Amfleet Is purchased by Excursion Operator

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jis

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Reported in Railfan Railroad. According to Warner and Simon in their updates of Amtrak by the Numbers, these cars were parked Stored Dead and For Sale for a year or more. Why they had been withdrawn is not clear, but may have had something to do with accident damage or such.

 

Green Maned Lion

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I distinctly remember Amtrak swearing to heck and upon a stack of bibles they wren't going to sell their equipment to other train operators. Am I mistaken?
 

railiner

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I’m also surprised at this. Those cars should be good for another 20-30 years of NEC service.

I agree that the windows are too small for good sightseeing, but when operating through certain urban areas, they are just what you want...😉
 

railiner

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I distinctly remember Amtrak swearing to heck and upon a stack of bibles they wren't going to sell their equipment to other train operators. Am I mistaken?
They have been selling surplus equipment since the beginning. Almost all the Heritage fleet has been sold...
 

crescent-zephyr

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I distinctly remember Amtrak swearing to heck and upon a stack of bibles they wren't going to sell their equipment to other train operators. Am I mistaken?
I remember something like that but parlour Cars, heritage diners, etc. have been going to tourist railroads and museums all over the place.
 

jis

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I distinctly remember Amtrak swearing to heck and upon a stack of bibles they wren't going to sell their equipment to other train operators. Am I mistaken?
Nothing is constant invariant at Amtrak. As I recall there has also been two or three changes of the top guy at Amtrak since that pronouncement.

I’m also surprised at this. Those cars should be good for another 20-30 years of NEC service.
AFAICT these cars had some residual issues from accidents or some such. They have been parked out of service and for sale for over a year now. Actually we have no way of knowing what they are good for, since we have no idea what issues they may or may not have.
 

Green Maned Lion

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AFAICT these cars had some residual issues from accidents or some such. They have been parked out of service and for sale for over a year now. Actually we have no way of knowing what they are good for, since we have no idea what issues they may or may not have.
Now hold on, Jishnu, I bet this guy has some really top-secret rail road car engineering degree and has done a top-secret fatigue inspection on this very equipment.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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It more interesting that Amtrak is going to be fixing them up, before they start working.

The three cars will be moved to an Amtrak shop in the coming weeks for restoration before being leased to a Midwest excursion operator later this year.
 

daybeers

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I’m also surprised at this. Those cars should be good for another 20-30 years of NEC service.

I agree that the windows are too small for good sightseeing, but when operating through certain urban areas, they are just what you want...😉
No, the Amfleets are falling apart. Have you ridden in them above maybe 60? They rattle like crazy.

And yes, the windows are terrible, so they would be a bad choice for a scenic railroad.
 

railiner

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I don't know what issues these particular cars may have...I was just speaking about Amfleet cars in general...the last time I rode some, they seemed great to me...quiet, and smooth riding...
 

Green Maned Lion

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The previous two comments are irrelevant to this discussion. The rattling of doors and windows, and the effkicacy and silence of suspension components are not important because these things are wear parts; those windows are replaced regularly; there is a manufacturing date inscribed on them if you are interested.

What determines the condition of the car in terms of deciding to repair or replace has to do with things you can’t see, such as the condition of the metal shell- which is not rattling; that car would be immediately bad-ordered if it was- on a monocoque shell like that, it would start rattling as a precursor to imminent catastrophic structural failure. The questions are things like; 1) Will the shell survive another refurbishment long enough to justify the investment in that refurbishment? 2) Given what needs to be replaced, does it make financial sense to expend this money over the incrementally larger cost of starting with a new sell and design? 3) Given the political constraints, should we expend the money on new stuff now, because it is possible, or later, when it may be more imperative, but politically impossible?

Thereare more, but start with those.
 

jiml

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Amfleet? the ‘new modern’ when Amtrak brought them into service… never appealed to me… they give that ‘closed in’ claustrophobic feeling with smaller windows and storage space. Guess I'm just daydreaming but Oh! HOW I MISS THOSE PULLMAN CARS!😒
View attachment 17492
They're good enough for the freight railways to still be using them. Just saw the UP business train on a railcam a couple of days ago.
 

20th Century Rider

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They're good enough for the freight railways to still be using them. Just saw the UP business train on a railcam a couple of days ago.
Yup... see them on crew trains everywhere when on Amtrak; and many are being refurbished into luxury trains. Recycling is good :)
 

jis

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Actually by today's standards, even those windows on the Pullman cars are really on the small side. Larger than the stupid gun-slits they used on Amfleets, but still they are small.
 

west point

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Would any of the Pullman car windows meet the size requirements of todays regulations ?s
 

Willbridge

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Nothing is constant invariant at Amtrak. As I recall there has also been two or three changes of the top guy at Amtrak since that pronouncement.
It was Joe Boardman who wanted used cars scrapped. It reflected his concern that they might be picked up by E* E***s or another potential competitor.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Amfleet? the ‘new modern’ when Amtrak brought them into service… never appealed to me… they give that ‘closed in’ claustrophobic feeling with smaller windows and storage space. Guess I'm just daydreaming but Oh! HOW I MISS THOSE PULLMAN CARS!😒
View attachment 17492
Minor correction... that car is not a Pullman car, it is a coach that was built by American Car and Foundry.

Amtrak Superliner I Cars, are Pullman cars.
 

RebelRider

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No, the Amfleets are falling apart. Have you ridden in them above maybe 60? They rattle like crazy.

And yes, the windows are terrible, so they would be a bad choice for a scenic railroad.
They rattle like crazy because no one at Amtrak mechanical has a screw driver to tighten up loose screws. Most of the rattling comes from the overhead lighting fixtures and the aluminum fascia attached to said lighting. Also the luggage racks sometimes rattle on the ends where the wall connections are loose. The cabinet doors in the restroom modules, both inside and outside the restrooms rattle when they don't tightly shut. Those just need some new foam blocks on the inside corners of the doors. The sliding restroom doors rattle because they've also worn out of tolerance and aren't adjusted. Tray tables rattle when they are loose.

I've often wondered if a giant motion simulator in our shops would help. Pull a car in, shake it like it's going 79 MPH and let someone walk around inside. 😁
 

me_little_me

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No, the Amfleets are falling apart. Have you ridden in them above maybe 60? They rattle like crazy.

And yes, the windows are terrible, so they would be a bad choice for a scenic railroad.
Not necessarily. We took the 2-day "Montana Daylight" from Sandpoint, ID to eastern Montana back in '99 and it went so slow so we could see the scenery that it wouldn't matter how many loose bolts it had. It stopped running, probably because the engineers all died of boredom.
Scenic railroads are not designed to get you to somewhere fast. They run them as slow as possible so you enjoy the scenery and get a nice long 3 hour 10 mile ride. :)
 

20th Century Rider

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Minor correction... that car is not a Pullman car, it is a coach that was built by American Car and Foundry.

Amtrak Superliner I Cars, are Pullman cars.
Got it! But the idea of what I wanted to say is that most of the cars of the past were truly magic carpet dreams. I loved the smell of the varnish, the soft seats, and the ride that was soooo smooooth. You just don't get that on the newfangled 50 year old standard Amtrak fleet built so cheaply and without respect of the American Railroad tradition. Miss the good old days and I think that what we had was far better than what we have now. Looking back looks better! But I'm optimistic and hope those days will return again! 🤠

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crescent-zephyr

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Got it! But the idea of what I wanted to say is that most of the cars of the past were truly magic carpet dreams. I loved the smell of the varnish, the soft seats, and the ride that was soooo smooooth. You just don't get that on the newfangled 50 year old standard Amtrak fleet built so cheaply and without respect of the American Railroad tradition. Miss the good old days and I think that what we had was far better than what we have now. Looking back looks better! But I'm optimistic and hope those days will return again! 🤠

View attachment 17500
View attachment 17501
Oh yeah for sure. If you want the best of both worlds you’ll have to catch Amtrak’s piedmont that runs with heritage cars owned by the state of NC.

Here’s an interior shot of one of the UP heritage cars, took this last year while riding behind the big boy.

And a shot of the refurbished Amfleet I that I rode in on my way to Lancaster.
 

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railiner

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The Amfleet cars were developed from the designs of the original Metroliner MU's, which first went into service in 1969. They in turn, were developed somewhat from the experimental Budd Pioneer III design from 1956, for a modern, lightweight short to medium distance coach.

When the Metroliner's went into service, they were indeed "futuristic", and they, as well as the contemporary Turbo Train, seemed to bring passenger trains from the "iron horse" era into the "jet age".
 
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