New Train Service - The Palm Luxury Train

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JoshP

Service Attendant
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Oct 13, 2021
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178
Location
Buffalo, NY
I was talking with my friend for while for several months about a new luxury train service for east coast. I also mentioned to my friend if I was wealthy like Elon Musk with over $300 billion dollars, I would bring this project into fruition in heartbeat. I will hire and contract Amtrak to operate this train route and all the new train crews will become dedicated employees just for this train service. I projected that the total cost to make this happen, approximately $10 billion.

I came to though that Amtrak has highest ridership for people going to Florida along with Auto Train, Silver Meteor & Silver Star combined, but the problem is the level of service is not just so luxury but I can understand why Amtrak has been suffering because they were treated bad from the government with limited budget so it's harder and they also rely on CSX tracks too.

The reason the price quote above because of several reasons:

1) Build new train sets - To be built 100% by Siemens Mobility (in California)
2) Hire Amtrak employees (Salary, benefits, insurance, etc)
3) Pay to CSX and FEC for the track usage rental
4) Railroad Insurance
5) Hire our own catering service (To purchase food, drinks, etc)
6) All of our equipment's (cashiers, ipads, iphones, and all others to use for the service)


The new luxury train service will be called "The Palm Luxury Train".

These stations below will be only that allows passengers to get on/off:

  • Boston, MA - South Station
  • Providence, RI
  • New London, CT
  • New Haven, CT
  • Stamford, CT
  • New York - Moynihan Hall
  • Newark, NJ
  • Trenton, NJ
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Washington, DC
  • Richmond, VA
  • Florence, SC (Crew change & Refueling stop for 2 hours)
  • Jacksonville, FL (Uses FEC tracks after leave JAX
  • Daytona Beach, FL
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Miami, FL

The Boston & Miami stations will have same train departure at 7am and 9pm train arrival.


The new service will offer different level of seating options as follows:

  • Coach
  • Coach Deluxe
  • Business Class
  • Roomette
  • Junior Suite Bedroom
  • Deluxe Bedroom
  • Accessible Bedroom
  • Family Bedroom


By means I have come to collusion that to require this service to be able to operate, this what it will setup like this:

  1. New locomotive (Just same as Charger model)
  2. Second Locomotive (Just same as Charger model)
  3. Third Locomotive (For backup reasons and it'll be required to be attached)
  4. Baggage Car
  5. Coach Car
  6. Coach Car
  7. Coach Car
  8. Coach Car
  9. Coach Deluxe Car
  10. Cafe Car
  11. Business Class
  12. Dining Car
  13. Sleeper Car - Roomettes (18 rooms)
  14. Sleeper Car - Junior Suite Bedrooms (10 rooms)
  15. Sleeper Car Lounge
  16. Sleeper Car - Deluxe Bedrooms (8 rooms)
  17. Sleeper Car - 2 Accessible Rooms and 3 Family Bedrooms

As you notice above, there is new service called Coach Deluxe and Deluxe Bedrooms, I'm sure your wondering what that would be. The coach cars will be just like Amfleets but we will have our own new coach passenger cars that has new seats that you can even image. There will be 2x2 seating configurations that comes with 2 power outlets and 3 USB ports, bigger window view with nice curtains, 2 LED lights to see at night time and it comes with 2 restrooms, baggage storage area and water fountain area. The Coach Deluxe is the first it's kind for North America to have this service, it features 1x1 seating with big space, there is a door that opens up (Just like you see on airlines in the first class with the private door) and you can either sit up or lay down to a full bed. With deluxe seating, passengers will receive full beverage and limited meals.

The new cafe car will feature the highest luxury service that offers beverage and drinks for purchase and there will be tables with nice soft seating area and it will allow them to sit and relax and social with other passengers. There will be a private dedicated crew room with door access in the back of the cafe car. The cafe store will be available 24/7.

The new improved full dedicated business class car that allows 2 full table on the front and the back while the in the middle, there will be 1x1 seating configuration and they also get full benefit not limited to unlimited beverage and snacks, leather seats, 2 power outlets and 3 USB ports, 2 full restrooms and one shower available.

The new dining car will offer real homemade meals that you will ever experience just like your grandmother making wonderful heartful meal at home. With this new dining service, it'll be available to Sleeper passengers while Coach passengers will have ability to dine there by appointment only. The meal service is available between 530am to 11pm. You will have the finest luxury real silverware set and china dishware with nice real cloth napkins, real rose flowers on the table.

Now, this is getting better. For the first time in railroad history especially for North America. Sleeper cars has upgraded to the highest luxury once for all. The new level of suites that you can choose from and passengers will have full benefit and accommodations. There will be 4 new sleeper cars and also the newest feature that it'll offer its own private lounge car that is only available for sleeper passengers. Each rooms will have 2 dedicated keys that you can lock/open your private room so you don't have to worry about your items being stolen. If you request meal delivered to your room, you will get a fresh daily newspaper of your choice: USA Today, Wall Street, Miami Herald, Boston Globe or Washington Post. Lastly, each room will have special tablet provided that allows you to order food and beverage for the meal service, once it's requested, it'll send directly to the Kitchen in the dining car and the attendant will deliver it to your room. Also there is a dedicated area where you can get fresh coffee with Keurig and pods will be offered, water, juices and ice and its in the middle of the car.

Roomette car will offer 18 sleeper rooms and each room will have full size bed, control center buttons that allows you to set (ie: A/C, Heating, Lights, Alarm, and many more). It'll have big windows you can overseen outside while your trip. It'll have storage closet to store your luggage and coats and other things you need to. Each room also has 3 outlet plugs and 3 USB ports for your needs. Lastly, the room will also feature a big 27' TV and a remote so you can watch movies or popular tv shows. The restrooms and shower rooms are available at the front and the back of the car.

NOTE: The roomette rooms will not have sink and toilet and top bed to give more bigger room for all the benefit for the passengers.

The junior suite bedroom, the 12 rooms that is the next level of your dream that feature 2 love seats that can convert into bed. It has a soft chair with a desk w/ lamp facing the window to see outside. There is a private bathroom with a separate shower area with a glass door to open. It also feature 3 outlet plug and 3 USB port. It also has 34' TV for your viewing pleasure and it comes with a closet to store your things.

The new Sleeper Car Lounge that allows sleeper passenger to social, chat with other passengers and enjoy such as Wine & Cheese tasting events or just to sit and relax. It also has a private bar where you can drink alcohol beverage at any time, there is no limit how much you can drink while if passengers are hungry, there will be snacks and appetizers available to them at no extra charge. This will be the most luxury lounge you can't even image. Passengers will also have available to check the "Leisure Closet" that has full stocked of games, magazines, newspapers to keep themselves busy.

The new Deluxe Suite, the 8 rooms that will offer the most benefit on the train. Each room will have a queen bed, desk with a chair, a private full bathroom, 43' TV and twice the size of closet and all other features of above. This will be the largest room ever featured on the train.

The last sleeper car that will feature 2 ADA (Accessible rooms) and 3 Family Bedrooms. The ADA room will feature the ROOMY that has only a queen sized bed. The toilet will have it's own private room and a shower room that you can walk in. The room also features full control center button that you can control your room (ie: A/C, Heating, Lights, Alarms and many more). You will have 42' TV with remote so you can enjoy watch movies or tv shows with ease. The new 3 family bedrooms that will have 4 full size beds with 2 beds on each side. It also comes with all control center buttons features, private bathroom with a shower and a closet storage. It has TV w/ remote included.


Any comments, suggestions or ranting is welcome. This is just a fantasy dream project and nothing is official at this time.

Thank you.
 
Last edited:

Qapla

Engineer
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Jul 15, 2019
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Gator Country Florida
Your planned sleeper cars may run into the a requirement to provide ADA rooms in every car ... not a special car with them provided.

You did not offer any idea of ticket price for such a trains ride.
 

Tlcooper93

OBS Chief
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Jan 9, 2021
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Boston
I’ve thought of this idea before, but starting smaller with Boston and NYC to Montreal. The train would be overnight, and it would divide in half at Springfield.

10 billion is a lot of money, and it may yet be enough, but the NEC and South Station are pretty much at capacity.
 

MARC Rider

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If I had 10 billion $, I think I'd spend it differently. First, I'm not sure that a through train between Boston and Miami is what the traveling public is crying for. It would be a 30+ hour trip with the potential of inconvenient calling times in either Boston or Miami unless one usurps the schedule of the Silver Meteor. True, a lot of passengers do get off at intermediate stops, but the longer the route, the more chance for delays.

As for "luxury," if you're planning to make a "deluxe" train in the manner of the old deluxe streamliners, why bother with coaches? Make it an all private room train, like the old Broadway Ltd. and 20th Century Ltd. Unfortunately, unlike the days of yore before jet airline service and private jets, most of the rich people and celebrities who were the market for such trains back in the old days are probably just going to fly. Also, even among rich people, the culture has changed, and there's not as much demand for old-style luxury service. (New style luxury service is a lot more informal and less fussy.)

On the East Coast route, what they need to do with $10 billion would be a minor upgrade of service standards on the existing trains to maybe why they were like 15 or 20 years ago with decent food and adequate OBS staffing (and consistently clean restrooms in coach). New rolling stock is needed, of course, but Amtrak is probably already planning for that, even if they're not announcing anything publicly yet. Probably 1 or two additional trains on the route would be helpful, plus shorter haul trains that would provide more alternatives for service connecting intermediate stations between Savannah and Richmond with Washington and the NEC. All of this would provide a lot more transportation service to the traveling public than a single nostalgic "luxury train." The whole purpose of this service is to get cars off of I-95 and related roads. To do that, you need more schedule options, not more luxury. Oh, and in addition, I think that it would be a good idea to nationalize CSX (which would be a great benefit to the Nation at large), have the tracks and dispatching run by a public agency and spin off a couple of independent operating companies to run the freight service. But that would probably cost more than $10 billion.

There is one place where a luxury train might find a market. That would be an all-first-class Acela running in the manner of the Pennsylvania Railroad's old Congressional Limited, which might find a ready market among the Wall Street tycoons and political bigshots who shuttle between New York and Washington, the better to screw over the rest of us taxpaying citizens and workers. Of course, these big shots are already quite happily riding the current Acela, even if they have to share their space with the upper middle class riffraff who also ride it, so maybe there's no need for an additional level of exclusivity. But maybe the least they could do is have a real bartender serving real cocktails in the first class section.
 
Last edited:

cirdan

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Mar 30, 2011
Messages
2,745
If I had 10 billion $, I think I'd spend it differently. First, I'm not sure that a through train between Boston and Miami is what the traveling public is crying for. It would be a 30+ hour trip with the potential of inconvenient calling times in either Boston or Miami unless one usurps the schedule of the Silver Meteor. True, a lot of passengers do get off at intermediate stops, but the longer the route, the more chance for delays.
With the two Silvers plus the Palmetto plus the Auto Train, this is the best served long distance train link in the USA so I would assume it is also the route that has the most "train culture" and this would support the sentiment that its the best place to start. Anywhere else you would have to first of all explain to people what a passenger train is. But I think the proposed length/capacity of the train is somewhat optimistic as this would require heavily cannibalizing existing trains. As I assume this train would be sold at a higher price point, there would only be so many people willing to make the switch. Some leverage could be obtained if you seek to serve places at more optimal hours and of course as the OP rightly recognizes, a high quality of service would help sell the train.
 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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With the two Silvers plus the Palmetto plus the Auto Train, this is the best served long distance train link in the USA so I would assume it is also the route that has the most "train culture" and this would support the sentiment that its the best place to start. Anywhere else you would have to first of all explain to people what a passenger train is. But I think the proposed length/capacity of the train is somewhat optimistic as this would require heavily cannibalizing existing trains. As I assume this train would be sold at a higher price point, there would only be so many people willing to make the switch. Some leverage could be obtained if you seek to serve places at more optimal hours and of course as the OP rightly recognizes, a high quality of service would help sell the train.
Good points! One exception, though, is that there was evidence of a "train culture" on the West Coast in spite of the SP. Note that the FRA proposed no north-south service for the 1971 Railpax plan. When the Coast Starlight was forced into being as a scorned "political train" it immediately outdid other tri-weekly trains and then spawned regional services that are well patronized in their circumstances.

In 1975 the Oregon DOT's modeler, a recent immigrant, proved in his model runs that no one would ride Amtrak in Oregon, based on past statistics. This was despite the fact that he could have seen the 17 or 18-car Train 14 out of his office window, sold out on many occasions until pricing was increased enough to fix demand. The train culture was there, just not the trains. Perhaps there are other corridors like that.

1971 166.jpg

In December 1971, 7½ months after tri-weekly Amtrak Coast Starlight in the Northwest started up, it was selling out in peaks and well-patronized at other times.
 

JoshP

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 13, 2021
Messages
178
Location
Buffalo, NY
First of all, to answer to all your questions.

1) The reason I was proposing Boston because that where money is and I want to lure people to go to Florida on luxury train.

2) Why I mentioned coaches, I mean I might or get rid of them entirely, and make only sleeper train. I could make the proposal changes to that. I never though about that.

3) I know BOS and NYP and WAS are full with the train slots but if I am paying them premium fee to get a slot, that what I will plan to.

4) In regarding ADA rooms, I am not sure if I am required to have one in every room. Unless I could get rid of coaches and add 4 more sleeper cars and I could make one dedicated ADA sleeper car and that will solve the problem.

5) I was just brainstorming about Florence but Richmond is a good suggestion. But the thing is many shops, restaurants are not much nearby. I wish I can stop at downtown Richmond but the thing it'll be impossible to get out and go south since I checked the maps, there is no way. RVR is only option.

6) For the pricing, if I get rid of coaches and replace with all sleepers but keep business class cars so I would do this following:

  1. New locomotive (Just same as Charger model)
  2. Second Locomotive (Just same as Charger model)
  3. Third Locomotive (For backup reasons and it'll be required to be attached)
  4. Baggage Car
  5. Cafe Car
  6. Business Class
  7. Dining Car
  8. Sleeper Car - Roomettes (18 rooms)
  9. Sleeper Car - Roomettes (18 rooms)
  10. Sleeper Car - Roomettes (18 rooms)
  11. Sleeper Car - Junior Suite Bedrooms (10 rooms)
  12. Sleeper Car - Junior Suite Bedrooms (10 rooms)
  13. Sleeper Car Lounge
  14. Sleeper Car - Deluxe Bedrooms (8 rooms)
  15. Sleeper Car - Deluxe Bedrooms (8 rooms)
  16. Sleeper Car - 6 Accessible Bedroom
  17. Sleeper Car - 6 Family Bedrooms

Roomettes - $1295 - $1695
Junior Suites - $1695 - $2195
Deluxe Bedrooms - $2695 - $3295
Accessible Bedrooms - $995
Family Bedrooms - $1995

*That is my estimate, I rely on all other luxury trains and they cost more but I want to be on fair pricing market.
 

Mailliw

OBS Chief
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If you keep the upper berths in the roomette cars you'll get around the same passenger capacity as the 1:1 coaches, but have an easier time charging premium fares. Also the cafe and dining cars should be in the middle of the consist, not at the front of the train. I'd have the roomette cars after the baggage car, then the cafe car, dining car, lounge car, the rest of the sleeping cars and then the lounge car (for tradition & best views. Assuming you get approval for a sleeping car with multiple ADA rooms it should be the next car after the dining car.
 

JoshP

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 13, 2021
Messages
178
Location
Buffalo, NY
If you keep the upper berths in the roomette cars you'll get around the same passenger capacity as the 1:1 coaches, but have an easier time charging premium fares. Also the cafe and dining cars should be in the middle of the consist, not at the front of the train. I'd have the roomette cars after the baggage car, then the cafe car, dining car, lounge car, the rest of the sleeping cars and then the lounge car (for tradition & best views. Assuming you get approval for a sleeping car with multiple ADA rooms it should be the next car after the dining car.
So you would suggest to this layout:

  1. First locomotive
  2. Second Locomotive
  3. Third Locomotive
  4. Baggage Car
  5. Sleeper Car - Roomettes (18 rooms)
  6. Sleeper Car - Roomettes (18 rooms)
  7. Sleeper Car - Roomettes (18 rooms)
  8. Sleeper Car - Junior Suite Bedrooms (10 rooms)
  9. Sleeper Car - Junior Suite Bedrooms (10 rooms)
  10. Cafe Car
  11. Lounge Car
  12. Dining Car
  13. Sleeper Car - 6 Accessible Bedroom
  14. Sleeper Car - Deluxe Bedrooms (8 rooms)
  15. Sleeper Car - Deluxe Bedrooms (8 rooms)
  16. Sleeper Car - 6 Family Bedrooms

if I want to keep upper berths in roomette, then the train itself wont be luxury anymore. By means I want to give passengers more roomy and space worth for their money.

I have decided to remove Business class car, it wont be needed right now.
 
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