Quantcast

Sumitomo/Siemens Contract for 137 Cars (former bi-levels)

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

NSC1109

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
333
Location
MI
...
The introduction of seven Siemens single level trainsets for San Joaquin service enables the re-deployment of some single level and bi-level equipment currently used on the route. Additional single-level corridor coaches will also likely remain available for re-deployment even after equipping the nationwide service expansions outlined above. We anticipate collaboration with our state partners in California over the next year to determine how available equipment can best be re-deployed to accommodate planned growth over the next decade, including the following proposed initiatives from the state’s 2018 Rail Plan:​
  • Proposed Coast Daylight service (San Francisco–Los Angeles–San Diego)
  • Proposed Los Angeles–Coachella Valley service
  • Capitol Corridor service improvements (Roseville, Salinas, and core frequency increases)
  • San Joaquins improvements (Natomas, added frequencies, integration with HighSpeed project)
  • Pacific Surfliner service improvements (more frequent service corridor-wide)
Coast Daylight would be HUGE, particularly between LA-SF. More than likely it'll terminate in Oakland, not SF proper, but it would be nice for Amtrak to be able to send their trains to CalTran Station instead of Oakland.
 

sttom

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
497
  • Proposed Coast Daylight service (San Francisco–Los Angeles–San Diego)
  • Proposed Los Angeles–Coachella Valley service
  • Capitol Corridor service improvements (Roseville, Salinas, and core frequency increases)
  • San Joaquins improvements (Natomas, added frequencies, integration with HighSpeed project)
  • Pacific Surfliner service improvements (more frequent service corridor-wide)
Any expansion beyond the existing corridors is going to be dead on arrival since the state of California doesn't really care about public transit in general. I doubt the service to Salinas would even be on the table if the local transit agency didn't lobby for service. Since California has embraced its "local control" mentality for intercity rail, it would have to do something to start new routes, which state level politicians are loathed to do. Speaking from experience from the Lobby Days I've gone to, legislators don't like doing doing things they would be on the hook for since all of them have political ambitions and having something that might not be looked at fondly on their resume will hurt their chances for advancement.
 

NSC1109

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
333
Location
MI
Wjhat is this proposed coast daylight schedule compared to the present coast starlight ?
It’s a daylight corridor service between LAX and SFO, maybe down to San Diego. No schedule exists as far as I know outside of the old SP schedule.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,147
Location
South Florida
The last SP schedule....

Since the Coast Starlight already runs close to that time slot, and its schedule is convenient for connections at each end, perhaps it would be more beneficial to run a second train from Los Angeles to San Francisco on an overnight schedule....
 

Crowbar_k

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
16
Since the Coast Starlight already runs close to that time slot, and its schedule is convenient for connections at each end, perhaps it would be more beneficial to run a second train from Los Angeles to San Francisco on an overnight schedule....
Maybe they could experiment with something like an all sleeper car train (similar to night trains in Europe) where it leaves LA/SF in the evening and arrives at the other end in the morning making no stops in between. If you get to sleep the whole time, almost no time is wasted. You get to just be in your destination by morning. They can run this until the high speed train opens. I believe there is a bus service that does something similar. This idea will probably never happen though.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ziv

rickycourtney

Conductor
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
1,788
Location
Fresno, CA
Back to the primary topic...
A 4-car Amtrak Midwest test trainset was spotted heading west to Chicago. If you’re a member of the Amtrak Fans Facebook group... there’s a video of the move. The livery looks great.

Here in Central California... the San Joaquins test trainset got to stretch its legs... doing a run from Oakland to Fresno and back to Stockton’s ACE yard. It stopped at stations to check clearances of the mechanical steps.
 

Crowbar_k

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
16

This video contains a picture of the Midwest train cars around the 30 minute mark. So far, that's the only picture I could find. I love the livery. it reminds of Deutsche Bahn or Eurostar.
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,517
Location
Toronto area
Since the Coast Starlight already runs close to that time slot, and its schedule is convenient for connections at each end, perhaps it would be more beneficial to run a second train from Los Angeles to San Francisco on an overnight schedule....
Not a bad idea, although the timekeeping of the southbound Star-late would have to improve to be ideal.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,147
Location
South Florida

rickycourtney

Conductor
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
1,788
Location
Fresno, CA
Keep in mind... these timetables are a very early proposal to show that a Coast Daylight *could* work.

It’s California... before this could happen we’d have to do several more studies that can be ignored by politicians who pick a plan they like.
 

NSC1109

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
333
Location
MI
I think it's too close to the Coast Starlight schedule....it would probably take a good portion of rider's from it...
That could be a 'good thing' however, when travel is heavy, allowing more space for thru traveler's....
Might not be a bad thing. If the Daylight ran close to the Starlight, the Starlight could make less station stops and remove a significant amount of time from the schedule.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,147
Location
South Florida
Might not be a bad thing. If the Daylight ran close to the Starlight, the Starlight could make less station stops and remove a significant amount of time from the schedule.
That's true, but with just two or "two and a half" trips per day on a route, having a "local" followed by an "express", is not the best way to spread out schedules
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,389
Location
Chicago, Illinois
That's true, but with just two or "two and a half" trips per day on a route, having a "local" followed by an "express", is not the best way to spread out schedules
There also wouldn't be that many stations to cut. South of Santa Barbara, there is already frequent service so the CS could skip stations now without the Coast Daylight if that was desired. In between Santa Barbara and San Jose, there are currently only three Coast Starlight stations, with San Luis Obispo averaging about 35,000 passengers per year and Salinas around 20,000.
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,517
Location
Toronto area
What if the Starlight simply had its times flip-flopped with PM departures at both ends? It's not like connections with it are a major factor currently. New Daylight fills the void. Just a curiosity question from someone who has arrived after midnight on Starlight trips in both directions.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
1,389
Location
Chicago, Illinois
What if the Starlight simply had its times flip-flopped with PM departures at both ends? It's not like connections with it are a major factor currently. New Daylight fills the void. Just a curiosity question from someone who has arrived after midnight on Starlight trips in both directions.
The route is too long to get from the SF Bay Area to Seattle in one day. A second overnight would be possible, but would put Portland in the middle of the night and eliminate the scenic appeal of the trip. If they could get the freight railroad to approve (which is doubtful), I'd like to see the CS routed through the Central Valley and have the Coast Daylight replace the southern portion of the current CS.
 

Anthony V

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2016
Messages
207
The route is too long to get from the SF Bay Area to Seattle in one day. A second overnight would be possible, but would put Portland in the middle of the night and eliminate the scenic appeal of the trip. If they could get the freight railroad to approve (which is doubtful), I'd like to see the CS routed through the Central Valley and have the Coast Daylight replace the southern portion of the current CS.
Other than the occasional Coast Starlight detour, UP has repeatedly said that they do not want any passenger trains on the Tehachapi Loop route. Even if they were willing to let the CS onto that route, there would be too many delays due to the heavy freight traffic on the route.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
8,147
Location
South Florida
Other than the occasional Coast Starlight detour, UP has repeatedly said that they do not want any passenger trains on the Tehachapi Loop route. Even if they were willing to let the CS onto that route, there would be too many delays due to the heavy freight traffic on the route.
If they did run the CS over Tehachapi from LAX, more than likely it would go via BNSF from Bakersfield onward...would not stay on the UP like it does on the detour trips...
 

rickycourtney

Conductor
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
1,788
Location
Fresno, CA
My one early complaint -- these paint schemes are all over the place.

On the San Joaquins Venture coaches, the thick blue/purple (blurple!) line through the windows doesn't match the line on the Charger locomotives. On the Amtrak Midwest Venture coaches, the red stripe at the bottom is much wider than the red stripe on the Charger locomotives.

These coaches and locomotives were both built by Siemens just months apart. My hope is that they can tweak the liveries to match since they appear to mostly be vinyl decals.

I know what the argument is going to be... passengers don't care, they are just happy to be on a train.

To that, I bring up a quote from industrial designer Cesar Vergara who designed Amtrak’s Genesis locomotive and the livery for the Cascades Talgo (including those big fins). When asked about railway equipment, he often said, “If it costs a million (dollars), it should look like a million (dollars). It doesn’t cost any more to design a railway vehicle or structure that is aesthetically appealing than it does to design one that’s unattractive or uncomfortable.”
 

NSC1109

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
333
Location
MI
My one early complaint -- these paint schemes are all over the place.

On the San Joaquins Venture coaches, the thick blue/purple (blurple!) line through the windows doesn't match the line on the Charger locomotives. On the Amtrak Midwest Venture coaches, the red stripe at the bottom is much wider than the red stripe on the Charger locomotives.

These coaches and locomotives were both built by Siemens just months apart. My hope is that they can tweak the liveries to match since they appear to mostly be vinyl decals.

I know what the argument is going to be... passengers don't care, they are just happy to be on a train.

To that, I bring up a quote from industrial designer Cesar Vergara who designed Amtrak’s Genesis locomotive and the livery for the Cascades Talgo (including those big fins). When asked about railway equipment, he often said, “If it costs a million (dollars), it should look like a million (dollars). It doesn’t cost any more to design a railway vehicle or structure that is aesthetically appealing than it does to design one that’s unattractive or uncomfortable.”
And we have a winner. Every time I bring up Amtrak’s paint and branding issues I get shot down by people saying that passengers don’t care. I can tell you, from both a business standpoint and personal experience, they do care. They’re going to notice if things don’t match. They’re going to wonder what kind of company Amtrak is if they can’t get their branding together.

The red paint on the bottom of the Midwest cars wasn’t in the original rendering. I’m not sure who’s idea it was, but the Chargers need to be brought in line to at least make it decent. Same with the San Joaquin cars.
 

Crowbar_k

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
16
My one early complaint -- these paint schemes are all over the place.

On the San Joaquins Venture coaches, the thick blue/purple (blurple!) line through the windows doesn't match the line on the Charger locomotives. On the Amtrak Midwest Venture coaches, the red stripe at the bottom is much wider than the red stripe on the Charger locomotives.

These coaches and locomotives were both built by Siemens just months apart. My hope is that they can tweak the liveries to match since they appear to mostly be vinyl decals.

I know what the argument is going to be... passengers don't care, they are just happy to be on a train.

To that, I bring up a quote from industrial designer Cesar Vergara who designed Amtrak’s Genesis locomotive and the livery for the Cascades Talgo (including those big fins). When asked about railway equipment, he often said, “If it costs a million (dollars), it should look like a million (dollars). It doesn’t cost any more to design a railway vehicle or structure that is aesthetically appealing than it does to design one that’s unattractive or uncomfortable.”
One small problem that I have with them is that you can see all the stuff underneath the car. They should have put a wall or fin underneath to give it a more sleek look like the Brightline versions or Viaggio Comfort versions.

1596478622206.png
1596478638587.png
 

Attachments

John Santos

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
87
And we have a winner. Every time I bring up Amtrak’s paint and branding issues I get shot down by people saying that passengers don’t care. I can tell you, from both a business standpoint and personal experience, they do care. They’re going to notice if things don’t match. They’re going to wonder what kind of company Amtrak is if they can’t get their branding together.

The red paint on the bottom of the Midwest cars wasn’t in the original rendering. I’m not sure who’s idea it was, but the Chargers need to be brought in line to at least make it decent. Same with the San Joaquin cars.
Especially when they are brand-new and have to be painted anyway, there is no excuse not to make them look good. It doesn't really cost anything.

Same with washing the trains. It doesn't make them any faster or run more efficiently, but it does improve the experience, especially if you can see out the windows! Also, people are more inclined to treat them better and to have positive memories and expectations if they look nice. That's important if you are competing for tourist dollars.
 
Top