Viewliner II Part 3: Bag/Dorm Car Production, Delivery, Speculation

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Palmetto

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Someone pointed out that the Superliner transdorms where the crew sleeps don't have an H room either, but they still sell accomodations to passengers. So I suppose the same would hold true for the new bag dorms.
 

lordsigma

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Knowing how FRA implements ADA (example non-ADA bathrooms closed to all passengers on the Hartford Line), I would sadly agree with this. We aren't going to see them adding the sleeper capacity back to the Night Owl.
Ah yes, the restrooms on the Hartford Line. Can't blame Amtrak for that one though...the restrooms on the Amtrak Hartford Line trains were open the whole time!
 

PVD

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In this case it seems pretty straight forward. A new sleeper needs an accessible space, and even if a roomette module could be made accessible, lack of accessible "facilities" or even the ability to get a wheelchair down the aisle to where they would be located is a stopper.
 

PVD

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The Superliners pre date the requirement. But, I have seen H rooms on trans dorms I've ridden, not sure if they all have them, and honestly I've never seen one occupied.
 

Palmland

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On a recent trip our SCA took care of the 6 roomettes that were for sale in the Transition sleeper. Aside from that our train, no. 2, had only the sleeper we were in and two coaches half full at most.
 

daybeers

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Knowing how FRA implements ADA (example non-ADA bathrooms closed to all passengers on the Hartford Line), I would sadly agree with this. We aren't going to see them adding the sleeper capacity back to the Night Owl.
At least one restroom per train on the MBB-built CTrail cars leased from the MBTA were reopened about two months after service launch after another ADA complaint to the FRA claiming that the closure of the on-board restrooms was discriminatory towards those with bowel issues, ex. Crohn's disease.

https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-br-train-bathrooms-re-opened-20180810-story.html
 

neroden

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With only 6 roomettes per bag-dorm, the cafe attendant, "lounge" attendant, and at least 2, probably more, coach attendants does not leave much in the way of spare rooms to sell. I do not think the FRA will get after Amtrak for selling 1 room.
 

Palmetto

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Do coach attendants have an accomodation in the crew quarters car [for want of a better term right now]? I thought that they did not.

I also think there are 8 roomettes. Regardless, even if there are only two left for passengers, there is money to be made in that.
 

OBS

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Do coach attendants have an accomodation in the crew quarters car [for want of a better term right now]? I thought that they did not.

I also think there are 8 roomettes. Regardless, even if there are only two left for passengers, there is money to be made in that.
Coach attendants are given a room just like rest of the OBS employees...
 

PVD

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Potential revenue or not, I am reasonably certain that they can not be sold. All new sleepers require an accessible accommodation, these cars in their present form can not provide it, there would be no legal basis with which to defend any possible ADA complaint. FRA waivers for car construction/utilization issues are requested before the cars go into service, too late now....
 

Thirdrail7

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Potential revenue or not, I am reasonably certain that they can not be sold. All new sleepers require an accessible accommodation, these cars in their present form can not provide it, there would be no legal basis with which to defend any possible ADA complaint. FRA waivers for car construction/utilization issues are requested before the cars go into service, too late now....
Not only that, there needs to be an accessible bathroom.

(6) Sleeper cars shall comply with §§1192.113(b) through (d), 1192.115 through 1192.121, and 1192.125, and have at least one compartment which can be entered and used by a person using a wheelchair or mobility aid and complying with §1192.127.

Sleeper cars are fully subject to all sections except portions of those pertaining to doorways (1192.113) and wheelchair seating and storage spaces (1192.125(d). Although the section on restrooms is not referenced by this provision, the section on sleeping compartments (1192.127) requires that accessible compartments contain a restroom complying with 1192.123 which can be entered from the compartment.
 

PVD

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I believe I mentioned that previously in post #378
 

Palmetto

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They sell rooms to the public in Superliner crew cars. Are those grandfathered vis-a-vis the ADA requirement?
 

RPC

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since there are accessible rooms in other cars why would one b needed in the Bag - dorm ?
In this case ("Night Owl") there would be no other sleepers. Same would go for using a bag/dorm as the sole sleeper on 448/449.
 

PVD

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The regs say you can't have a new revenue sleeper without accessibility in that car. The bag dorms were not designed as revenue sleepers so they don't. The fact that circumstances have changed and it might be beneficial to Amtrak to sell a few rooms now, changes nothing.
 

Anderson

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since there are accessible rooms in other cars why would one b needed in the Bag - dorm ?
Because instead of, say, promulgating a rule that "there must be X portion of disability-accessable rooms", the rule is "there must be at least one per car". Now, I suspect that Amtrak could probably defend selling space in the bag-dorm on a theoretical train with four full Viewliner sleepers on the grounds that said train would, in fact, have more accessible rooms than any other overnight Amtrak train (save for the Auto Train)...but that would basically involve defending an attack on the regulations in question.

Now, I'm not saying that doing so would be impossible...but seeing all of the effort done to provide an accessible booth in the Viewliner diners so that, quite literally, one room can access the diner (a wheelchair can't make it from any sleeper but the 10 sleeper because of the corners) and given the overarching history of Amtrak's dubious compliance at times, I'm not sure how that would go.

If Amtrak did want to push that envelope, my guess is that they'd let some space out for a few days at a go during the major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) and simply not make a big deal about it. If they did that, I think there's a decent chance it would be at least a year or two before anyone with standing would notice and Amtrak could probably hide under cover of a booking system "error".
 

PVD

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Not make a big deal about it? Amtrak is under scrutiny by many groups already because they have not done a good job in accessibility. The ADA lawsuits would come fast and furious, and the likelihood of Amtrak prevailing is near zero. We should just let this go already.
 

west point

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Just whose rule is this one assessable per car ? Is it law or just an interpretation ?Or just some agency outlier ? Would like link to read the rule ?
 

Thirdrail7

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Now, I'm not saying that doing so would be impossible...but seeing all of the effort done to provide an accessible booth in the Viewliner diners so that, quite literally, one room can access the diner (a wheelchair can't make it from any sleeper but the 10 sleeper because of the corners) and given the overarching history of Amtrak's dubious compliance at times, I'm not sure how that would go.

If Amtrak did want to push that envelope, my guess is that they'd let some space out for a few days at a go during the major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas) and simply not make a big deal about it. If they did that, I think there's a decent chance it would be at least a year or two before anyone with standing would notice and Amtrak could probably hide under cover of a booking system "error".
Not make a big deal about it? Amtrak is under scrutiny by many groups already because they have not done a good job in accessibility. The ADA lawsuits would come fast and furious, and the likelihood of Amtrak prevailing is near zero. We should just let this go already.
I have to side with PVD. This is a recipe for disaster. Did everyone see the link in @daybeers' post? One side of the ADA filed a lawsuit which resulted in the bathrooms being closed. Then, another group filed a lawsuit based upon ADA requirements to get them opened. Who'd want to tangle with that when it is entirely unnecessary.

Just whose rule is this one assessable per car ? Is it law or just an interpretation ?Or just some agency outlier ? Would like link to read the rule ?
Even though I referenced it above, here is the link to the ENTIRE subpart of the CFR, which covers ADA regulations for coaches, dining cars, sleeping cars, lighting, communications, etc.


https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/transportation/vehicles/technical-assistance-manuals-on-adaag-for-transportation-vehicles/subpart-f-intercity-amtrak-rail-cars-and-systems
 

railiner

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I think that when stipulating fair accessability, the entire train should have been considered as a single unit, and as long as a fair percentage of the different accommodations were accessible, that should have been the way to write the regulations, and not “micro-manage” each individual car.
 

neroden

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In practice I believe nobody will sue if Amtrak tacks on a couple of bag dorm room sales to a train which already has two or more full sleeper cars. Others are correct that nobody would tolerate using a bag dorm as the only sleeper car on a train.

Disability groups have so many egregious problems to sue Amtrak over they are not going to worry about a couple of roomette sales on a train which already has accessible rooms. On a train which does not, that is different.
 

neroden

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I should add that I suspect one room may become the conductor's office, to empty out lounge car space...
 
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