Wednesday, July 6, 2011

American Electrics, "I see these a couple times a week" Edition

Amtrak AEM-7 'Toaster' at Baltimore Washington International Airport in 2006
Hard for this 40-something to believe, but these AEM-7 'Toasters' are actually old--I remember when these locos were brought in to replace then-50-year-old GG1s.  Supertramp and The Cars were on the radio, and I had just discovered girls.

Apparently, AEM-7s are dropping like flies--fires seem to claim them with alarming frequency.  Amtrak recently placed a giant order with Siemens for replacements. Look for decidedly Euro-looking ACS-64 locomotives in 2012 or 2013.  (See below for an artist rendering)

Siemens ACS-64 (image courtesy Amtrak)
With 'fallen flag' and retro/legacy paint schemes all the rage, I wonder if the Amtrak front office will have one or two of these 'new, improved toasters' or 'metal twinkies' or 'Airstream trailers' dressed up in one of the old Amtrak paint jobs, or better yet, Pennsy Brunswick Green or that Mad Men-era McGinnnis EP-5 'Jet' paint job?

Just darin' to dream here . . .