Could Siemens Viaggio be the next sleeper car?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

SubwayNut

Conductor
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
1,458
The Colorado Railcar ultra Domes, at least those used in GoldLeaf Service on the Rocky Mountaneer have elevators so passengers can get up to the domed seating on the top level. Between cars isn't considered because passengers on the Rocky Mountaineer are generally not allowed to change cars, since theirs a resturant on the lower level of every Gold Leaf car (at seat service is provided in their single level-cars)
 

joelkfla

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
571
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
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.
I don't think that would be practical. There are limits to the amount of incline, and the ramp needs to be wide enough to have handrails, so it might take up just about the entire car.

It would have to be usable by passengers with canes or walkers, as well as wheelchairs. Imagine someone climbing a ramp with a walker, when the car lurches on some bad track and they go tumbling down the ramp.
 

JermyZP

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 18, 2021
Messages
27
Location
Anaheim
I don't think that would be practical. There are limits to the amount of incline, and the ramp needs to be wide enough to have handrails, so it might take up just about the entire car.

It would have to be usable by passengers with canes or walkers, as well as wheelchairs. Imagine someone climbing a ramp with a walker, when the car lurches on some bad track and they go tumbling down the ramp.
An elevator is probably the best bet but the gangway between cars is not wide enough for wheelchairs to go through. If Siemens built an American LD Viaggio set, it will have to redo the dimension of entryways and gangways.
 

Mailliw

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Messages
423
Location
Scranton, PA
Bilevel cars are only practical if ADA requirements accept that disabled passengers would be confined to the lower level of the car they boarded; otherwise single-level is the only way to go. It's that simple.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
28,383
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
An elevator is probably the best bet but the gangway between cars is not wide enough for wheelchairs to go through. If Siemens built an American LD Viaggio set, it will have to redo the dimension of entryways and gangways.
The Brightline cars have vestibules, entryways, aisles and gangways that are wide enough for standard wheelchairs.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
9,607
Location
Palm Beach County
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.
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.
If you think the Upper Berth on a 16' 2" tall Superliner is "claustrophobic", imagine how it would be on a 14' 6" car.
The suggestion to mix rooms with lie-flat seats in the same car....I have to give that a lot more thought....
 

Ryan

Conductor
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
17,285
Location
OTN
I'm not sure about the preoccupation with bi/multilevel cars.

Single level fleet wide, no worries about elevators, ramps of any of that such nonsense. Plenty of vertical space for a not-coffin top rack.
 

JermyZP

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 18, 2021
Messages
27
Location
Anaheim
If you think the Upper Berth on a 16' 2" tall Superliner is "claustrophobic", imagine how it would be on a 14' 6" car.
The suggestion to mix rooms with lie-flat seats in the same car....I have to give that a lot more thought....
I have been looking at the specification sheet and there's a lot of changes that are needed. The lowest doorway height from the rails to the floor is 23.6". This would be a problem for 8" station platforms but Amtrak has portable ADA elevators at most stations. We can use this as an advantage for Viaggio Twin when redesigning it for universal use. Clearance still has to 20" from the rails for underside Equipment, this means that they could lower the lower level to 20" from Rails and lower the height of the roof in the high level only by 4" instead of 7" but still reduce the entire hight by 7". This is just hypothetical thinking.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jis

Cal

Conductor
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
1,785
Location
Socal
I'm not sure about the preoccupation with bi/multilevel cars.

Single level fleet wide, no worries about elevators, ramps of any of that such nonsense. Plenty of vertical space for a not-coffin top rack.
You would need to either install ramps at all western stations or raise the whole platform.
 

JermyZP

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 18, 2021
Messages
27
Location
Anaheim
If you think the Upper Berth on a 16' 2" tall Superliner is "claustrophobic", imagine how it would be on a 14' 6" car.
The suggestion to mix rooms with lie-flat seats in the same car....I have to give that a lot more thought....
They could do a compartment sleeper on the second level that has seats that recline from almost lie down position to a flat sleeping position, it will be front to back instead of side to side(as shown in picture) 2 will be stacked on top of each other and will be on both sides of the car with a walkway in between.Siemens-OBB-nightjet-916x516.jpg
 

jiml

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
3,583
Location
Somewhere in Southern Ontario
I'm not sure about the preoccupation with bi/multilevel cars.

Single level fleet wide, no worries about elevators, ramps of any of that such nonsense. Plenty of vertical space for a not-coffin top rack.
You're not wrong at all. The suggestion was a bi-level car to replace existing bi-level cars and everything subsequent was speculation based on that. I personally love single-level cars. They worked great for years and still do. The arguments that brought us bi-level cars are capacity and platform lengths. (Single-level cars = longer trains.) If people can get past that hurdle single-level works systemwide.
 

frequentflyer

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
861
I thought the new metra cars had a little elevator that brought wheel chairs to the lower level in their new multilevel cars
 

toddinde

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
251
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
Billions of dollars, much of it to replace ancient tunnels and bridges.
The Milwaukee Road enlarged their tunnels for trilevel autoracks while the railroad was operating, and with their own staff. We’re only talking a few inch’s. Let’s not be so pessimistic. Not sure when we American’s became the can’t be done people.
 

JermyZP

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 18, 2021
Messages
27
Location
Anaheim
Maybe when Amtrak starts on the gateway program they would have the new tunnel under the Hudson taller to accommodate bi-level cars? We'll see
 

Mailliw

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Messages
423
Location
Scranton, PA
In case anyone's interested in possible new bilevel sleeper designs here's the floorplans for the ones Nightjet uses; I think they were built by Siemens. The mezzanine level corridor arrangement might allow wheelchair access if it were made wide enough and the ADA compartment was on the same level, but everyone else would have to go up or down a half flight of stairs to get to theirs. Personally I wouldn't mind, but I don't think it would be popular.
 

MisterUptempo

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 1, 2014
Messages
247
Location
Chicago, IL
In case anyone's interested in possible new bilevel sleeper designs here's the floorplans for the ones Nightjet uses; I think they were built by Siemens. The mezzanine level corridor arrangement might allow wheelchair access if it were made wide enough and the ADA compartment was on the same level, but everyone else would have to go up or down a half flight of stairs to get to theirs. Personally I wouldn't mind, but I don't think it would be popular.
Here is a video review of the NightJet bi-level sleeper you are describing. The reviewer is in a standard sleeper on the lower level. To get to the sleeper itself, advance to the 08:45 mark-

And here is an example of the current NightJet single-level sleeper car. This reviewer was in a deluxe sleeper cabin. Advance to the 03:05 mark to get to the review of the train-
 

jpakala

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
51
I much prefer one floor versus two-floor sleeping cars, owing to the latter requiring navigation of a narrow, winding stairway to reach the majority of rooms and the lower ceiling height in all rooms.
 

cocojacoby

OBS Chief
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
514
viewliner-sleeper-car.jpg

1619297239624.png

Just for the heck of it, I tried to design a "low-level" Superliner. Let's take a Viewliner dimension car that can travel over the entire Amtrak system. It would be possible to build a "low-level" Superliner with the following restrictions:

Full height Bedrooms and Roomettes can have upper and lower beds at the ends of the cars over the trucks.

Roomettes and Bedrooms in the center section would have lower beds only. Bedrooms would have slightly wider "double beds" for up to two passengers and roomettes would have single width beds for one passenger. Aisles would run down the center of the bottom level and along one side of upper level.

Break the car into three parts and module sections as follows:
(Use the windows for approximate module location)
(Numbers in parenthesis are maximum passenger capacity):

FRONT SECTION

Section 1+2 - Double Bedroom H - w/Upper and Lower beds (2)
Section 3 - Double Bedroom A w/Upper and Lower beds (3)
Section 4 - Mezzanine area and stairways to center section. 1/3 car width for stairs up on one side + 1/3 car width for stairs down in center + shower module on one side

CENTER SECTION

Section 5 - 1 Single Roomette (1) opposite 2 toilet modules on bottom level + 1 Double Bedroom on upper level (2)
Section 6 - 2 Single Roomettes on bottom level (2) + 1 Double Bedroom on upper level (2)
Section 7 - 2 Single Roomettes on bottom level (2) + 1 Double Bedroom on upper level (2)
Section 8 - Full width Family Room on lower level with traverse bed and window seats/bed like Superliner Family Room but without upper bunks (3) + 1 Double Bed Bedroom on upper level (2)

REAR SECTION

Section 9 - 1 Double Roomette - Upper/Lower Beds + Stairs to upper level on one side (2)
Section 10 - 2 Double Roomettes w/Upper/Lower Beds - Center Aisle (4)
Section 11 - 2 Double Roomettes w/Upper/Lower Beds - Center Aisle (4)

So capacity would be 21 - 31? Capacity of the present Viewliner is 18 - 30.

I know this is a rough concept but it seems to me that the idea of a "low-level" Superliner just may not make sense since you really need the extra height to max out the capacity with upper bunks. I haven't really studied this but it looks like there isn't much advantage to the idea. And you must add to the equation that the present Viewliner is a really great design.

Maybe I'm missing something but at least some fun food for thought?

amt62049b.jpgit
 
Top