Quantcast

RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Andrew

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
471
Amtrak wants 500 coaches...I find it hard to believe that one company could quickly scale that up.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,969
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
The Budd Company cranked out 642 Amfleet I and II's....in a relatively short time, in addition to some SPV's at the same time...
They were also delivered over four or five years. The production rate was somewhere in the vicinity of 100-150 or so per year as I seem to recall. That is something that any reputable car manufacturer should be able to ramp up to.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,969
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Unless their name is Bombardier. ;)
Then again, Bombardier did manage to deliver the Superliner IIs on a not too shabby schedule. And of course soon there will be no Bombardier any more. It will all be Alstom.

But of course an order for 500 cars is somewhat larger than both the Supeliner I order of 284 cars delivered over a tad over 6 years (1975-81) by Pullman) and Superliner II, 195 cars delivered in a tad over 5 years. (1991-96) by Bombardier.

Incidentally, the Amfleet Is from Budd were ordered in multiple tranches:

Tranche 1 57 cars Oct 1973
Tranche 2 200 cars Jun 1974
Tranche 3 35 cars Oct 1974
Tranche 4 200 cars Apr 1975

The cars from the 1973 order did not show up until second half of 1975.

A total of 350 had been delivered by the end of 1976, and the entire order was completed by mid 1977. So overall the 492 cars were delivered in a little under 5 years order to delivery.

The Amfleet II order was a single tranche of 150 delivered by Budd between March 1980 (order date) and June 1983.

It is almost certain that an Alstom or a Siemens would be quite capable of delivering 500 cars over 5 years, similar to what Budd did for Amfleet I.
 

toddinde

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
139
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
Great summaries here of the time taken on other Amtrak car orders. I was going to just say that the Amfleet I and II orders were years apart.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jis

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,969
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Great summaries here of the time taken on other Amtrak car orders. I was going to just say that the Amfleet I and II orders were years apart.
A little under three years (Aug 77 to Mar 80) apart, between the delivery of the last Amfleet I car and the placement of the Amfleet II order.
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,222
Hopefully Siemens can make the order delivery schedule. A problem I see is Siemens has other orders as well. They might have to sub parts out ? Maybe certain interiors ? or just shells ?
 

PVD

Conductor
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,896
Location
NYC/Queens
It depends on who might roll the dice and take a chance. Kawasaki probably already has the capability, Hitachi (Breda) will be building a factory to handle the WMATA order, they might want to be involved. Everything we post is just speculation, in many cases fueled by what we like, or are familiar with. There are companies with broad experience in the market, even if not in the US, where new build passenger rail cars, other than for commuter services, have been relatively scarce.
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,738
Location
Toronto area
It depends on who might roll the dice and take a chance. Kawasaki probably already has the capability, Hitachi (Breda) will be building a factory to handle the WMATA order, they might want to be involved. Everything we post is just speculation, in many cases fueled by what we like, or are familiar with. There are companies with broad experience in the market, even if not in the US, where new build passenger rail cars, other than for commuter services, have been relatively scarce.
Hitachi has supplied several designs of LD D/EMU trains to British railroads of late, to widely mixed reviews. Most of the complaints have related to things like seat comfort, etc., rather than reliability however - something that could be easily fixed in an Amtrak order. They've been reported as a possible replacement for the Nippon Sharyo DMU's currently used on Toronto's airport express train, since it is likely the first rail line in Southern Ontario to add electrification and they switch seamlessly between modes. I hadn't seen them mentioned as an Amtrak possibility until @PVD above, but on further thought they might be a good fit in the Empire corridor because of the "off the shelf" dual-mode capability. The British models currently run in Scotland and Northern England, which do see their share of cold weather and snow.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,273
Location
Palm Beach County
Still would like to see an American rail car manufacturer get into the business...there are a few freight car manufacturer's such as Trinity and Greenbrier...
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,738
Location
Toronto area
Still would like to see an American rail car manufacturer get into the business...there are a few freight car manufacturer's such as Trinity and Greenbrier...
What happened to US Railcar - the successor to Colorado Railcar?
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,969
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Hitachi has supplied several designs of LD D/EMU trains to British railroads of late, to widely mixed reviews. Most of the complaints have related to things like seat comfort, etc., rather than reliability however - something that could be easily fixed in an Amtrak order. They've been reported as a possible replacement for the Nippon Sharyo DMU's currently used on Toronto's airport express train, since it is likely the first rail line in Southern Ontario to add electrification and they switch seamlessly between modes. I hadn't seen them mentioned as an Amtrak possibility until @PVD above, but on further thought they might be a good fit in the Empire corridor because of the "off the shelf" dual-mode capability. The British models currently run in Scotland and Northern England, which do see their share of cold weather and snow.
The Hitachi Class 8xx's in the UK have shall we say, significantly less than stellar reliability indices so far, though they vary quite a lot from TOC to TOC, according to a detailed article in a recent issue of Modern Railways. Hitachi is also getting considerable amount of IPR and facilities in Europe from Alstom/Bombardier as a result of the reshuffle enforced by the EC before allowing the Alstom takeover of Bombardier Transportation. So it is hard to speculate how things will turn out for mainline equipment from Hitachi.

As mentioned before, the WMATA order can be viewed more or less as a continuation of WMATA's relationship with Breda which was absorbed by Hitachi in Europe.

Wouldn't be a big stretch to modify those double-deckers.
Have they fixed the issue about their cars not being Stainless Steel? Corten is so passe'. :) It would have been helpful if they had a reasonable reliability track record about anything, which they don't.
 
Last edited:

sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
545
Well being as charitable to the manufacturers I know about.

Siemens: It has a flexible product line and a willingness to customize its offerings to what the customer wants. It also already has a production base in the US and a good reputation among the agencies that have bought their equipment over the years. The one downside is they might be overwhelmed from recent orders.

Stadler: It has an equally as flexible product line as Siemens for the most part and is willing to customize its offerings to what the customer wants. It is building a fairly good reputation in the US. I would also worry about whether or not it could scale to such a large order as well.

Alstom: It has some designs for individual cars, but its strategy seems to be to go entirely in the EMU direction. Which would be fine on the NEC, but there would be the question of equipment to be used outside the NEC. Would they want to make individual cars or not? Would they want to make a DMU or not? That is a question for their management.

Hitachi: They have usable solutions in other parts of the world. My question is do they want to expand beyond Breda's footprint or not?

Kawasaki: I don't know much about them other than they have made equipment for New York's MTA.

CRRC: I doubt Congress would go along with letting a state owned industry from China get a contract from Amtrak. Which is likely since it takes 60 votes to pass anything out of the Senate.

CAF: They're building cars for Amtrak, so they can totally do it. And their record is stellar! Or to paraphrase a podcast I listen to that mentioned the replacement of the cars for the Highlander "They replaced the knackered cars from the 70s with the ones that break."

Talgo: ?

Then there is what do the states want? I know Washington wants to replace the Talgo 6s with whatever comes out of the Amfleet replacements, should they be satisfactory to them. New York doesn't want multiple units or semi permanently coupled cars last I heard. Assuming these to be true, would also complicate things.

So there are a lot of moving parts to getting proposals for a replacement that Amtrak and potential suppliers have to handle. Business isn't as simple as "we build rail stuff, we can totally do anything you want!". Businesses have their own strategies and so does Amtrak and its state partners. Which adds complications and frankly more than I have mentioned here. Replacing the Amfleet cars is going to be more than just the ones used on the NEC, and off the NEC is state territory and they have their own wants to deal with beyond what Amtrak may or may not want to do.
 

sttom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
545
An Addendum to the mess I typed above:

You also have to deal with consumer tastes along with all the other stuff I wrote about above. Amtrak not only needs to take the tastes of the states into consideration, but also what the consumers are willing to put up with. Just because some train fans would love to see a FLIRT running down the NEC doesn't mean that your average consumer is willing to accept one. The soft product of a multiple unit like a FLIRT is different from OBB's RailJet train sets, at least from my experience riding some of them in Europe. Which is something Amtrak would need to work on with who ever they pick for the contract. I remember the newer European trains tended to have less comfortable seats than the older seats on the California Cars. And from what I've seen at least one person comment on about the Talgo 8s is that the Business Class seats are not as comfortable as seats on the Superliners. Which was disappointed the person making the video. Which some people might find surprising that European trains aren't always designed with creature comforts in mind. For example, the refurbished First Class cars in Poland had a seat that was at least as comfortable as older Amtrak California seats, where as the Second Class seat was more or less a city bus seat. I just hope that Amtrak doesn't go too off the shelf when it comes to replacement equipment, since having a comfortable seat is one of Amtrak's main selling points. And getting a different seat isn't the hardest thing in the world, I would be annoyed if they skimped on that just to save a few bucks since it could hurt them in the long run.
 

Andrew

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
471
Well being as charitable to the manufacturers I know about.

Siemens: It has a flexible product line and a willingness to customize its offerings to what the customer wants. It also already has a production base in the US and a good reputation among the agencies that have bought their equipment over the years. The one downside is they might be overwhelmed from recent orders.

Stadler: It has an equally as flexible product line as Siemens for the most part and is willing to customize its offerings to what the customer wants. It is building a fairly good reputation in the US. I would also worry about whether or not it could scale to such a large order as well.

Alstom: It has some designs for individual cars, but its strategy seems to be to go entirely in the EMU direction. Which would be fine on the NEC, but there would be the question of equipment to be used outside the NEC. Would they want to make individual cars or not? Would they want to make a DMU or not? That is a question for their management.

Hitachi: They have usable solutions in other parts of the world. My question is do they want to expand beyond Breda's footprint or not?

Kawasaki: I don't know much about them other than they have made equipment for New York's MTA.

CRRC: I doubt Congress would go along with letting a state owned industry from China get a contract from Amtrak. Which is likely since it takes 60 votes to pass anything out of the Senate.

CAF: They're building cars for Amtrak, so they can totally do it. And their record is stellar! Or to paraphrase a podcast I listen to that mentioned the replacement of the cars for the Highlander "They replaced the knackered cars from the 70s with the ones that break."

Talgo: ?

Then there is what do the states want? I know Washington wants to replace the Talgo 6s with whatever comes out of the Amfleet replacements, should they be satisfactory to them. New York doesn't want multiple units or semi permanently coupled cars last I heard. Assuming these to be true, would also complicate things.

So there are a lot of moving parts to getting proposals for a replacement that Amtrak and potential suppliers have to handle. Business isn't as simple as "we build rail stuff, we can totally do anything you want!". Businesses have their own strategies and so does Amtrak and its state partners. Which adds complications and frankly more than I have mentioned here. Replacing the Amfleet cars is going to be more than just the ones used on the NEC, and off the NEC is state territory and they have their own wants to deal with beyond what Amtrak may or may not want to do.
How do you know what New York wants?

And who is keeping Siemens so busy that they may find it difficult to build new coaches for Amtrak?

I'm thinking that perhaps Amtrak could ask Alstom to build new Amfleets that closely resemble their Avelias...
 
Top