Amtrak Announces Siemens as Preferred Bidder for New Equipment

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PVD

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We see many dual modes here, LIRR has the EMD DM30 3rd rail and Diesel Electric, Amtrak and MNRR have the P32-DM limited speed 3rd rail and DE, and NJT has Cat and DE ALP-45DP
 

railiner

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I've never heard of a dual mode on the Empire Builder (Chicago to/from West Coast) . Is it possible you are referring to Empire Service in NY which uses P32-DM Genesis dual modes, along with a few other trains departing NYP and heading up the West Side of Manhattan?
Maybe the BNSF is going to re-electrify from Skykomish to Wenatchee....🤣

 

Willbridge

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Time.....will be the judge of that...
I’d put my money on The Budd Company produced products for longevity 😉🙂
Yes, we should pause for a moment to remember that back when railcar orders were routine an American company could lead the world in technology.

In December 1969 I rode "Les Budds" in Paris suburban service, complete with those pastel bulkheads. (My ex describes them as not being "true colors".) There are some lined up at Gare St. Lazare in the back of this photo.

ParisTrip1969 070k.jpg

And corrugated sides turned up in intercity cars. A sleeper on the Train Militaire in Berlin was the best equipment on any of the allies' trains in 1971.

17k.jpg
 

CSXfoamer1997

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Of course, this is very highly unlikely to happen, but I have THOUGHT of something for Amtrak to replace both the Amfleets and the Superliners. I think Amtrak should purchase something similar if not the same as a MultiLevel, both for corridor services and long-distance services. However, they would have to receive heavy modifications for Amtrak specs (such as more comfortable seats, ADA accessibility, 125+ MPH, etc). MultiLevels are bilevel just like a Superliner and therefore provide more capacity than a single level car. But unlike a Superliner (which is approximately 16 feet tall), a MultiLevel is approximately 14 feet tall and can fit through the Hudson River tunnels. And based off of research, a MultiLevel coach actually provides more seating capacity than a Superliner coach. What would any of y'all think of Amtrak replacing their Amfleets and Superliners with something similar to the MultiLevel?
 

Cal

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Of course, this is very highly unlikely to happen, but I have THOUGHT of something for Amtrak to replace both the Amfleets and the Superliners. I think Amtrak should purchase something similar if not the same as a MultiLevel, both for corridor services and long-distance services. However, they would have to receive heavy modifications for Amtrak specs (such as more comfortable seats, ADA accessibility, 125+ MPH, etc). MultiLevels are bilevel just like a Superliner and therefore provide more capacity than a single level car. But unlike a Superliner (which is approximately 16 feet tall), a MultiLevel is approximately 14 feet tall and can fit through the Hudson River tunnels. And based off of research, a MultiLevel coach actually provides more seating capacity than a Superliner coach. What would any of y'all think of Amtrak replacing their Amfleets and Superliners with something similar to the MultiLevel?
However, I'm not sure how you're supposed to have upper bunks in a multi-level. Aren't the ceilings lower?
 

Trogdor

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Probably not necessarily. It would probably depend on how the car is designed.
Absolutely necessarily. If you’re trying to fit on the NEC, it has to be shorter than a Superliner by a bit. How do you reduce height but not have lower ceilings, given that there isn’t really any wasted height on Superliners already?
 
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Ryan

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Magic?

The other issue with multilevel is ADA access through the train. You can't just say "take this product that is inherently inaccessible and make it accessible". By the time you've done that, it isn't a multilevel anymore and you're back to a short bilevel that doesn't have the space (and therefore capacity) of a Superliner.
 

jiml

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Yes, we should pause for a moment to remember that back when railcar orders were routine an American company could lead the world in technology.

In December 1969 I rode "Les Budds" in Paris suburban service, complete with those pastel bulkheads. (My ex describes them as not being "true colors".) There are some lined up at Gare St. Lazare in the back of this photo.

View attachment 21975

And corrugated sides turned up in intercity cars. A sleeper on the Train Militaire in Berlin was the best equipment on any of the allies' trains in 1971.

View attachment 21976
Let's not forget Australia either, where they form the backbone of the long-distance routes through some pretty harsh (desert-like) territory.
Australia-ghan-train.jpg
 

sttom

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Of course, this is very highly unlikely to happen, but I have THOUGHT of something for Amtrak to replace both the Amfleets and the Superliners. I think Amtrak should purchase something similar if not the same as a MultiLevel, both for corridor services and long-distance services. However, they would have to receive heavy modifications for Amtrak specs (such as more comfortable seats, ADA accessibility, 125+ MPH, etc). MultiLevels are bilevel just like a Superliner and therefore provide more capacity than a single level car. But unlike a Superliner (which is approximately 16 feet tall), a MultiLevel is approximately 14 feet tall and can fit through the Hudson River tunnels. And based off of research, a MultiLevel coach actually provides more seating capacity than a Superliner coach. What would any of y'all think of Amtrak replacing their Amfleets and Superliners with something similar to the MultiLevel?
There are a lot of problems that would be made by having a "common" fleet. Multi level cars would either have to have both low and high level doors to deal with the US having 2 different platform heights. Which would mean lost revenue space that at best would be a pain on trains running to New York and be wasted space on trains to the West Coast.

Two feet doesn't sound like a lot, but that's enough for the upper bunks. Lowering the cars just to fit then into Penn Station would more than likely mean not having an upper bunk. So capacity wise they might be a wash compared to a superliner.

On the multiple height thing, this would mean having to walk up and down the equivalent of 1 flight of stairs every car you pass through. So every time you want to go to the cafe car, diner or even if the bathroom is full, you have multiple sets of stairs to deal with. Yes the superliner so have stairs, but dealing with 1 in your own car under normal circumstances and 1 in the lounge is a different game than having to deal with the equivalent of one flight per car. Which is going to annoy people who don't have mobility issues before ADA has anything to say.

I know the whole "common fleet = cheap maintenance" thing comes up, but the cars don't necessarily have to be the same to enable easier maintenance. Siemens Viaggio family comes in 4 varieties that share some of their parts. Design can mitigate some of the issues of maintaining a single level and a bilevel fleet. Not to mention that even Amtrak's relatively small fleet size is sufficiently large to do so. The problem with having non standard equipment is have 5 cars out of 500 be different. Not having 200 of one type and 300 of another. But to do this, Amtrak would need to replace the fleet in 2 giant orders.

As for long distance capacity, Amtrak should not look into "creative and innovative ways" of cramming more people into less space. At some point just running more trains is easier. And frankly, would help them more. Running 3 trains per day on the over 24 hour run time LD trains would enable them to alternate the schedule in a way that most of the system would have at least 1 day time train. Which would also net more riders.
 

cocojacoby

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Time.....will be the judge of that...
I’d put my money on The Budd Company produced products for longevity 😉🙂
You know . . . how come Pullman Standard and Bombardier don't get no credit for the Superliners? Some are over 40 years old and they still look really great. I haven't heard anything about them structurally failing but we will soon find out if they still have a future. If they are found suitable for rebuild and soldier on for many more years, I believe they will win the all-time longevity award.
 

PerRock

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Hmm... Is Amtrak ALC-42 being used on the NEC long haul trains or the Diesel only long haul trains?

Maybe I got confused with the diesel electric wording because it may just be the traction motors. If so, then the ALC-42 will go to Diesel only routes and the Sprinters and P42 will remain in use. They could couple them together as other P42 will be phased out and there will be a lot more P42 available till a dual mode replacement is available.
The P42s aren't dual mode either, nor are the P40s. So they will likely all be retired with the arrival of the ALC-42s. The P32AC-DMs will probably stick around until Amtrak orders a dual-mode Charger/Sprinter (which they have talked about, and I think one of the commuter lines are getting already).

peter
 

railiner

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You know . . . how come Pullman Standard and Bombardier don't get no credit for the Superliners? Some are over 40 years old and they still look really great. I haven't heard anything about them structurally failing but we will soon find out if they still have a future. If they are found suitable for rebuild and soldier on for many more years, I believe they will win the all-time longevity award.
They do get credit, but....did you know they were evolved from the design of the original Budd / Santa Fe "Hi Level's", and when Pullman-Standard built the first Superliner's, they purchased certain patents from The Budd Company?:)
The Viewliner design, and the prototype sleepers and diner were also a product of Budd, so even though Budd is long gone, it has a very heavy presence in most of the current Amtrak fleet...
 

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The P42s aren't dual mode either, nor are the P40s. So they will likely all be retired with the arrival of the ALC-42s. The P32AC-DMs will probably stick around until Amtrak orders a dual-mode Charger/Sprinter (which they have talked about, and I think one of the commuter lines are getting already).

peter
The trains that P32ACDMs pull however will be replaced by dual mode train sets from the current Amfleet I replacement order, however they are put together. It is likely that they will come with power heads that are like on the VIA or Bombardier train sets that are dual mode.
They do get credit, but....did you know they were evolved from the design of the original Budd / Santa Fe "Hi Level's", and when Pullman-Standard built the first Superliner's, they purchased certain patents from The Budd Company?:)
The Viewliner design, and the prototype sleepers and diner were also a product of Budd, so even though Budd is long gone, it has a very heavy presence in most of the current Amtrak fleet...
It was not just Budd. Lest we forget, Amtrak's design staff should get due credit too for both Superliners and Viewliners. They did work closely with Budd to come up with those designs.
 

Steve4031

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IMHO the best thing for Amtrak to do is to use the Siemens single level cars and put long distance legrest seats in them. The design from the old budd cars was the best. For sleepers, I am sure Siemens could come up with something that approximated roomettes and bedrooms that we currently have. You either run longer trains, or you run two trains per day on segments that need it. One way of increase sleeper capacity is to have all roomette cars and have all bedroom cars. Then the designs for both types could be easily standardized.
 

jis

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IMHO the best thing for Amtrak to do is to use the Siemens single level cars and put long distance legrest seats in them. The design from the old budd cars was the best. For sleepers, I am sure Siemens could come up with something that approximated roomettes and bedrooms that we currently have. You either run longer trains, or you run two trains per day on segments that need it. One way of increase sleeper capacity is to have all roomette cars and have all bedroom cars. Then the designs for both types could be easily standardized.
Remember those wonderful Sleepy Hollow seats of yore?

In order to make cars universally accessible it might become necessary to to only Roomette and only Bedroom cars in order to avoid sharp turns in the aisle. Who knows what the actual requirements are though?
 

PVD

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Under the present rules, an all roomette car would be a challenge due to difficulty in ADA compliance with a roomette.
 

Steve4031

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Remember those wonderful Sleepy Hollow seats of yore?

I sure do. I rode in them when I was a kid. They used them on the heritage fleet coaches. I sure wish they could use them on the long distance coaches.
 

railiner

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Remember those wonderful Sleepy Hollow seats of yore?
I sure do, too...they were made by the Heywood-Wakefield Company, and were made after an extensive ergonomic study. They were made for coach and parlor cars, in singles and pairs, low-back for vista-domes, reclining, rotating, some with legrests, some just footrests, and some with 'wing' headrests...

From flickr
www.flickr.com/photos/chuckzeiler/42908235941

 
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railiner

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In reviewing those linked photos's, I believe the first one is actually not a Heywood-Wakefield chair, but rather a Karpen, a rival manufacturer. Karpen's were used in the Santa Fe "Hi Level" fleet.
The second link shows Heywood-Wakefield's design. They had the signature curved padded arms, and the multi section horizontal foam padding in the seatbacks, as well as a different type of legrest, which sort of 'unfolded' from under the seat, aided by small wheels, rather than sliding out like a drawer...
 

Mailliw

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IMHO the best thing for Amtrak to do is to use the Siemens single level cars and put long distance legrest seats in them. The design from the old budd cars was the best. For sleepers, I am sure Siemens could come up with something that approximated roomettes and bedrooms that we currently have. You either run longer trains, or you run two trains per day on segments that need it. One way of increase sleeper capacity is to have all roomette cars and have all bedroom cars. Then the designs for both types could be easily standardized.
I completely agree with you. Adding a 2nd frequency to the long distance routes would be a much better way of dealing with reduced capacity in single-level cars. Trains could have a mix of coaches with corridor style seating and coaches with premium 2:1 seating for long distance travelers. All-roomette (+ADA bedroom) cars and all-bedroom cars would provide greater flexibility.
 

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Why would they use Schafenburg couplers on the outer ends of a married consist, as opposed to standard AAR couplers? The latter would allow the new equipment to be intermingled with existing stock, e.g. Viewliners. North American railroads that have had (or still use) European rolling stock have traditionally had conventional coupling on the ends. Examples include VIA Renaissance equipment and even ONR's old TEE sets.
I was refering to remarshalling the train while traveling between terminals ala TE/Sunset & LSL. Schafenburgs would greatly simplfiy that as it can be done without anyone on the ground and would allow it to be expanded where it is useful. Not being able to intermingle with other stock could be considered an advantage, depending on operational needs.
 

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I'll be honest, I haven't read thorugh all the pages of this thread, but curious, as I might be on a Cascades between PDX and SEA in a month or so, with the Talgo's gone what are they using for equipment now? I'm taking the Builder from SEA to CHI, and considering flying into PDX the day before, and taking the Cascades to SEA, vs flying into SEA. Haven't decided yet. If I do take the Cascades, what kind of train is it now? I assume probably Horizon cars?
 

Chris I

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I'll be honest, I haven't read thorugh all the pages of this thread, but curious, as I might be on a Cascades between PDX and SEA in a month or so, with the Talgo's gone what are they using for equipment now? I'm taking the Builder from SEA to CHI, and considering flying into PDX the day before, and taking the Cascades to SEA, vs flying into SEA. Haven't decided yet. If I do take the Cascades, what kind of train is it now? I assume probably Horizon cars?
We still have the two Talgo VIII ODOT-owned trainsets on the route. So you probably have a 50/50 chance of being on Talgo or Horizons.
 
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