You're exactly right to call for a car between a coach and a roomette. I have often thought an old fashioned open sleeper did this job well and I still like that idea. However, this couchette car also does it and would be a real improvement over what Amtrak now offers. The car would also carry more passengers than current sleeping cars and that is important. To keep fares at a minamum Amtrack should offer minamum service. Passengers get fresh lines but make their own beds. They eat in the diner but pay for their own meals. Transportation with low but profitable fares is what Amtrak should be about for most of us. Those willing to pay 1st class fares can have 1st class service.Out of curiosity - I have zero expertise on this subject whatsoever - would would the additional costs look like in my made-up scenario? Obviously track storage, labor to change the cars, possible additional rolling stock. What else am I missing?
As has been noted many times on this board, Amtrak needs a product between coach and roomette. I am a bit skeptical Americans would go for the 4 to 6-person berths common in Europe. I'm not sure there's enough societal trust, and people's attitudes about shared spaces in the post-COVID world might be different, too.