29 & 30 April 2017 - New Buffalo, Mich
Siemens Charger Test Train Debuts in Michigan
Passenger service in Michigan entered a new era recently when the brand new Siemens Charger Locomotives began testing in Michigan. The 4611, prominently featuring the Siemens logos and owned by the Illinois Department of Transportation, made a test run on the Michigan Services routes.
These new locomotives are the result of a large order made by a group of states, including Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Washington and California, to provide new power for those state's intercity passenger routes.
While these States have traditionally relied on Amtrak's own power, the new locomotives will replace the aging P42s in the coming year or two, giving Amtrak much needed slack in a very tight P42 roster while providing increased reliability for the growing state-supported routes.
So on the 29th and 30th of April, trains P590 (eastbound) and P955 (westbound) operated over the Pere Marquette Route, with additional runs on the Wolverine and Blue Water slated for the following day.
We picked up the P950 at New Buffalo, in what was likely the first footage of the locomotives ever in the State of Michigan. The 4611 led three passenger cars under the ancient coaling tower, harking back to the days when steam engines hauled passengers on the line until the 1940s.
We'd then catch them again at Riverside, Pullman, Fennville and finally Grandville as they reached Grand Rapids. The next day, we headed out to New Richmond to get a very soggy westbound run as they ran over the Kalamazoo River Bridge.
It won't be long until these are a daily sight across numerous Amtrak routes. This is just the first run of hundreds of thousands these units will make in their lifetime within the State, and it's always nice to see investment in transportation infrastructure.
- IDTX 4611 [Siemens SC-44 Charger]
- 3 cars [Horizons/Amfleets]
- AMTK 35 [P42DC]
- CSX Grand Rapids Sub, New Buffalo, MI, M239 xing, on 4-29-17 at 13:00 EDT
- Riverside, Riverside Rd xing, at 13:40
- Pullman, 106th Ave xing, at 14:25
- Fennville, M89 xing, at 14:47
- Grandville, along Chicago Dr @ 28th St, at 15:40
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