Quantcast

Viewliner II - Part 1 - Initial Production and Delivery

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Status
Not open for further replies.

battalion51

Conductor
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Messages
7,193
Location
USA
Basing the Viewliners in Sunnyside doesn't make much sense, space is at a premium there already. Building a facility there for the Viewliners would be extremely expensive and wouldn't be a good use of time or resources. The heavy maintenance for Amfleets and Acelas is in Delaware, the Superliners and Horizons in Beech Grove, and the Viewliners in Miami, all locations where land is relatively cheap. The majority of the time when a car is due for PM they'll cycle it out from the LSL or Cardinal set and into a Silver Service set (with its replacement coming from Silver Service) so that it can be cut out when it gets to Miami. The only train where you'd have to deadhead something presently is the Boston side of the LSL, and that should be able to be avoided by swapping it in Chicago.
 

MikefromCrete

Conductor
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,640
Location
Crete, IL
Basing the Viewliners in Sunnyside doesn't make much sense, space is at a premium there already. Building a facility there for the Viewliners would be extremely expensive and wouldn't be a good use of time or resources. The heavy maintenance for Amfleets and Acelas is in Delaware, the Superliners and Horizons in Beech Grove, and the Viewliners in Miami, all locations where land is relatively cheap. The majority of the time when a car is due for PM they'll cycle it out from the LSL or Cardinal set and into a Silver Service set (with its replacement coming from Silver Service) so that it can be cut out when it gets to Miami. The only train where you'd have to deadhead something presently is the Boston side of the LSL, and that should be able to be avoided by swapping it in Chicago.
Land is cheap in Miami?
 

edjbox

Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
225
anyone know which specific heritage baggage cars are left? I know there are 27 baggage, 21 coach convert to baggage and 14 coach covert to mail. I know that all 14 mail baggage cars are still around but not sure which car #s (not ranges, specific #) are still out there. I asked in another topic but will ask here since it is related
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,957
Location
Ithaca, NY
Looks like another Viewliner 2 move early next week. I am hearing that the baggage car is returning to the CAF plant...
Well, we knew already that these were the "pilot cars" for "testing". (And, in fact, that there were going to be two rounds of these; so far we've seen one of each and there were supposed to be two of each.) Presumably there are punchlist items in the design and CAF has to fix them to Amtrak's satisfaction (and then copy the fixes onto all the other half-finished cars). I wouldn't read too much into it; even if the changes are very minor, they'd want to have it at the factory to make sure the factory workers know what to do on the subsequent cars. It really looks like Amtrak is taking no chances with this order.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

afigg

Conductor
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
5,896
Location
Virginia
The July 2014 Amtrak Ink employee magazine (4 MB PDF) has been posted to the website with 3 pages (pg 9 to 11) on the 61000 baggage car with a bunch of photos. The story which was likely written in the past few weeks states that field testing will continue through October, so November would be the earliest date for entry into revenue service. There is a blurb in the photo array on the testing status: "Testing has almost been completed on the first of Amtraks 55 new Viewliner II Baggage cars. Car #61000 has completed FRA testing and it is now being tested by Amtrak."

Excerpt from the start of the write-up on the baggage cars which also discusses the insulation, doors, bike racks and heating system that will keep the baggage car interior at a minimum of 50 degrees. No A/C, just air vents.

Car 61000, the first pilot baggage car for the new Long-Distance Single-Level baggage cars is undergoing testing. The equipment is being built by CAF in Elmira, New York. These new cars are the result of interdepartmental collaboration among many groups, including but not limited to: Marketing, Engineering, Onboard Services, Food and Beverage, Mechanical, Purchasing and Legal, said Project Engineer Dick Bruss. As I hope you will be able to see, we tried to focus the design on the customer both the passenger as well as the Amtrak employee.

The testing includes compatibility tests that ensure that the baggage car interacts properly with the other Amtrak cars and locomotives and that it can operate through sharp curves without interference. Testing is also being done for high-speed truck stability, braking, noise, wheelset/rail interaction, as well as actual baggage handling. Field testing will continue through October with the baggage car traveling on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and on routes to Chicago, New Orleans and Miami.
In a short piece on a Beech Grove "summit" meeting on LD cars, there is a photo of a stripped down Viewliner shell. Probably the prototype being converted to the 10004 Theater inspection car.
 

CREW-DORM#2524

Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
108
Location
Richmond, VA
The stripped down shell pictured might be the 2300. It was moved a few months ago from Wilmington to Washington where it was tacked on the rear of #51 to Indy and finally to Beech Grove.
 

hastybob

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
89
OK - three of the new cars moved today on 234 to New York - 68000, 62500 and 69000. The 61000 is still in Albany. Wonder if these are heading to Philadelphia or to Washington for an unveiling?
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
4,490
OK - three of the new cars moved today on 234 to New York - 68000, 62500 and 69000. The 61000 is still in Albany. Wonder if these are heading to Philadelphia or to Washington for an unveiling?
They are not being unveiled. They are headed to PHL for high speed testing over the next few weeks. The 61000 should return to CAF next week.
 
F

Fan Railer

Guest
Viewliner II (looks like a sleeper or a diner) on yard track 1 (north side of the yard) near Honeywell St. Bridge, where they usually lay up spare equipment and private cars, at Sunnyside today.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,957
Location
Ithaca, NY
Hmm. I'll be mildly optimistic. If the baggage car is being tested on all the single-level routes prior to November (as it appears it is), then I'm going to guess that Amtrak will get at least a few baggage cars into service for the Thanksgiving rush. We know Amtrak has heavy ridership and also heavy baggage loads around Thanksgiving...

An insider would know better, but it sounds to me from this testing regimen like the new baggage cars will be preferentially deployed in the East, with the Heritage baggage cars heading for the West until the last one is replaced.
 

William W.

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 22, 2014
Messages
476
Location
Arlington, VA
Just saw a bunch of Viewliner IIs sitting in the yard just outside of PHL.

I just barely got the photo. Stupid hopper cars.

ImageUploadedByAmtrak Forum1407085793.085187.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
V

Variogarmin

Guest
Could the new Viewliners be configered as bilevel coach cars? What if the ends of the cars were single level for accessible needs, and a few steps up were added to raise the aisle to allow for a step up to seats above or steps down to seats below for a near doubling of capacity and windows for all?
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,949
Location
Delaware
Could the new Viewliners be configered as bilevel coach cars? What if the ends of the cars were single level for accessible needs, and a few steps up were added to raise the aisle to allow for a step up to seats above or steps down to seats below for a near doubling of capacity and windows for all?
Then, most likely, they would not fit through the tunnels in NY and Baltimore. That is why the eastern LD trains are single level.
 

afigg

Conductor
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
5,896
Location
Virginia
Could the new Viewliners be configered as bilevel coach cars? What if the ends of the cars were single level for accessible needs, and a few steps up were added to raise the aisle to allow for a step up to seats above or steps down to seats below for a near doubling of capacity and windows for all?
That would require a complete redesign of the car structure, so it would no longer be a Viewliner for starters. It would result in a cramped car, not as comfortable for 5, 6, or 8 hours trips. If you want a Bombardier Multilevel which are used for commuter rail, why not get a Bombardier Multilevel? But the Multilevels would have to be upgraded to 125 mph capability for one thing.

No, the Viewliner cars are single level cars. And they will stay that way.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,553
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
But the Multilevels would have to be upgraded to 125 mph capability for one thing.
They are designed to operate at 125mph. Currently they do not have any operator that operates them at that speed. So getting them certified for 125mph is probably not that hard. NJT plans to do so in the next 3 years or so for use on the NEC outer zone expresses, so that they can operate on the center tracks and interfere less with Amtrak operations.
 

PerRock

Conductor
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
1,865
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
I've been thinking about how to make a split-level viewliner "dome" car for quite some time now. A few months ago I was able to secure some decent drawings of a viewliner that had dimensions attached; including interior. While I believe it would be possible to make a viewliner split-level it would be a tight fit.

Currently Viewliners have an 11' interior clearance. Ideally you wouldn't want to make any one floor shorter then 6' tall. I went with 6'8" as a minimum. Using those dimensions, you would have to drop the floor to almost rail-head height; actually only 4" above the railhead. My drawings currently don't 'pop up' the center dome part at all, namely because I haven't been able to figure out just how much headroom there is above a viewliner in the tunnels. It might be possible to have a slight bump up to allow some small windows to be facing the ends; but I don't think that would be necessary and probably too expensive to do for what they would provide. Of course on the sides the windows for the upper-deck would wrap around onto the roof, similar to the Sightseer Lounges. Cafe would be on the lower level, restrooms on the mid-deck as well as the vestibules.

peter
 

Green Maned Lion

Conductor
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
8,209
Location
NJ
Ride an NJT MLV. All discussions of NYP compatible bi-levels will end. They are completely unusable for anything but commuter traffic. Fairly tall people (not giants, just fairly tall) have to watch out, lest they hit there head on Emergancy Exit signs- seriously.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
26,553
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
As afigg said, the basic Viewliner shell is not the right place to start to make a tri-level car, such as the old domes or the new MLVs. That would be a completely different car shell with a completely new design which would have nothing to do with the current Viewlienr shell.

Current Viewliners are a shade over 14' tall. The max clearance in the tunnels below catenary that is permitted is 14' 8" from the rail top. Even that you cannot do with a straight roof line (unless the roof is considerably more sloped than is usual) and expect to use the Hudson Tunnels out of Penn Station. You have to have beveled roof line at the ends like the NJT MLVs do. The NJT MLV's which are 14'6" tall have about the only form factor that would fit for such a tall car which can effectively accommodate two floors..

BTW, I doubt that the Viewliners have a 11' internal clearance over a 4' high floor. They would get stuck like a cork in the tunnels or at least short out the catenary if that were the case since 11 + 4 = 15' which is greater than the allowed 14' 8".

If you are planning to have a floor height that is anything more than what one finds in the NJT MLV or the LIRR C3, you need to start working on changing the laws of Physics first. :p
 

Ryan

Conductor
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
17,033
Location
OTN
Ride an NJT MLV. All discussions of NYP compatible bi-levels will end. They are completely unusable for anything but commuter traffic. Fairly tall people (not giants, just fairly tall) have to watch out, lest they hit there head on Emergancy Exit signs- seriously.
Heck, even MARC's K-cars (which are certified for 125 MPH, and DON'T fit into NYP) are wholly unsuitable for for anything but commuter traffic.
 
V

Variogarmin

Guest
Ok, give me one last shot at this and I'll drop it... Imagine a split level house applied to the Viewliner... staying within the shell of the Viewiner, the aisle would be raised to the midlevel, seats would be a step up or down from there over the length of the car. Admittedly, it would not be possible to stand at a seat, but people drive for hours on end in cars that are not possible to stand in. Moreover, comfort could be improved at the same time as capacity by installing flat bed like chairs much like the ones that exist in transatlantic first class flights. The double row of windows on the Viewliner would provide scenery for both levels, no need to depart from the Viewliner shell whatsoever.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top