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Thread: Amtrak 90250, the most confusing NPCU (1 or 2 Large photos)

  1. #1
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    Default Amtrak 90250, the most confusing NPCU (1 or 2 Large photos)

    So recently, I saw a photo of 90250, one of the first NPCUs in the Cascades Scheme. In this photo was AMTK 90250 in Phase Vb. I really was wondering if this had really happened to 90250... The next day I was railfanning with a friend of mine in SODO (South Seattle) and we saw a Cascades NPCU sitting in a shed next to 2 Sounder F59PHIs, with lots of paper around where the green is in the Cascades Scheme and her numberboards removed.



    A few minutes later, the crossing arms went down and a Southbound Cascades went by with, surprisingly, 90250 leading.
    So what does this have to do with a supposedly repainted Cascades to Phase Vb NPCU you might ask? Well, from what i believe, the current phase Vb NPCU 90250, is a recent conversion by Amtrak, and the NPCU seen in the shed was the original 90250.



    So what I want to know is,why has Amtrak done what they did?Are they going to do this to all of the Cascades NPCUs?Are they giving the Cascades NPCUs a group of unique numbers? Or was this just a random thing that Amtrak did.

    [ See Image Here ]
    Last edited by SantaFebuff; August 20th, 2015 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Oversized Image Changed to Link

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    I doubt Amtrak renumbered them, in fact Amtrak is in the process of getting rid of all their NPCUs. The unit getting painted appears just to be getting a touch-up paint job; the number plates were removed to avoid getting brown (in this case) paint on them. It may be that 90250 is getting relocated to someplace east.

    It may also be that Washington (or Oregon) are buying some of the NPCUs from Amtrak. The Talgo sets & the F59PHIs are split up between ownership (some by WADOT, some by AMTK, and 2 Talgo sets by ORDOT) but currently Amtrak owns all the NPCUs, they may be splitting those up as well. The end goal would be having full sets (F59PHI, Talgos, NPCU) all owned by one organization. In which case a renumbering may happen, as well as changes to the paint scheme. For the F59PHIs you can tell who owns which based on the logo on the side.

    I'll ask my contact but I highly doubt I'll get much of an answer. When it comes to Amtrak no one really knows why they do most (strange) things they do...

    peter

    PS. I'd appreciate it if you didn't have a picture of content stolen from me in your signature. Not to mention that the logo on the NPCU in your signature is incorrect.

    Edit: Forgot to mention, there is no such thing as Phase Vb, only IVb and V. 90250 has been repainted into Phase V.
    Last edited by PerRock; August 20th, 2015 at 10:16 AM.
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    I know for a fact that either WSDOT or ODOT just recently bought 1 or 2 of the NPCUs (My friend has family friends that work for Amtrak and ST), so it may be likely that 90250 may be receiving a new WSDOT or ODOT number. While we were railfanning, WSDOT and Amtrak employees began looking her over, pointing out some things and such. So the phase Vb 90250 may be Amtraks, while the Cascades 90250 now belongs to ODOT or WSDOT. It is pretty easy to tell that the NPCU in the shed was 90250, mostly because the 9025-series of NPCUs have F59PHI-like coverings over what used to be their fuel tanks. 90251 was on a cascades run in portland, 90252 was also in OR, 90253 was on a Northbound to Vancouver, and 90340 (Non-restyled) had recently arrived at King Street from OR. So that leaves 90250 to be the one in the shed.

    Though it is unclear what will happen to these Cascades NPCUs, with the introduction of things like the Talgo 8s with their new (disgustingly ugly) cab cars, and the future construction of the Siemens Charger locomotives, the NPCUs futures are extremely uncertain. They may be scrapped and never seen again, or they may be preserved, or even kept in case they need to run more Cascades.

    Enjoy your day.

    (PS, Content was not stolen, I received it legally from a friend who says he got it from you if your upset about it, talk to him, not me.)

    (Also, Phase Vb exists, V(a) had a lighter shade of blue and a thick red line across the bottom, Vb has a darker blue and a thin red line. (Look at the P42s from around 2000-and up))

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    This type of unit is used on the Downeaster and on the Vermonter. I wouldn't doubt that Amtrak is selling these to the state agencies as that makes sense. The Downeaster is run through state funding between Maine and Mass. (New Hampshire won't spend a dime on passenger rail, but loves the service!). Also Mass state funded, rerouting of The Vermonter via Springfield has seen a big uptick in service, which may mean sending more of these east up here as well.

    Gerald -- you need to downsize your signature image. It's too tall and has to be 800 x 100 pixels. Yours is 700 x 137, adjust appropriately and proportionately.

    John
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    My question to you Gerald is how do you know that is 90250 with the masking on it?

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    The a & b titles are never officially used. They're something only I used to in my P42 models to differentiate them from the current design in Trainz. Anyone besides really me aren't going to know what your talking about with the a & b crap.

    The official name for the paint scheme on those NPCUs is Phase V.

    Those F59PHI-like coverings are just sheet metal bolted on; real easy to remove or add onto a new one. And also not a sure-fire way to tell what number a locomotive is. There is absolutely no way they will have 2 NPCUs with the same numbers. While the F59PHIs are owned by both Amtrak and WSDOT they all operate under the AMTK reporting marks, so you will never have duplicate number.

    Additionally about Wash. Buying them, while they might have (I'll do some research) they cannot do it without issuing an Request For Proposal, something that I normally would have heard of, but haven't.

    I would take anything your 'friend' says with a grain of salt. Amtrak employees are very well know to make up things, or to not actually know what happening when they think they do.

    peter
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    Quote Originally Posted by norfolksouthern37 View Post
    My question to you Gerald is how do you know that is 90250 with the masking on it?
    The 9025-series of NPCUs have F59PHI-like coverings over what used to be their fuel tanks. 90251 was on a cascades run in portland, 90252 was also in OR, 90253 was on a Northbound to Vancouver, and 90340 (Non-restyled) had recently arrived at King Street from OR. So that leaves 90250 to be the one in the shed.

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    Worth noting that those NPCUs will be retired from Seattle-Portland service once the track speed is increased to 110 in a couple years. I've been told by maintenance staff in the past that the most likely plan is to convert F59PHIs into NPCUs when the Siemens Chargers are in service, with the F40 NPCUs being moved to Seattle-Vancouver and Portland-Eugene for their final years.

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