Could Siemens Viaggio be the next sleeper car?

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JermyZP

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Recently Amtrak has picked Siemens as the Preferred bidder for new intercity rolling stock. I was thinking, what could be the next sleeper car if it was built by Siemens. I was thinking that on the east coast it would be the single level Viaggio set and on the west coast it would be the bi-level Viaggio set. I would love to hear other ideas.

Siemens Viaggio
unnamed.jpg

Siemens Viaggio Twin(Bi-level)
1200px-2018-02-22_(433)_ÖBB_26-33_001-0_at_Bahnhof_Krems_an_der_Donau,_Austria.jpg
 

jis

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The height of Viaggio Twin is 15'1" above TOR. If their hypothetical American cousin has to operate into NY Penn Station they will have to lose about 7" of their height which is likely quite doable. A potential 14'6" tall Viaggio Twin could be a universal car for the entire Amtrak system giving it much better fleet utilization and allocation flexibility. Of course to what extent the current style Roomettes can be fit into that height specially with the upper berth is another matter.

OTOH, it could be a great opportunity to try out lie flat seat pods possibly with high separators making it almost like a single seat roomette, fitting 36 to 40 such in the mid section, and ADA accommodation either at the lower level or at the mid level depending on where the doors are. Of course to be able to operate at both at high and low level platforms the doors will probably have to be at mid level.

Incidentally the NJTransit and MARC Bombardier/Alstom MLVs are 14'6" tall too.
 
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frequentflyer

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^^^THIS^^^ If Siemens can provide a multilevel that can run up and down the east coast, it will be the defacto standard LD car going forward. For such a popular car its weird one cannot find much info or pics on the bilevel product.
 

jis

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For such a popular car its weird one cannot find much info or pics on the bilevel product.
Here is the Siemens brochure on the Twin, which is currently mostly for Commuter Push-Pull use.

Siemens Viaggio Twin

Actually to meet Amtrak loading gauge profile A the upper deck won't need to curve in as much as the UIC loading gauge requires, as long as the roofline near the ends are beveled like on the NJT Bombardier/Alstom MLVs. The beveling is required only for being able to use the Hudson Tubes from Penn Station while approaching them on the diverging tracks in A interlocking. They are not necessary anywhere else.
 
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jiml

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The height of Viaggio Twin is 15'1" above TOR. If their hypothetical American cousin has to operate into NY Penn Station they will have to lose about 7" of their height which is likely quite doable. A potential 14'6" tall Viaggio Twin would the be a universal car for the entire Amtrak system giving it much better fleet utilization and allocation flexibility. Of course to what extent the current style Roomettes can be fit into that height specially with the upper berth is another matter.

OTOH, it could be a great opportunity to try out lie flat seat pods possibly with high separators making it almost like a single seat roomette, fitting 36 to 40 such in the mid section, and ADA accommodation either at the lower level or at the mid level depending on where the doors are. Of course to be able to operate at both at high and low level platforms the doors will probably have to be at mid level.

Incidentally the NJTransit and MARC Bombardier/Alstom MLVs are 14'6" tall too.
I think you've got it figured out with your second suggestion or incorporate both types of accommodation if the floor separating the two levels is flexible as to height. Put bedrooms or roomettes with upper berths on the lower level and configure the "upper deck" like a 747's, with lay-flat seats or single slumbercoach-style roomettes to deal with the reduced headroom.
 

JermyZP

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The train layout could be in the far Future:
SL - single level T - Twin(Bi-level)
LL - Low Level for ADA
- Engine
- Baggage
- Viaggio T OBS sleeper
- Viaggio T sleeper
- Viaggio T sleeper
- Viaggio SL dinner
- Viaggio Bar & cafe Lounge car
- Viaggio SL coach
- Viaggio SL coach
- Viaggio SL coach
- Viaggio SL coach
- Viaggio LL coach
 

JermyZP

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The train layout could be in the far Future:
SL - single level T - Twin(Bi-level)
LL - Low Level for ADA
- Engine
- Baggage
- Viaggio T OBS sleeper
- Viaggio T sleeper
- Viaggio T sleeper
- Viaggio SL dinner
- Viaggio Bar & cafe Lounge car
- Viaggio SL coach
- Viaggio SL coach
- Viaggio SL coach
- Viaggio SL coach
- Viaggio LL coach
Siemens Viaggio Low Level car
viaggio-low-floor.jpg
 

Cal

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I would hope they would order more sleepers so we can have longer consists.


And honestly, I wouldn't mind getting Viewliner coaches. Viewliner II's are still coming in so I don't see a replacement for them any time soon.
 

jiml

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And honestly, I wouldn't mind getting Viewliner coaches. Viewliner II's are still coming in so I don't see a replacement for them any time soon.
I think that horse has left the barn and the Viewliners will be the last of their type. The key takeaway I saw in @jis' post above was the thought of a "universal car for the entire Amtrak system". The flexibility of having only one type of sleeper that could be used on any route should not be underestimated. Even a true cross-country train would be possible to/from the northeast. Once you factor in maintenance, single-source parts supply and employee familiarity it becomes a "no-brainer".
 

jis

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And honestly, I wouldn't mind getting Viewliner coaches. Viewliner II's are still coming in so I don't see a replacement for them any time soon.
There is really no existing Viewliner shell production line any more. The cars that are coming out now had their shells manufactured five or so years back. So you can rest completely assured that there will be no Viewliner Coach. Then again Amtrak may choose to christen their Amleet replacement Siemens cars Viewliners, who knows? Afterall it is all marketing fluff at that point. They already call the single leve LD trains Viewliner trains sometimes.
 

JermyZP

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Having a universal bi-level sleeper could one of the best things Amtrak could do. Imagine a new line going from Emeryville, CA to New York or from Los Angeles to Washington DC. In a modern, sleek, and comfortable sleeper I would be on it in a heart beat.
 

jiml

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Then again Amtrak may choose to christen their Amleet replacement Siemens cars Viewliners, who knows? Afterall it is all marketing fluff at that point. They already call the single leve LD trains Viewliner trains sometimes.
The new Midwest coaches look fine with Viewliner baggage cars on test trains. Coordinate the paint scheme and only railfans will be able to tell them apart. 😁
 

lrh442

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Regarding a "universal car for the entire Amtrak system", what would it require to lift the clearance problems in the East so that we don't have to choose between having two different regional-specific fleets versus a single fleet that is design-compromised on height?
 

jiml

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Regarding a "universal car for the entire Amtrak system", what would it require to lift the clearance problems in the East so that we don't have to choose between having two different regional-specific fleets versus a single fleet that is design-compromised on height?
Billions of dollars, much of it to replace ancient tunnels and bridges.
 

jis

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What I have been told by several folks in the industry is that no new Superliner could be deployed today due to ADA rules. The current Superliners are grandfathered. I am not exactly sure what needs to change though, but apparently all of the problems disappear if you do not insist on multi-level. Apparently when you have commonly shared facility for the entire train like Diners and Lounges, accessibility to them from all of the train is an issue. MLVs still are OK on Commuter trains since they do not have any such shared facilities. This is my vague understanding from various conversations and may indeed not be entirely correct since I neither have nor claim to have any deep expertise in this area.

Apparently even Siemens had to bend over backwards to specifically change passenger accommodation designs, specially in the area of width of aisles, vestibules and gangways, to meet new ADA requirements. I understand that in some cases they went above and beyond what is minimally required, for example in the area of automatically deployed gap fillers etc.
 
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Just-Thinking-51

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Nice trackwork!
I disagree, that a lot of grass between the rails, with a full blown lawn between the two tracks. Drainage is key to a good track structure. I think if this was my basement empire, I would be talking to my MOW about drainage. 😎

Back to the OP not sure Amtrak has any plans to expand the LD trains. Just look how long and difficult it been to get a sleeper on the NightOwl. If Congress were to earmark funds, than I would expect some movement. The current management team is showing very little interest in anything outside of the NEC, and state funded trains.
 

Mailliw

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I love the idea of a bilevel (ir multilevel) car that could be used across the entire network and/or be part of a trainset w/ single-level cars, but it might require a rewrite of ADA requirements to make it worthwhile. A bilevel sleeper wouldn't have any shared facilities, but it would be hard to give passengers in wheelchairs access to other cars.
 

jis

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I love the idea of a bilevel (ir multilevel) car that could be used across the entire network and/or be part of a trainset w/ single-level cars, but it might require a rewrite of ADA requirements to make it worthwhile. A bilevel sleeper wouldn't have any shared facilities, but it would be hard to give passengers in wheelchairs access to other cars.
Indeed! The eternal fly in the ointment of all bi/multi-level plans. Might need a lot of little elevators taking away revenue space. 🤷🏻
 

JermyZP

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I love the idea of a bilevel (ir multilevel) car that could be used across the entire network and/or be part of a trainset w/ single-level cars, but it might require a rewrite of ADA requirements to make it worthwhile. A bilevel sleeper wouldn't have any shared facilities, but it would be hard to give passengers in wheelchairs access to other cars.
Maybe Siemens could build a ADA ramp in the lower level car for people in a wheelchair can go from there room or seat up a ramp to the single level to go to the lounge or dinner? I know the ramp will probably take a lot of space but the lower level car will probably be only for ADA passengers only.
 

lordsigma

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What I have been told by several folks in the industry is that no new Superliner could be deployed today due to ADA rules. The current Superliners are grandfathered. I am not exactly sure what needs to change though, but apparently all of the problems disappear if you do not insist on multi-level. Apparently when you have commonly shared facility for the entire train like Diners and Lounges, accessibility to them from all of the train is an issue. MLVs still are OK on Commuter trains since they do not have any such shared facilities. This is my vague understanding from various conversations and may indeed not be entirely correct since I neither have nor claim to have any deep expertise in this area.

Apparently even Siemens had to bend over backwards to specifically change passenger accommodation designs, specially in the area of width of aisles, vestibules and gangways, to meet new ADA requirements. I understand that in some cases they went above and beyond what is minimally required, for example in the area of automatically deployed gap fillers etc.
That makes sense - I wonder if they'd consider rebuilding the existing Superliners as opposed to replacing them. (and if that gets around the ADA requirements.)
 
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