National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak)

High Speed HHP-8 Locomotives

LTK provided engineering, administrative and program management support services to Amtrak in the procurement of 20 high-speed trainsets and 15 HHP-8 high-horsepower electric locomotives for Northeast Corridor (“NEC”) service. The electric locomotives are each rated at 8,000 horsepower. LTK also assisted Amtrak in the procurement of three dedicated maintenance facilities and carbuilder-supplied maintenance management services to support the fleet.

LO1-AmtrakLTK assisted Amtrak through all phases of the procurement, from conceptual engineering and specification development to vehicle commissioning and entry into revenue service. Initially, LTK helped identify the needs based on extensive input from Amtrak "task teams." These inter-disciplinary, inter-departmental teams identified Amtrak’s conceptual requirements with regard to electrical systems, mechanical systems and on-board amenities. LTK then developed technical specifications reflecting these requirements.

Extensive industry review activities were conducted with up to six proposers in parallel by the "task teams.” This iterative process ensured that Amtrak’s specified requirements and carbuilder technical proposals were consistent.

LTK provided extensive technical support for proof-of-design testing activities conducted at TTCI in Pueblo, CO and on the NEC. LTK supported acceptance testing and commissioning activities on the NEC.

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Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (Metra)

Engineering for Rail Car Programs - MP36PH-3 Locomotives

LTK is part of a team providing rail vehicle engineering services to Metra in its efforts to expand and upgrade the rolling stock for its Northern Illinois commuter rail system.  This fleet expansion includes 27 3,600 HP diesel-electric locomotives from Motive Power, Inc.

LO2-MetraNotice-to-Proceed for the new locomotives was given in February 2001.  For the new locomotives, LTK’s duties included Head End Power (HEP), trucks and fire safety analysis. LTK also supported the Metra training program prior to these locomotives being placed in service.

The MP36PH-3S’s prime mover is a 16-cylinder MPI 645F3B diesel engine. The train’s HEP is generated from a static inverter on the engine that receives its power through connections to the prime mover. The available traction power when providing a full train HEP load of 500Kw is 2,930 HP, since HEP generation diverts some power from the prime mover.

The locomotives, which were built and delivered from 2003 through 2004, include 14 to replace Metra's older F40C fleet and13 for system expansion.

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Mid-Region Council of Government (MRCOG) & New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT)

Procurement of Commuter Rail Rolling Stock - MP36PH-3C Locomotives

The State of New Mexico established an aggressive state-wide transportation improvement program in 2003 that included commuter rail for the first time. New Mexico’s Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) and the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) began the process of establishing a new-start commuter rail operation on a “fast track” schedule. Starting in late 2005, commuter service linked Albuquerque with Belen on the south and Bernalillo on the north using existing BNSF trackage. The service, known as the Rail Runner Express, has since been extended northward to Santa Fe.

Given the need to move quickly, MRCOG selected LTK to assist with commuter rail rolling stock procurement activities.  In addition to supporting the procurement of passenger coaches, LTK evaluated options for passenger locomotives, including new units, rebuilt units and existing serviceable units such as the Amtrak P40 locomotives. The cost, service life and delivery schedule of each option was considered.

After consideration of all options and preliminary sale negotiations, MRCOG exercised an order option with the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission to purchase up to five MP36PH-3C passenger locomotives from Motive Power, Inc. of Boise, ID. These units were delivered in September and October of 2005. Thanks to LTK efforts, new commuter rolling stock was available to support the promised late 2005 service start-up date.

The MP36PH-3C has a 16-cylinder MPI 645F3B diesel engine as its prime mover. The MP36PH-3C has a separate Caterpillar diesel engine for HEP power generation. With this arrangement, the full rated prime mover power of 3,600 HP is available for traction, and the prime mover is allowed to idle at a lower RPM.

Since the initial five unit procurement, LTK has assisted MRCOG and NMDOT in procuring four additional MP36PH-3C locomotives, as well as additional passenger coaches.

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Minnesota Department of Transportation

Anoka County Minnesota Northstar Corridor Project - MP36PH-3C Locomotives

When evaluating the potential for commuter rail service on the Northstar Corridor, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MinnDOT) turned to LTK for expertise. The firm developed operational concepts and assisted with reviews and determinations of needed rail capacity improvements. LTK professionals provided maintenance facility layout and design while also working with MinnDot during a difficult site selection process.

LO4-NorthstarThe Northstar Corridor, which extends some 80 miles between downtown Minneapolis and the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota, is one of the fastest growing in the nation. It is served by interstate and state highways, and the transcontinental mainline of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

During the preliminary engineering phase of this project, LTK developed and evaluated alternative operating plans and service concepts; analyzed alternative track configurations; evaluated the operating implications of alternative station locations; and provided conceptual signal layouts, together with the associated cost estimates.  Rolling stock options appropriate to the operating concepts and consistent with demand forecasts were analyzed, with fleet requirements identified, and a passenger coach and locomotive design framework prepared. Alternative maintenance and operating facility sites were evaluated, and a maintenance facility design consistent with the rolling stock concept, including storage yard and access trackage, was prepared.

The initial phase of the Northstar Corridor, 40 miles in length, opened for service in November, 2009.  With a cost of $317 million, the Corridor serves stations at Big Lake, Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Fridley, and Minneapolis. 

LTK served as NCDA’s technical lead for procuring their fleet of 18 passenger coaches and five MP36PH-3C passenger locomotives from Motive Power, Inc. of Boise, ID. The MP36PH-3C has a 16-cylinder MPI 645F3B diesel engine as its prime mover. The MP36PH-3C has a separate Caterpillar diesel engine for HEP power generation. With this arrangement, the full rated prime mover power of 3,600 HP is available for traction, and the prime mover is allowed to idle at a lower RPM.  Trains will operate at speeds up to 79 MPH.

The Northstar Line is operated by Metro Transit and provides an important link to a broader transit network in the metro area and central Minnesota. The initial level of service includes five peak period, peak direction trips and one reverse peak trip.  On Saturdays and Sundays, three round trips operate.  Ridership is estimated at 3,400 per day after one year of operation, increasing to 4,100 by 2030.

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Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA)

Diesel-Electric Locomotives

Since the inception of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) more than a decade ago, LTK has played a key role in the development of its commuter rail service.  LTK’s involvement spans four major rolling stock procurement projects, five procurements of commuter rail locomotives, and a program to remanufacture F-40 locomotives for SCRRA commuter rail services.

LO5-SCRRALTK prepared design specifications for the SCRRA multi-level rail cars.  LTK staff members were involved in the evaluation of new features and performance requirements for vehicle subsystems for compatibility and applicability to SCRRA service and facilities.  Simultaneously, LTK worked with SCRRA staff to develop a cost-effective specification for the remanufacture of existing F-40 locomotives to be used in SCRRA revenue service.  Tasks for this remanufacture included assessing the FRA regulations and APTA Standards and Recommended Practices as each applies to the remanufacture process, as well as to SCRRA’s specific requirements.  LTK supported the pre-award evaluation process for both the latest multi-level rail car and remanufacture programs and provided technical, management and inspection support throughout both procurements.

SCRRA’s fleet of 146 multi-level commuter rail cars, including 37 cab cars and 109 trailer cars, was purchased under three separate contracts.  A total of 37 locomotives were purchased during the first four procurement programs.  The latest procurement included 107 multi-level commuter rail cars of which 53 are cab cars and 54 are trailer cars.  Also included are15 MP36PH-3C locomotives, manufactured by Motive Power, Inc. of Boise, ID and rated at 3,600 HP. The MP36PH-3C has a 16-cylinder MPI 645F3B diesel engine as its prime mover with a separate Caterpillar diesel engine for HEP power generation.   

LTK led the specification development effort, was a member of the contract negotiation teams, and provided technical, management and inspection services on all of the rail car and locomotive contracts.  The support provided on these procurements included activities related to a review of engineering and design submittals, evaluation of test procedures and reports, vehicle and system configuration management, in-plant and at-site inspection, commissioning and acceptance of vehicles.  LTK was also involved with close-out of the various contracts, administration of the warranty provisions for rolling stock and facilities, and review of proposed enhancements and modifications.

LTK has also provided specialized support to SCRRA over the years covering accident investigations and evaluation of repairs.  The firm’s experts have worked with the SCRRA staff to develop and evaluate maintenance activities and identify equipment modifications.  LTK has also qualified suppliers and contractors for overhaul and service work, provided inspection services, and conducted studies related to product failures and product improvements.

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NJ Transit

Locomotive Power Interruption Investigation

LO6-NJTLTK was requested by NJ TRANSIT to perform an investigation of power interruptions affecting performance of their electric locomotive fleet. LTK was able to pinpoint the issue to a phase gap problem on the ALP-44 fleet. Our team of engineers mounted cameras to the roof of the locomotive and used instrumentation sensing line current and the behavior of the MCB and transponder-based phase gap detection system to determine the root cause of the problem and provide a solution.


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Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Locomotive Traction Motor Combo Support Bearing Failures

LO7-MBTAThe MBTA was experiencing a high number of traction motor support bearing failures that was impacting their ability to meet locomotive daily availability requirements. LTK was brought in to determine the cause of the failure and assist in the development of new shop procedures relating to the installation of support bearing wicks and ongoing maintenance and inspection of traction motor combos.



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Locomotive Evaluations

LO8-TREDART/TRE was interested in purchasing used locomotives from GO TRANSIT to increase their fleet size. They were uncertain what the value of the units would be and how much would need to be invested to overhaul the units and bring them to a revenue service-ready state. DART/TRE hired LTK to perform a thorough evaluation of all candidate locomotives that GO TRANSIT had for sale. The evaluation report included recommendations on which units DART/TRE should purchase, the projected value of the units and a cost estimate of the overhaul work necessary to bring the units to a service-ready state.




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Locomotive Audit

LO9-CaltrainLTK was asked by CALTRAIN to perform a 100% audit on their fleet of 29 locomotives. The fleet is comprised of EMD F40PH-2s, F40PH-2-CATs, F40PH-2Cs and MP36PH-3Cs. The purpose of the audit was to determine the sequence in which the fleets should be overhauled and provide input to define the scope of the overhaul.



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