New misfortune for the new Chargers: accident at a level crossing

Problems persist on first round trip of revenue for locomotives

Sandwiched by P42 locomotives, Amtrak’s first ALC42 locomotives in revenue service head west on the Empire Builder on Tuesday, February 8, via Northbrook, Illinois. The return trip from Seattle began on Saturday with more technical issues and an accident at the crossing. (Trains: David Lassen)

SULTAN, Wash. — The first revenue round trip for Amtrak’s new ALC42 Charger locomotives did not improve on the return trip from the Pacific Northwest.

Load locomotives Nos. 301 and 302 ran the Empire Builder east out of Seattle on Saturday, but reports of continuing positive train control issues with No. 301 led to a redesign of the locomotives, putting No. 302 in the lead … in time to hit a pickup truck in a crash at a railroad crossing in Sultan, Wash., about 23 miles east of Everett. No injuries were reported, according to KIRO-TV.

The train, which was an hour and 26 minutes late from Everett, arrived at its next stop, Leavenworth, Washington, about 6 hours and 32 minutes late. Sunday evening, he was 7 hours and 55 minutes late departing from Havre, Mont.

The first trip west last week for the two new Chargers was marked by Amtrak’s announcement of plans to purchase 50 additional locomotives from Siemens [see “Amtrak to purchase 50 more …,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 8, 2022]. The train was delayed for over an hour leaving Chicago due to PTC issues, which led to the addition of a P42 locomotive to the front of the train. He then fell further behind when a fire in his Sightseer saloon car led to that car being removed in Milwaukee.

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