Recently, I was in my three-year-old son's room. I had decorated his room with various photos of our family and wildlife (bears, lions, etc.), which I shot specifically for him. My son turned to me and said wistfully, "Someday, I won't have any pictures in my room." "What do you mean?" I said. He responded, "Because I don't want any pictures in my room." Puzzled, I asked, "Why not?" And he responded, "Because they're not very good." Ouch! After taking a deep breath, I replied, "But you like my photo of the DC Streetcar hanging downstairs, don't you?" "Oh yes! I do!" he replied excitedly. And so there we have it, my son really just wants photos of trains in his room.
I normally don't shoot by request, but for my three-year-old, I've made an exception and shot a series of Amtrak trains. I didn't know much about trains previously, but I learned quite a lot while shooting the series. So, I'll share the series along with a little bit of what I learned.
The following represents Amtrak's basic lineup of locomotives, starting with a GE P42DC, which is Amtrak's primary road diesel. It was introduced in 1996 and can travel up to 110 mph.
The P42DC features an extra low height, allowing it to travel through low-profile tunnels in the Northeast Corridor. It also features a single, monocoque carboy design, which makes the locomotive lighter, more aerodynamic, and more fuel efficient than previous Amtrak diesel locomotives. However, this design makes it more costly and time-consuming to maintain and repair.
Below is a Siemens ACS–64 (also known as the "Amtrak Cities Sprinter"). The ACS–64 is an electric locomotive operated by Amtrak in the Northeast Corridor. The first Amtrak ACS–64 entered service in February of 2014. It can accelerate 18 Amfleet cars to maximum speeds as high as 125 mph in the Northeast Corridor in a little more than 8 minutes.
The design of the ACS–64 is based on various platforms that Siemens sells in Europe and Asia and has significant structural changes to the design to comply with American crashworthiness requirements. The body is also a monocoque structure with integral frames and sidewalls. The ACS–64 has advanced safety systems and is more energy-efficient than the older Amtrak locomotives.
In the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak also operates Acela Express trainsets. (The term "trainset" refers to a group of rolling stock that are permanently or semi-permanently coupled.) Acela is Amtrak's flagship and high-speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor. Acela trainsets can attain speeds as high as 150 mph, making them the fastest trainsets in the Americas. Acela trainsets use tilting technology, which helps control lateral centrifugal forces, allowing the them to travel at higher speeds on the sharply curved Northeast Corridor without disturbing passengers.
Amtrak has some additional locomotives in service that are a bit less glamorous than the Acela trainsets. These locomotives are "switchers." A switcher is a locomotive used for assembling trains and moving railroad cars around. They aren't generally used for pulling cars between destinations. Above is a National Railway Equipment 2GS12BR diesel genset switcher.
So, I had some fun shooting these trains and I learned a lot more about Amtrak than I ever knew before. My son is also very happy with the photos, which is the most important thing.
Keywords: 2GS12BR, ACS–64, Acela, Amtrak, Amtrak Cities Sprinter, P42DC, Washington, locomotive, switcher, trains, trainset
I think my 5-year-od grandson would be impressed with all of these trains. He LOVES trains! Thanks for the info.
So impressive, and loving!!
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