Alstom making progress on Acela 2 contract

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Acela150

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So the article said that a prototype Avelia trainset would be available in 2019. Will it actually carry passengers alongside the existing Acelas or will it just do test runs with no revenue passengers? I imagine the latter, but the former would be cool to see. Who knows, maybe in 2020 you would be able to book a ride on the future of Amtrak, a year before the rest of the trainsets start to show up.

http://railcolornews.com/2018/08/09/us-amtrak-reveals-interior-design-of-its-future-alstom-avelia-trains/
The prototype HST will goto TTCI which is the FRA testing center in Pueblo, Colorado. It’ll then make its way to the NEC for testing. I would expect that process to be about a year to a year and a half. When the original HST was released in 2000 they had a TS open for public display at 30th Street one night I believe in May. I’ll have to double check that. I don’t know if they’ll do that again this time. But one hopes that Amtrak does such a thing.

I believe that they were quoting the arrival of the first TS for First Quarter of 2019. But! The OIG report has it listed as December of 2019. As we saw with the ACS-64 order things can go ahead of the projected timeline. And considering that Alstom is an experienced builder I would hope for the same results. And yet again, but! Alstom is approximately 3 months behind due to an issue with the FRA requirements of crumple zones. But 3 months is peanuts and I believe can be made up.
 

west point

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It may be that internal company milestone schedules and public ones are different to protect for unforeseen problems ? ? Look how Siemens has been able to = or beat timetable milestones. ?
 
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MARC Rider

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You all are aware that rear facing seats are safer in the event of a collision?

There's a reason why they require rear facing car seats for infants. And I believe many miltary transport planes have rear facing seats.
 

Ziv

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I don't generally ride the NEC, but if people were allowed to pay to ride on the test set before the other Avelia's arrived, I would be tempted to take a trip to NYC from WAS. Ain't going to happen, but it is fun to contemplate.

Given that 20 Acela's trainsets have around 6080 seats and 28 Avelia's have around 11,300 seats, it seems like ridership should rise while prices may stay the same and maybe there will be low bucket fares occasionally? Does that happen on Acela now?

Is it just a rookies wishful thinking or could this really improve the NEC revenue stream, and allow Amtrak to thrive, even if the federal contribution drops a bit? I would really like to see more departure times on existing routes. A second daily Empire Builder is high on my wish list. It seems like the solution to a lot of Amtrak's woes is more Amtrak. I doubt Burlington Northern would agree with me on that though.

So the article said that a prototype Avelia trainset would be available in 2019. Will it actually carry passengers alongside the existing Acelas or will it just do test runs with no revenue passengers? I imagine the latter, but the former would be cool to see. Who knows, maybe in 2020 you would be able to book a ride on the future of Amtrak, a year before the rest of the trainsets start to show up.

http://railcolornews.com/2018/08/09/us-amtrak-reveals-interior-design-of-its-future-alstom-avelia-trains/
The prototype HST will goto TTCI which is the FRA testing center in Pueblo, Colorado. It’ll then make its way to the NEC for testing. I would expect that process to be about a year to a year and a half. When the original HST was released in 2000 they had a TS open for public display at 30th Street one night I believe in May. I’ll have to double check that. I don’t know if they’ll do that again this time. But one hopes that Amtrak does such a thing.

I believe that they were quoting the arrival of the first TS for First Quarter of 2019. But! The OIG report has it listed as December of 2019. As we saw with the ACS-64 order things can go ahead of the projected timeline. And considering that Alstom is an experienced builder I would hope for the same results. And yet again, but! Alstom is approximately 3 months behind due to an issue with the FRA requirements of crumple zones. But 3 months is peanuts and I believe can be made up.
 
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GBNorman

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So the article said that a prototype Avelia trainset would be available in 2019.
http://railcolornews.com/2018/08/09/us-amtrak-reveals-interior-design-of-its-future-alstom-avelia-trains

There will be a push to have 'em in revenue service in time for the inauguration of the 46th POTUS (date of such left for your speculation).

Now regarding colors, European railroads certainly have become a "splash" of such. "When I first went over...(1960), you could have a train any color you want so long as it was flat Red, Blue, or Green." I think we all know what was the color of the "puffer up front".

The only exception was the Sleeping Cars of the CIWL, or Wagon-Lits, operated throughout the Continent. Those were a deep "Royal Blue" with Maize lettering and a metal Herald placed center car.
 
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PRR 60

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Cautionary note: Alstom is the contractor for the refurbishing of 120 transit cars for PATCO (Southern New Jersey - Philadelphia). The work was awarded in February 2011 and was expected to take five years. It's still not completed.
 

cpotisch

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You all are aware that rear facing seats are safer in the event of a collision?

There's a reason why they require rear facing car seats for infants. And I believe many miltary transport planes have rear facing seats.
I think more people are going to be thinking about a comfortable ride than what would be theoretically safer in the event of a collision. Trains don't crash often and I don't think Acela ever has.
 
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I did hear riding backwards was safer, but not til I was on my light rail and we stopped suddenly. I was facing backwards, and the person next to me mentioned that it was a good thing we were riding backwards and why. So I ride backwards on commuter rail now when possible, not so much because of a dreadful accident, but more to avoid my head snapping forward into air instead of back against the seat cushion.
 

Bob Dylan

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I did hear riding backwards was safer, but not til I was on my light rail and we stopped suddenly. I was facing backwards, and the person next to me mentioned that it was a good thing we were riding backwards and why. So I ride backwards on commuter rail now when possible, not so much because of a dreadful accident, but more to avoid my head snapping forward into air instead of back against the seat cushion.
Aka " The JFK Assination Theory" as to why his head went backwards from a "Magic" shot from the Behind from the Texas Book Depisitory!( Cue the Beatles singing "..they blew his mind out in a car..")
Actually the "Kill shots" came from the "Grassy Knoll" and other places, but in this age of Conspiracy theories run amok, its gotten lost in the World of Wild Imaginings and Kooky Ideas on the Net and Hate Radio!
 
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Ziv

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Bob, a 7mm, 150 grain bullet doesn't cause a head to move forward all that much as it penetrates a skull from behind. But when it and the bones and brains exit the front of the skull, a great deal of the energy imparted upon the skull will make it snap backwards. Sorry if your post was meant sarcastically. ;-)
 

Acela150

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Cautionary note: Alstom is the contractor for the refurbishing of 120 transit cars for PATCO (Southern New Jersey - Philadelphia). The work was awarded in February 2011 and was expected to take five years. It's still not completed.
Bill, while you are 100% correct about the Patco contract. They had major problems with the overhauls at first because the original Budd cars were not meant to be overhauled to what they are now. That is what the major hold up was.

If they were building the cars from scratch it would be a different story. YMMV.
 

Acela150

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Also of note Amtrak has posted the released images of the new HST on their Instagram story.
 

cocojacoby

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You all are aware that rear facing seats are safer in the event of a collision?

There's a reason why they require rear facing car seats for infants. And I believe many miltary transport planes have rear facing seats.
Really? You are assuming a lot here.

How about this scenario? Your train breaks down and stops. You are hit from behind by the next speeding Acela. How safer are you now?
 

Alexandria Nick

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You all are aware that rear facing seats are safer in the event of a collision?

There's a reason why they require rear facing car seats for infants. And I believe many miltary transport planes have rear facing seats.
I think more people are going to be thinking about a comfortable ride than what would be theoretically safer in the event of a collision. Trains don't crash often and I don't think Acela ever has.
Not even a collision, any rapid deceleration is safer than way.
 

Acela150

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You all are aware that rear facing seats are safer in the event of a collision?

There's a reason why they require rear facing car seats for infants. And I believe many miltary transport planes have rear facing seats.
Really? You are assuming a lot here.How about this scenario? Your train breaks down and stops. You are hit from behind by the next speeding Acela. How safer are you now?
Which won’t happen unless a signal is displaying a clear block and the PTC fails. [emoji6] In a case like this the train would be moving at Restricted Speed. A speed in which the engineer can stop with in half the distance of his or her vision.
 

cpotisch

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You all are aware that rear facing seats are safer in the event of a collision?

There's a reason why they require rear facing car seats for infants. And I believe many miltary transport planes have rear facing seats.
I think more people are going to be thinking about a comfortable ride than what would be theoretically safer in the event of a collision. Trains don't crash often and I don't think Acela ever has.
Not even a collision, any rapid deceleration is safer than way.
Either way, for better or for worse, people will think more about comfort than how safe they'll be if something like that happens.
 

jis

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That is why people's misplaced emphasis on comfort should be ignored when appropriate.
 

Devil's Advocate

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That is why people's misplaced emphasis on comfort should be ignored when appropriate.
It works both ways though. The need for "comfortable" power outlet access seems to be one of the primary factors resulting in backward facing seats. People don't sit backwards on planes or buses either so why are trains uniquely incapable of forward facing travel? Did Amtrak perform any research to determine if access to an in-seat power outlet would mostly trump the desire to face forward?
 
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jis

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I am sure they didn't research such things. The RFP asked the vendor to propose something that fit the requirements placed in the RFP. Among the requirements there was nothing saying forward, backward or anyward facingness of seats. So Alstom basically proposed what they have in TGVs, since that is the cheapest for them to put together. Simple as that.

this business about power outlets etc. etc. is something that was dreamed up in the echo chamber here and no one has otherwise validated it from any credible source as far as I know.

BTW, there are planes where people face backwards. I have had seats facing backwards in Business Class on a few airlines.

Now you could choose to beat me about all these seemingly unfair behavior among all. But I am just explaining how these things work in real life.
 
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Thirdrail7

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I am sure they didn't research such things. The RFP asked the vendor to propose something that fit the requirements placed in the RFP. Among the requirements there was nothing saying forward, backward or anyward facingness of seats. So Alstom basically proposed what they have in TGVs, since that is the cheapest for them to put together. Simple as that.

this business about power outlets etc. etc. is something that was dreamed up in the echo chamber here and no one has otherwise validated it from any credible source as far as I know.
Actually, this couldn't be further from the truth. Amtrak created a test coach with various types of seats and tables. It was shipped to various locations/terminals from Richmond to Boston (excluding New York since they didn't have the track space to handle the car). Employees, members of the Passenger Advisory Committee and other selected passengers in the various cities were invited to tour the car and were asked to list what they liked about each seat, each design and what the didn't like about each design.

The "business" about the power outlets is an actual issue for a few of the seats, including the one that I believe was ultimately selected. If they went with the particular design, the seats would have to remain fixed since the electrical ports were between the seats. It was one of things I didn't like about the design. Additionally, the seats styles were originally going to be a part of an Amfleet overhaul. I doubt that will be the case.

Whether you consider me credible is up to you but it definitely wasn't "dreamed up" by an echo chamber on this board.
 
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jis

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Well at least it did provoke a credible response. [emoji6]Thanks for the info.

The "business" about the power outlets is an actual issue for a few of the seats, including the one that I believe was ultimately selected. If they went with the particular design, the seats would have to remain fixed since the electrical ports were between the seats. It was one of things I didn't like about the design.
In general a turnable seat will always be one more moving part to maintain, power or not. It is possible that originally the Europeans moved away from turnable seats for that reason. The fact that it happened first on suburban and short distance service before trickling into premium service suggest that just the cost of maintenance was probably an issue.

I remember NJT at one point tried to tie down its flippable seats which caused the riders to rise in protest reversing that decision. So when they ordered the Multilevels, they simply got rid of the problem once and for all.

Additionally, the seats styles were originally going to be a part of an Amfleet overhaul. I doubt that will be the case.
Though the results of the studies could still be used, in case Amtrak should choose to create yet another seat type inventory different from the Midwest and California seats. Though there is an excuse to do so since those seats are for short/medium distance service, whereas an Amfleet II/Superliner replacement program would be for long distance service. Already the seats differ between the two.

Speaking of seats, (apropos discussion in another thread) is there any chance that Amtrak would remotely even give an askance look at lie flat bed seats. I know it is a huge upfront cost and considerably greater ongoing maintenance cost.
 
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Bob Dylan

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I usually give great creditability to posts from jis, so inside info from where "the rubber meets the road" by Thirdrail is appreciated, as jis said!
 

NSC1109

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