Diesel stink in sleeper

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fillyjonk

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I came home on 21 last night (BNL to MIN) and I don't know if it was that I was already starting with a migraine (I get super sensitive sense of smell as a symptom) or the air intake for the "increased ventilation to fight covid" was being polluted by the engine (right in front of my sleeper) but there was a *horrible* diesel exhaust smell that gave me a headache and upset stomach. I managed to sleep off the headache (luckily the attendant was around to make up my bed early) and it seemed like there was less stink this morning, but I wonder: have others noticed that lately? I was in room 6.

Coming up, I was in room 13 (downstairs). It was much quieter, steadier, and there was no diesel smell - but it was also clearly a newer Superliner car than the one I came back on (it had the touch-panel for the lights instead of the buttons, and the newer-style restrooms; the car I came back in was one of the old ones).

I traveled a little over the summer (at which point I think the "more ventilation" was in effect) and didn't notice a smell. Was it just my migraine, or does one sometimes just get unlucky and have to breathe diesel fumes occasionally now? Kinda wondering how many IQ points I lost this trip....though then again, I don't think leaded diesel exists any more
 

Cal

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but it was also clearly a newer Superliner car than the one I came back on (it had the touch-panel for the lights instead of the buttons, and the newer-style restrooms; the car I came back in was one of the old ones).
Actually, that's probably an older superliner I, built in the 70s. Superliner I's were given a nice refurbish several years ago, while the superliner II's still have their original interior AFAIK (maybe updated seat cushions).
 

fillyjonk

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Is the air intake at one end of the Superliners, such that a car's orientation would affect air quality?
No idea, but that might explain the differences. I was surprised there wasn't a baggage car between the engine and the sleeper but there was not
 

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Nothing about Superliners is sealed up air tight and the forward door area seems to catch a substantial amount of exhaust when it’s right behind an active locomotive. Normally you have transdorms and baggage cars helping to separate and shield sleeper pax from more of the exhaust. Should hopefully improve as cars are repaired and newer locomotives roll out.
 

caravanman

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This reminds me of my one and only long distance "First Class" ride in an Indian sleeper train. They have diesel generator cars where there are no overhead wires, and the fumes certainly poluted my ride from the far south (Trivandrum) up to Delhi.
Not wanting to "over egg the pudding", but anyone interested can read about the trip here:

India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com
 

UserNameRequired

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Nothing about Superliners is sealed up air tight and the forward door area seems to catch a substantial amount of exhaust when it’s right behind an active locomotive. Normally you have transdorms and baggage cars helping to separate and shield sleeper pax from more of the exhaust. Should hopefully improve as cars are repaired and newer locomotives roll out.
Do new locomotives have Tier rules for exhaust? My diesel autos with DEF and DPF and SCR all have zero diesel smell. They do have an ammonia smell on cold start.
 

jis

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This reminds me of my one and only long distance "First Class" ride in an Indian sleeper train. They have diesel generator cars where there are no overhead wires, and the fumes certainly polluted my ride from the far south (Trivandrum) up to Delhi.
Not wanting to "over egg the pudding", but anyone interested can read about the trip here:

India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com
Those Diesel Generator cars known as EOGs (End On Generators) are now slowly being phased out, replaced by HOGs (Head On Generators), or actually alternators in locomotives, where the power is supplied from the locomotive. In case of the more prevalent, electrics that is of course from the power from the catenary. HOGs are more prevalent in electrics specifically WAP-7 Class, than in the diesels, though some WDP-4s are getting them too. But then diesels in general are getting phased out as the system inches towards its goal of more or less 100% electrification.
 
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The lack of a transition car is the underlying issue here. The door facing the front was not airtight and fumes got into your sleeping car. Amtrak at times have used a shield on the lead car to block the fumes but there are limited numbers available and on certain trains. It seem to be a local shop thing and not a national roll out.

This problem is a well know issue. That can be addressed, but not a high priority for anyone in management to do so.
 

basketmaker

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I have seen (and riden) Superliner cars both sleeper and lounge that were coupled directly behind the locomotive that have had a sheet metal panel attached to the buffer/diaphragm. It definitely helps in minimizing exhaust fumes. As I did do one trip on the PDX leg of the EB where the lounge was at the head of the consist and no shield. Usually odors/smells like that do not bother me but that PDX/SPK leg was unbearable so I stayed on my bedroom. After SPK it was fine.
 
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Did you tell the conductor? The conductor is responsible for the train and should have been immediately notified. You probably should have asked the conductor to note it in his report and then made a complaint to Amtrak (and possibly the FRA) to get Amtrak to address such problems which are potentially dangerous to passenger health. It's entirely possible that the engine had a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP.
 
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Did you tell the conductor? The conductor is responsible for the train and should have been immediately notified. You probably should have asked the conductor to note it in his report and then made a complaint to Amtrak (and possibly the FRA) to get Amtrak to address such problems which are potentially dangerous to passenger health. It's entirely possible that the engine had a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP.
I want to live in your world.

Sorry not a engine issue, although you can add a exhaust gas pipe extension. That would help, a island tourist railroad did that. Dissimilar metals so the extension was rusty and very noticeable. The tourists railcars were open double deck coaches. Not sure how much of a improvement it was but it should of help.

Ok it could be a engine issue, had a diesel fuel leak that was dripping on my ambulance manifold, we wrote it up as a exhaust leak. Mechanic shop gave us a hard time for try burn our ambulance to the frame.

No sorry, this is a know problem for the Superliner equipment. Not a engine issue per say.
 
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fillyjonk

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The lack of a transition car is the underlying issue here. The door facing the front was not airtight and fumes got into your sleeping car. Amtrak at times have used a shield on the lead car to block the fumes but there are limited numbers available and on certain trains. It seem to be a local shop thing and not a national roll out.

This problem is a well know issue. That can be addressed, but not a high priority for anyone in management to do so.
I'm wondering if it's worth my calling and complaining. If my migraine had not gone away, I'd have had to checked into a hotel in Mineola because it's a 2 1/2 hour drive to home and it's not safe for me to drive with that bad of a headache. I mean, I don't know. I might never encounter the problem again? Maybe my December trip they'll have a transdorm or baggage car between the two?
 

fillyjonk

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Simply another reason to carry gaffer tape when traveling.
It seemed to be coming in through the ventilation/heating system, I'm not sure how gaffer tape would have helped and I'm not sure the car attendant/conductor would have been cool with someone taping up the door between the car and where the engine was

my head was hurting really badly and I was not up to tracking down the conductor at that point. I just consider it lucky it wasn't one of the migraines that makes me vomit, that has happened with some in the past.
 
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I would call and complain. Amtrak know the problem and has a fix for it. It is coming in thur the door at the front. The fumes are from the engine stack. The cover they use might be a OBS employee fix, but it’s more like a shop thing. They have them, they can make more, and use them.
 
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