following article was originally published in the
English-language edition of The Marklin Club
TELEX Vol. 2 No. 5,
(The article was edited to include additional
Link to Amtrak's Web Site
Siemens and AEG, with the cooperation
of Amtrak and the Deutschen Bundesbahn, have brought a DB
InterCity Express Train to the United States for a six
month technical trial and demonstration. After spending
July undergoing testing,the ICE begins a two-month
national tour of public displays in August and will then
enter Amtrak's Metroliner service on the Northeast
Corridor from October through December 1993.
Amtrak ICE being transferred from
custom-built roll-on/roll-off carriers to
railroad tracks at Port of Baltimore, Maryland
after shipment from Bremerhaven, Germany.
A series of technical tests
verified the train's ability to operate safely on U.S.
tracks -- the Amtrak ICE Train has been tested at up to
162 mph on the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak has applied to
the Federal Railroad Administration for a waiver to the
Corridor's current 125 mph speed limit in order to
operate the ICE at up to 140 mph in revenue Metroliner
Amtrak ICE at Ivy
City Maintenance Facility in Washington, DC
during testing prior to twenty-five city national
Amtrak's ICE Train consists of
two powered units, a first-class coach, three second
class coaches, an ICE coach service car, and a restaurant
car. The Amtrak ICE configuration, which is approximately
one-half the length of a typical 14-coach DB ICE,
accommodates 285 passengers and includes at least one of
each type of ICE coach in service in Germany. The
restaurant car (similar to the Märklin's #4373 Bord
Restaurant car) features a 24-seat, full-service
restaurant as well as a Bistro that accommodates 26
people. The service car (similar to Marklin #4373) has a
private, reservable conference room equipped with a
fax/copier. The service car and the first class coach
feature private telephone booths.
Amtrak ICE enroute
Washington, DC to New York City
as Metroliner Train 112.
The Amtrak ICE Train is 655 feet
long and weighs 562 tons. The powered units are each
rated for a maximum continuous output of 4.6 megawatts.
The train features regenerative braking that allows it to
return an average of eight percent of the electrical
energy used to the power supply network.
Amtrak ICE crossing the Susquehanna
River at Havre de Grace, Maryland.
The Amtrak ICE Train was
modified slightly for operation in the U.S. The couplers
between the coaches were lengthened to accommodate
tighter radius curves than the ICE experiences in Europe.
The two 6500 hp powered units were derated to 4200 hp as
a result of electrical conversions required by
differences in the U.S. and German operating voltage and
frequency. The DB logos on the sides of the powered units
and coaches were replaced with Amtrak logos. The Amtrak
logo was also painted on the nose of each powered unit.
The red and lavender stripe on the ICE was not replaced
the typical red, white, and blue Amtrak stripe.
One of two GM/Siemens EMD F69PH diesel
locomotives used to pull the Amtrak ICE on
non-electrified portions of the twenty-five city
(The two F69PHs
were originally built as prototypes for an Amtrak
bid that was eventually won by the GE Genesis.
See Jim Hebner's
Amtrak Photo Archives for more information.)
Amtrak will use
information gathered from the technical tests as it puts
together a request for proposal for 26 high-speed train
sets later this year. Amtrak will seek proposals from
suppliers with the capability to manufacture all or a
significant portion of the trainsets in the U.S. Siemens
and AEG note that they already have an established
transportation manufacturing base in the United States
and would expand that base if they were to be successful
in the bid to Amtrak.
Interior of Amtrak ICE engineers cab
while on display at Washington, DC's Union
Station. Amtrak reported that 110,000 people
the ICE on its 25 city national tour.
While the national tour
and the Metroliner service were enthusiastically received
by rail fans and proponents of high-speed rail service in
the United States, the model railroad enthusiast has not
been left out of the fun. Märklin has announced production of a special edition
HO-scale train set commemorating the Amtrak ICE as
configured for the 1993 North America Tour.
The #3700 set, which will be limited to
a world-wide production of 5000 units, will include one
powered end car with motor, one powered end car without
motor, one intermediate 1st class car, three intermediate
2nd class cars, one service car, and one "Bord
Restaurant" dining car. The set will feature
Märklin's digital high-efficiency propulsion system with
five-pole armature; load-dependent motor control;
adjustable maximum speed, acceleration, and braking
delay; electronic reverse unit; and direction-dependent
current pickup through the powered end car at the front
of the train. The powered end cars will have metal
frames, engineers cabs with interior details, U.S.-style
pantographs, and digitally controlled triple headlights
that change over to dual red marker lights depending on
the direction of travel. All coaches will all have
interior details and digitally controlled interior
lighting. The entire train set (8 units) will be 202.6 cm
(79-3/4") in length and can be used on conventional
as well as digital layouts.
Märklin photo of #3051
Northlander and #3700 Amtrak ICE