Long Distance (LD) fleet replacement RFP discussion 2024 H1

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Paniolo Man

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 30, 2022
Messages
82
Location
Utah
Well after several technical issues with the Amtrak FOIA process I am now in possession of the Technical Specification chapter of the LD RFP. I'm cautious to share the entire document as every page has a bold "CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE" printed at the bottom. I'll go through it more tonight and post more topics of interest. Based on my brief skim this morning it appears that the following are true:

  1. Amtrak is seeking to purchase BiLevel equipment. All the single-level fans here will be disappointed, but it is the obvious path.
  2. Amtrak is seeking to purchase semi-permanently coupled trainsets. This is concerning as a car defect will cancel an entire train.
  3. There is an absurd level of detail in this document. What I have totals about 1300 pages and is only the technical specifications.
I'll attach an image as proof. FOIAAA.PNG
 
Well after several technical issues with the Amtrak FOIA process I am now in possession of the Technical Specification chapter of the LD RFP. I'm cautious to share the entire document as every page has a bold "CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE" printed at the bottom. I'll go through it more tonight and post more topics of interest. Based on my brief skim this morning it appears that the following are true:

  1. Amtrak is seeking to purchase BiLevel equipment. All the single-level fans here will be disappointed, but it is the obvious path.
  2. Amtrak is seeking to purchase semi-permanently coupled trainsets. This is concerning as a car defect will cancel an entire train.
  3. There is an absurd level of detail in this document. What I have totals about 1300 pages and is only the technical specifications.
I'll attach an image as proof. View attachment 36138
Good job! Well done! Thank you.
 
It sounds like they are going to reinvent long-distance train equipment. Looking forward to more details when it is appropriate to receive them.

I agree that semi-permanent trainsets are going to be a major issue unless Amtrak buys a maintenance contract with the equipment provider.

Additionally, they need to order enough equipment for new train services as well as having back up equipment available to substitute for a bad ordered semi-permanent set of equpment.
 
Well after several technical issues with the Amtrak FOIA process I am now in possession of the Technical Specification chapter of the LD RFP. I'm cautious to share the entire document as every page has a bold "CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE" printed at the bottom.
I've done some asking around and you should be in the clear to share it if they've given it to you.
 
That seems like an odd choice to have them semi-permanent for long distance. I wonder if this means no more chance of VIA tagging along.
 
Well after several technical issues with the Amtrak FOIA process I am now in possession of the Technical Specification chapter of the LD RFP. I'm cautious to share the entire document as every page has a bold "CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE" printed at the bottom. I'll go through it more tonight and post more topics of interest. Based on my brief skim this morning it appears that the following are true:
If they shared it after a FOIA its now public
 
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Coach recline is specified as 20 degrees. Google says it's 40 degrees today.
Correction - I now found the figures on Page 11-317. It looks like recline will be 35 degrees on coach, and 40 degrees on premium coach. The premium coach seats will most likely be "The ACCESS Seat" by Factorydesign, based on the "Lazy-Z" branding.
 
Though they do seem to plan on going with all semi permanently coupled, they are specifying that individual cars need to be able to be set out in the field with the procedure taking an hour or less with normal tools and that consists need to be able to be seasonally adjusted for capacity. Like the ALC 42s and Airos they are looking to engage the vendor in a technical services agreement.
 
Well after several technical issues with the Amtrak FOIA process I am now in possession of the Technical Specification chapter of the LD RFP. I'm cautious to share the entire document as every page has a bold "CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE" printed at the bottom. I'll go through it more tonight and post more topics of interest. Based on my brief skim this morning it appears that the following are true:

  1. Amtrak is seeking to purchase BiLevel equipment. All the single-level fans here will be disappointed, but it is the obvious path.
  2. Amtrak is seeking to purchase semi-permanently coupled trainsets. This is concerning as a car defect will cancel an entire train.
  3. There is an absurd level of detail in this document. What I have totals about 1300 pages and is only the technical specifications.
I'll attach an image as proof. View attachment 36138
Bilevel equipment to replace current Superliners only correct? They aren’t designed a NEC capable bilevel are they?
 
Bilevel equipment to replace current Superliners only correct? They aren’t designed a NEC capable bilevel are they?
Correct. The document mentions nothing about the single level routes. I’d anticipate a separate procurement for single level. (The Texas Eagle and Empire Builder are mentioned outright about routes where the train splits but the Lake Shore is not mentioned.)
 
Interesting new accommodation types:
SoloSuites which are basically roomettes optimized for a single traveler with a larger seat.
Premium bedrooms which run the width of car - probably the closest Amtrak will come to a prestige class.

It does look like the lounge may be first class only, - coach would have access to a separate cafe car, but it does look like they are considering an option where on certain train sets the coach cars would have the same window configuration as the lounge so coach passengers wouldn’t miss out on the view.
 
Standard Coach seats may be fixed with all seats on one side of the aisle facing one direction, and all seats on the opposite side of the aisle facing the opposite direction, OR seats may be rotatable. The spec says this is at Amtrak's option. So, in other words, they haven't decided yet whether seats will be 50/50 or rotatable.

Premium Coach seats WILL be rotatable.
 
Just started reading this most interesting and revealing document!

I already see a couple of interesting points on the "split trains" (Empire Builder, Texas Eagle & Sunset Ltd.):
* On the Empire Builder, the diner and first-class lounge will go with the Seattle section but both sections will have a cafe west of Spokane.
*With the Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle, both will have a cafe, neither will have a first-class lounge 😳 and the diner will go with the Texas Eagle from San Antonio to Chicago, not the Sunset Ltd. from San Antonio to New Orleans.

For those advocating for an overnight accommodation between a coach seat and a roomette, the trains will apparently have:
*standard coach
*priority or premium coach (I presume something like business)
*SoloSuites, capitalized thus and grouped with the sleepers
*roomettes
*premium bedrooms
*club bedrooms
*accessible premium bedrooms
*accessible doubles
*accessible twin
 
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