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2015 California Passenger Rail Summit Kickoff Reception

2015 California Passenger Rail Summit

Kickoff Reception to be held in the Roundhouse at the California State Railroad Museum

125 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

By Carl Morrison,


The ACS 64 No. 643 - Amtrak Cities Sprinter electric locomotive.

Southwest Rail and David Kutrosky of the Capitol Corridor arranged for the Siemens Mobility ACS-64 No. 643 to be center stage, literally, at the Reception in the Roundhouse at the California State Railroad Museum

The Amtrak Cities Sprinter, or ACS-64, is an electric locomotive designed by Siemens Mobility for Amtrak. The locomotives are to operate on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and the Keystone Corridor, replacing the railroad's existing fleet of AEM-7 and HHP-8 locomotives.[9] The first ACS-64 entered service in February 2014; deliveries will last until 2015.

In October 2010, Amtrak ordered 70 locomotives at a cost of US$466 million, to be delivered beginning in February 2013.[10] The order was the second part of Amtrak's company-wide fleet-replacement program, after an order for 130 Viewliner II passenger cars was placed in July 2010.

The design is based on the EuroSprinter and the Vectron platforms, which Siemens sells in Europe and Asia.[16] Significant structural changes to the design were made to comply with American crashworthiness requirements, including the addition of crumple zones and anti-climbing features as well as structural strengthening of the cab, resulting in a heavier locomotive than the previous models.[7][6] The body is a monocoque structure with integral frames and sidewalls.[6]

They are able to operate from the 25 kV 60 Hz, 12.5 kV 60 Hz, and 12 kV 25 Hz power supplies used on the Northeast Corridor, and have a maximum power of 6,400 kilowatts (8,600 hp).[16] The locomotives are designed to be capable of accelerating 18 Amfleet cars to maximum speeds as high as 125 mph (201 km/h) on the Northeast Corridor in a little over eight minutes,[17] with trains of eight Amfleets taking two and a half minutes to reach the same speed.[18] They have advanced safety systems, including specialized couplers designed to keep trains from rolling over, jackknifing, or derailing during a collision.[19] Additionally, the new locomotives are more energy-efficient than those that they replace, and lack dynamic braking grids in favor of 100% regenerative braking, depending on grid receptiveness. Energy generated from the brake may also be utilized to meet HEP needs, further reducing current draw from the grid.[19]

Each locomotive has two electrical converter units with three IGBT based, water cooled output inverters per converter. Two of the inverters power the traction motors; the third unit supplies head-end and auxiliary power.[6] The HEP/auxiliary inverters are dual-redundant and identical (rated 1,000 kW or 1,300 hp), allowing the locomotive to remain in service should one inverter fail en route.[17] The locomotive bogies are fabricated steel designs, with low-lying traction links and center pivot pin. The traction motors are frame-mounted, with torque transmitted via a hollow shaft drive. Locomotive braking is facilitated by cheek mounted disc brakes on each wheel.[6]

In order to comply with "Buy American" laws, the locomotives are being manufactured at Siemens' factory in Florin, California, with traction and electrical equipment being manufactured at Siemens facilities in Norcross and Alpharetta, Georgia.[7] Traction inverters are manufactured in Alpharetta, and the traction motors and gear units are manufactured in Norwood, Ohio.[4]


Being the Press representative at this conference for and's Press Representative, I took this great opportunity to photograph the ACS 64 inside and out:

For best viewing, Double-click any photo in this report to see the photo with a black border.  Click BACK in  your browser to return to this page.



Michael Litschi provided a good size indicator beside the ACS-64


Poster next to the ACS-64 No. 643


I found the upper level in the California Railroad Museum a good location for photographs of the ACS-64 and the Amtrak California Car
that was also brought in just for this Summit.


Reception tables eventually filled with attendees and their food and drink, after the speeches.


A rare view of the very top of an ACS-64


Bi-directional locomotive needs bi-directional horns


Back on the ground floor, with a nice Sacramento sunset reflection in the ACS-64, we had an opportunity to step inside the brand new locomotive.


Engineer's console


Fireman's console and seat.


Forward facing camera at the center


Jump seat and the heater/cooler with the white door.


View from one end of the locomotive to the other with identical cabs on each end






Bob Manning, Southwest Rail Passenger Association, Conference Co-Chair, with Joyce Manning, and John Murray from Siemens.


View from the cab of the reception area of the museum.


Also brought to the roundhouse by Southwest Rail and Kavid Kutrosky of the Capitol Corridor just for this Summit was an Amtrak California Car with ample bicycle racks.



The California Car barely fit into the Museum both lengthwise and heightwise.


View from the second floor of the museum



California Car upper level.  Total of 88 seats.


California Car Lower Level with bike storage space


Registration was ably handled by Steve Grande, Southwest Rail and, and his wife, Barbara Cepinko.








Master of Ceremonies, David Kutrosky of the Capitol Corridor.


Welcome Reception Speakers

Hon. Toni Atkins, Speaker, California State Assembly

Hon. Hannah-Beth Jackson, California State Senate, Chair, Select Committee on Passenger Rail

Hon. James Beall, California State Senate, Select Committee on Passenger Rail

Hon. Gail Murray, Chair, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority

Hon. John Pedrozo, Chair, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority

Dave Golonski, Chair, Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Joint Powers Authority

Hon. Bob Johnson, Chair, San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission/ACE

Hon. Mark Packard, Chair, North County Transit District/Coaster


Master of Ceremonies, David Kutrosky of the Capitol Corridor




















Steve Grande, Southwest Rail and, and his wife, Barbara Cepinko.











One of the most interesting parts of attending a function at the California Railroad Museum is seeing all the exhibits in the Museum.



California Zephyr in Feather River Canyon circa 1955









Each year the
Center for Railroad Photography & Art ( displays prints from their photography contest winners
Here are a few of my favorites:






Explaination of each photo at

Permanent displays







Women in Railroading exhibit





Select another section of this report

Table of Contents of this Report

  1. Amtrak Cities Sprinter (ACS-64) electric locomotive by Siemens Mobility, brought by Southwest Rail to the Summit, at the California State Railroad Museum Roundhouse
  2. Amtrak California Car, coach No. 8204 Drake's Bay brought by Southwest Rail to the California State Railroad Museum' s Roundhouse for the Summit.
  3. Registration and Networking Reception Photos (Speakers' names below) Tuesday, April 28, 2015, California State Railroad Museum Roundhouse.
  4. Center for Railroad Photography & Art ( photography contest winners at the California State Railroad Museum.
  5. Summit Presenter and Panel Participant Photos  (
  6. Summit PowerPoint Presentations by all Speakers ( thanks to David Kutrosky's Office.
  7. Taking the Amtrak Coast Starlight round trip from Los Angeles to Sacramento for the Summit.

2016 California Passenger Rail Summit information | Other Reports by Carl Morrison | | American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF)