Acela 21 development, testing and deployment

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Touchdowntom9

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Anyone know why Amtrak went with the Alstom Avelia Liberty vs the Duplex Horizon? The drawbacks of the duplex design dont seem to hamstring the Acela (slow boarding speed being the primary one) vs the benefits (more capacity per train for a given platform length (which is limited in NYP)). It would also allow Amtrak to be more flexible with their space (ie having a kitchen on the bottom floor and a cafe seating area directly above it instead of a cafe). Amtrak doesnt need these trains to break the speed of sound... Was there more to this selection than what I am aware of? Because the flexibility to ramp up capacity for the Acela or adjust the train interior design to the demands of the public in the midpoint of their service life seems to be a major benefit. If the prices per trainset are comparable, you could offer passengers a much more luxurious experience, or sell more tickets depending on what the market is demanding. Right now the difference between first and business class on the Acela is very limited, and this could let Amtrak offer something similar to what is offered on international business class flights if they wanted to without killing capacity.
 

GDRRiley

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Anyone know why Amtrak went with the Alstom Avelia Liberty vs the Duplex Horizon? The drawbacks of the duplex design dont seem to hamstring the Acela (slow boarding speed being the primary one) vs the benefits (more capacity per train for a given platform length (which is limited in NYP)). It would also allow Amtrak to be more flexible with their space (ie having a kitchen on the bottom floor and a cafe seating area directly above it instead of a cafe). Amtrak doesnt need these trains to break the speed of sound... Was there more to this selection than what I am aware of? Because the flexibility to ramp up capacity for the Acela or adjust the train interior design to the demands of the public in the midpoint of their service life seems to be a major benefit. If the prices per trainset are comparable, you could offer passengers a much more luxurious experience, or sell more tickets depending on what the market is demanding. Right now the difference between first and business class on the Acela is very limited, and this could let Amtrak offer something similar to what is offered on international business class flights if they wanted to without killing capacity.
the NEC at 14.5ft tall really struggles with bi levels, ACLEAs could just be made longer as the limited stations they call at could support longer
Bi level on the NEC really only makes sense for commuters
 

Trogdor

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Anyone know why Amtrak went with the Alstom Avelia Liberty vs the Duplex Horizon? The drawbacks of the duplex design dont seem to hamstring the Acela (slow boarding speed being the primary one) vs the benefits (more capacity per train for a given platform length (which is limited in NYP)). It would also allow Amtrak to be more flexible with their space (ie having a kitchen on the bottom floor and a cafe seating area directly above it instead of a cafe). Amtrak doesnt need these trains to break the speed of sound... Was there more to this selection than what I am aware of? Because the flexibility to ramp up capacity for the Acela or adjust the train interior design to the demands of the public in the midpoint of their service life seems to be a major benefit. If the prices per trainset are comparable, you could offer passengers a much more luxurious experience, or sell more tickets depending on what the market is demanding. Right now the difference between first and business class on the Acela is very limited, and this could let Amtrak offer something similar to what is offered on international business class flights if they wanted to without killing capacity.

Besides height clearance issues, there‘s also the doors which, as best as I can tell, are too low to serve the high-level platforms that exist at every Acela station.

Also, while a bit difficult for me to pin down exact dates, just based on the construction start dates listed in Wikipedia, the Horizon may not have been available when Amtrak started the procurement process (which is moot anyway given the other restrictions already mentioned).
 

jis

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Avelia Horizon comes in two different heights, both double deckers. The lower height (~14'2") of the two will fit through Penn Station (The slightly taller one is 15'5" which will not fit.). The problem is with the chosen platform height which is much lower than the American standard high level 4'. However nothing really prevents from creating a version with a vestibule floor height that is suitable for the American market.

The real problem will be with being compliant with American ADA requirements, a problem that can be worked around with a bit of ingenuity in how access to cafe food is provided to the mobility impaired perhaps, but American ADA is quite unforgiving in terms of the ADA requirements on trains, much more so than on planes, so it might still be a no go.
 
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Avelia Horizon comes in two different heights, both double deckers. The lower height (~14'2") of the two will fit through Penn Station (The slightly taller one is 15'5" which will not fit.). The problem is with the chosen platform height which is much lower than the American standard high level 4'. However nothing really prevents from creating a version with a vestibule floor height that is suitable for the American market.

The real problem will be with being compliant with American ADA requirements, a problem that can be worked around with a bit of ingenuity in how access to cafe food is provided to the mobility impaired perhaps, but American ADA is quite unforgiving in terms of the ADA requirements on trains, much more so than on planes, so it might still be a no go.
I wouldn't call ADA forgiving to airplanes, just that the airlines have found ways to skirt around the rules, hence why they have special wheelchairs for that short hop between the airplane door and someone's seat. Also in terms of ADA accessibility on Amtrak, I've heard that is one of the reasons why they might include an option for single level equipment in their new LD RFP, as installing something like a wheelchair lift in every car probably wouldn't be worth the time or effort lol...
 

railiner

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The Air Carrier Access Act requirements are tailored for what can and cannot be done on an airplane and are somewhat different than the ADA.
I was not aware of the difference for different modes. But then I must question why if airliner's are allowed a bit of tolerance, why can't railcars be allowed some lattitude in bi-level car design by ADA?

(Imagine if the A-380 design had to have all of its seats on one level)...😯
 

Trogdor

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I was not aware of the difference for different modes. But then I must question why if airliner's are allowed a bit of tolerance, why can't railcars be allowed some lattitude in bi-level car design by ADA?

Because ADA applies to trains, and it does not apply to airplanes.
 
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I was not aware of the difference for different modes. But then I must question why if airliner's are allowed a bit of tolerance, why can't railcars be allowed some lattitude in bi-level car design by ADA?

(Imagine if the A-380 design had to have all of its seats on one level)...😯
Because airlines matter to the powers that be, whereas trains are not on anyone's radar so they get lumped in with everything else.
 

jis

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I was not aware of the difference for different modes. But then I must question why if airliner's are allowed a bit of tolerance, why can't railcars be allowed some lattitude in bi-level car design by ADA?

(Imagine if the A-380 design had to have all of its seats on one level)...😯
Though at most 380 capable gates there are jetways to both levels for boarding and disembarking and food is served at seats on both levels.
 
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I was not aware of the difference for different modes. But then I must question why if airliner's are allowed a bit of tolerance, why can't railcars be allowed some lattitude in bi-level car design by ADA?

(Imagine if the A-380 design had to have all of its seats on one level)...😯
Probably a matter of reasonableness. It would be unreasonable to require airliners to have full accessibility, due to the constraints placed on the airframe by aerodynamics, power requirements, capacity, and fuel economy. On the other hand, it's simple to make a fully accessible train.
 

railiner

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Probably a matter of reasonableness. It would be unreasonable to require airliners to have full accessibility, due to the constraints placed on the airframe by aerodynamics, power requirements, capacity, and fuel economy. On the other hand, it's simple to make a fully accessible train.
On the other hand, airliners can “push the envelope” to ever longer, higher, and wider bodies, something not so easy (relatively speaking) to individual railway cars…
 

railiner

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Though at most 380 capable gates there are jetways to both levels for boarding and disembarking and food is served at seats on both levels.
The point I was trying to make, is if airlines are allowed a little bit of slack in meeting accessibility accommodations, why aren’t railroads also?
 

Bluejet

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I fail to see how airliners are at all inaccessible to anyone?

If Amtrak wanted to use aisle chairs, bring food to peoples seats, accommodate restrooms on their level, then by all means they are providing the same access.

The fact of the matter is with jetbridges or ramps, dedicated staff for those with mobility issues, completely ada accessible terminals, and the use of aisle chairs and on board wheel chairs, the airlines are likely at a level of compliance that meets or exceeds that of railroads.
 
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jis

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I fail to see how airliners are at all inaccessible to anyone?

If Amtrak wanted to use aisle chairs, bring food to peoples seats, accommodate restrooms on their level, then by all means they are providing the same access.

The fact of the matter is with jetbridges or ramps, dedicated staff for those with mobility issues, completely ada accessible terminals, and the use of aisle chairs and on board wheel chairs, the airlines are likely at a level of compliance that meets or exceeds that of railroads.
It should also be noted that the disable accessibility regulations that apply to airlines are quite different from those that apply to railroads. They arise as a result of different laws. many are not aware of this.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I fail to see how airliners are at all inaccessible to anyone?

If Amtrak wanted to use aisle chairs, bring food to peoples seats, accommodate restrooms on their level, then by all means they are providing the same access.

The fact of the matter is with jetbridges or ramps, dedicated staff for those with mobility issues, completely ada accessible terminals, and the use of aisle chairs and on board wheel chairs, the airlines are likely at a level of compliance that meets or exceeds that of railroads.
Are there visual displays on ALL planes for the deaf/HoH to "hear" the safety and other announcements? No - so your statement saying airliners are not inaccessible is inaccurate. Trains are updating their cars to have the required visual notifications. It will take time, but it's being done. Are airlines updating their planes with easy to see visual announcements?
 

Bluejet

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Are there visual displays on ALL planes for the deaf/HoH to "hear" the safety and other announcements? No - so your statement saying airliners are not inaccessible is inaccurate. Trains are updating their cars to have the required visual notifications. It will take time, but it's being done. Are airlines updating their planes with easy to see visual announcements?
Safety related information is provided in placard or safety card form. Emergency egresses are lighted and instructions printed. If you’re blind announcements are made. Since planes rarely make intermediate stops, I fail to see why other information would be necessary. What information would you like them to present visually otherwise?

Start staffing trains with 1 attendant per 50 passenger seats and throw wheelchairs into the trains and that will help with the accessibility factor. I really don’t see much of an argument that trains are more accessible than aircraft, especially long distance trains.

I can absolutely see why trains would require Ada compliant bathrooms etc where planes don’t. Aircraft have differ methods to reach compliance, but they are compliant, and are staffed at a much higher level with people to help with compliance.

None of this is crapping on trains, I’ve made it quite clear that I take Amtrak more often than most on this forum. I just think that it’s laughable that people think the airlines are somehow not compliant and they’re leaving disabled people out of access.
 
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