BNSF units on the Empire Builder

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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
For the past two weeks, BNSF freight units have been leading the Seattle bound Empire Builder (Amtrak #7). I don't know if they are on the Chicago bound Builder (Amtrak #8) as well.
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Cascade units have been used as the trailing units of the Builder as well. Does anyone know what is going on? Are the Genesis units falling apart or being rotated out in large numbers for servicing?
 

Amtk 1007

Amtrak Conductor
Just general equipment failures and a shortage of power. for a while there were several specials roaming the system and that chewed up extra locomotives ( including 4 on the annual AAPRCO train)
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Why is the freight unit always leading? Does it relate to speed restrictions or power supply to the passenger cars?
 

cp9524

New Member
The passenger unit has to trail to supply the head end power (HEP) to the coaches. The freight units do not have any HEP cables, so if they trailed the coaches would have no electricity.
 

montanan

New Member
The BNSF units are most likely being used as helpers over Marias Pass from East Glacier to Columbia Falls. I have been over US 2 numerous times and enjoy watching the rail traffic that pretty well parallels the highway.
 




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