Train Sim World
Boston Sprinter - Climb Aboard On The Corridor!
Arriving 19th August, Boston Sprinter will put you in control at the throttle of electric, diesel, and cab car equipment!
Written by Gary Dolzall
With the upcoming Train Sim World 2 Rush Hour: Boston Sprinter route, you’ll climb aboard Amtrak’s state-of-the-art Siemens ACS-64 Amtrak Cities Sprinter electric, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s modernized EMD F40PH-3C diesel, and MBTA’s Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) veteran CTC-3 cab car to hustle passengers over the bustling Northeast Corridor between Boston South Station and Providence station!
Let’s take a closer look at each of these three types of distinctive equipment, which range from ultra-modern to vintage:
Siemens ACS-64 Amtrak Cities Sprinter
Amtrak’s now classic EMD/ASEA AEM-7 served for three decades, but all good things must come to an end, and in October 2010 Amtrak placed orders for its next generation of electrics to power Northeast Corridor (Boston-New York-Washington) and Keystone Corridor (Philadelphia-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) trains. The locomotive chosen would come from Siemens Mobility, a subsidiary of Siemens AG of Germany, and was design-based on the successful EuroSprinter. Amtrak’s new electrics were given the designation ACS-64 and the name Amtrak Cities Sprinter.
Amtrak’s ACS-64 features a monocoque body and double-cab design, weighs in at approximately 215,000 pounds, rides on four-axle (B-B) trucks, and produces 8,320 maximum horsepower (the “64” in its designation references its 6,400-kW output). The ACS-64 can operate on each of the Northeast Corridor’s three A.C. voltages, including the 25 kV at 60 Hz of the section between Boston and New Haven. Although design capable of 135 mph, the ACS-64 is classified for 125-mph operations on the Corridor.
Amtrak’s first ACS-64 – No. 600 – formally entered service at Boston on February 7, 2014, and by August 2016 Amtrak placed 70 of the potent and stylish electrics in service, thus the ACS-64 became the standard-bearer of Amtrak’s conventional train services throughout the Northeast Corridor. Joining the ACS-64 for Amtrak intercity passenger duty on the upcoming Boston Sprinter Train Sim World 2 route will be Amtrak Amfleet I coach and café car. # MBTA Electro-Motive/MPI F40PH-3C
To American railroad enthusiasts, the long-lived and successful Electro-Motive “F40PH family” needs little introduction. In May 1975, Amtrak ordered 30 EMD 3,000-horsepower F40PH diesels, originally intended for use on the carrier’s short-haul routes. The problems, and subsequent early retirement, of Amtrak’s ill-fated burly EMD SDP40F diesels changed all that, and the F40PH instead became the versatile national workhorse of Amtrak’s diesel fleet, with the passenger railroad acquiring 210 F40PHs from EMD.
The F40PH also quickly proved itself an exemplary commuter locomotive. Chicago’s Metra was the first buyer of the F40PH for commuter duties and other roads followed, including MBTA, which acquired 18 units in 1978-80. EMD’s F40PH, while destined to achieve landmark locomotive status, did have one liability: Its HEP generator was geared directly to the locomotive’s 645-series prime mover, and to provide heat and lighting to its train, the engine had to operate at near full throttle. As a result, fuel consumption, engine wear, and noise were excessive. The solution, first introduced at the instigation of MBTA, was to add a separate small diesel powerplant to the locomotive to handle HEP requirements, thus allowing the main powerplant to throttle down whenever feasible. Enter the F40PH-2C. Extended 8 feet in length compared to a standard F40PH to accommodate a Cummins auxiliary diesel, the newcomer hit the rails in 1987-88 as MBTA placed 26 units in service.
By the end of the 1980s, with EMD wishing to focus on its new 710-powered F59PH (and then its F59PHI successor of 1994), several commuter operators chose instead to have locomotive remanufacturer and builder Motive Power Inc (formerly Morrison Knudsen) both construct new F40PH-2C models and rebuild older standard units with auxiliary engines for HEP (both Cummins and Caterpillar diesels have been employed for HEP power). Among the commuter operators choosing this path was again MBTA, which as early as 1994 began cycling its older F40PHs through rebuilding programs at Bombardier and MPI. Indeed, today MBTA has an active program with MPI to convert its F40PH-2Cs to F40PH-3Cs. This -3 program includes mechanical revitalization and installation of the latest electronic control systems and new wiring and is expected to extend the life of the locomotives for another two decades. The rebuilt F40PH-3 diesels are exceptionally stylish wearing MBTA’s vibrant purple, silver, and black livery with a robust “T” logo on the carbody sides.
MBTA Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) CTC-3 Cab Car
Although primarily an aviation and aerospace manufacturer, Germany’s MBB dabbled in rail equipment construction, perhaps most notably via its role with the DB Class 420 EMU and ICE1. In 1986-88, MBB built and delivered to MBTA a group of 33 BTC-3 class coaches (in MBTA terminology, the “B” stands for blind, or not cab-control-equipped) and 34 CTC-3 cab and control equipped cars. Stretching 85-feet in length, the cars accommodated between 88 and 96 passengers (pending restroom arrangement). Ten of the CTC-3 cars were subsequently converted to BTC-3 coaches and over the years, the MBB cars could be found covering both northside duties (services out of Boston North Station) and southside schedules (services from Boston South Station). Joining the cab-equipped CTC-3 on the Boston-Providence route will be the standard BTC-3 coach.
The Train Sim World 2: Rush Hour edition of the Boston-Providence route will soon bring the vitality of this extraordinary rail line to full, entertaining, and challenging life. All the grand locations of the route – Boston’s South and Back Bay stations, Cove interlocking, Amtrak’s sprawling and modern Southampton Street Maintenance Facility, Forest Hills, Readville, Canton Junction and Viaduct, Mansfield, East Junction, Providence station, and more – are being expertly re-created. And the Amtrak ACS-64 and MBTA EMD F40PH-3C and CTC-3 cab cars each have been meticulously researched and beautifully modeled to provide you with an authentic, realistic, and enjoyable experience at the controls! The ACS-64 will put you at the throttle of America’s modern electric workhorse; the F40PH-3C will provide the challenges of operating a landmark locomotive that’s been updated to contemporary specification; and the veteran CTC-3 cars will provide the experience of operating with the relatively uncomplicated but efficient control systems of cab cars built several decades ago. Get ready to climb aboard on the Corridor!– Gary Dolzall
The upcoming Train Sim World 2: Rush Hour Boston Sprinter route will put you at the throttle of electric, diesel, and cab car equipment! Amtrak’s Siemens ACS-64 “City Sprinter” (above) features a monocoque body and double-cab design, weighs in at approximately 215,000 pounds, rides on four-axle (B-B) trucks, and produces 8,320 maximum. Aboard the state-of-the-art electric, you’ll work from modern console-style controls (below).
Dating back to 1978, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has called on Electro-Motive F40PH family locomotives to power its commuter trains, and on the Train Sim World 2 Boston Sprinter route you’ll take the throttle of MBTA’s latest version of the landmark locomotive, the EMD/MPI F40PH-3C (above), which features a traditional engineer’s control stand (below).
Enabling MBTA “push-pull” operations on the upcoming Train Sim World 2 Boston Sprinter route will be the commuter carrier’s veteran Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) CTC-3 cab car (above), aboard which you’ll handle the car’s relatively simple but efficient controls (below).
Joining the MBTA CTC-3 cab car for operations on the upcoming Train Sim World 2 Boston Sprinter route will be its sister MBB BTC-3 coach (above), while Amtrak passengers will climb aboard classic Amfleet I café and coach cars (below).
Aboard Amtrak’s magnificent ACS-64, you’ll experience everything from the bustle of urban railroading to high-speed, 125-mph running. On a snowy winter day, Amtrak ACS-64 614 is arriving at historic Boston South Station (above), while on a fine summer afternoon, Amtrak ACS-64 639 hustles a Northeast Regional train through Forest Hills (below).
MBTA’s single track and scenic Stoughton Branch is included in the upcoming Train Sim World 2 Boston Sprinter route and brings yet another memorable experience to the line. MBTA CTC-3 cab car 1527 is leading a Boston-bound train on the branch at Canton Center (above), while F40PH-3C 1073 provides the power from the rear of the train (below).
The railroading action is intense at Hyde Park as a MBTA express commuter overtakes a local train preparing to make its station stop (above). And at historic Canton Viaduct, Amtrak ACS-64 603 has a Boston-bound intercity train on the move (below). Get ready to climb aboard on the Corridor – with the upcoming Train Sim World 2 Boston Sprinter route!
Missed the Boston Sprinter route feature? Read it here. You can stay up to date with everything on Train Sim World 2: Rush Hour by following @trainsimworld on Twitter and Facebook.
Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
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Train Sim World
Boston Sprinter - Climb Aboard On The Corridor!