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

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frequentflyer

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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.
Phase 3 Livery on steroids.:)
 

nullptr

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And the follow-up tweet says they're several weeks from being put into regular Amtrak service, presumably if everything goes well. That's quicker than I expected.
 
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Ziv

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Mike, I agree to a certain extent, but I also realize that appearance matters. If the train looks like a hodge-podge collection of paint jobs, it doesn't look professional or appealing.
Some of us are like, "Just get me from point A to point B!" But a lot of people care about the appearance of the vehicle. Otherwise Alaska Airlines wouldn't spend so much money painting portraits of Jerry Garcia on all their aircraft. JK.
Seriously, though, Amtrak should try to look as sharp as possible because looking sharp is a part of being sharp. it is worth spending some money on it but not a huge amount. Cleanliness is more important than paint, but paint is still important.

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.
 

mfastx

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So are they going to just slap those cars on existing Amtrak consists with older cars? Or will they at least use the new cars for entire train sets?
 

brianpmcdonnell17

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So are they going to just slap those cars on existing Amtrak consists with older cars? Or will they at least use the new cars for entire train sets?
The cars for California are organized in trainsets and have a different floor height than the bi-levels so they will not be mixed together. The Midwest cars are organized into married pairs as well as some individual cars so probably could be mixed with Amfleets and Horizons, but I don't know if they plan on doing so.



Wasn't the intent of the whole exercise to replace the cars that the states pay Amtrak to use?
Yes, but they are not being delivered all at once so there will be a while where both types of cars are in service.
 

NSC1109

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So are they going to just slap those cars on existing Amtrak consists with older cars? Or will they at least use the new cars for entire train sets?
(Some of) The new cars are semi-permanently coupled. They will have to be used as a trainset. These cars are to displace the Horizons and Amfleets for use around the system.
 

NSC1109

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The cars for California are organized in trainsets and have a different floor height than the bi-levels so they will not be mixed together. The Midwest cars are organized into married pairs as well as some individual cars so probably could be mixed with Amfleets and Horizons, but I don't know if they plan on doing so.




Yes, but they are not being delivered all at once so there will be a while where both types of cars are in service.
These cars will not be used for Amfleet/Horizon cars as far as I am aware. They are intended to fully replace the Midwest corridor fleet.
 

Steve4031

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If I understand correctly sets of equipment generally operate on the same route day to day. I don’t know the exact number of consists needed to operate the Lincoln service, the number of consists needed for the Michigan service, Hiawatha Service, and service to Quincy. Unless there’s a maintenance issue the consists stay together.

Based on these assumptions Amtrak would need enough Siemens cars to match the business class capacity and coach capacity for one Midwest train set. I suspect this first set might operate on the Lincoln service line or the Michigan line.
 

Crowbar_k

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All this paint talk is driving me crazy. So the line on the coach is thicker than than the line on locomotive. WHO CARES? It still matches up and looks fine.
 
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NSC1109

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All this paint talk is driving me crazy. So the line on the coach is thicker than than the line on locomotive. WHO CARES? It still matches up and looks fine.
Yeah that really isn’t what we’re talking about but it is a symptom of a larger problem. Amtrak is showing a tendency to paint first and think second. They had a generally unified brand until the Viewliner IIs started showing up in Phase III, the Empire Service P32s started being painted in Phase III, and now the first five ALC-42s are in this clown show livery.

It’s unprofessional. It can be seen by some as a symptom of a bigger issue. “If Amtrak’s marketing people can’t get a unified brand together, what might that mean for the rest of the company? Does anyone truly have a clue what they’re doing?” It’s a relatively extreme example but as a business student that would be #1 on my list and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’m excited to see what VI (or VII or whatever we’re on now) has in store for Amtrak but they either need to repaint every piece of active rolling stock they own into the livery or its going to look haphazard and not properly thought out.
 

jis

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As long as States are paying for the keep of the corridor trains they are free to paint their trains whichever way they want. What is so horrible about that (perhaps other than triggering some people's aesthetics) ? Even Amtrak does that on the NEC, which is branded differently from the rest of the network.
 

rickycourtney

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Oh, I have absolutely no problem with states requesting their equipment be painted in custom liveries. In fact, I think it's a good thing, especially since Amtrak is no longer financially contributing to these services. A unique brand makes it clear that the state-supported services are different than the national network. (It also makes it easier for the states to "divorce" Amtrak in the future.)

My gripe is about things like the brand new California Venture trainsets not matching the nearly new California Charger locomotives. It's sloppy... but that's on Caltrans and Siemens.

But even more egregious is Amtrak's intentional hodgepodge of Phase V locomotives, Phase III Viewliner II cars, and the Phase VI Superliner/Viewliner I cars used on the National Network. It looks extremely sloppy. If Amtrak can't figure out something simple, like how to paint the trains, it speaks volumes about how disorganized the company is.
 

jis

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My gripe is about things like the brand new California Venture trainsets not matching the nearly new California Charger locomotives. It's sloppy... but that's on Caltrans and Siemens.
As you allude to it, that is California State funded operation called Amtrak California and further sub branded into San Joaquin, Capitol, Surfliner etc. Nothing that Amtrak can control since they don't pay for it. I don't think Siemens has anything to do with it. They will paint things whichever way their customers want. What do they care as long as they get paid for it?

The branding of Amtrak National has been up in the air allegedly waiting for Congress to specify if and how much of it will continue to exist, and that will hopefully get settled with the new Authorization, but maybe not. My guess is it will continue to be a hogde podge like the service itself is.

The Phase III striping of the ACDMs is a NY State thing, and they pay for that service, so they get to do whatever they want with stuff that is exclusively assigned for their funded service. Eventually it is possible that NYSDOT will acquire its own rolling stock and paint it whatever they like, and possibly continue to use the "Empire Service" moniker.
 

Crowbar_k

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So are they going to just slap those cars on existing Amtrak consists with older cars? Or will they at least use the new cars for entire train sets?
I believe they will, since the café cars aren't expected to arrive until 2022. That would look horrible. I already think that Horizon cars coupled with Amfleet cars look bad, so I can't even imagine how out of place the older cars would look.
 
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nti1094

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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!
Just last week I noticed that they do clean the windows. Not with the motorized vehicle with the moving cleaner head that used to drive along beside the train scrubbing. It’s a large handheld cleaner they walk along the train washing
 

Seaboard92

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Here is the thing paint matters because it is your first impression as a company. If a train shows up in the three different paint schemes that are currently offered it looks unprofessional.

Lets look at the current Silver Meteor before the crazy four day a week garbage pushed by Amtrak's executives.

Loco X2 Phase Vb
Four Amfleet II Coach Phase IVb
Amfleet II Lounge Phase IVb
Viewliner II Diner Phase IIIb
Viewliner I Sleeper x 3 Phase IVb (Occasionally the one Phase III one shows up)
Viewliner II Baggage Phase IVb.

The locomotive to coaches paint doesn't really matter much because everyone sorta understands the locomotives are not cars, and aren't stainless. But then you jump between Phase IVb and Phase IIIb at least three times, sometimes five if you get lucky enough to get "New River" on a train. Now do you see my argument. Now once on the train the differences in paint make no difference. But that initial impression matters.

Heritage locomotives are ok because everyone can see that they are something special even those who aren't railfans. Especially because each of the heritage units has 1971-2011 on them. We can all see that they are special.

Having one conclusive brand matters.

Now for the midwest coaches it doesn't matter those coaches will stay local to that area. Same with the California or Cascade corridor trains.

Now if you really want to be a nitpick but the general public won't notice the stainless on the Viewliners and the Amfleets are slightly different, and when we had heritage cars they were way different.

And in other fluted equipment you can tell a Pullman, AC&F car from a Budd just on the fluting. Maybe I notice that more because I work very closely with Budds.
 

jis

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Lets look at the current Silver Meteor before the crazy four day a week garbage pushed by Amtrak's executives.

Loco X2 Phase Vb
Four Amfleet II Coach Phase IVb
Amfleet II Lounge Phase IVb
Viewliner II Diner Phase IIIb
Viewliner I Sleeper x 3 Phase IVb (Occasionally the one Phase III one shows up)
Viewliner II Baggage Phase IVb.
Viewliner II Baggage Car is Phase IIIb, not Phase IVb.
 
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