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RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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west point

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CAF has even screwed up the New Calendonia overnight trains as there is a lot of nagging problem that it does not seem to want to fix. o not know the number of cars but suspect it is around 40 cars total. That includes full sleepers, couchettes, and coaches.
 

rickycourtney

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Some of the Alaska 'ultra-dome' cars already have wheelchair lifts to enable access between the two levels of the car...
Yeah I didn’t know that until reading that FRA report on wheelchair access.

The elevators are in cars built by Colorado Railcar for the Alaska Railroad, Rocky Mountaineer and Holland America. Stadler also built a bilevel car with an elevator for Rocky Mountaineer.

The report details some of the issues with the elevators on those Stadler cars... but they’re an interesting proof of concept.
 

jis

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CAF has even screwed up the New Calendonia overnight trains as there is a lot of nagging problem that it does not seem to want to fix. o not know the number of cars but suspect it is around 40 cars total. That includes full sleepers, couchettes, and coaches.
And this after all the delays getting them up and running too. But that part about delays in getting things up and running seems to be [ar fopr the course for everything in the UK these days. :rolleyes:
 

jiml

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CAF has even screwed up the New Calendonia overnight trains as there is a lot of nagging problem that it does not seem to want to fix. o not know the number of cars but suspect it is around 40 cars total. That includes full sleepers, couchettes, and coaches.
If you mean the Caledonian Sleeper in the UK, you're correct. I don't think New Caledonia has any trains. ;)
 

Andrew

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Would it make sense for Amtrak to use a version of the new Acela cars for the next generation of Amfleet coaches? Alstom already has a lot of experience with the Northeast Corridor.
 

jis

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Would it make sense for Amtrak to use a version of the new Acela cars for the next generation of Amfleet coaches? Alstom already has a lot of experience with the Northeast Corridor.
No. Amfleet replacements are unlikely to be Jacobs truck articulated things, and those cars are much shorter than the standard 85' cars too.
 

Andrew

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No. Amfleet replacements are unlikely to be Jacobs truck articulated things, and those cars are much shorter than the standard 85' cars too.
How long are the new Acela coaches?

OK, than if you had to predict, what do you think that Amtrak will honestly do? For example, would it make sense for Amtrak to use one company, such as Siemens, for the dual powered trains, and another, such as Alstom, for the electric powered trains, including the Keystone?

Also, regarding Motive Power, do you think that Amtrak will use bi-mode trains, such as the Hitachi 800, or dual-powered locomotives, such as modified Charger?
 

Andrew

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Either Siemens gets the contract for all of the new Amfleet coaches or Siemens gets to build new Cascades trains and Alstom will build the coaches that operate on the Northeast Corridor, such as the Regional.

I'm pretty sure that the Venture coaches do not meet the platform levels of Penn Station.
 

Andrew

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I thought that Venture coaches have a platform height of 4 feet but the Amfleets in the NEC are 51 inches?
 

jis

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Standard American high level platform height is 4'. Specially given the auto deployed bridge plates which are standard equipment in the Siemens cars that 3" difference does not matter. That is well within the variation the bridge plates can handle. And for those that are not rolling a wheel chair on board of course a 3" difference and more is something they deal with at almost every NEC station even with Amfleets, since the track - platform alignment is not that precise anyway. Have'nt you ever ridden a train on the NEC?
 

Andrew

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I would hope that the auto deployed bridge plates are sturdy enough to last several decades of daily use!

I just wonder when Amtrak will announce which company they have chosen.
 

NSC1109

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I would hope that the auto deployed bridge plates are sturdy enough to last several decades of daily use!

I just wonder when Amtrak will announce which company they have chosen.
When they’re ready to. Procurement folks play their cards pretty close to the vest especially when it’s something of this scale. When Amtrak is ready to announce who they’re going with, we will know. It’s not gonna be some press release that’s going to get buried either. It’ll be all over their social media.
 

PVD

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The company/companies involved will usually post press releases also, as will any state that will see considerable economic activity resulting from the award.
 

cocojacoby

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Standard American high level platform height is 4'. Specially given the auto deployed bridge plates which are standard equipment in the Siemens cars that 3" difference does not matter. That is well within the variation the bridge plates can handle. And for those that are not rolling a wheel chair on board of course a 3" difference and more is something they deal with at almost every NEC station even with Amfleets, since the track - platform alignment is not that precise anyway. Have'nt you ever ridden a train on the NEC?
I have seen railcars that have the capability to rise and lower automatically to match platform heights. Don't know if these cars or Amfleet II have/will have that feature.
 

NSC1109

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I would hope that the auto deployed bridge plates are sturdy enough to last several decades of daily use!

I just wonder when Amtrak will announce which company they have chosen.

Charlie King at Amtrak confirms that they're keeping the lid tight, but they are working through some “technical packages” and apparently they hope to make an announcement by the end of the summer.

They also appear to confirm that WSDOT will be tacking on to the Amtrak order.
 
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sttom

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No offense, but I think that concern is a bit overblown. There is strong competition to Siemens in the global railcar market and in North America too.

I think a lot of people are pulling for them because they have a track record for delivering a good, proven product, on time and at the agreed cost.

It's the exact opposite of the CAF Viewliner debacle. For the record, if that whole project wasn't so badly botched, they would be a serious contender to build the Amfleet II/Superliner replacements.
With our buy America requirements and Siemens seeming to be the only long standing rail equipment manufacturer, it very much can become a monopoly, at least in the US. Globally it won't, but why should we make it, or any company the default choice in this country? We aren't likely to get rid of the buy American rule and setting up new manufacturing capacity is fairly difficult which is part of what hurt CAF. So if Amtrak and the states pick Siemens and only Siemens, and local governments go for Siemens LRVs, who is going to survive the dry spells in rail spending? Siemens will for sure, but who else will? That is the problem I have with only selecting Siemens is we will eventually build a local monopoly with high barriers to entry for competition.

As for botching an all single level replacement, I'm not talking about anything on the manufacturer side, I'm talking about the number of cars ordered in general. A single level replacement would require at least 50% more pieces of individual equipment which will have to be funded by Congress. And Congress is not a rational place, so explaining to them why they will need 720 new cars instead of 480 is going to go over about as well as a lead balloon. And I seriously doubt that Amtrak leadership will be able or willing to explain why they would need that many new cars and why they would need more beyond that since a single level car will have less capacity than a bilevel car and there is already an equipment shortage, a transition and Congress's willful stupidity when it comes to transportation will just make that worse.
 

sttom

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I am alluding to a 60" turning radius inside the bathroom for wheelchairs.

I agree, bi-levels are a problem until they can get the elevator figured out. How do carriers to it in Europe with bi-levels and accessibility?
Putting in chair lifts will also be an if until a proper study can be done as to whether or not it is feasible for them to be put into cars and under what circumstances would they be required, if any. As other people have pointed out, the aisles in sleeping cars are fairly narrow and part of the logic behind non discrimination laws is to increase access to previously excluded groups, but not in a way that would generally make business harder just for the sake of expanding access. Which would make the question that needs to be answered is can any sleeping car be designed in a way that preserves current room dimensions and have a wheel chair accessible aisle and fit on the railways? Answering that question will be on the people doing the study so we'll have to wait and see what is concluded.

I know on most overnight trains in Europe and even some day trains, they don't really expect passengers to move between cars unless there is a dining car on the train, which really varies between railways. So other than crew, no one really is moving between the cars on some trains since there isn't a reason to. Which means accessibility between cars is less of a concern.
 

PVD

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A very large part of of a railcar is made up of components sourced from other suppliers and assembled by the prime. There are certainly car builders in the US aside from that can fabricate shells and assemble cars, Bombardier in Plattsburgh, Alstom in Hornell (subject to marriage vows), Kawasaki in Lincoln, NE and Yonkers, although they have been a subway car builder to date, Stadler, volume ability tbd CAF, we are living through that....CRRC, Hyundai/Rotem
 

jis

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A very large part of of a railcar is made up of components sourced from other suppliers and assembled by the prime. There are certainly car builders in the US aside from that can fabricate shells and assemble cars, Bombardier in Plattsburgh, Alstom in Hornell (subject to marriage vows), Kawasaki in Lincoln, NE and Yonkers, although they have been a subway car builder to date, Stadler, volume ability tbd CAF, we are living through that....CRRC, Hyundai/Rotem
In the global reality of things, I think we can safely discount the possibility of CRRC getting another order in the US for the foreseeable future.
 
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