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  1. rickycourtney

    Boarding by Zones at San Diego station

    That is a good theory. If nothing has changed since earlier this year… the plan is to have trains every 15 minutes on the Blue Line between Santa Fe Depot and UCSD/UTC (trains will remain every 7.5 minutes on the south section with cars short turning at America Plaza). Santa Fe Depot will also...
  2. rickycourtney

    "The Points Guy" takes a Viewliner II sleeper.

    I feel it’s important to point out that a lot of people here are saying Amtrak’s flex meals are comparable to offerings in international coach. That’s not a fair comparison. Amtrak’s sleepers are supposed to be a premium service. For the huge prices Amtrak charges, passengers should get...
  3. rickycourtney

    Why did Amtrak Surfliner add Old Town as a passenger stop? San Diego Santa Fe Depot is so close and the Trolley serves both.

    The stop at Old Town saves SDSU students quite a bit of backtracking on the Green Line. Same will be true for UCSD students when the Blue Line extensions later this year. Old Town is an attraction in itself… and Sea World is an easy 15 minute bus ride from Old Town. All good reasons to make a...
  4. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    On the cars California ordered, the lift is on the high-platform doors. I think the logic is, those high-platform doors couldn’t otherwise be used at low-platform stations… so this gives them use. Also, the low-platform doors have flip down traps, so they can be used at high-platform stations...
  5. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    The wheelchair-access solution is (could be) a car-borne lift, similar to what they have on the California Car and Talgo fleets. The other option is to build mini-high platforms at the low-platform stations... or continue to use the awful hand-cranked lifts. VIA Rail is buying the same trains...
  6. rickycourtney

    RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

    Basing an award solely on the lowest bidder is one of the mistakes new agencies make. The best practice is to come up with evaluation criteria and "weights" then award the contract to the lowest, responsible bidder. LA Metro had two pretty bad purchase processes... they bought 50 LRV's from...
  7. rickycourtney

    Is it all eticketing now or can I still get paper ticket?

    Fair point. I'm mostly used to how the west coast stations work... and they work well without Gate Dragons!
  8. rickycourtney

    Is it all eticketing now or can I still get paper ticket?

    There's really no reason to ever print out an eTicket. I often hear "What if my phone battery dies? Conductors really don't mind looking your name up. It takes just a fraction of a second longer. But if you really shredding trees into pulp to create the official Amtrak ticket stock and then...
  9. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    A few more pictures to share... Here are the Venture cars used by Brightline. They use automatic gap fillers/bridge plates to meet platforms that are built to the STRACNET clearance of 75” from track centerline. Not sure the exact specs on the NEC. And here are the new cars for the San...
  10. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    I just wanted to share this... the new Siemens cars for the San Joaquins have three types of doors. Low-platform doors: 3 steps inside the car and 2 sliding steps (so a step box is not needed) High-platform doors: level boarding at high-platforms Wheelchair lift doors: lift can be deployed at...
  11. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    Here's the easiest way to break it down: WSDOT owned three Talgo Series VI trainsets, Amtrak owned two Talgo Series VI trainsets, and ODOT owns two Talgo Series 8 trainsets. One of the WSDOT owned Talgo Series VI trainsets was destroyed in the 2017 derailment. WSDOT was awarded a $37.5 million...
  12. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    I actually think it's a 50/50 chance that the Series 8 trains will be retired. The Series 8 sets are owned by ODOT, not WSDOT. I think the critical question is: With the five other Series VI trainsets gone, will Talgo sharply increase the maintenance contract cost to ODOT? If Talgo keeps the...
  13. rickycourtney

    New Siemens Charger locomotive

    Also, when you're hundreds of miles away from the nearest maintenance shop, it's good to bring along a spare engine.
  14. rickycourtney

    New Siemens Charger locomotive

    New photos of AMTK 600 in the Phase VI livery and AMTK 601 in the Day One livery.
  15. rickycourtney

    RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

    Right and I’ll add that many times with government contracts they will ask bidders to separate the proposal from the bid. The evaluators look at the proposals simply on their merits... and assign them a score. After that’s all over, they open the bids. That way the evaluators aren’t influenced...
  16. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    Argh. Yes. Meant to say... Trap doors complicate operations at low-platform stations.
  17. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    Trap doors complicate operations at low-platform stations. Conductors need to walk the train to open the traps. My vision would be that one end of the car would have a low-platform door with automatic doors/steps and on the other end would have a high-platform door. With that layout... you'd...
  18. rickycourtney

    RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

    Right. What will happen between now and this Summer is that Amtrak and Siemens should be hammering out things like design features, various requirements, and negotiate terms and conditions that are fair and assign risks to the party in the best position to control them. This was one of the big...
  19. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    Yeah, but how often does Amtrak change their consists around? To be clear, when Siemens says “semi-permanently” coupled — two people can couple/uncouple cars in about 35 minutes. Not something you want to do every day... but unlike the Alstom Avela Liberty or the Talgo trainsets, it doesn’t...
  20. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

    Okay, so instead of wildly speculating about a future western LD fleet... let’s get back on topic... Wild speculation about the Amfleet I replacements! My conversation starters... Will Amtrak go with semipermanently coupled trainsets with open gangways (like Caltrans and Brightline) or...
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