NIPRA trip to the Beech Grove Amtrak Repair Facility – 8/6/2009

On August 6, 2009, the Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA) travelled to the Beech Grove Amtrak Repair Facility for a tour of the facilities.

“Restoring and returning passenger railcars to service is another concrete example of how Amtrak is rebuilding and renewing the nation’s railroad,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman. Amtrak is using $19.3 million in ARRA funds to restore 20 bi?level Superliner and one single – level Viewliner railcars, plus and additional $13 million to rehabilitate 15 P?40 diesel locomotives at the Beech Grove facility near Indianapolis, IN.

As of June 30, 2009 there were 581 active employees that work at the Beech Grove facility. This includes 108 employees hired to complete the 21 passenger cars and 15 P?40 locomotives for the ARRA programs. Amtrak has posted six consecutive years of growth in ridership and revenue, carrying more than 28.7 million passengers in the last fiscal year alone. Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000?mile route system.

The first car rehabilitated using ARRA stimulus money unveiled, Superliner Sightseer Lounge #33016, was introduced into service in July 1981. It had traveled nearly 5.1 million miles before being damaged in the state of Washington in April 2005 and placed into storage. It will be returned to service by the end of August 2009.

The rehabilitated Superliner Sightseer Lounge car was repaired and modernized bringing it into compliance
with all federal rail safety regulations as well as current Amtrak standards in design, colors, and amenities. It also underwent a complete overhaul of the interior, exterior, mechanical systems, electrical systems, trucks, wheel assemblies, airbrakes, and restrooms. It cost approximately $709,000 to complete the repair and overhaul work. In comparison, a brand new car would cost in excess of $4.5 million.

The Beech Grove Forge Shop is the sole source provider for all Superliner, Viewliner, Horizon, Surfliner, and
Heritage passenger car truck assemblies. Every four years, every truck assembly is removed from undercar, dissembled, inspected at critical stress points, re?assembled and re?applied. In 2009, approximately 360 assemblies will be overhauled for in?house work.

Car #10001 serves as a mobile headquarters for Amtrak. It is equipped with GPS, wi?fi, and camera that is able to identify potential hazards on the tracks.

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