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RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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tricia

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I haven't studied them to have a meaningful opinion. My consideration's would be which one could deliver the best product in the shortest time, at the least cost. Not asking for much, eh?😃
Basic rule of supply management:
You can get it fastest, cheapest, or highest quality, but almost never all three at once. Gotta set priorities.
 

Andrew

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I would choose Siemens since they already have an FRA approved passenger coach in production and are delivering the CA/Midwest cars on time without major issues.
Or what about Amtrak choosing a version of the new Avelia coaches?
 

mainemanman

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Or what about Amtrak choosing a version of the new Avelia coaches?
Those cars are married together in a set. Due to this, there would be a limiting factor for what you could order. It would be a waste to order, say, a full 8-car set for the Pere Marquette just because they're in a joined set. You'd have to split the order in two, one for high-use routes, and one for medium-use routes. I feel like this would be harder for them to do than to just order single coaches that can couple together in a consist based on demand of the route.
 

MARC Rider

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OK and if it was up to you, would you have Amtrak choose Alstom, Siemens or Stadler for the new Amfleet coaches, and why?
If I didn't have to do the formalized government style procurement process where the sore losers can sue in court and possibly win, and assuming the price difference between the vendors wasn't ridiculously great, I'd probably go with the Siemens as a sole-source, as they're already making them for the Midwest corridors (in fact, they've delivered some, I think). They have the assembly line up and running, the design is already FRA approved, it would allow consistency in the fleet, so in a pinch they could swap cars between the northeast and the midwest. (NOTE: I have absolutely NO financial interest in Siemens, or Alstom or Stadler, for that matter.)
 

Anthony V

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If I didn't have to do the formalized government style procurement process where the sore losers can sue in court and possibly win, and assuming the price difference between the vendors wasn't ridiculously great, I'd probably go with the Siemens as a sole-source, as they're already making them for the Midwest corridors (in fact, they've delivered some, I think). They have the assembly line up and running, the design is already FRA approved, it would allow consistency in the fleet, so in a pinch they could swap cars between the northeast and the midwest. (NOTE: I have absolutely NO financial interest in Siemens, or Alstom or Stadler, for that matter.)
The Siemens Venture rolling stock currently in production will be owned by the states that operate the routes they will be used on, so you will never see them transferred to other parts of the country, like the Northeast. In fact, the rolling stock that the RFP mentioned in the title of this tread was issued for would be used to replace the rolling stock on northeastern trains and presumably single-level long distance trains, as well as the Cascades trains that have moved away from Talgo's due to their safety flaws.
 

jis

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The Siemens Venture rolling stock currently in production will be owned by the states that operate the routes they will be used on, so you will never see them transferred to other parts of the country, like the Northeast. In fact, the rolling stock that the RFP mentioned in the title of this tread was issued for would be used to replace the rolling stock on northeastern trains and presumably single-level long distance trains, as well as the Cascades trains that have moved away from Talgo's due to their safety flaws.
Actually, the equipment for Cascades will be purchased by some combination of Washington and Oregon and it will be an add on order to the base Amtrak order for Amfleet I replacement. I presume that Amfleet II replacement will also use the options on the base order sometime in the future. The 2019 Appropriation has $100 million to get the ball rolling on the Amfleet I replacement order.

It is not known at present whether there will be commonality in internal furnishing with the Midwest or the California cars or consist configurations in any way,
 

Palmetto

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Just wondering: would there be any difference between the current Venture cars that are arriving in Chicago presently, versus a long distance version of same? One thought that comes to mind would be wider spacing between seats, and leg rests. And a more comfortable seat, if one exists.
 

Mailliw

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Well, other than lower density seating the only differences I see are lack of a 2nd vestibule and hopefully a 2nd restroom. Maybe do something really different and have all LD coaches set up like business class with a 2:1 arrangement?
 

sttom

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Just wondering: would there be any difference between the current Venture cars that are arriving in Chicago presently, versus a long distance version of same? One thought that comes to mind would be wider spacing between seats, and leg rests. And a more comfortable seat, if one exists.
Siemens designs its equipment to be shells that the buyer can customize them in whatever way they want, within reason. The structure of the car doesn't change just because the interior arrangement does. What would be different would be if Amtrak wanted more single level sleepers or a Superliner replacement.
 

rickycourtney

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Siemens designs its equipment to be shells that the buyer can customize them in whatever way they want, within reason. The structure of the car doesn't change just because the interior arrangement does. What would be different would be if Amtrak wanted more single level sleepers or a Superliner replacement.
This.

Seats are usually purchased from a subcontractor, in other words, Siemens doesn't even make the seats. So for long-distance services... Amtrak could probably get anything they want. That said -- this contract is for an Amfleet I replacement -- which are used on the short-haul corridors like the NEC, so I would imagine they'd want seats pretty similar to what the states have purchased.
 

Mailliw

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Yeah, Siemens wouldn't necessarily need to make any alterations for a long distance coach unless Amtrak wanted to change the window set-up or add additional plumbing like they would for a sleeper. BTW here's what the Russians are doing for their next generation of 3rd class/platzkart cars (also built by Siemens). I know it's too radical for the US, but I still thought it was cool. Not as nice as a sleeper, but sure looks better than a seated coach overnight.
 

Steve4031

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Those bunks would be miserable to sit up in during the day. Plus the set up makes it difficult to look out the window.
 

Willbridge

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Those bunks would be miserable to sit up in during the day. Plus the set up makes it difficult to look out the window.
Birch trees... then more birch trees. Really, there's more to see but for most of the passengers the show is inside the train.
 

Ziv

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Leave it to the Russians to have a model in a miniskirt climb into the upper berth. That looks so Mad Men... LOL! Cool idea for travel, probably wouldn't work in the US but it is still interesting. I still prefer the 4 person couchette, but it would cost more too. This is more 3rd Class sleeper vs. couchette is 2nd Class, good have options. I hope that slide open hatch from one bunk compartment to the another compartment is lockable. ;-) Great for families, not so great for single women travelers.
Yeah, Siemens wouldn't necessarily need to make any alterations for a long distance coach unless Amtrak wanted to change the window set-up or add additional plumbing like they would for a sleeper. BTW here's what the Russians are doing for their next generation of 3rd class/platzkart cars (also built by Siemens). I know it's too radical for the US, but I still thought it was cool. Not as nice as a sleeper, but sure looks better than a seated coach overnight.
 

jis

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BTW here's what the Russians are doing for their next generation of 3rd class/platzkart cars (also built by Siemens). I know it's too radical for the US, but I still thought it was cool. Not as nice as a sleeper, but sure looks better than a seated coach overnight.
That looks exactly like what is called "2 Tier Sleeper" in India. In addition to that, for those that want to spend even less, there is a 3 Tier Sleeper, which is the most popular form of sleeping accommodation in India. In the fully AC trains there is a ratio of something like 1 AC First Class (compartments) to 5 2 Tier Sleeper to 12 3 Tier Sleeper, or something like that.
 

Andrew

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Actually, the equipment for Cascades will be purchased by some combination of Washington and Oregon and it will be an add on order to the base Amtrak order for Amfleet I replacement. I presume that Amfleet II replacement will also use the options on the base order sometime in the future. The 2019 Appropriation has $100 million to get the ball rolling on the Amfleet I replacement order.

It is not known at present whether there will be commonality in internal furnishing with the Midwest or the California cars or consist configurations in any way,
I wonder if Amtrak would order Venture coaches for the Cascades, and possibly ask Alstom or Kawasaki to build the new Amfleets for the NEC, since both companies have factories on the East Coast.
 

Trogdor

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I wonder if Amtrak would order Venture coaches for the Cascades, and possibly ask Alstom or Kawasaki to build the new Amfleets for the NEC, since both companies have factories on the East Coast.
Amtrak won't order anything for the Cascades. Washington State will, and they will just tag on to the order for whatever Amtrak gets. Therefore, there is essentially 0% chance such a scenario comes to pass.
 
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jis

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I wonder if Amtrak would order Venture coaches for the Cascades, and possibly ask Alstom or Kawasaki to build the new Amfleets for the NEC, since both companies have factories on the East Coast.
None can stop anyone from wondering stranger and stranger scenarios, but based on what we know at present, this won't happen. Cascade order placed by state of Washington and/or Oregon will be a tag on order to Amtrak's Amfleet replacement order (they have pretty much said so already) and hence will be from the same vendor. Neither Washington nor Oregon DOT have any stomach for any further equipment misadventures on their own.

I suspect that now that North Carolina has decided to discontinue using heritage equipment going forward, they will also do a tag on order to Amtrak's for the Piedmont service.
 

west point

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I have real heart burn over this replacement scheme. The Amfleet-2s have much more mileage and time on them than the -1s. Even though -2s are ~ 10 years younger. That Number is because -2s operate overnight unlike most -1s. That number is further broadened due to the ~ 65 -1s that were out of service until the repairs initiated during the early Obama Presidency.
This appears to be more Amtrak maneuvering to sink the LD routes. East coast LD routes cannot expand consists due to lack of equipment.
 

MikefromCrete

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I have real heart burn over this replacement scheme. The Amfleet-2s have much more mileage and time on them than the -1s. Even though -2s are ~ 10 years younger. That Number is because -2s operate overnight unlike most -1s. That number is further broadened due to the ~ 65 -1s that were out of service until the repairs initiated during the early Obama Presidency.
This appears to be more Amtrak maneuvering to sink the LD routes. East coast LD routes cannot expand consists due to lack of equipment.
Calm down, you shouldn't get physically sick over some Amtrak equipment decision.
 

Andrew

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None can stop anyone from wondering stranger and stranger scenarios, but based on what we know at present, this won't happen. Cascade order placed by state of Washington and/or Oregon will be a tag on order to Amtrak's Amfleet replacement order (they have pretty much said so already) and hence will be from the same vendor. Neither Washington nor Oregon DOT have any stomach for any further equipment misadventures on their own.

I suspect that now that North Carolina has decided to discontinue using heritage equipment going forward, they will also do a tag on order to Amtrak's for the Piedmont service.
In my opinion, the top 3 companies bidding on the Amfleet replacement contract are Siemens, Alstom and Stadler. Below, I'll mention potential political ramifications of picking Alstom or Stadler in alphabetical order.

Alstom has their factory in Upstate NY. (Cuomo is NY's governor, and Amtrak picking Alstom would encourage Cuomo to maintain support for the Gateway Project).

Stadler has their factory in Utah, which is a red state; Amtrak picking Stadler for the new Amfleets will help ensure federal funding for Amtrak from conservatives, when we know that Republicans want reduced federal spending.

Also, regarding Amtrak operating trains into non-electrified territory, would it make more sense for Amtrak to purchase dual-powered locomotives or dual-powered trainsets such as the Stadler Flirt?
 

Willbridge

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Leave it to the Russians to have a model in a miniskirt climb into the upper berth. That looks so Mad Men... LOL! Cool idea for travel, probably wouldn't work in the US but it is still interesting. I still prefer the 4 person couchette, but it would cost more too. This is more 3rd Class sleeper vs. couchette is 2nd Class, good have options. I hope that slide open hatch from one bunk compartment to the another compartment is lockable. ;-) Great for families, not so great for single women travelers.
The standard Russian equivalent of a four-person couchette is a "coupe" and that worked fine for a three-night trip. On one night I was alone in the compartment and on one night there were three other passengers. I had talked with several experienced Russian train travelers and their suggestion was that a single traveler was best off in a coupe. In a 1st Class room you might not like the other passenger and be stuck with them. In the open section berth sleepers there might be a party going on all night on some runs -- great if you're under 30. Or just the usual disturbances of people coming and going. In the coupe compartment I was only listening to one person at a time, so it made conversation in Russian easier.

This may not apply on the privatized luxury trains or more recent travel.

Photo gives an idea of the space in a coupe for eating wayside-purchased smoked fish and beer. They don't have the equivalent of a leg-rest reclining seat coach so it is difficult to picture their style of spaces in the North American market.

2010 Russia 269k eating in compartment.jpg
 

Ziv

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That photo brings back memories of the Trans-Sib. We ate smoked Omul whitefish, Rossisky cheese and #7 Baltika beer. It is a good thing the windows open for fresh air...

The standard Russian equivalent of a four-person couchette is a "coupe" and that worked fine for a three-night trip. On one night I was alone in the compartment and on one night there were three other passengers. ...

Photo gives an idea of the space in a coupe for eating wayside-purchased smoked fish and beer. They don't have the equivalent of a leg-rest reclining seat coach so it is difficult to picture their style of spaces in the North American market.

View attachment 20231
 

Mailliw

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Siemens is probably going to need to open a second production facility if they get the order, if I were them I'd pick a deep red state.
 
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