Silver Meteor—Why 3 engines and an extra baggage car?

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Oreius

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I am on 97 now. Just watched them swap locomotives. There are 3 engines and they added another baggage car to the front. It does not appear to be used, since the luggage cart went to the one on the end. I take it Amtrak is shuttling equipment to Miami? I know the Meteor normally has two diesels, but the train is only about 25% full—at least to Kissimmee.
 

pennyk

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The extra baggage car is apparently deadheading. I have often seen 3 engines on the Silvers. I hope you enjoy your stay in Florida.
 

Cal

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I would assume it is being moved to Miami, yes.

The engine could also be in the process of being moved to Miami. Those are my guesses.
 

Oreius

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The consist is 6 coaches, Lounge, Diner (for the sleepers), 3 sleepers and a baggage car—in addition to the one added at DC.
 

Oreius

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We putted around Richmond for over 1/2 hour. They might have dropped that extra engine and/or baggage. We lost power for about 15 minutes, than reversed for a bit. Then they cut power again. Would be my guess..
 

Oreius

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At this point—1:45 AM—we’re running an hour behind.
 

Palmetto

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Amtrak has become quite incapable of adding or dropping equipment efficiently en route. That's why I am not hopeful they'll bite at some of the suggestions to split trains on new routes that are being offered on the forum here.
 

Oreius

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Approaching Jessup, GA. Running an hour and 1/2 late. Lots of putsying; took FOREVER to get through SC. Also we putsyed around between DC and Richmond.
 

RebelRider

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I'm a little late to the party here, but can confirm the lead engine was dropped off at RVR. The extra baggage car was deadheading to Miami for warranty work.
 

RebelRider

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Amtrak has become quite incapable of adding or dropping equipment efficiently en route. That's why I am not hopeful they'll bite at some of the suggestions to split trains on new routes that are being offered on the forum here.
If equipment was regularly handled enroute, we would become much more efficient. The majority of the road crews don't regularly switch equipment. They're going to be slower and take time to ensure the work is being performed safely and correctly. You wouldn't want someone rushing along to rip the HEP cables out. Power would be out for a quite a bit longer than 15 minutes. 😁

There could also be delays outside Amtrak's control affecting the switch, again because it isn't something normally expected. In RVR, the CSX dispatcher must be involved with the moves and sometimes they're busy with another part of their territory and take a few minutes to answer the radio.
 

F900ElCapitan

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The Silver that went through Savannah on Thursday morning also had 3 engines.
 

jiml

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Viewed on the railcams at Ashland and Plant City, several of the Silver trains have had "swollen" consists lately - likely owing to the less-frequent schedule. Four sleepers, two baggage cars and an extra coach have been fairly common, as has three locomotives. The best catches have been a Dash 8-32 on several occasions and a few of the 800-series usually seen on the Auto Train.
 

Cal

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Viewed on the railcams at Ashland and Plant City, several of the Silver trains have had "swollen" consists lately - likely owing to the less-frequent schedule. Four sleepers, two baggage cars and an extra coach have been fairly common, as has three locomotives. The best catches have been a Dash 8-32 on several occasions and a few of the 800-series usually seen on the Auto Train.
Why?
 

jiml

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Are the "swollen" consists there because there is more people riding due to the less frequencies?

Or is there another reason
That was my opinion, but it seems logical. Most days both Silver trains have had 3 sleepers recently and occasionally 4 (normally 3 on Meteor and 2 on Star), plus an occasional extra coach or baggage car. There have been a couple of private car moves too. Three locomotives seems prudent under the circumstances, with the bonus of a few less-frequently seen.

When one sleeper or coach is isolated in the consist it could be a maintenance move.
 

IndyLions

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Are the "swollen" consists there because there is more people riding due to the less frequencies?

Or is there another reason
Maybe Amtrak is actually paying attention to bookings and adding capacity because of demand.

But this is Amtrak - surely there’s a more logical explanation than that. :)
 
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Oreius

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I figured the 6 coaches (as opposed to the usual 4) was because of social distancing. Amfleet 2s can only seat 59 fully loaded. Therefore, unless families are traveling, a coach can only seat about 30 theoretically. The Meteor always has at least 3 sleepers as far as I know.
 

Oreius

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It seemed like everybody and their brother got off at Orlando—those on the train. Just myself and a few people got off at Kissimmee, which is closer to WDW. We ended up being almost 2 hours late.
 

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Cal

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I figured the 6 coaches (as opposed to the usual 4) was because of social distancing. Amfleet 2s can only seat 59 fully loaded. Therefore, unless families are traveling, a coach can only seat about 30 theoretically. The Meteor always has at least 3 sleepers as far as I know.
Hmmm could be.

Honestly with Amtrak, it could be anything.
 

Oreius

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In late September, I’ll be on the Meteor once again going to Kissimmee. Will I be in a Viewliner 2 by then? One was on my train just now, and it looked very nice.
 

Cal

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In late September, I’ll be on the Meteor once again going to Kissimmee. Will I be in a Viewliner 2 by then? One was on my train just now, and it looked very nice.
If you are in the highest number sleeper (xx12 or xx13), you should be in one. As they are commonly in that place currently.

Maybe more of them will have Viewliner II's by September.
 
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