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(PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 11:29:46 2006

Here are a few photos, "mined" from Google Earth, showing the Amtrak Rohr Turboliners at the SuperSteel plant in Scotia NY.

This data may be a few years old, but at that time, the RTLs were still in NY.



This is the RTLII set, rebuilt in the early '90s. It was the last set in service, and it looks to be the most intact of the un-rebuilt equipment. Two power cars on the left, three trailers on the right.



Note the blue-roofed rebuilt trailers, and the dark roof of the un-rebuilt car. The turbines exhaust upwards, and though relatively clean, the roofs did get stained quickly in service.

The white cars are either incomplete rebuilds or completed cars in plastic "cocoons".



Here are three completed cars, wraped in white plastic. The two on the right look like power cars, with a partly "peeled" trailer on the left.

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by New Brunswick Station on Mon Oct 9 11:49:11 2006, in response to (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 11:29:46 2006.

whatever happened to the turbos that set the speed record for North American trains back in 1960something or 1970something? Boeing Vertol or something like that.

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Terrapin Station on Mon Oct 9 11:57:22 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by New Brunswick Station on Mon Oct 9 11:49:11 2006.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo_Train

I don't remember off-hand if any of these vehicles still exist. I'm sure further Googling would answer that for you...

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage


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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by New Brunswick Station on Mon Oct 9 12:11:36 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Terrapin Station on Mon Oct 9 11:57:22 2006.

oh, United Aircraft Corporation. My bad. Anyhow, the "newest" pic of them I ever saw online had one mothballed and rusting away in the early eighties.

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 12:59:01 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Terrapin Station on Mon Oct 9 11:57:22 2006.

All were scrapped, Amtrak's in the '70s, and the CN/Via sets in the early '80s.

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 13:28:31 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by New Brunswick Station on Mon Oct 9 12:11:36 2006.

The Via trains got scrapped by Naparano.

I remember seeing them in the scrapyard, in NJ, from the window of a plane leacing Newark Airport, around '84.

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Terrapin Station on Mon Oct 9 13:52:40 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 12:59:01 2006.

Thanks.

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Olog-hai on Mon Oct 9 14:37:23 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by New Brunswick Station on Mon Oct 9 11:49:11 2006.

Why are you asking about Turbotrains on a Turboliner thread?

"Vertol" means vertical takeoff and landing. Aircraft-related.

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 15:19:54 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Olog-hai on Mon Oct 9 14:37:23 2006.

Then what about the Vertol LRVs that Boston and San Francisco bought in the '70s?

I believe you have Vertol confused with VTOL.

Vertol is the name of a company, orignally known as Piasecki, that built helicopters. Boeing bought them out in 1960, and they became the Boeing-Vertol division. In the mid '70s, the helicopter business wasn't paying well, so they went into the trolley car business. The subesquent story shall live in infamy. The Vertol LRVs were the Rockwell trucks of the MBTA.

However, Vertol did not produce the Turbotrain. That was Vertol's main rival, Sikorsky. Actually, the Turbotrain project came from Sikorksy's parent company, known at the time as "United Aircraft". Soon after this project, to shift the corporations image to a wider field than aviation, they changed their name to "United Technologies".

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by RonInBayside on Mon Oct 9 15:39:05 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 15:19:54 2006.

UT makes air conditioning (Carrier, which invented A/C) and elevators and aircraft carriers (Newport News Shipbuilding) and jet engines (Pratt and Whitney).

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REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Oct 9 19:06:44 2006, in response to (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 11:29:46 2006.

Heh, I believe I have one upped you. These were taken on Sept 4, 2006.







Just goes to show you that it always helps to have a ground reconnisance component to your satilite imagery.



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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Edwards! on Mon Oct 9 19:14:13 2006, in response to REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Oct 9 19:06:44 2006.

New York State PAID for these trains to be refurbished...yet they are sitting on the sidelines rusting away.

Humm..maybe we should introduce ANOTHER carrier to the EMPIRE line..seize all property..untill they do what they were PAID to do...

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Oct 9 19:55:40 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Edwards! on Mon Oct 9 19:14:13 2006.

Those weren't the ones they paid for and Super Steel did a shit job. The units aren't usable by anyone.

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Fred G on Mon Oct 9 20:03:06 2006, in response to REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Oct 9 19:06:44 2006.

Haha, they look like they were spirited away!

your pal,
Fred

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by NIMBYkiller on Mon Oct 9 23:07:11 2006, in response to (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 11:29:46 2006.

I'm going to try to get to Bear and see if I can't get photos of them in storage at the yard there.

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Edwards! on Mon Oct 9 23:21:11 2006, in response to (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 11:29:46 2006.

Nice.

Drove out there once to check out some new Nova RTS Buses being built there once some years ago.

Saw the Turbo trains parked...some work being done..

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Mr. Harlem Line on Mon Oct 9 23:56:33 2006, in response to (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 11:29:46 2006.

Interesting...

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 00:31:54 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 13:28:31 2006.

who's Naparano?

and how come there are so few photos of the UAC interiors around?

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 00:35:17 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 15:19:54 2006.

My confusion occurred because I had read that the thing was made by an aircraft company, and I had forgotten that it was Sikorsky of the helicoptors. I also vaguely remembered Boeing Vertol made something that ran on rails. So I made a boo boo. LOL.

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What's the problem with turbine trains?

Posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 00:37:20 2006, in response to (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 11:29:46 2006.

How did what seemed to be so promising a technology at one time get sidelined?

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by J trainloco on Tue Oct 10 00:42:06 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Oct 9 19:55:40 2006.

Super Steel did a shit job.

How do you know that?

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by J trainloco on Tue Oct 10 00:42:56 2006, in response to (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 11:29:46 2006.

Thanks for the update.

It's a shame that cars that had money spent on them are sitting around doing nothing.

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Oct 10 00:59:27 2006, in response to What's the problem with turbine trains?, posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 00:37:20 2006.

How was it promising? These are engines that are only good for helicopters. They drink fuel like crazy and spew superheated exhaust that can melt steel girders. They're way higher maintenance than your average internal-combustion piston engine; turbines aren't meant to be operated like land engines—they are meant to be revved up to one point and stay there for long periods of time, then shut off, not revved up and down. They're noisy, too.

They were the "great white hope" for having super-fast rail without having to electrify—the fastest example is the Turbo TGV, that France ran at 192 mph back in 1967 once. After that, France went to electrification, following Japan's example. As far as hauling freight?—UP's turbine locos needed a fuel tender for all that Bunker C oil it would use up.

And yes, the RTL, UAC and JetTrain share that fuel thirst problem. I've heard an anecdote (a good while back, can't find it now) that the RTL hit 155 mph in a test run; but the FRA won't allow that thing to go faster than 125 mph on any stretch of track nowadays, and we've got modern diesels that can hit 125 mph, possibly with faster acceleration when AC traction is used.

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by RonInBayside on Tue Oct 10 01:05:19 2006, in response to Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains, posted by Olog-hai on Tue Oct 10 00:59:27 2006.

Axial flow turbojets of the type used were the worst in that they were most efficient at high altitude. The Navy uses gas turbines to power ships because there's no other way, short of a nuclear reactor, to get a big warship up to 30+ knots. Similarly, the Abrams tank can shoot accurately while rolling 40 mph over open ground, which makes it an incredibly powerful weapon, and the gas turbine is hat allows 70+ tons to get to that speed relatively quickly. But it sucks fuel like it's going out of style!

The FRA restriction is outside the NEC, by the way. Amtrak has permission to do up to 150 mph where possible.

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Nilet on Tue Oct 10 01:05:38 2006, in response to REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Oct 9 19:06:44 2006.

Cool! I want to ride those again! Too bad they're not on the road.

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by Olog-hai on Tue Oct 10 01:18:59 2006, in response to Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains, posted by RonInBayside on Tue Oct 10 01:05:19 2006.

The FRA restriction is outside the NEC, by the way. Amtrak has permission to do up to 150 mph where possible

Not with RTLs. FRA requires that no passengers may ride in forward (and, consequently, aft) power cars of Tier II high-speed trains. The FRA restriction thereof is all over the country, no matter what FRA rails are upgraded to 150-mph standards.

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by RonInBayside on Tue Oct 10 01:22:05 2006, in response to Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains, posted by Olog-hai on Tue Oct 10 01:18:59 2006.

Your qualification is noted.

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 02:40:17 2006, in response to Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains, posted by RonInBayside on Tue Oct 10 01:22:05 2006.

What would it take to get a train to break the old speed record on the NEC?

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Re: What's the problem with turbine trains?

Posted by Bill West on Tue Oct 10 03:16:55 2006, in response to What's the problem with turbine trains?, posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 00:37:20 2006.

I heard a story from Pratt & Whitney Canada when they were doing the CN turbos for United Aircraft. They had a bit a bit of culture shock between the CN mechanics who still had an active steam engine in the region and the Pratt aircraft engineers. It amounted to a generation gap between the equipment technology and the technology the maintenance staff grew up with. It seems UA’s design incredibly required jacking the whole train set up to remove a precision truck drive shaft, although they did at least provide a quick way to do this. CN’s mechanics didn’t need any help to remove shafts however, it’s the same as it was in steam days. One day a Pratt engineer came upon them “successfully” getting one of these shafts out with a sledge hammer. Can you imagine a sledge hammer on anything “aircraft”? A large piece of change went on the scrap heap that day.

Bill

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by WillD on Tue Oct 10 03:24:09 2006, in response to Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains, posted by RonInBayside on Tue Oct 10 01:05:19 2006.

Axial flow turbojets of the type used were the worst in that they were most efficient at high altitude.

I've always wondered how these trains would have worked out if they'd gone with a centrifugal flow turbine which may have been better suited to this role. Chrystler built a gas turbine powered car which used a single stage compressor and turbine with a pair of regenerators to both increase incoming post compressor temperatures and decrease exhaust gas temperatures. I've always wanted to see something like that increased in size and power to the point where it could power a train, but we keep using helicopter engines which are utterly unsuited to the task. That's not to say the Chrystler turbine was not without problems, in the 1960s it may have had better fuel economy and better emissions than gasoline engines of the day, but today it'd look like a fuel hog and smoke belcher. There also were technical problems with sealing the regenerators and apparantly they had a tendancy to break down under the heat, something that could possibly be remedied with modern materials technology.

The Navy uses gas turbines to power ships because there's no other way, short of a nuclear reactor, to get a big warship up to 30+ knots.

An oil fired steam powerplant will get a warship up to 30 knots, after all that's what the battleships and cruisers in WWII used, it just requires a large plant which takes up more room and possible payload. The same thing applies to nuclear powerplants, where a significant portion of the belowdeck area of nuclear powered cruisers had to be given to their powerplant. The gas turbine powerplant had a siginificant impact because it allowed a fairly lightweight powerplant which could be placed fairly high in the hull with only an increase in the stack requirements. Gas turbines are also extremely quiet in terms of noise radiated into the water and that noise can be reduced to nearly zero by turning off the gas turbines without a significant impact on the system's response time. This is unlike a steam plant, either conventional or nuclear, which always has to be running to maintain a head of steam, and that operation creates noises which are harder to isolate from the sea. The first US Navy ships with gas turbine powerplants, the Spruance class destroyers, were renowned for 'sneaking up' on submarines and at times operating offensively against submerged targets in exercises.

Incidentally it's unlikely that a diesel powerplant could be designed to deliver the kind of power modern US cruisers and destroyers have while fitting into the hull. However, navies which maybe desire a bit better fuel efficiency or don't want to be cruising around with gas turbines all the time go with a Combined Diesel and Gas or CODAG powerplant arrangement. Here a fairly fuel efficient set of diesels provides power for cruising, while gas turbines supplement them for high speed or other high power applications. Here in the states the USCG's Polar Star class ice breakers use CODAG with something like 18000hp available from the diesels and 75,000hp from the gas turbines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_diesel_and_gas

Similarly, the Abrams tank can shoot accurately while rolling 40 mph over open ground, which makes it an incredibly powerful weapon, and the gas turbine is hat allows 70+ tons to get to that speed relatively quickly. But it sucks fuel like it's going out of style!

Right on the second part, somewhat incorrect on the first part. The M1's ability to shoot accurately at relatively high speeds is quite independent of the gas turbine powerplant. The British Challenger II uses a V-12 powerplant, uses a similar gun, and by all accounts has every bit the lethality as the M1. Also the German Leopard 2 uses the exact same gun as the M1, and is widely regarded as its equal, but it uses a 1500hp V-12 diesel. The US Army may be regretting the use of gas turbines in the M1s since it creates an enormous maitenance tail in terms of both fuel and spare parts. I did see something on FAS.org that the possible M1A3 or M9/10/11/12 (or whatever they're up to) replacement for the M1A2 would use a hybrid powerplant with either a diesel or gas turbine powerplant to reduce the tremendous fuel demand the M1 brings to the battle.

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by WillD on Tue Oct 10 03:29:35 2006, in response to Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains, posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 02:40:17 2006.

Changed FRA standards, a complete rebuilding of the NEC to something like LGV or NBS standards, bypassing of some slow points like the Elizabeth Curve, the former New Haven Shoreline route through Connecticut and hell freezing over.

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Bill from Maspeth on Tue Oct 10 10:54:22 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Nilet on Tue Oct 10 01:05:38 2006.

I think you are going to have a VERY long wait!

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by RonInBayside on Tue Oct 10 11:19:35 2006, in response to Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains, posted by WillD on Tue Oct 10 03:24:09 2006.

1) Thanks for the details on Navy propulsion! Nicely written, too.

2) I disagree with your characterization of the tank's propulsion - partially.

The original Abrams was, mobility-wise, equivalent to the Leopard or Challenger (actually, still a little faster). However, the M1A1 has depleted uranium slab armor, so it is heavier than its predecessor. Replace the gas turbine with a diesel and you have less room for tank rounds, ammunition etc.

Your point about maintenance is well taken, but I think the Army demonstrated its mastery of that in the first Gulf War.

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Nilet on Tue Oct 10 15:55:52 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Bill from Maspeth on Tue Oct 10 10:54:22 2006.

I'm not going anywhere. (Nor am I holding my breath.)

Maybe someday they'll be back.

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Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains

Posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 17:18:14 2006, in response to Re: Here's the problem with gas-turbine trains, posted by WillD on Tue Oct 10 03:29:35 2006.

Um, the original speed record had been set with a small stretch of the NEC, not the whole thing!

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Re: What's the problem with turbine trains?

Posted by New Brunswick Station on Tue Oct 10 17:22:08 2006, in response to Re: What's the problem with turbine trains?, posted by Bill West on Tue Oct 10 03:16:55 2006.

Maybe aviation companies' handiwork is awkward when it comes to moving on the ground. They are sky vehicle builders. They are a bit iffy when it comes to running vehicles on the ground.

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(322100)

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Re: What's the problem with turbine trains?

Posted by RonInBayside on Tue Oct 10 17:23:49 2006, in response to Re: What's the problem with turbine trains?, posted by Bill West on Tue Oct 10 03:16:55 2006.

8-)

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Jersey Mike on Thu Oct 12 00:33:53 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by J trainloco on Tue Oct 10 00:42:06 2006.

Amtrak rejected them.

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Oct 12 01:07:30 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Jersey Mike on Mon Oct 9 19:55:40 2006.

Super Steel did a shit job

We don't know what kind of job they did for sure. They didn't issue manuals, which is the chief reason Gunn (not Amtrak as a whole) halted their entry into service. Amtrak's current "leadership" is just waiting for marching orders from the White House before they make their next move on anything . . .

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Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu Oct 12 01:10:34 2006, in response to Re: (PHOTOS) Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Atomsk on Mon Oct 9 15:19:54 2006.

I believe you have Vertol confused with VTOL

Not really. They both have the same root; one's a portmanteau and the other's an acronym.

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by J trainloco on Thu Oct 12 01:20:25 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Jersey Mike on Thu Oct 12 00:33:53 2006.

What does that mean for the cars? Do they now belong to Super Steel? Did Amtrak reject them because they had some sort of dispute, or because the work was really just that bad?

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by Mr rt on Thu Oct 12 08:16:25 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Jersey Mike on Thu Oct 12 00:33:53 2006.

I don't blame Amtrak ... the dam things couldn't operate reliably.
Gov. George wanted to run them from Albany to Buffalo, but the was a problem there too with CSX. The line is single track because CSX doesn't want to pay taxes on a second set of tracks.

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Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage

Posted by AMoreira81 on Thu Oct 12 09:14:54 2006, in response to Re: REAL PHOTOS of Amtrak Turboliners in storage, posted by Mr rt on Thu Oct 12 08:16:25 2006.

CSX could have gotten out of those taxes by then leasing the second track to the NY State DOT, if they don't want to pay taxes on a second track. (The state would do the maintenance on that track.)

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