Amtrak has received more sleepers.Amtrak already received more rooms by receiving Viewliner II sleeping cars and baggage/dorm cars. Yet prices have gone up significantly, at least on the Crescent.
Past experience doesn’t indicate that more rooms will result in lower prices, but maybe a change in management could result in lower prices.
I would be happy with one part of the First Class Car having Lay Flat At an Angle seating. I do not need to be perfectly flat or have a compartment of my own to sleep well. When I flew Polaris Class on United I slept like a baby. If LFAaA seating cost less than a roommate I would definitely use it.You will need additional staff at Buffalo to detach and attach cars. At present there is none such. That will be significant additional labor. In addition there will be one time cost of constructing a siding with shore power facilities for storing the cars. Also, there will be ongoing additional cost of servicing the cars stored there. That is just a SWAG. I am sure if Thirdrail7 was around he would add a few more items that I have not thought about.
I think Americans are looking for the impossible. They will either have to accept something akin to Sections, perhaps with more robust night time enclosures that can be taken down during the day time, or they will have to accept Couchettes. Absent those they will just have to live with Roomettes. Maybe something like the Duplex Slumbercoaches can be tried again as an alternative, but that is more complex internal furnishing, though could be designed as modern modules perhaps using materials available today that were not available back then. No need to try to fit a commode and sink in the individual cubbies.
On VIA, the Prestige room, normally it cost over $8500CAD so it equals nearly $7k USD so yeah, ripoff.I'm shocked that Amtrak is at least considering a Slumbercoach option. I can't tell from the diagram how the "enhanced" coach and new roomette differ from the current offerings. The new bedroom design looks promising and doesn't appear to occupy more space than existing bedroom (while fitting in another passenger). The two luxury options are the most I'd want to see as a "Prestige class" offering; a 2 bedroom suit w/ sitting room is just overkill. It'd probably cost well over $10K!
The prices for those spaces weren't far off of that. The "Luxury for 2/Luxury for 4" spaces were in the $1800-3500 ballpark. The Prestige room was tested at like $3000-7000.On VIA, the Prestige room, normally it cost over $8500CAD so it equals nearly $7k USD so yeah, ripoff.
Yup. That's why I think the best possible option is to bring back those sleeper bunks. You, those individual beds that are in their own little cubby, stacked on top of each other, with sliding doors. The capacity would be about the same as a coach. Since passengers will be sleeping for the vast majority of the trip, I don't think seats are necessary. You can still sit down in the lounge car if you want.
California Economy Is on Edge After Tech Layoffs and Studio CutbacksAs recession fears persist, the troubles in major industries have hurt tax revenues, turning the state’s $100 billion surplus into a deficit.www.nytimes.com
(Sorry if this is behind a paywall, I think the headline tells it all, at least for this discussion.)
"California Economy is on edge after tech layoffs and studio cutbacks"
Under these conditions, even well-off people are going to think twice before paying for deluxe service, and those less well-off are going to be economizing like anything. Under those conditions, starting a new luxury service might not be the best idea. Including coaches and looking for revenue from intermediate stops seems like the way to go to make this venture work. Though I think that this service should be run by Amtrak California. I just don't see a once-a-day luxury train as being a profitable venture, nor does it provide much transportation utility for the people of California. A Night-Owl like train would be another matter.
Dang you’all are make my Google images search earns it keep.
One point that I do think makes sense is to have all of the new equipment be compatible so you can mix equipment. On the Alaska Railroad you see a variety of single and bi-level equipment but they all mix together because they all use the same height diaphragms. Being able to mix single and bi-level equipment would certainly be a plus.This proposal envisions a single fleet except for a small number of full-length dome lounges and dome sleeper lounges for VIA and present Superliner routes. Sleeping cars will have a mix of Viewliner roomettes and larger VIA-style prestige rooms. Cars should be designed with the maximum height to make upper berths as spacious as possible. Present designs have deficiencies in many details and new cars should incorporate experience with present cars. In addition the demands of the ADA community have resulted in wider aisles at the expense of seat comfort.
A new type of car will offer a railbed sleeper using lay flat seats such as found on trans-oceanic flights and the "Spirit of Queensland" train service in Australia. These cars can be used to supplement coach seating and allow higher density seating in coaches. They will attract riders who will not ride coach but cannot afford sleeping cars. This design has the best economics for a single rider versus a Viewliner roomette. Before finalizing the design, an test could be conducted with experimental cars of this type on existing long distance trains.
One advantage of a single level fleet is minimizing design compromises to accommodate ADA requirements. The full level dome lounges may have to be designed with an elevator to meet these requirements. (Note from Carl Fowler" Stadler has already done this in its fleet of new North American crash-compliant domes for the ROCKY MOUNTAINEER).
In addition, any car except for the dome cars can operate anywhere in the system. This would allow cars from western long-distance trains to be operated on Florida trains in the winter.
Alaska Railroad uses the same type of equipment and passengers are free to move from car to car. All of the diaphragms are on the lower level so all passengers pass through on the lower level from car to car. All of the bi-level cars have a lift (with the exception of the heritage domes of course).Also aren't passengers on the Rocky Mountioneer expected to stay in the same car? To put bilevel or dome cars in between single-level cars in the trainset the passageway needs to be between the upper and lower levels (instead of on the upper like Superliners) which complicates wheelchair movement between cars. Each bilevel would need 2 lifts instead of 1 elevator.
Alaska Railroad uses 18' tall bilevels with 4' above rail lower level. As has been discussed many times, those would not fit in among other places, Chicago Union Station.Alaska Railroad uses the same type of equipment and passengers are free to move from car to car. All of the diaphragms are on the lower level so all passengers pass through on the lower level from car to car. All of the bi-level cars have a lift (with the exception of the heritage domes of course).
Yes, you are correct. I'm not sure if they could operate on the Canadian either. But I was replying to a question about the Rocky Mountaineer which DOES operate the Ultra domes.Alaska Railroad uses 18' tall bilevels with 4' above rail lower level. As has been discussed many times, those would not fit in among other places, Chicago Union Station.
I agree these aren't for true long-distance trains with significant daylight travel, absent a lot of lounge seating. But overnight-only routes should be a thing; Amtrak has plenty of corridors that are long enough to support night corridor trains, with some full sleepers, some comfortable coach seats, and mostly these diagonal pods. Get on in one city fairly late in the evening (like after a ballgame, concert, or show and dinner), make a stop or two in the suburbs, then run overnight to another city (with maybe a suburban stop or two) where you arrive at a decent but pre-9am hour. Maybe, like the Caledonian Sleeper, charge for dinner or a snack (late departure = probably ate dinner) but include breakfast for non-coach passengers. To paraphrase a Twitter post I saw (regarding the Lark proposal): annihilate distance with sleep, making travel times that are less attractive for corridor service (6-9 hours) into a feature instead of a bug.I think the diagonal pods would be an excellent couchette option for night trains, but they'd only be suitable for the overnight Northeast Regionals right now. Personally I wouldn't mind traveling during daytime in them, but I don't think they'd be popular (unless of course we get overnight only routes).
Has anyone ever used any of these bi-levels as sleeping cars? Even with the 18' tall cars, I am skeptical that there will be decent headroom for upper berths. After my recent experience trying to get into and out of an upper berth in a Superliner sleeper, I have come to the conclusion that I just can't get into and out of the bunk. I have no problems with the upper berths in the Viewliners (except that the mattresses seem to be made of concrete.)Alaska Railroad uses 18' tall bilevels with 4' above rail lower level. As has been discussed many times, those would not fit in among other places, Chicago Union Station.
Colorado Railcar did have plans for Ultra Dome Sleepers, I'm not sure if any prototypes were built or not.Has anyone ever used any of these bi-levels as sleeping cars? Even with the 18' tall cars, I am skeptical that there will be decent headroom for upper berths. After my recent experience trying to get into and out of an upper berth in a Superliner sleeper, I have come to the conclusion that I just can't get into and out of the bunk. I have no problems with the upper berths in the Viewliners (except that the mattresses seem to be made of concrete.)
Nothing built. The plans are out there, if you have the money. I think it the same outfit/people offering to build them.Colorado Railcar did have plans for Ultra Dome Sleepers, I'm not sure if any prototypes were built or not.
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