Amtrak Fleet Question

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Amtrak57

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
18
Why doesn't the Carolinian use any long-distance Amfleet 2's for a 13.5+ hour trip while shorter routes like the Maple Leaf (12 hours) the Adirondack (11 hours) and the Pennsylvanian (9.5 hours) have Amfleet 2's in their consist? There are even some NEC trains with longer trip times than some of these trains that have Amfleet 2's on them.

Also, would it be better to have the overnight NEC trains 65, 66 and 67 - all with 13 + hour trip times - have a different consist than other NEC trains, with Amfleet 2 Cars and Viewliner Sleepers? (Something similar to the Silver Star's consist would be ideal for the overnight NEC trains)
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,488
Why doesn't the Carolinian use any long-distance Amfleet 2's for a 13.5+ hour trip while shorter routes like the Maple Leaf (12 hours) the Adirondack (11 hours) and the Pennsylvanian (9.5 hours) have Amfleet 2's in their consist?
The trains you mentioned are state-supported services. As such, the state basically picks the consist.

Also, would it be better to have the overnight NEC trains 65, 66 and 67 - all with 13 + hour trip times - have a different consist than other NEC trains, with Amfleet 2 Cars and Viewliner Sleepers? (Something similar to the Silver Star's consist would be ideal for the overnight NEC trains)
It is still an NEC spine train (with state-supported service south of WAS) and needs the capacity of the AM1s to accommodate the riders.
 

bratkinson

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
813
In 20 words or less...there aren't enough of the LD Amfleet cars to equip more trains than at present. Conventional Amfleet I equipment with its 12" legroom between the front of the seat cushion and the back of the seat ahead is comfortable for most passengers. According to statistics I've seen, passengers on the longer-distance regional trains generally ride far shorter distances than end-to-end. It's also a matter of using fewer cars to transport more passengers. With roughly 20% more seats/car, that's only 5 cars vs 6 to hold the same 400 passengers.

For what it's worth, on train 148 from WAS to SPG yesterday, the business class car I was in was 100% sold out between BWI and NYP. It may have been 'oversold' based on passengers that boarded but couldn't find a seat. I strongly suspect that the 6 other coaches on the 8 car train were full or nearly full as well. Having less dense coach seating would require an extra car or two for the same train. In addition to electric power costs and wear and tear on the cars, there would likely be an additional assistant conductor (per contract) and the need to double-stop most stations on the route as many of the platforms can only handle 7 or 8 cars. At BWI yesterday, the rear of the BC car was not at the platform! Adding more cars would result in needing to lengthen the platforms along the way as a result.

Oh...and don't forget 'interchangability' with other NEC train sets. With few exceptions, NEC regional trains are all 8 cars...6 coaches, 1 BC and 1 cafe. One train set can be easily be substituted for another whenever the need arises.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,984
Why doesn't the Carolinian use any long-distance Amfleet 2's for a 13.5+ hour trip while shorter routes like the Maple Leaf (12 hours) the Adirondack (11 hours) and the Pennsylvanian (9.5 hours) have Amfleet 2's in their consist? There are even some NEC trains with longer trip times than some of these trains that have Amfleet 2's on them.

Also, would it be better to have the overnight NEC trains 65, 66 and 67 - all with 13 + hour trip times - have a different consist than other NEC trains, with Amfleet 2 Cars and Viewliner Sleepers? (Something similar to the Silver Star's consist would be ideal for the overnight NEC trains)
Most people riding the Carolinian are not riding 13.5 hours.
From RPA (https://www.railpassengers.org/site/assets/files/3456/66.pdf)
Average trip length is 270 miles, but 40% of the passengers are riding less than 200 miles. I rode an atypical ride from Baltimore to Charlotte last spring. The car I was in didn't fill up until Alexandria, and it started emptying by Wilson. People were getting off and on the whole trip, but very few of them were making a real long ride.

As to the Adirondack, I have ridden it, and all of the cars I saw were Amfleet 1's. It doesn't even offer business class. The Vermonter, another long day train, also has Amfleet 1 in coach. Even the Pennsylvanian is not all Amfleet 2s, it has at least one Amfleet 1, as I found to my chagrin once when I rode it on a busy summer day.
 

LookingGlassTie

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Messages
521
In 20 words or less...there aren't enough of the LD Amfleet cars to equip more trains than at present. Conventional Amfleet I equipment with its 12" legroom between the front of the seat cushion and the back of the seat ahead is comfortable for most passengers. According to statistics I've seen, passengers on the longer-distance regional trains generally ride far shorter distances than end-to-end. It's also a matter of using fewer cars to transport more passengers. With roughly 20% more seats/car, that's only 5 cars vs 6 to hold the same 400 passengers.

For what it's worth, on train 148 from WAS to SPG yesterday, the business class car I was in was 100% sold out between BWI and NYP. It may have been 'oversold' based on passengers that boarded but couldn't find a seat. I strongly suspect that the 6 other coaches on the 8 car train were full or nearly full as well. Having less dense coach seating would require an extra car or two for the same train. In addition to electric power costs and wear and tear on the cars, there would likely be an additional assistant conductor (per contract) and the need to double-stop most stations on the route as many of the platforms can only handle 7 or 8 cars. At BWI yesterday, the rear of the BC car was not at the platform! Adding more cars would result in needing to lengthen the platforms along the way as a result.

Oh...and don't forget 'interchangability' with other NEC train sets. With few exceptions, NEC regional trains are all 8 cars...6 coaches, 1 BC and 1 cafe. One train set can be easily be substituted for another whenever the need arises.
^^This^^
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,488
Oh...and don't forget 'interchangability' with other NEC train sets. With few exceptions, NEC regional trains are all 8 cars...6 coaches, 1 BC and 1 cafe. One train set can be easily be substituted for another whenever the need arises.
Actually, not this. Nothing Bratkinson really posted has anything to do with the question. The Carolinian is a State Supported train and if NC wanted AM2s, they would have them. Their consist is based upon an operating agreement with the state. It isn't even an NEC spine train and has less equipment committed to it so it isn't a train with "interchangability" as it currently operates. Additionally, 67/66 is not typically substituted for another since it is has a specific consist: It has a baggage car, it lacks a full cafe, it doesn't have a table cafe and it runs with a split club.
 

LookingGlassTie

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Messages
521
Actually, not this. Nothing Bratkinson really posted has anything to do with the question. The Carolinian is a State Supported train and if NC wanted AM2s, they would have them. Their consist is based upon an operating agreement with the state. It isn't even an NEC spine train and has less equipment committed to it so it isn't a train with "interchangability" as it currently operates. Additionally, 67/66 is not typically substituted for another since it is has a specific consist: It has a baggage car, it lacks a full cafe, it doesn't have a table cafe and it runs with a split club.
Ohhh ok, my mistake.
 
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