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AEM-7 and E60MA

AEM-7 and E60MA

In the late 1970s and early '80s, Amtrak was looking for a new, more reliable electric locomotive to replace its aging, derailing E60s. An Rc-4 locomotive was borrowed from Sweden, and a French locomotive was also tried. The Rc-4 was favored, and the resulting AEM-7, a joint venture by ASEA and EMD, resembles it in many ways.

The AEM-7s were delivered in Phase III paint, and most of them came with complicated black pantographs. Some were later retrofitted with a red type which simply looks like a pair of hinged arms - the equalizers are internal. Many AEM-7s have been fitted with ditch lights and repainted in the Phase IV scheme, and some have recently been rebuilt into AEM-7ACs and painted in the Acela Regional scheme.

Amtrak's E60s were ordered in the mid-1970s to replace the ancient ex-PRR GG-1s. The E60CPs had steam generators to heat the older inherited passenger cars, while the E60MAs had Head-End Power for the new and rebuilt cars. The big six-axle GE locomotives had some trouble with tracking, and after a few derailments, their credibility was reduced. Originally numbered in the 900 series, some were rebuilt as E60MAs in the 600 series. They were used mainly for hauling long Clocker trains between New York and Philadelphia, and sometimes saw service hauling trains through the tunnels under New York City. All have now been retired, although one is being preserved at a museum.

Click photos to enlarge
E60MA no. 609 sits in the yard outside Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. Note the half-size underbody battery box. 4/23/03 Philadelphia, PA
AEM-7AC no. 905, an early rebuild, waits to depart Boston's South Station with a southbound Acela Regional train. 11/20/01 Boston, MA
As seen from the MBTA's South Boston rapid transit yard, 905 snakes through the trackwork as it departs with a southbound train. 4/1/02 Boston, MA
AEM-7 no. 921 pulls a northbound Acela Regional train through New London, CT on its way to Boston. 4/15/01 New London, CT
With a string of Amfleets in tow, 921 accelerates slowly toward the bridge over the Thames River. 4/15/01 New London, CT
Viewed from the New London ferry terminal is 922, waiting at Union Station with a northbound train to Boston. 6/29/01 New London, CT
AEM-7 no. 922 accelerates out of New London with its train, as seen from the highway. 6/29/01 New London, CT
922 has just arrived in Boston with an Acela Regional train. It looks like night but is really only 4:30 PM! 11/14/01 Boston, MA
The 927 blows through the Forest Hills commuter rail station with a southbound Acela Regional train. 3/8/02 Boston, MA
Resting in South Station after bringing in an early morning northbound train is AEM-7AC no. 927. Note the special baggage car, which was removed from Vermonter service. 4/23/03 Boston, MA
The 929 doubleheads an Acela Regional train arriving in Boston, not long after the catenary was installed. F40s used to handle such trains before the electrification. 2/22/00 Boston, MA
AEM-7 no. 931 arrives in Boston with an Acela Regional train. 7/28/00 Boston, MA
The 931 is actually moving backwards here as it pushes its train back to the yard for servicing. 7/28/00 Boston, MA
No. 931 vanishes into the complicated maze of trackwork in the approach to South Station on its way out to the yard. 7/28/00 Boston, MA
The 932 assists 931 with its Acela Regional train. 7/28/00 Boston, MA
AEM-7 no. 933 sits in South Station alongside an Acela trainset. The boxy electrics have been serving Amtrak for over twenty years. 1/3/02 Boston, MA
AEM-7AC no. 940 sits in South Station. This is an example of a later rebuild. 10/16/01 Boston, MA
Passing by Philadelphia's zoo, AEM-7AC no. 943 leads a train toward 30th Street Station. 4/25/03 Philadelphia Zoo, PA
The 948, the second version of AEM-7AC, cruises through Ruggles Station with a northbound train. 10/9/01 Boston, MA
AEM-7 no. 950 doubleheads with the 929 on a train they have just brought into Boston. 2/22/00 Boston, MA