You might has well have figured that this was coming given the recent videos and NJT gallery update!
There were some firsts in my brief time on the platform waiting for my train. Besides the NJT ALP-45DP, I saw and photographed my first Amtrak ACS-64 locomotives.
There was probably two “lasts” that day as well – my final video and still images of Amtrak’s AEM-7 locomotives. As the ACS-64s arrive, the AEM-7s are being put out to pasture.
In the above photo, we see Amtrak’s Siemens ACS-64 pulling a northbound into the station as a Bombardier ALP-45a pushes a NJT train south. If those names don’t sound familiar to you, or sound”foreign”, there’s a reason. These locomotives are based on European locomotive designs, as there isn’t a sufficient market (or cohesive transportation policy) here in the States for the domestic manufacturers to create and maintain an off-the shelf domestic locomotive design.
Fittingly, at least to me, was that my southbound Northeast Regional Train was pulled by AEM-7 917. As she drifted into the station, there was still enough sun left to capture her in pixels, and that image is in the Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor Gallery on Laughing Frog Images. In all likelihood, that was my last ride behind an AEM-7. Despite being over 30 years old, she was earning her keep that day, and I clocked her over the century mark (100 m.p.h.) more than once on my journey.
Amtrak donated AEM-7 to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, so they won’t go the way of Alco’s C-628 and numerous steam and electric locomotives that either live on in recycled metals or are forever gone.
Amtrak is betting that the Siemens ACS-64 will be around for a while, unlike the HHP-8 locomotives from Bombardier / Alstom that were 15 years old and are being replaced along with the AEM-7s. The Amtrak HHP-8s never quite lived up to their expectations or potential. Time will tell…
For the curious, all of the new images started as a .dng file from my Icon smartphone.
Thanks for looking! And think about what a cool coffee cup this picture would make for you or the railroad enthusiast that you know… If this one doesn’t catch your fancy, there’s more in the Frog’s galleries!