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

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rickycourtney

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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.
Agreed. Those skirts are a much better look... but my guess is that they come at an additional cost. The first coat of paint (or vinyl decals) should be included in the cost of these cars... so to go back to my quote, "It doesn’t cost any more to design a railway vehicle ... that is aesthetically appealing."
 

NSC1109

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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.
I will say that Amtrak does run at least their LD services, if not everything, through the wash at CUS but I’m not entirely sure how effective it is.
 

rickycourtney

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Annually whether they need it or not?
This made me laugh out loud.

But seriously, Amtrak has wash racks at several locations other than Chicago, including Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle... so most of the western LD trains could be washed every three days. They just need the time to do it (trains can't be hours late) and someone to make sure it gets done.
 

Bob Dylan

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This made me laugh out loud.

But seriously, Amtrak has wash racks at several locations other than Chicago, including Los Angeles, Oakland, and Seattle... so most of the western LD trains could be washed every three days. They just need the time to do it (trains can't be hours late) and someone to make sure it gets done.
Does Albuqurque still clean the Windows during the Chiefs stop there? As a kid I remember when the Santa Fe's Super Chief was given a bath during the ststion stop there!
 

Steve4031

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I can tell you my gf wont notice anything about the paint scheme. But she will appreciate the bathrooms being modern and functional and not too cold in January.
 

John Bredin

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Metra has had three exterior decor schemes -- bare corrugated metal, red and blue striping, and orange and brown striping -- on its cars for decades, with no effort made to compose trains of one type. I've never heard of anyone who thinks less of Metra for it.
 

NSC1109

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Metra has had three exterior decor schemes -- bare corrugated metal, red and blue striping, and orange and brown striping -- on its cars for decades, with no effort made to compose trains of one type. I've never heard of anyone who thinks less of Metra for it.
In all fairness, Metra is not Amtrak. Metra is not as controversial as Amtrak. People actually use Metra and they're generally on time and reliable. Amtrak isn't.
 

rickycourtney

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Also, Metra is doing that intentionally.

These state services are supposed to be intentionally buying railcars with liveries that match their locomotives. Not sure who dropped the ball here.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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In all fairness, Metra is not Amtrak. Metra is not as controversial as Amtrak. People actually use Metra and they're generally on time and reliable. Amtrak isn't.
The issue isn't on time performance and reliability. Appearance is more important some transit modes than others. For example, people would think twice about travelling on an ugly cruise ship, but don't care much about the paint schemes of the NYC Subway. Metra is a long established functional commuter rail system that is popular largely because it is faster and more convenient than cars at rush hour. Intercity travel such as Amtrak is in competition with sleek and modern looking planes and must appeal to new riders who gave never been exposed to train travel before.
 

MikefromCrete

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All this talk about locomotive paint schemes matching cars and various paint schemes on different cars doesn't really mean anything. The average rider puts more emphasis on inside cleanliness and comfort. I would imagine the average rider couldn't tell the car's exterior's colors or whether they match the locomotive, if they even see the locomotives. Only railfans know the difference between Amtrak's various color schemes.
 

rickycourtney

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All this talk about locomotive paint schemes matching cars and various paint schemes on different cars doesn't really mean anything. The average rider puts more emphasis on inside cleanliness and comfort. I would imagine the average rider couldn't tell the car's exterior's colors or whether they match the locomotive, if they even see the locomotives. Only railfans know the difference between Amtrak's various color schemes.
Again -- if taxpayers are going to spend a million bucks on railway equipment, shouldn't they look a million bucks? (Actually, in this case, 371 million bucks.)

Branding matters. To sell it, you need a train that's both attractive and comfortable.
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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All this talk about locomotive paint schemes matching cars and various paint schemes on different cars doesn't really mean anything. The average rider puts more emphasis on inside cleanliness and comfort. I would imagine the average rider couldn't tell the car's exterior's colors or whether they match the locomotive, if they even see the locomotives. Only railfans know the difference between Amtrak's various color schemes.
The average rider does put more emphasis on "inside cleanliness and comfort", but that doesn't mean the outside appearance isn't relevant. The outside appearance could factor in to whether someone even considers traveling by train and researching the interior in the first place. The exact color scheme also isn't as important as consistency; the Acela and Cascades Talgos for example are both consistent and relatively modern-looking, despite having completely different color schemes.
 

railiner

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Does Albuqurque still clean the Windows during the Chiefs stop there? As a kid I remember when the Santa Fe's Super Chief was given a bath during the ststion stop there!
The original CZ got its windows, including domes washed at both ends, and twice enroute....at Denver and Portola. That train was all about sightseeing.:cool:
 

west point

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This poster is neutral on outside appearances. However a very good measure of outside would be the Brightline paint jobs. Do they cause that service to be imprinted onto potential first time riders ? Outside appearances may attract persons to try the service but their reaction to the inside then takes over for repeat ridership.
 

AGM.12

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SC
Here's a simple idea that is inexpensive to apply and cheap to maintain: Pullman Green. After all, beauty is as beauty does. He says with tounge in cheek
 

me_little_me

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The original CZ got its windows, including domes washed at both ends, and twice enroute....at Denver and Portola. That train was all about sightseeing.:cool:
Amtrak used to have cleaning vehicles. They had a big vertical brush that went up and down the train cleaning the windows and sides on every Albuquerque stop. I remember them. We'd get onboard and while the train was still in the station, the vehicle would come by and then the windows would be (somewhat) cleaner. It was probably in the '80s when I last saw them but I can't remember. They were still using the old single level cars (probably leftovers from SF) and the Chief in those days would do 90mph in Kansas. IIRC, they still had steam heat.

Then Amtrak stopped caring.
 

jiml

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Toronto area
Amtrak used to have cleaning vehicles. They had a big vertical brush that went up and down the train cleaning the windows and sides on every Albuquerque stop. I remember them. We'd get onboard and while the train was still in the station, the vehicle would come by and then the windows would be (somewhat) cleaner. It was probably in the '80s when I last saw them but I can't remember. They were still using the old single level cars (probably leftovers from SF) and the Chief in those days would do 90mph in Kansas. IIRC, they still had steam heat.

Then Amtrak stopped caring.
They had a truck on the platform with a spray arm in 1988 when we took the Sunset eastbound. Somewhere hot where there was a longer stop - El Paso maybe? Unfortunately it only did one side and we had a bedroom (when the Superliner sleepers all used to face the same direction) so didn't benefit. The windows in the hallway were nice and clean though.:rolleyes: And yes, the P30's made it through the entire trip without breaking down.

Amtrak P30 1988.jpg
 

frequentflyer

OBS Chief
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Jun 10, 2008
Messages
732
Stop with the branding doesn't matter bit. Airlines, freight railroads, trucking companies spend millions getting their livery correct and noticeable. If branding did not matter, then trains would be painted black with white lettering.

The fact some bureaucrat in charge of tax payer money cannot produce a consistent brand livery speaks to the problem, bureaucrats.
 

mfastx

Service Attendant
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Apr 30, 2010
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New York, NY
It is ridiculous to me how many minor paint variations Amtrak has. It should all be the same. Exceptions can be made for specific train sets, but interchangeable cars should all match. It's just unprofessional when they don't.
 

Trogdor

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It is ridiculous to me how many minor paint variations Amtrak has. It should all be the same. Exceptions can be made for specific train sets, but interchangeable cars should all match. It's just unprofessional when they don't.
Amtrak was so close to having a consistent paint scheme (excluding trainsets and specific state corridor trains), then they decided to paint the new Viewliners back in Phase III for whatever reason.
 

railiner

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Amtrak used to have cleaning vehicles. They had a big vertical brush that went up and down the train cleaning the windows and sides on every Albuquerque stop. I remember them. We'd get onboard and while the train was still in the station, the vehicle would come by and then the windows would be (somewhat) cleaner.
It was the same in Denver, when Amtrak took over...they no longer ran the train thru the Burlington's wash rack, when wyeing the SFZ. A pair of coach cleaner's would do as best they could with a brush and a washer vehicle going down both sides of the train...
 

rickycourtney

Conductor
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Dec 21, 2012
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Fresno, CA
Photos of the Amtrak Midwest Siemens Venture trainsets from IDOT:
The livery looks awesome in my opinion (even with the big red stripe). The sides look like grey vinyl, not stainless.

One other minor complaint -- they put the digital destination display signs in the window closest to an inoperable plug -- and not a real door.
 
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