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GP30M4216 wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 8:32 pm


As for equipment utilization, 350 can quick-turn as 355 every day, but I wonder if they will actually do that. What may be more likely is for 350 to turn as the next morning's 351, and 354 to turn as the next day's 355. This would enable a more thorough cleaning and preparation schedule overnight. We'll just have to wait and see.....same with the possibilities of any P42's.
This doesn’t make much sense as all it does is make a weird Chicago layover. It keeps sets away from the hub longer than needed and makes for extended dwell time for sets or even requires additional sets depending on the set up.
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Re: 355/354 returning with P42's..?

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Remember Michigan pays for the service. MDOT seems to understand the schedule should benefit Michigan residents.

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