Bachmann and TCS: The ACS-64 Story

ACS-64 Shell On

Bachmann and TCS teamed up to make a WOWSound equipped, HO-Scale, Siemens ACS-64.

ACS-64 Locomotive

 We had a great experience working with Amtrak officials to get the required sounds from the ACS-64 locomotive.

Amtrak Floor Tile

As we entered the offices at the Ivy City Shops in Washington D.C. we came across this beautiful inlaid floor tile (~3' x 4') celebrating the work they do here.

Hanging Out the Locomotive

 Though we started recording on engine #621 part way through the day we had to switch to engine #600. #621 was required for servicing in shop.

Setting Up Recording

Here you can see JD from TCS in the cab setting up the recording equipment again.

The Catenary

 There were some challenges throughout the recording day. Off and on rain showers and nearly 2 hours without catenary power, but the yard crews worked diligently to get us up and recording again. How would you like to troubleshoot that wiring?

Here you see John and JD from TCS in the cab of the ACS-64.
Here you see JD and John from TCS in the cab of the ACS-64.

We ran out of time in the first shift to get all the sounds we wanted to get. However, Amtrak officials graciously approved us to continue recording through a second shift. 

It made for a long day, but through the excellent support of Amtrak and the diligent work of the TCS team we perfectly captured the sound of the Siemens ACS-64.

Interesting view of Pantograph

We were able to obtain clean recordings of the sounds of the pantograph going up and down from the service walkways. It was cool to hear the crack of the arc jump when the pantrographs engaged the wire. And oh yes, we got that sound included in the decoder as well!

Turntables still exist in modern locomotive facilities

Turntables still exist in modern locomotive facilities as evidenced by this beautiful one in the Ivy City yard.

Creature Comforts on ACS-64

In case you were curious about the inside of the ACS-64. Above left is the view from the cab down the center walkway through the belly of the ACS-64. The door at the far-end is the entrance to the other cab. Above right is the lavatory which is located along the hallway.

Airchime horns on ACS-64

Nathan Airchime horns atop the ACS-64.

Cab view from inside ACS-64

Cab view of the ACS-64 #600.

ACS-64: Salute the Veterans

We commend Amtrak's gracious salute to our Veterans with this commemorative locomotive.