New Rehabilitated Superliners unveiled

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

joelkfla

Conductor
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
1,056
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
I came up with an alternative solution on another thread back in April. If you haven't read it:
--------------------------------
(Updated)

Retrofit or build new Superliner diners and sightseer lounge cars as follows:

Sightseer Car:

1 - Replace lower lounge with two HP bedrooms. There already is an accessible toilet right there or completely remove lounge and toilet and replace with two fully equipped HP bedrooms.

2 - Add lift to upper level.

3 - If necessary install narrower tables or seats at one end of the car to provide accessibility to the end door that faces the dinner.

4 - Add wheelchair space somewhere in the lounge on that end.

Diner Car:

1- Make both end tables at lounge car end accessible utilizing flip down seats/table tops so that they can be used by everyone if possible.




amtrak-diagram-superliner-diningcar.jpg



Sightseer_Lounge_Car.jpg



Now a wheelchair passenger has full access to all of the passenger related amenities. Leave the coaches and sleepers alone except for converting the old H rooms into additional new Family rooms. Now you have added one or two (depending on the number of sleepers) sellable family rooms to every consist. There really is no need to have accessibility through the entire train.

Amtrak may have to ask for a waiver but this seems to provide equal and enhanced access to the most important features of the train. It doesn't cause a loss of room revenue but in fact adds to the bottom line. The Sightseer now actually generates room revenue and the H bedroom in the sleepers can be sold as a second family room.

BTW - On a recent Auto Train trip, I never saw anyone using that lower lounge.
There is not enough room to fit 2 H-rooms down there. The H-room needs to be full car width (or nearly full width, as in Viewliners) to allow space for maneuvering a power chair.
 

me_little_me

Engineer
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2010
Messages
4,641
I came up with an alternative solution on another thread back in April. If you haven't read it:
--------------------------------
(Updated)

Retrofit or build new Superliner diners and sightseer lounge cars as follows:

Sightseer Car:

1 - Replace lower lounge with two HP bedrooms. There already is an accessible toilet right there or completely remove lounge and toilet and replace with two fully equipped HP bedrooms.

2 - Add lift to upper level.

3 - If necessary install narrower tables or seats at one end of the car to provide accessibility to the end door that faces the dinner.

4 - Add wheelchair space somewhere in the lounge on that end.

Diner Car:

1- Make both end tables at lounge car end accessible utilizing flip down seats/table tops so that they can be used by everyone if possible.




amtrak-diagram-superliner-diningcar.jpg



Sightseer_Lounge_Car.jpg



Now a wheelchair passenger has full access to all of the passenger related amenities. Leave the coaches and sleepers alone except for converting the old H rooms into additional new Family rooms. Now you have added one or two (depending on the number of sleepers) sellable family rooms to every consist. There really is no need to have accessibility through the entire train.

Amtrak may have to ask for a waiver but this seems to provide equal and enhanced access to the most important features of the train. It doesn't cause a loss of room revenue but in fact adds to the bottom line. The Sightseer now actually generates room revenue and the H bedroom in the sleepers can be sold as a second family room.

BTW - On a recent Auto Train trip, I never saw anyone using that lower lounge.
It's not clear at all what part of the car are the actual H rooms and where the elevator is on the lower and upper floors.
 

JermyZP

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 18, 2021
Messages
38
Location
Anaheim
Been going in to Beach Grove to be refurbished for many months now
Talked to OBS and they said the exact same thing. During covid when service was cut back they sent the unused cars to Beach Grove shop to be refurbished. Also when I was walking through the train I noticed that the Superliner business car lights and some seats were replaced
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

Skylark

Train Attendant
Joined
May 1, 2012
Messages
32
Location
Chicago
The cosmetic upgrades look nice, from what I've seen.

My top priority now is converting all the bathrooms to the "granite" sink version. The older style baths are falling apart and poorly designed to start with.

Then my next priority would be climate control. Hopefully achieved just through thorough maintenance than replacement.

No argument here that the roomette tables are barely hanging on and often sticky...
 

joelkfla

Conductor
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
1,056
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
No argument here that the roomette tables are barely hanging on and often sticky...
I'm afraid they still haven't figured out how to build one that will last. I encountered a partially broken one in a VL II H-room.

I think the problem is that people will naturally lean on them to support their weight when getting up from the seat (I'm guilty), and they're just not designed to support that.
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,193
Location
Socal
I'm afraid they still haven't figured out how to build one that will last. I encountered a partially broken one in a VL II H-room.

I think the problem is that people will naturally lean on them to support their weight when getting up from the seat (I'm guilty), and they're just not designed to support that.
Although the VII tray tables are much better the the old ones.
 

cocojacoby

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
599
Location
Boston & Florida
It's not clear at all what part of the car are the actual H rooms and where the elevator is on the lower and upper floors.
The idea is to use the area below in yellow between the bulkhead and the doors on the lower level to fit in two H rooms and a lift to the upper level. (It's a rough sketch and I can't move the left wall in for some reason.)

It would seem doable but would need some exploration to see if it works with converting existing Superliners. Designing new cars this way probably would be easier. I can visualize a bunch of different ideas but it's a possible alternative concept to the existing situation.
InkedSightseer_Lounge_Car H Room Conversion.jpg
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,322
Location
Denver
I just turned up a sidebar to this discussion: a photo of what a first-month-in-service Superliner coach seat looked like. It had that new-car smell and smiling passengers.
We'll probably never see that 1979 upholstery again.

1979 137 (2).jpg

Photo taken October 1979 on the Mt. Rainier.
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
3,193
Location
Socal
I just turned up a sidebar to this discussion: a photo of what a first-month-in-service Superliner coach seat looked like. It had that new-car smell and smiling passengers.
We'll probably never see that 1979 upholstery again.

View attachment 25627

Photo taken October 1979 on the Mt. Rainier.
Seats look more comfortable than they do today, why did the head-rest go BACK in time? Many airlines have headrests with that design (the little areas sticking out on either side)
 

dlagrua

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
3,294
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
This refurbishment is very positive news but at the same time the shortage of Superliners on the consists could result in shorter LD trains. The inventory is down so where when and how does Amtrak purchase new Superliner equipment when no manufacturer can make them? Do they just replace them with single level Viewliners? I wouldn't mind that as sleepers seem to be in demand and judging by the fares, in short supply
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,969
Location
Ithaca, NY
I think they appear randomly wherever they are available. There is not regular rotation for them at present. So if when you get on your car it is a refurbished one, count yourself lucky. I doubt anyone can say before hand.

As more cars are completed they will become more common.
Given that Amtrak is still randomly assigning Superliner I sleepers and Superliner II sleepers out of the same pool, and they don't use a separate pool for the renovated Superliner I sleepers (with the annoying touch controls) and the unrenovated Superliner Is (with normal controls) I'm quite sure they've continued the practice of just mixing them all in randomly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,969
Location
Ithaca, NY
Nobody knows for sure. But there's a lot of difficulty procuring bilevel cars which pass the structural requirements at this point (after the Sumitomo / Nippon-Sharyo failure) and a lot of design issues with them (it looks like new ones will require lifts like Alaska Railroad has, and straight staircases like Pacific Surfliner has, which eats up a lot of the "extra" room). So a lot of people are guessing that it will just be single-level cars nationwide. Siemens has mostly solved the issue of wheelchair boarding at low-platform stations with car-mounted lifts at one of two vestibules on the new cars, and it seems to work -- though in the long run, we may see more platforms being raised.

A uniform single-level fleet would have some advantages. First of all, economies of scale for acquisition and maintenance.

Other things could be imagined: it would be kind of cool if they could switch a sleeper car at Chicago to be a through car from NY to LA (three nights, one seat ride) -- or for that matter the same via New Orleans -- and it becomes plausible.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
AU Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
1,322
Location
Denver
Nobody knows for sure. But there's a lot of difficulty procuring bilevel cars which pass the structural requirements at this point (after the Sumitomo / Nippon-Sharyo failure) and a lot of design issues with them (it looks like new ones will require lifts like Alaska Railroad has, and straight staircases like Pacific Surfliner has, which eats up a lot of the "extra" room). So a lot of people are guessing that it will just be single-level cars nationwide. Siemens has mostly solved the issue of wheelchair boarding at low-platform stations with car-mounted lifts at one of two vestibules on the new cars, and it seems to work -- though in the long run, we may see more platforms being raised.

A uniform single-level fleet would have some advantages. First of all, economies of scale for acquisition and maintenance.

Other things could be imagined: it would be kind of cool if they could switch a sleeper car at Chicago to be a through car from NY to LA (three nights, one seat ride) -- or for that matter the same via New Orleans -- and it becomes plausible.
Regarding through east-west cars my father complained about all the streamlined cars in the country having traps to fool with (watch your fingers!) just in case they went into the Northeast. And my grandfathers' generation complained about having to replace all the wooden coaches just in case they went into New York City. It would be great if those routings actually happen someday to warrant the end of the Superliners. More likely is for management to use the compatibility argument against the high cars and then later forget about east-west through routes.
 
Top