VIA New Corridor Trains - 2021 - 2022 Updates

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
34,373
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
Interesting article in the March 10, '22 Railway Age...

 

Urban Sky

Service Attendant
AU Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
176
Location
MTR
But what about all the train offs back in the 90s? Canada needs some passenger legislation.
Quebec-Montreal via Trois-Rivières and Toronto-Peterborough-Havelock were two of the services cut in 1990 which would be revived through HFR. Montreal-Sherbrooke is the only other Corridor route axed in 1990, but Sherbrooke is nowhere near the HFR route…
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
34,373
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
VIA testing Siemens sets...

 

Fenu S

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Messages
20
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
It appears one of the new train sets have entered service, though VIA Rail has yet to confirm it. Their recent Instagram post isn't quite clear but there is a video on Youtube of someone riding inside the new set.



 
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
901
Location
Brownsburg IN
First, Amtrak has to figure out what they want Business Class to look like in the first place. Each train has it's very own, unique version of it...
I agree that a set of basic minimum standards should be sought. But I for one I’m not a fan of cookie cutter implementation across the entire network.

It puts up barriers to prevent innovation in local markets , and you end up with the “McDonald’s” effect where you don’t know which part of the country you are in when you get on the train because everything looks the same.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
34,373
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
I agree that a set of basic minimum standards should be sought. But I for one I’m not a fan of cookie cutter implementation across the entire network.

It puts up barriers to prevent innovation in local markets , and you end up with the “McDonald’s” effect where you don’t know which part of the country you are in when you get on the train because everything looks the same.
While I agree with that I don't see that justifying different hard products, which increases inventory cost. Localizing the service using variance in the soft product would seem to be desirable to me, though of late that is somewhat unusual in the various large unified rail systems in the world. There is some of it, but not a heck of a lot. It is perhaps better to do that sort of thing using area specific class of trains, and that is sort of done in a few places already. More of it should be explored.
 
Last edited:

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,903
Location
Washington State
I agree that a set of basic minimum standards should be sought. But I for one I’m not a fan of cookie cutter implementation across the entire network.

It puts up barriers to prevent innovation in local markets , and you end up with the “McDonald’s” effect where you don’t know which part of the country you are in when you get on the train because everything looks the same.
I think that things like 2+1 seating (or not) and guaranteed seat pitch should be standardized, so that one understands what one is purchasing. I don't see basic seating configuration as something that ought be subject to local variation (do people riding NER BC out of NYP prefer 2+2 seating while those using Empire Service do not?). Do people riding Horizon car BC not like overhead luggage racks?

I agree with @jis, the hard product should be standardized. Soft product regional variations are great.

I don't think things like lack of luggage racks reflect regional preferences.
 

Anderson

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,847
Location
Virginia
I agree that a set of basic minimum standards should be sought. But I for one I’m not a fan of cookie cutter implementation across the entire network.

It puts up barriers to prevent innovation in local markets , and you end up with the “McDonald’s” effect where you don’t know which part of the country you are in when you get on the train because everything looks the same.
In addition to the issue of customers being able to know what they're getting, there's also the fact that having varied subfleets limits the ability to move equipment around over time. The most extreme example of this is the Superliners - while good for capacity, when Amtrak bought the Superliners it also brought an end to their ability to "swing" a bunch of equipment from the Western trains to the Florida trains in the winter. Historically, the Class Is (and Amtrak in its early years) moved a bunch of cars off of the Western LD routes (which lose something like 2/3 of their summer ridership in the winter) over to the Florida-bound trains. At one time, this meant additional trains (e.g. the Orange Blossom Special), but it also meant that most trains got longer.

Even setting that aside, witness the various issues with the "potluck" fleet up in the Cascades.

I'd keep the differences to (1) the soft product and (2) maybe a paint job or some interior decorating accents. You should figure out what part of the country you're in by checking a map or maybe the livery; similarly-branded products should have similar hard products (at a minimum).
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,903
Location
Washington State
I'd keep the differences to (1) the soft product and (2) maybe a paint job or some interior decorating accents. You should figure out what part of the country you're in by checking a map or maybe the livery; similarly-branded products should have similar hard products (at a minimum).
Well, I know that the WSDOT Siemens Ventures on order are to be painted in the green/brown/white Cascades livery (aka "mud and moss") as the Talgos were and the WDTX Siemens Charger locomotives are. The Cascades also have some specialty items, like Ivar's chowder, on the cafe menu and WSDOT has a say in the menu offerings, per the Golden Rule (he who has the gold makes the rules).

Note that one of of the reasons WSDOT elected to piggyback on Amtrak's corridor Siemens order was to benefit from economics of scale in the purchase and maintenance and not have special one-offs. But we're keeping our livery.
 

Anderson

Engineer
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,847
Location
Virginia
Well, I know that the WSDOT Siemens Ventures on order are to be painted in the green/brown/white Cascades livery (aka "mud and moss") as the Talgos were and the WDTX Siemens Charger locomotives are. The Cascades also have some specialty items, like Ivar's chowder, on the cafe menu and WSDOT has a say in the menu offerings, per the Golden Rule (he who has the gold makes the rules).

Note that one of of the reasons WSDOT elected to piggyback on Amtrak's corridor Siemens order was to benefit from economics of scale in the purchase and maintenance and not have special one-offs. But we're keeping our livery.
I think there's a case to vary liveries. Doing so doesn't keep equipment from being moved around if needed/desired (say, on a seasonal basis - for example, it might be viable to pair off some summer operations in the Northeast with a leaf peeper option and the Ski Train and just use the same sets).

Honestly, come to think of it...why hasn't Rocky Mountaineer paired off with the folks in Reno or Colorado? Their stuff sits idle from October to April, so I'd be stunned if they couldn't viably underbid Amtrak for leasing out a set or two for service, even if Amtrak was providing the operating crews. And of course, with Colorado RM is already running the route in summer...

[One interesting thought: With this mass order, it might make sense for a private company to order some sets if they could arrange a multi-year lease deal with one or more states. Especially if/when interest rates come down, this could be quite viable as a business model.]
 
Top