Midwest Venture Introduction

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Crowbar_k

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According to the minutes of the Section 305/NGEC Executive Board meeting of January 25th, the following-

IDOT Café Car FDRs are in the closure stage and Galley open items are being addressed.

They are in final design review, so, likely they haven't even started building the café cars, then?
Yes, that is what I was looking for. Do you know what exactly has been delivered so far? Are they only the singleton cars or have any of the married pairs been delivered? If so are any of the married pairs in service today? Thanks!

In this video, around the 25:25 mark, you can see what appears to be an IDOT car with permanent coupling for a married pair. You can also see a cab car under construction.

 

MisterUptempo

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A niggling point, but one that has me wondering - Photos of the Venture cars clearly show a wide strip of Velcro across the top of each seat. I would imagine they're there for securing antimacassars, but one thing the seats seem to be sorely lacking is a head/neck cushion.

For those who have extensive international rail experience, are head/neck cushions always permanently secured to the seat or are there some that are Velcro-ed on? Not having them permanently affixed seems like a perfect way to lose them, but I'm naively hoping there's a chance cushions are on the way.
 
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A niggling point, but one that has me wondering - Photos of the Venture cars clearly show a wide strip of Velcro across the top of each seat. I would imagine they're there for securing antimacassars, but one thing the seats seem to be sorely lacking is a head/neck cushion.

For those who have extensive international rail experience, are head/neck cushions always permanently secured to the seat or are there some that are Velcro-ed on? Not having them permanently affixed seems like a perfect way to lose them, but I'm naively hoping there's a chance cushions are on the way.
The velcro strip is for holding paper headrests in place...
 

jis

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Yet the reupholstery of the existing cars eliminates paper headrests.
The paper headrests are more properly called "antimacassars." This name comes from the macassar oil (aka "greasy kid stuff") that, 100 years ago, men used to apply to their hair to hold it in place. If seats with headrests didn't have antimacassars, the greasy kid stuff would soak into the seat fabric and make everything dirty and unsanitary. Antimacassars used to be cloth, but by the late 1960s, on the PRR/PC at least, they were being made of paper. The Amfleets had them, and also the Suplerliners, I've seen them into the 21st century with the blue upholstery. I think maybe they stopped doing it in recent years as a cost-cutting measure. The recent refurbishment of cars with the fake leather seats eliminates the need for antimacassars because (1) the seat covering doesn't absorb greasy kid stuff, so the seats and be easily wiped down after use, and (2) nobody wears greasy kid stuff in their hair any more.
 

rtabern

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Question if anyone is in the know here ---- will the new coaches remain on 303 and 306 into next week (week of February 9th).... Was thinking of maybe riding on Wednesday if our schedules permitted.
 

John from RI

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I've been reading about the seat width and the aisle width. Wheelchair access certainly is important. Amtrak is for all of us; not just for most of us. But mobility impairment does not just mean wheelchairs. It can mean a walker, a rolling walker or a cane. And we all need our space. Cutting one inch off each coach seat would add 4 inches to the aisle. And it would provide 20-inch seats. Even 20 inches can be a little cramped but I can live with it. 19 inches approaches the sardine can conditions on planes.
For all of that, this seems to be a done deal. Amtrak has taken adequate seating out of its coaches and we will have to live with that.
 

JP1822

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Maybe I am not looking at this right, but I was handicapped with a mobility issue for nearly 5 years. Yes, I was lucky to overcome it. From wheelchair to cane to the best that I can do on my two feet now, but still limited. I realize my situation is different from what others may have to endure, and thankfully, my situation has improved enough that the wheelchair is gone. But the cane does come back in the picture from time to time.

OK, so to my point.....when I did get enough courage to try and travel by train, it took planning on my part. I tried to secure the closest seat to the vestibule at all costs. I did not want end up seated in the middle of the car - longer struggle to get to the vestibules. Wheelchair - it was one end of the car or the other anyway, no problem. But if I was still in a wheelchair, I would not want to be wheeled down the center aisle of the train to get from car to car. I don't really get this. Even with a disability, I'd rather have the wider seat and leg width on the train. For me to do the plane - forget it. I could if I really wanted to struggle, but with the way my legs are, I can't 'maneuver" with the seats on a plane. Long story and you'd have to understand my disability. And to get down the center aisle of a train car - for what? Someone would still be pushing my wheelchair.......If I wanted something from the cafe, I'd try to get a seat in the car next to to the cafe. When I was on a cane, I would ALWAYS reserve the sleeper next to the Diner on the long distance trains so that if I felt I could make it to breakfast or dinner, it wasn't going to be that much of a walk or struggle to get to the Diner. It's not the steps and the cane - but rather the distance. And I certainly have the option to take meals in my room. I'd rather have a comfortable and more room at my seat than wider aisles. There's still room for wheelchairs (should that come back into play in my life again) at either end of the vestibule. The seating on the Venture cars are subpar and belong to the commuter railroads at best, not for Amtrak, regardless if the States ordered them.

And make this post with a lot of respect for those who are disabled or have mobility issues. This was an absolutely nightmare for me and I know it is for anyone with mobility issues.
 

Amtrak25

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Regardless of seat width, they could have made the cushions thicker, they could have made the seat backs recline, and they could have put the outlet on the frame in the seat in front, not use valuable hip room between the seat cushions. Even buses do that. They must have gotten people from METRA to design these seats.
 

rs9

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Regardless of seat width, they could have made the cushions thicker, they could have made the seat backs recline, and they could have put the outlet on the frame in the seat in front, not use valuable hip room between the seat cushions. Even buses do that. They must have gotten people from METRA to design these seats.

I've seen reports on another forum that the seats do recline. The button is on the base of the seat somewhere. But, perhaps someone here can confirm.
 

joelkfla

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Regardless of seat width, they could have made the cushions thicker, they could have made the seat backs recline, and they could have put the outlet on the frame in the seat in front, not use valuable hip room between the seat cushions. Even buses do that. They must have gotten people from METRA to design these seats.
Have there been multiple first-hand reports that the seats are uncomfortable, or that the cushions are inadequate? All I've seen in this thread is somebody saying that they look uncomfortable.
 

rs9

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Have there been multiple first-hand reports that the seats are uncomfortable, or that the cushions are inadequate? All I've seen in this thread is somebody saying that they look uncomfortable.

I'm waiting to see that myself. What I find to be interesting is that I can't find complaints about Brightline seats as uncomfortable. Are these seats that different outside of their outward appearance?

Granted, Amtrak Midwest trips may be longer in duration than some Brightline trips, which could impact comfort in the long-term.
 

joelkfla

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I'm waiting to see that myself. What I find to be interesting is that I can't find complaints about Brightline seats as uncomfortable. Are these seats that different outside of their outward appearance?

Granted, Amtrak Midwest trips may be longer in duration than some Brightline trips, which could impact comfort in the long-term.
There was one post in another thread by somebody saying Brightliine's new seats are uncomfortable. I haven't seen any other complaints.

I've ridden only once on the old seats, and thought they were fine. But of course, it's only a 1-hour ride so far.
 
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