Viewliner II - Part 1 - Initial Production and Delivery

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Thirdrail7

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Has anyone said definitively that this Diner will be restricted to use only on the Meteor? I guess a question that Thirdrail can shed some light on. I don't see any reason for it to be restricted. Of course the only other choice is the Crescent for now. :)
The 68001 is currently confined to the 98/97 rotation. You will not see it on the Crescent for some time.

OK, so Annapolis was *approved*. This really should mean that the dining cars should start coming out of CAF pretty fast now, if CAF doesn't have any further problems. Call it four weeks or less to fix all the snagging items on Albany, and then they should start coming out like clockwork...

If Amtrak could get additional dining cars out before the Christmas/New Year's rush, it would make sense to put them on the LSL.

However, given the timing, where they probably can't get them out that quickly, they're going to start coming out in the low season -- January and February are the weakest-ridership months for the LSL. Given that, I would guess that Amtrak will probably choose to retire Heritage dining cars instead, and not reintroduce dining cars to the LSL until spring when rider numbers start picking up again.
I do not anticipate seeing any more cars in service before the end of January....and that would be a stretch.
Why? That doesn't match with my knowledge of how manufacturing operations operate. There's an approved model which has been produced by the factory and is operating, there's a production line, there are cars which are already halfway through production, why on Earth would it take more than four weeks to get more cars out of the factory? Do you have inside information from CAF?
I mean, geez, given the state of "Albany", I could probably get it into service in four weeks, just by myself, if parts and a certified welder were available.

I realize you have inside information from Amtrak, but this sounds *wrong*. This isn't how manufacturing works. If it's going to take that long, it means there's a *new* problem at CAF (another delayed supplier, or simply lollygagging by filling someone else's order first), or that Amtrak is deliberately delaying it. It would be good to find out which.
It is entirely possible that with all the issues that have gone on, CAF left other diners stripped down until Amtrak gave the ok, in that way if there where more issues, they would be easier to amend instead of having to strip down multiple diners to fix them. So now with the Christmas and New year approaching, you have lost time plus ramping up final production on the other diners. I can see where end of January comes into play.
To add onto this, you still have to get the cars. Even if they are ready just after New Years, you have to make the special move to Elmira, pick them up, bring them to Albany, then Sunnyside, then send them to Hialeah. That's a 5 day trip without anything going on, so if there is another car close to being done, they may wait to pick up as many as they can.

Once they get to Hialeah, there are addition Amtrak mods that need to take place, which will take time.

When you combine all of this, I'd be mighty surprised if any cars were available prior to the end of January and I personally believe a February date is likely.

Did I just sign on to worksiterules.com?
We may have a lot more time to kill before any more diners leave Hialeah.
 
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Bob Dylan

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Anyone who has met AU Member Nottingham Ed will notice the strong resemblance to Hulk Hogan as pictured in Thirdrail's Post!
 

neroden

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Once they get to Hialeah, there are addition Amtrak mods that need to take place, which will take time.
Um, seriously? After all this, Amtrak isn't getting the cars finished when they come out of the factory? Why on Earth not? The excuse given with the baggage cars was that they wanted them ASAP and could work faster than CAF... But with the dining cars delayed this long, why can't they be produced to Amtrak's specification before they leave Elmira?
You know, if I were Wick Moorman, I'd be making some changes here.
 
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KnightRail

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Once they get to Hialeah, there are addition Amtrak mods that need to take place, which will take time.
Um, seriously? After all this, Amtrak isn't getting the cars finished when they come out of the factory? Why on Earth not? The excuse given with the baggage cars was that they wanted them ASAP and could work faster than CAF... But with the dining cars delayed this long, why can't they be produced to Amtrak's specification before they leave Elmira?
This was answered relatively recently in this thread. Now trying to find that and other factual information on the topic buried amongst the plethora of off topic posts, good luck. Just one example to answer your question is WI-FI installation.
 

neroden

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Once they get to Hialeah, there are addition Amtrak mods that need to take place, which will take time.
Um, seriously? After all this, Amtrak isn't getting the cars finished when they come out of the factory? Why on Earth not? The excuse given with the baggage cars was that they wanted them ASAP and could work faster than CAF... But with the dining cars delayed this long, why can't they be produced to Amtrak's specification before they leave Elmira?
This was answered relatively recently in this thread. Now trying to find that and other factual information on the topic buried amongst the plethora of off topic posts, good luck. Just one example to answer your question is WI-FI installation.
Huh, I could have sworn that WiFi was specified in the original contract, but I guess it was so very very long ago that it wasn't. Oy vey.
 
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AmtrakLKL

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Once they get to Hialeah, there are addition Amtrak mods that need to take place, which will take time.
Um, seriously? After all this, Amtrak isn't getting the cars finished when they come out of the factory? Why on Earth not? The excuse given with the baggage cars was that they wanted them ASAP and could work faster than CAF... But with the dining cars delayed this long, why can't they be produced to Amtrak's specification before they leave Elmira?
You know, if I were Wick Moorman, I'd be making some changes here.
There are things, like WiFi installation, that are not part of the contract with CAF.
 

west point

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The problem of Wi-Fi brings up the notion that it is a very changing technology. What was installed last year may be completely obsolete or even non-operating.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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So they can charge your meal to a credit card.

.
 
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jis

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So they can charge your meal to a credit card.

.
Not really. Just having cell phone connectivity is good enough, and there are ways of handling small transactions even without that.
 

railiner

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Too bad CAF didn't locate their factory close to an Amtrak facility... would make deliveries easier. Could even have been right at an Amtrak facility, if there was sufficient space....

Like Beech Grove, or ALB or Chicago...

Would also make factory warrantee work easier....
 

AmtrakBlue

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Why would you need Wi-Fi in an eating place? I know, I know. ^_^
Perhaps the diners will have routers, in addition to the cafe cars.
And for the sleeper snobs, faster internet than the coach class gets from the cafe car. :eek:
 
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Triley

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Why would you need Wi-Fi in an eating place? I know, I know. ^_^
For those who don't know the actual answer (and I'm just guessing here, but it seems most logical)...I'm pretty sure that the network connection is installed in the food service cars, because to ensure that a train has Wi-Fi you just need to ensure it has a food service car, which..nearly everything does. Makes more sense than installing the equipment in specific coach cars and then trying to spread them out evenly across consists.
 

jis

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Fortunately Amtrak has nice short trains so a single Wi-Fi router works. I have noticed that on really long trains in India they just gave up on single router and basically installed a Wi-Fi system in each car which does not depend on the presence of anything else in the train. Also removes a throughput bottleneck through a single router and cellular/radio connection to the outside world.
 

neroden

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Too bad CAF didn't locate their factory close to an Amtrak facility...
Hey, clearly Amtrak just needs to restore passenger rail service to Elmira. Erie route or Lackawanna route, I don't care which. :)
 
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jis

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All this just for saving two days in the occasional delivery of new equipment, which happens like on an average perhaps less than once a year :p
 

TiBike

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By "router" you mean a gateway device (i.e. one that provides back haul to the Internet)? In other words the bandwidth you get from a single cellular connection would serve the entire train? That's going to be difficult, even if you hardwire (and home-run) the access points in each of the cars. And it would have to be hardwired – it would be, in effect, a mesh network, even if it is linear, and throughput will drop by at least 1/n and probably more like 1/n^2, where n = the number of hops.

You need an access point in every car (which, BTW, are also routers) because providing a connection from inside one tin can to inside another is way dicey. The problem isn't the access point, which can transmit at max power (1 watt EIRP), but rather the user devices, which are typically in the 25 to 50 milliwatt range, with random antenna placement. It's not impossible, but it will be highly unreliable.

Fortunately Amtrak has nice short trains so a single Wi-Fi router works. I have noticed that on really long trains in India they just gave up on single router and basically installed a Wi-Fi system in each car which does not depend on the presence of anything else in the train. Also removes a throughput bottleneck through a single router and cellular/radio connection to the outside world.
 

jis

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Yes, access point for the backend network. Of course the single access point to the outside network can be designed to use either multiple connections on the cellular network or some higher bandwidth radio channel (as they do on planes using satellite channels - e.g. the Panasonic system used by United and several other airlines).

Actually I don;t know what backend capacity Amtrak uses from their primary connection point in the food service car, which then connects the routers in the individual cars together. Apparently they increased that significantly on the Acelas thus improving quality of service on them.

Of course since low tech is the key for success in the Indian environment, they find it easier to just have an independent network connected directly to the back end in each car. The failure granularity is one car, and fix is to reset the one car, which the car attendant is trained how to do. Amount to learning to press one button. If that does not fix it, it won't get fixed.
 

Gulfwind2

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In defense of Amtrak's mechanical folks in Hialeah, I don't think it is realistic by even a stretch of the word to trust the cars as soon as they are sent down from Elmira. There's good news to relish in for the time being, which is that the assembly is seeing light at the end of the tunnejlwith regard to the dining car product. That being said, every Amtrak mechanical facility has its share of "old hands" who know exactly what to look for in a passenger car- especially so when compared to the Quality Control people up in Elmira. The fact that they have one VII dining car on the road is enough consolation for me to trust Amtrak in taking its time to make triple-stamp sure that the cars leave Hialeah without any of the prior defects affecting them while in revenue service.
 
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neroden

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Well, the CAF saga has been depressing. Here's hoping we see the sleepers eventually. We still need more of 'em than Amtrak ordered. I'd still like to see Amtrak exercise those options.

This will probably be the last "heavyweight" order ever (along with the Nippon Sharyo order and the Brightline order). When Amtrak does go to order new single-level coach cars, the new FRA rules will finally allow them to order cars basically off the shelf. And they can probably even get glasstop cafes based on the off-the-shelf coaches

But nobody makes sleepers off the shelf, so there's a lot to be said for getting more which are basically the same as the current ones.
 

StriderGDM

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Well, the CAF saga has been depressing. Here's hoping we see the sleepers eventually. We still need more of 'em than Amtrak ordered. I'd still like to see Amtrak exercise those options.

This will probably be the last "heavyweight" order ever (along with the Nippon Sharyo order and the Brightline order). When Amtrak does go to order new single-level coach cars, the new FRA rules will finally allow them to order cars basically off the shelf. And they can probably even get glasstop cafes based on the off-the-shelf coaches

But nobody makes sleepers off the shelf, so there's a lot to be said for getting more which are basically the same as the current ones.
Well, if the new regime goes for infrastructure and jobs, there's a chance the option will be used. But, I wouldn't hold my breath.

But agreed, it would be nice.
 

Thirdrail7

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. Now trying to find that and other factual information on the topic buried amongst the plethora of off topic posts, good luck.
This thread is indeed top heavy. That being said, would anyone object to a new thread covering the delivery and acceptance of the diners? Maybe we can have a thread for each fleet. Maybe this can be the baggage thread?
 

TiBike

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Are there commercial satellite terminals that would work on a train? High bandwidth gear, not the stuff they use for asset tracking and such. Planes are easy – the odd thunderstorm aside, not much to block a satellite signal at 30,000 feet. And airline pilots fly in boring straight lines :).

The Indians have it right. Failures are limited to one coach: KISS. Anything more complicated, and the on-board staff would just shrug their shoulders.

Yes, access point for the backend network. Of course the single access point to the outside network can be designed to use either multiple connections on the cellular network or some higher bandwidth radio channel (as they do on planes using satellite channels - e.g. the Panasonic system used by United and several other airlines).

Actually I don;t know what backend capacity Amtrak uses from their primary connection point in the food service car, which then connects the routers in the individual cars together. Apparently they increased that significantly on the Acelas thus improving quality of service on them.

Of course since low tech is the key for success in the Indian environment, they find it easier to just have an independent network connected directly to the back end in each car. The failure granularity is one car, and fix is to reset the one car, which the car attendant is trained how to do. Amount to learning to press one button. If that does not fix it, it won't get fixed.
 
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