North West Cascade Trains...

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HARHBG

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Messages
148
This North East Amtrak rider (I live in Harrisburg, PA) just got a chance to ride the Cascade Trains N & S from Portland to Seattle. Talgo equipment. Visually stunning, both the older train sets and the newer. My biggest disappointment was how small the Bistro Car and what is called the Dining Car is. Bistro car has 3 Diner-Style seats at the counter and two tiny, tiny, tiny "booth-ettes" that could seat 5 at most.

"Dining Car" also tiny, with little seating. I have no idea how Amtrak expects people to buy food and drink items and then have no where to sit and eat except back at your seat??

Also surprising was the regular coach cars. Each coach car seats 19 people with single seating on one side and double seats on the other. Beautiful, comfortable seating but I can't help wonder about the economics of such a small passenger capacity per car.

Also, the noise level inside the train sets is almost deafening, especially in the earlier model year equipment. The track noise is very loud and when I mentioned it to the conductor while waiting for the train to come to full stop the conductor acknowledged that the noise factor is the biggest complaint Amtrak gets, comfort-wise.

Attendants were dressed in nice, contemporary uniforms sporting the Talgo logo.

It was nice to experience the new equipment and gives me hope that positive changes are on the horizon for new equipment everywhere.
 

Thirdrail7

Engineer
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,490
My biggest disappointment was how small the Bistro Car and what is called the Dining Car is. Bistro car has 3 Diner-Style seats at the counter and two tiny, tiny, tiny "booth-ettes" that could seat 5 at most.

"Dining Car" also tiny, with little seating. I have no idea how Amtrak expects people to buy food and drink items and then have no where to sit and eat except back at your seat??
That was the concept of the bistro car: Take your food back to your seat. It was not intended to be a lounge.

Thank you airline executives of the 90's. :angry2:
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Messages
6
You must have been in business class. The coach in business class is 2 and 1 seating, regular coach is 2 and 2. I ride the Cascades from Seattle to Vancouver on Sunday so I'll double check my facts.
 

seat38a

Engineer
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
2,025
Location
Orange County California
This North East Amtrak rider (I live in Harrisburg, PA) just got a chance to ride the Cascade Trains N & S from Portland to Seattle. Talgo equipment. Visually stunning, both the older train sets and the newer. My biggest disappointment was how small the Bistro Car and what is called the Dining Car is. Bistro car has 3 Diner-Style seats at the counter and two tiny, tiny, tiny "booth-ettes" that could seat 5 at most.

"Dining Car" also tiny, with little seating. I have no idea how Amtrak expects people to buy food and drink items and then have no where to sit and eat except back at your seat??

Also surprising was the regular coach cars. Each coach car seats 19 people with single seating on one side and double seats on the other. Beautiful, comfortable seating but I can't help wonder about the economics of such a small passenger capacity per car.

Also, the noise level inside the train sets is almost deafening, especially in the earlier model year equipment. The track noise is very loud and when I mentioned it to the conductor while waiting for the train to come to full stop the conductor acknowledged that the noise factor is the biggest complaint Amtrak gets, comfort-wise.

Attendants were dressed in nice, contemporary uniforms sporting the Talgo logo.

It was nice to experience the new equipment and gives me hope that positive changes are on the horizon for new equipment everywhere.
Look up Talgo Pendular trains. Its the nature of the design that requires the cars to be short. Even better here is a link http://web.talgoamerica.com/overview

Also, like the TGV the cars are pretty much semi permanently coupled together and can't be undone unless in the shop. Its one of those train its all or nothing so economics was considered when they ordered the WHOLE train on just individual cars.

I do agree with you about the noise. For me the worst noise was from the automatic doors in between cars. The air hissing noise each time it opens and close make it very difficult to try to sleep or even concentrate trying to do work on the train. Also since they are automatic, the sensors do get triggered for accidental reasons and just add to the annoyance.
 

seat38a

Engineer
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
2,025
Location
Orange County California
This North East Amtrak rider (I live in Harrisburg, PA) just got a chance to ride the Cascade Trains N & S from Portland to Seattle. Talgo equipment. Visually stunning, both the older train sets and the newer. My biggest disappointment was how small the Bistro Car and what is called the Dining Car is. Bistro car has 3 Diner-Style seats at the counter and two tiny, tiny, tiny "booth-ettes" that could seat 5 at most.

"Dining Car" also tiny, with little seating. I have no idea how Amtrak expects people to buy food and drink items and then have no where to sit and eat except back at your seat??

Also surprising was the regular coach cars. Each coach car seats 19 people with single seating on one side and double seats on the other. Beautiful, comfortable seating but I can't help wonder about the economics of such a small passenger capacity per car.

Also, the noise level inside the train sets is almost deafening, especially in the earlier model year equipment. The track noise is very loud and when I mentioned it to the conductor while waiting for the train to come to full stop the conductor acknowledged that the noise factor is the biggest complaint Amtrak gets, comfort-wise.

Attendants were dressed in nice, contemporary uniforms sporting the Talgo logo.

It was nice to experience the new equipment and gives me hope that positive changes are on the horizon for new equipment everywhere.
That is pretty much the idea. Most of the Surfliner have small seating that is usually taken up by people using their computers that everything has to be taken to your seat. On the California cars, they have a full length lounge / cafe but again, its usually full with people who are not eating food from the cafe.

On the Cascades, the dining / lounge car was actually a "DINING CAR" with waiter service / white table cloth etc. When the dining car was not profitable, they just changed it into a lounge car.

DSC00824 by B H, on Flickr

Here is a link to a picture of the dining car service back when they actually ran it as a dining car. https://flic.kr/p/7M9i9K
 
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fairviewroad

Engineer
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
3,357
Also surprising was the regular coach cars. Each coach car seats 19 people with single seating on one side and double seats on the other. Beautiful, comfortable seating but I can't help wonder about the economics of such a small passenger capacity per car.
You must have been in business class. The coach in business class is 2 and 1 seating, regular coach is 2 and 2. I ride the Cascades from Seattle to Vancouver on Sunday so I'll double check my facts.
You are both wrong. :p

Most of the coach cars are 2 and 2 seating. The coach car that is closest to the Bistro is 2 and 1 seating. I believe this is for accessibility reasons. So if the OP was seated in the coach car closest to the Bistro, then s/he would have reasonably concluded that coach seating is 2 and 1. However, there are 5 or 6 "standard" coaches behind that. So the vast majority of coach passengers ride in 2 and 2 seating.

As far as the noise, I can't say it's ever bothered me, aside from the sliding doors issue. That's one reason why I almost rather sit farther back in coach, even though it means 2 and 2 seating. The further away from the Bistro car, the less foot traffic there is.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2010
Messages
6
Well maybe I'm wrong or maybe I'm not, however, the car close to the bistro with 2 and 1 seating is business class. :)
 

fairviewroad

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Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
3,357
Well maybe I'm wrong or maybe I'm not, however, the car close to the bistro with 2 and 1 seating is business class. :)
The car closest to the Bistro with 2 and 1 seating is coach class. The car closest to the "Diner" with 2 and 1 seating is Business class. The

Diner, IME, is always on the Business Class side.

This video walk-through shows the difference. Careful, there's an obnoxious soundtrack on the video.

https://youtu.be/oG8v5qgc2Cc
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
5,359
Location
Washington State
Well maybe I'm wrong or maybe I'm not, however, the car close to the bistro with 2 and 1 seating is business class. :)
The car closest to the Bistro with 2 and 1 seating is coach class. The car closest to the "Diner" with 2 and 1 seating is Business class. The

Diner, IME, is always on the Business Class side.

This video walk-through shows the difference. Careful, there's an obnoxious soundtrack on the video.

https://youtu.be/oG8v5qgc2Cc
I've ridden the Cascades a lot and Fairviewroad is correct. That is 2+1 coach seating.
 
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