RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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PaTrainFan

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To replace the superliners they need to add to the viewliner 2 sleepers and diner order, order a whole bunch of Siemens cars configured with long distance seating, and some sort of lounge car.

I don’t think the European style sleepers will be well received compared to the superliners and viewliner we are used to.

Imho it would be better to start a massive refurbishment program on the superliners where the HVAC and toilets are replaced and the interiors updated. This should apply to all cars. Could get another 30 years out of the f them I bet.
I haven't a clue from a technical viewpoint whether it is feasible or cost effective, but I love the Superliners and wish it was possible to modernize them to get many more years out of service. I understand it would be a major overhaul with essentially only the shell remaining, And, they could use more cars because of attrition due to wrecks, not to mention potential growth, so refurishment doesn't solve that problem.
 

Andrew

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How likely is it for Amtrak to split the new Amfleet order between locomotive hauled trains and mu trainsets?
 

cocojacoby

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I'm sure Siemens can come with designs for North American sleeping cars. We can do better than just replicating the Viewliners again.
I really like the Viewliners. Amtrak did a great job designing these cars. The rooms are well designed especially with all the windows which create an airy open bright space. The Viewliner roomette, with beds running longitudinal, are so much better than the narrow cross-bed rooms on European trains which are comparatively claustrophobic especially with the single small window at one end.

Putting the mechanicals under the floor and opening up the ceiling was a great idea.

I don't agree that we can do much better than replicating the Viewliner. It's a great design.
 

jis

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Doesn't Amtrak own the designs? Couldn't they give them to another builder?
They could, but it will cost considerably more per car than if an established design shell was used to populate the facilities in it. No one really want to crank up yet another different shell for free.

I think money will be better spent if Amtrak says "here is the layout and facilities we want. Propose how you can provide it for the best price, quality and delivery time", and then pick one of the proposals that come back, after a due evaluation of course. Amtrak should stay away from trying to design or manufacture cars. That is not part of its remaining skill set at present. It is also not a skill set spelled out in its charter. It was one that was forced upon it when everyone else abandoned passenger equipment related development back then in the US. That is not the case anymore.

Now if Amtrak was going to order 5,000+ cars that would be a different matter. The car vendor will happily sell you entire factories and design books to do what you please. Look at the deal Indian Railways got from Alstom for the LHB cars with Fiat trucks. IR buys a steady stream of 8,000+ passenger rail cars per year, year in and year out, with order sizes growing from year to year.
 
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Mailliw

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I really like the Viewliners. Amtrak did a great job designing these cars. The rooms are well designed especially with all the windows which create an airy open bright space. The Viewliner roomette, with beds running longitudinal, are so much better than the narrow cross-bed rooms on European trains which are comparatively claustrophobic especially with the single small window at one end.

Putting the mechanicals under the floor and opening up the ceiling was a great idea.

I don't agree that we can do much better than replicating the Viewliner. It's a great design.
Don't get me wrong, the Viewliners have a good layout. I'm just thinking the design could be tweaked a little. I'm thinking along the lines of some all roomette (plus ADA bedroom) cars and all all bedroom cars. Maybe some married twin setups?
 

Andrew

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Does anyone else agree that it is more likely for Amtrak to buy diesel-catenary Charger locomotives instead of EDMU?

I do worry, though, that the dual-mode Chargers might be too slow and heavy when it comes to acceleration.

Also, does the fact that Alstom is building the new Acela Trainsets potentially make them the strongest candidate for the new Amfleet coaches?
 

Fan Railer

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Does anyone else agree that it is more likely for Amtrak to buy diesel-catenary Charger locomotives instead of EDMU?

I do worry, though, that the dual-mode Chargers might be too slow and heavy when it comes to acceleration.

Also, does the fact that Alstom is building the new Acela Trainsets potentially make them the strongest candidate for the new Amfleet coaches?
A dual mode charger is going to be no heavier than the ALP-45DP (which is only slightly heavier than the regular charger). It will likely have the same starting tractive effort as the regular charger, be capable of 4000 hp in diesel mode (higher in electric), and have similar higher speed tractive capabilities to the regular charger.

My money is still on Siemens getting the AMF1 replacement order... they literally already have a coach design that's being tested right now lined up to bid with.
 

NES28

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I like the Superliners but, realistically, there is no way to make them ADA compliant. It would also be nice have a standard long distance car. But there should be some sort of lounge that's kind of "experiential", to coin a phrase. Maybe a dome of some sort. And rather than just replacing couplers with a drawbar, save some cost and weight by sharing trucks as on SP articulated coaches and triple unit diners.
 

nferr

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Don't get me wrong, the Viewliners have a good layout. I'm just thinking the design could be tweaked a little. I'm thinking along the lines of some all roomette (plus ADA bedroom) cars and all all bedroom cars. Maybe some married twin setups?
Why? I don't see that accomplishing anything.
 

IndyLions

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Why? I don't see that accomplishing anything.
There would be some potential utility there - at the very least flexibility.

All-Bedroom cars are useful on the Auto Train, because it is a popular route and has a clientele that is looking for more bedrooms. In peak season out west, I could see where an All-Bedroom car would add significant revenue to a route. In off-season, not so much.

An All-Roomette car could be marketed to budget travelers, and provide extra capacity for the budget minded. If you are wanting to make LD trains more appealing to young people, who are already inclined to ride them for environmental reasons, that would probably be a good thing.
 

PerRock

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If Amtrak wanted to market towards the budget traveler they should bring back the slumber coach or bring over the shared room idea from Europe.

Peter
 

Ziv

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Perhaps they could switch the Capital Limited to Viewliners when Amtrak has enough cars and send the CL Superliners to be rebuilt. When they have those cars rebuilt start switching out LD Superliners one route at a time and have the cars for each route rebuilt sequentially. When they have all the non-Cap Limited routes running with rebuilt Superliners they should have an additional car or two for each of the Western routes.
I like the idea of rebuilding the Superliners better than buying new two level cars because Amtrak would find a way to mess up a new design. The main problem is, would this be possible given the ADA laws? But since it is a rebuild of an existing car it may be workable. It sucks to kick ADA compliance down the road again, but the LD routes have so many stops where a single level train would overlap the platform that it may be necessary to stick with a double level car out west.
I haven't a clue from a technical viewpoint whether it is feasible or cost effective, but I love the Superliners and wish it was possible to modernize them to get many more years out of service. I understand it would be a major overhaul with essentially only the shell remaining, And, they could use more cars because of attrition due to wrecks, not to mention potential growth, so refurishment doesn't solve that problem.
 

jiml

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Perhaps they could switch the Capital Limited to Viewliners when Amtrak has enough cars and send the CL Superliners to be rebuilt. When they have those cars rebuilt start switching out LD Superliners one route at a time and have the cars for each route rebuilt sequentially. When they have all the non-Cap Limited routes running with rebuilt Superliners they should have an additional car or two for each of the Western routes.
I like the idea of rebuilding the Superliners better than buying new two level cars because Amtrak would find a way to mess up a new design. The main problem is, would this be possible given the ADA laws? But since it is a rebuild of an existing car it may be workable. It sucks to kick ADA compliance down the road again, but the LD routes have so many stops where a single level train would overlap the platform that it may be necessary to stick with a double level car out west.
I've always thought rebuilding the Superliners was the smart plan. Sure, it's nice to dream about shiny new equipment, but the cars themselves are a solid design and other railroads (tourist, VIA, Australian) have been rebuilding similar cars for years for LD service. It has to be cheaper and faster too.
 
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Steve4031

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If they fix the issues with air conditioning, heating and toilets during the rebuilding process that would be great.
 

me_little_me

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If they fix the issues with air conditioning, heating and toilets during the rebuilding process that would be great.
And the doors that won't stay closed when you are out of the room.

And the windows that badly need replacement so they are clearer (beyond cleaning).

And the public address system so you can hear it in rooms

And add more outlets

And, for once on Amtrak, put in electronic system so doors can be locked when not in the room

And add a digital messaging system for hard of hearing in the hallway in sleepers and above aisles in coach so station announcements and P.A. announcements can be read, if not heard.
 

sttom

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I know people keep saying we can't have new Superliners because of ADA laws, but what with respects to ADA laws, what has significantly changed enough since the California Cars were built that would categorically mean non single level equipment would be illegal to operate? NJ Transit, MARC, Metra, SEPTA, CalTrain and probably more than I can remember have bought non single level equipment recently. I know the Feds are considering changing the laws which might make designing a third generation of Superliners harder to build, but as far as I have heard, nothing has come of it yet. And since this is a "yet", any changes are still up in the air as to if they will even be put in place.
 

Mailliw

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If Amtrak wanted to market towards the budget traveler they should bring back the slumber coach or bring over the shared room idea from Europe.

Peter
I would love to see a modern Slumbercoach design. Personally I'd be fine with sections or couchettes, but I admit they may not be popular generally. It seems like a roomette is the best compromise.
 
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IndyLions

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I know people keep saying we can't have new Superliners because of ADA laws, but what with respects to ADA laws, what has significantly changed enough since the California Cars were built that would categorically mean non single level equipment would be illegal to operate? NJ Transit, MARC, Metra, SEPTA, CalTrain and probably more than I can remember have bought non single level equipment recently. I know the Feds are considering changing the laws which might make designing a third generation of Superliners harder to build, but as far as I have heard, nothing has come of it yet. And since this is a "yet", any changes are still up in the air as to if they will even be put in place.
In my post, I was referring more towards the goal of cramming as many roomettes as possible in a sleeper for economy purposes. If every sleeper has to have an ADA compliant restroom and bedroom, that means less roomettes.

Again, I am all for ADA compliance, but common sense would say that most cars, with a few exceptions, should have ADA compliant rooms and restrooms. There should be ample H rooms available on every train at economy prices for those in need, but not necessarily on every car.
 

jis

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Again, I am all for ADA compliance, but common sense would say that most cars, with a few exceptions, should have ADA compliant rooms and restrooms. There should be ample H rooms available on every train at economy prices for those in need, but not necessarily on every car.
Unfortunately the FRA crafted regs for ADA compliance is not particularly high on common sense. It does require an ADA compliant room in every car. Of course I have at time pondered what they mean by a "car". If there are three carriages articulated together with full width vestibules using Jacobs Trucks to articulate them, are they one car or three cars?

If one wanted to create a Sleeper version of the Acela II say with a Charger at each end, would they insist that each 65' car have an ADA compartment? What if indivual car lengths were 40'?
 

Mailliw

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I think it would be pretty easy to have Superliners with a high density all-roomette layout on the upper level with say two ADA bedrooms on the lower level plus standard toilets, showers, luggage rack, and even an attendant compartment.
 

cocojacoby

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It maybe possible to have two larger full-width rooms at each end of the lower level that could be used for either ADA or family use if the rooms were designed with such flexibility. However while the ADA rooms in the Viewliner Is had a private enclosed toilet, the new design in the Viewliner II has the toilet exposed in the middle of the room totally negating its use as anything other than an ADA room.

Don't know the reason Amtrak changed the design, but if they do that in the Superliner then they will miss an opportunity to offer more variety in the types of accommodation available.
 
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