Amtrak Car Dimension Question - Single Level Specs

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cocojacoby

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We were discussing this on another forum:

From the PRIIA Single Level Spec 305:

The completed car shall have the following overall dimensions:

Length (over coupler pulling faces) 85 ft 0 in.

Height (maximum) (ATOR) 14 ft 6 in.

Overall Car Width (maximum) 10 ft 6 in.

Carbody Width (excluding side handholds) 10 ft 2 in.

Truck Centers 59 ft 6 in.

Floor height (ATOR) 4 ft 3 in.

Amtrak lists the width of the Viewliners and Amfleet at 10' 6". Since the hand rails are recessed into the body or angled sideways, aren't the actual bodies 10' 6" at the widest point at the belt line?

Why is the next generation going to be narrower? Four inches doesn't sound like much but it would add an additional inch to every seat width which would make a difference in comfort for many people.
 
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This is a great question. I feel that both the Superliner and Viewliner dimensioning are still a bit of a mistory. I would love to see profile dimensions for both.
 

jis

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There is no mystery at all. They come for historical loading gauges. This where all this comes from:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge#/media/File:Gabarit_AAR_passager.png

More on Loading Gauges can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge

Strictly speaking an AAR Loading Gauge compliant car of full size cannot be used in Penn Station. The roof line has to be beveled near the ends like in the NJT Multi-Levels. So there are exceptions for specific route usage. Unfortunately this specific route with that restriction is the entrance into the Penn Station bathtub from the Hudson River Tubes.

Also, car width is coming up to be an issue with the high speed trials with the exceedingly small track center distances on the NEC. I don;t know if that has a bearing on anything though.
 
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cocojacoby

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But doesn't that midway "block" allow the 10' 6" maximum width at the belt line?
 

jis

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But doesn't that midway "block" allow the 10' 6" maximum width at the belt line?
Yup, and I am sure that the full loading gauge diagram for the PRIIA car also allows that, but it is not mandatory to be compliant with the standard, while I suspect it is not disallowed by the standard either. But given the strict weight limits many manufacturers may choose to avoid it, since it does add additional structural weight.
 

cocojacoby

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Well it seems that a lot of single level coaches have that bulge (Brightline, Acela, Viewliner, Amfleet) and I would have to think it probably doesn't add any significant weight while adding structural strength and additional elbow room.
 
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jis

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Until we see the actual static and dynamic loading gauge in the spec we are merely speculating based on a few abstract numbers. As I said I am just guessing an explanation for a phenomenon that may or may not be in fact true. [emoji57] My suspicion actually is that at least 2” from the 10’ base is part of the standard.

One thing that we know for sure is that the Brightline cars are compliant. What we don’t know is whether they bulge out by 2” or 3” from the 10’ base.

There is one thing I am curious about though. Clearly Superliners do not have any bulge to speak of, compared to Viewliners or Amfleets. Are the Coach seats in Superliner really that much narrower? Does it really make that much difference in 4 abreast seating? I can see why in 5 abreast it could make a difference.

Actually India Suburban EMUs are a full foot and a half wider than the regular trains. That is why there is a different category of EMUs called MEMUs (Mainline EMUs) for use on medium to long distance service that travels outside suburban areas. The overhang is above the platform level and there is a step up into the car, but a huge extra capacity per car. Such would never be allowed under ADA. Disbaled accommodation is adjacent to the Guard's compartment who is supposed to help them get on or off. Of course in Super Dense Crush Load, it is not clear to me how anyone that is disabled can make it on, when perfectly able people have difficulty doing so. But that is a different matter
 
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PVD

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When the last 5 year fleet plan revision came out, there were pretty good drawings towards the end that may be relevant to this discussion. I agree with your point about the seating width, I don't think we've gotten too many complaints voiced here about seat width in most Amtrak cars. Occasional comments about leg room or armrests, but not much on width.
 
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railiner

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Well it seems that a lot of single level coaches have that bulge (Brightline, Acela, Viewliner, Amfleet) and I would have to think it probably doesn't add any significant weight while adding structural strength and additional elbow room.
The Horizon cars, as well as the Comet cars are also 10' 6" wide. Their sides are straight, but they have a 'notch' in at high level platform height for clearance.

I agree, the difference between the wider single level cars, and the slightly narrower Superliner's is unnoticeable, unless you really look for it.

The only Amtrak cars, that I really noticed being 'narrow', were the original French RTG Turboliner's....
 
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