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Viewliner II Part 4: Sleeping Car Production, Delivery, Speculation

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jis

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One of the huge cost items for upgrading VLIs is that the only way to do it is to remove most of the modules at the roomette end in order to insert the dual toilet module near the end of the car.

A cheaper alternative may be to keep all the modules in place and just remove the plumbing and seal the commodes shut. Just remove one module adjacent to the side opening for module replacement and replace it with a new toilet module, and fix up the plumbing for it. The pro of this is that the process of changing the accommodations to match in number is relatively small. The con is that the toilet module will be near the middle of the car rather than near the end.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Sorry let’s do this right and place the toilet near the end of the car. Plan C: cut out one sleeper module and hand build two restroom in that location. Module are nice for a big project, but it not the only option.
 

PVD

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Why is the module being towards the middle an issue? What's right about the end? Hand building in place would likely be expensive and time consuming compared to prebuilt modules, especially from a QC standpoint. 50 units is not a small project.
 
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jis

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Sorry let’s do this right and place the toilet near the end of the car. Plan C: cut out one sleeper module and hand build two restroom in that location. Module are nice for a big project, but it not the only option.
Good luck with that. Wake me up when you have it done :) IMHO another case of perfection defeating practical achievability. We are discussing doing nothing vs. doing something, Ideally we should scrap the entire Viewliner fleet and acquire new 21st century technology Sleepers. ;) But of course that is impractical too.
 
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IndyLions

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The Viewliner I’s, may have been the first long distance cars (except diner’s), to not have at least one ‘public’ restroom....I can’t recall any others...
If I had more confidence in Amtrak - I’d say “surely they’ve thought of adding a public restroom to the VLI’s already”, but....
 

IndyLions

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One of the huge cost items for upgrading VLIs is that the only way to do it is to remove most of the modules at the roomette end in order to insert the dual toilet module near the end of the car.

A cheaper alternative may be to keep all the modules in place and just remove the plumbing and seal the commodes shut. Just remove one module adjacent to the side opening for module replacement and replace it with a new toilet module, and fix up the plumbing for it. The pro of this is that the process of changing the accommodations to match in number is relatively small. The con is that the toilet module will be near the middle of the car rather than near the end.
With the VLI design, would sealing up the commodes be a pre-requisite for adding a VLII restroom module regardless of location?
 

jis

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With the VLI design, would sealing up the commodes be a pre-requisite for adding a VLII restroom module regardless of location?
It is not necessarily a technical pre-requisite, but the in roomette commodes are a huge maintenance item that everyone wants to get rid of as a cost reduction measure, if not anything else. And you can;t do that without putting a common set of toilets in the car.
 

JustOnce

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One of the huge cost items for upgrading VLIs is that the only way to do it is to remove most of the modules at the roomette end in order to insert the dual toilet module near the end of the car.

A cheaper alternative may be to keep all the modules in place and just remove the plumbing and seal the commodes shut. Just remove one module adjacent to the side opening for module replacement and replace it with a new toilet module, and fix up the plumbing for it. The pro of this is that the process of changing the accommodations to match in number is relatively small. The con is that the toilet module will be near the middle of the car rather than near the end.
Depends what the complete plans are. They may plan to remove all of the modules and replace them with new ones as part of the overhaul. I know they want to remove the roomette toilets but can that be done by overhauling the existing modules either inside or outside the car?
 

jis

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Depends what the complete plans are. They may plan to remove all of the modules and replace them with new ones as part of the overhaul. I know they want to remove the roomette toilets but can that be done by overhauling the existing modules either inside or outside the car?
We know that this was the original plan and we also know that it is no longer the plan. Only cosmetic fixup is the plan for now, i.e. new upholstery and carpets and replacement of light and other electrical fixtures. Not much else.

They don't really need to remove the commodes. They can just be sealed in place. They would want to remove the plumbing under the car though if they wish to go there. But that is not the current plan.
 
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me_little_me

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We know that this was the original plan and we also know that it is no longer the plan. Only cosmetic fixup is the plan for now, i.e. new upholstery and carpets and replacement of light and other electrical fixtures. Not much else.

They don't really need to remove the commodes. They can just be sealed in place. They would want to remove the plumbing under the car though if they wish to go there. But that is not the current plan.
Bad idea. Little enough room as it is. Just cut out the commodes and replace the floor plate so the extra room can be used for baggage or whatever (A refrigerator? Nah! Just fantasizing.)
 

jis

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Bad idea. Little enough room as it is. Just cut out the commodes and replace the floor plate so the extra room can be used for baggage or whatever (A refrigerator? Nah! Just fantasizing.)
All that they planned to do was make the modified I Roomettes look like II Roomettes. Since IIs don't have refrigerators or whatever, and since a step is needed at that position to provide access to the upper berth, I suspect there will either be a platform of the type found in II or a sealed commode.

Remember, no one is designing a new Roomette at this time. Theya re trying to spend as little money as theyc an to just do a upholstery and carpet replacement for now, which does not even envisage taking the commodes out and installation of common toilets.

We are just idly speculating what minor changes could be made for minimal expense to make the Is similar to IIs.
 

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Considering that so many things plug in, and most of them are pretty low wattage, the added receptacle would probably not be a load issue, but because of the way the cars/modules are put together, it might be a P.I.T.A. to install. The optimum would be coming from the load side of the existing GFCI since that would protect the added receptacle even if it was a conventional type.
 

Cho Cho Charlie

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It is not necessarily a technical pre-requisite, but the in roomette commodes are a huge maintenance item that everyone wants to get rid of as a cost reduction measure, if not anything else. And you can;t do that without putting a common set of toilets in the car.
Amtrak could save even more maintenance costs by removing the commodes from the bedrooms too. Ditto for all the Superliners too.
 

Willbridge

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Considering that so many things plug in, and most of them are pretty low wattage, the added receptacle would probably not be a load issue, but because of the way the cars/modules are put together, it might be a P.I.T.A. to install. The optimum would be coming from the load side of the existing GFCI since that would protect the added receptacle even if it was a conventional type.
MOST of them are pretty low wattage, but when the DB's 1980's vintage cars were hit with the first wave of chargers they found that the train line for hotel services was drawing as much power as the locomotive was for traction.
 

Willbridge

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All that they planned to do was make the modified I Roomettes look like II Roomettes. Since IIs don't have refrigerators or whatever, and since a step is needed at that position to provide access to the upper berth, I suspect there will either be a platform of the type found in II or a sealed commode.

Remember, no one is designing a new Roomette at this time. Theya re trying to spend as little money as theyc an to just do a upholstery and carpet replacement for now, which does not even envisage taking the commodes out and installation of common toilets.

We are just idly speculating what minor changes could be made for minimal expense to make the Is similar to IIs.
I recently ran across a VIA Rail roster from 1979 that shows that their 217 sleepers were in 11 different configurations, including sleeper lounges. That was too many types but Amtrak ought to be able to live with the VL1 with cosmetic updates for now. They still should have enough of both VL types for consistent equipment assignments for all but emergencies.
 

west point

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Here we have 12 pages of replies and everyone has forgotten one major point about the V-1 sleepers. They must be rotated thru to MIA ( HIA ) for more than just routine maintenance. I suggest that when regulars service is restored that Amtrak will probably dispatch the Silver regularly with either 1 or 2 V-2s and one or 2 V-1s. I suspect Arrow can be modified to handle that change. Eventually when all V-2s are in service then one V-2 on all single level LD and 2 V-1s as well. The surplus maybe to a night owl service and spares at SSY, MIA, BOS, and maybe WASH ?

Of course that may change in the long run depending on what the Biden administration is able to get thru congress ?
 

jis

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Actually running the Silvers with a V2 and the rest V1 in designated fixed position in the consist might be easier. That way you have to manage an exception from time to time due to bad ordered cars, but most times you don;t have to make any change in Arrow other than coding in the two types of Sleeper in fixed position in the consist, which is what they are presumably doing already. What we are given to understand is that the V2s are running in the xx12 position. Other position(s) are V1.

I think a more interesting question is if they are going to do the small change in the trucks and wheel profile needed to up the max speed of V1s to 125mph. That can be done as they rotate through their major mechanical maintenance cycle without any other disruption.
 

Trogdor

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Even if they scheduled the Silvers as all V-IIs, if they had to send a V-I in its place (either for maintenance rotation or a last-minute sub) it wouldn't really affect anything as far as passengers/ticketing is concerned. Everyone can still take their same room assignments without much fuss. You'd just have an extra room that would be unsold.

It's really no worse than when Amtrak sells rooms in a transition sleeper and then has to run a regular sleeper in its place (in this case, the car attendant has to tell the passenger to take a different room, but beyond that, there's no fuss at all and those cars have a greater difference in configuration).
 

Mailliw

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If I book a roomette in a VII that's what I expect; I'm not going to travel in accommodation with an unenclosed toilet. The only other accommodations in this country that have them are jail cells.
 

Lonestar648

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I would hope that I would be able to reserve my room knowing which car type I would be paying for. Pre-Covid I avoided taking my grandchildren with me on the VL sleepers. My daughters said NO before I asked when I described the VLI sleepers. I have found that teen girls demand certain privacy, which at night is difficult if Grandpa is sound asleep. Traveling in Roomettes on the Superliners has worked well, even then we took sanitary precautions.
 

Steve4031

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Those in the know simply need to ask for a room in the 12 car. The only reason you don’t get it if the car is full.
 

me_little_me

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If they have mixed VL1s and VL2s on a train, then those in the VL1s can use the external toilets in the VL2s unlike now where one has to go to a coach car at night to avoid bothering someone who is sleeping in the room or for privacy reasons.
 

roadman3313

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Those in the know simply need to ask for a room in the 12 car. The only reason you don’t get it if the car is full.
Not sure how far out the bookings are going as of now as I have a trip scheduled on 92 at the end of February and they only show a 9210 and 9211 car on those trips as of now (currently assigned to the 9210 car). I'd be curious to hear if anyone has seen or experienced these cars during their current run on the Silvers.
 
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