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

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jis

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If the option is still available Amtrak should seriously consider using it in some way . . . more sleepers, dorms, or maybe even new Viewliner coaches.
There are no options available, as they did expire a while back without any having been exercised. At this point it is almost certain that no additional Viewliners will be ordered or built. Will you please just let it go and move onto something more useful? ;)

The difference between CAF and NS is primarily that CAF's Viewliner shell did not fail the buff strength test miserably. Notwithstanding that I believe CAF has lost money on the Viewliner deal hand over fist, and probably does not want to hear the word Viewliner again, once they are done with finally pushing out the last Sleeper almost a decade late.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Oh but the lawsuit over the delays are just getting ready to be filed.

It would be interesting if CAF just walk away with out trying to reclaim some of that money it spent trying to meet the never ending change orders that Amtrak required.
 

jis

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Oh but the lawsuit over the delays are just getting ready to be filed.

It would be interesting if CAF just walk away with out trying to reclaim some of that money it spent trying to meet the never ending change orders that Amtrak required.
Of course it would have helped if they did not have to redo the welds multiple times too. ;)

But yeah, it would be fun to see how much dirty laundry both parties are willing to expose in the process of attempting to get some monetary gains.

Incidentally I was looking at the latest update from Dave Warner on Amtrak Roster at the OTOL site. It appears five Viewliner II Sleepers still remain to be delivered. So currently there are 20 in hand of which 12 are in regular service on any given day.

Another interesting thing is that apparently 8 Baggage cars are currently stored dead, for unknown reasons.
 
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Just-Thinking-51

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Yes both side have as you put it “dirty laundry” would it be better to walk away, and save face for CAF. I do not know.

I would think Amtrak will not be filling first, as I am sure there happy with the delays. How much of these equipment has been deployed for axle count? How many railcars are sitting around for protection? How many are just gathering dust?
 

jis

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Yes both side have as you put it “dirty laundry” would it be better to walk away, and save face for CAF. I do not know.

I would think Amtrak will not be filling first, as I am sure there happy with the delays. How much of these equipment has been deployed for axle count? How many railcars are sitting around for protection? How many are just gathering dust?
I know Boardman was extremely frustrated with the delays, because he told us as much. Several of us had a chance to talk to him at the door of the Beech Grove (the car) after he graciously gave us a tour of it during a visit to the Wilmington shops.

I doubt Anderson cared much. I am not sure it was really on Moorman's radar either. He probably had many bigger fish to fry.
 
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cocojacoby

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The difference between CAF and NS is primarily that CAF's Viewliner shell did not fail the buff strength test miserably.
From the information that I have read, the NS shell failed at 798,000# (800,000# required). I don't think you can say it failed miserably.
 

jis

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From the information that I have read, the NS shell failed at 798,000# (800,000# required). I don't think you can say it failed miserably.
Well, things flying around the test harness is pretty impressive whether one calls it miserably or not. The failure was pretty catastrophic from what I have heard. It was clearly not something that was fixable by a small tweak. I don't care whether it was miserable or total, but it was a very distinct failure that was bad enough for NS to not pursue it any further in any fixing attempt.
 

Cal

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If the option is still available Amtrak should seriously consider using it in some way . . . more sleepers, dorms, or maybe even new Viewliner coaches.
I personally would love to see Viewliner coaches, but that's not happening, unfortunately (but just imagine the matching consist😍 ) . They definitely should have ordered more sleepers.
 

OBS

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Probably the Silver Trains since that's the only Route that currently has them!( this way they can start rehabbing the V Is from the Silvers)
Keeping them on the Silver's also keeps them in and out of MIA where they are now intimately familiar with the teething issues and are best prepared to address the problems....
 

enviro5609

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Keeping them on the Silver's also keeps them in and out of MIA where they are now intimately familiar with the teething issues and are best prepared to address the problems....
While true, the new cars are already 2/3 or 1/2 of the sleeper cars on the Star and Meteor.

If they go to all VIIs, then they’ll have to deadhead the VIs for maintenance at the Hialeah facility. It’s more efficient to keep at least one VI in revenue service on each Silver Service train, and rotate them through from other lines at NYP.

If they’ve reached that saturation point already, we might see the VIIs on other lines sooner rather than later.
 

Ziv

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I agree. Better the devil you know. Adding 20 or more sleepers to the CAF order may be a good option if CAF is willing. It may be that CAF would rather walk away but even their current glacial pace is better than starting over and having to wait years for the first sleeper to be delivered.
The devil you know . . .

CAF certainly has the experience building the Viewliners now and starting fresh with a new builder is probably riskier since it would involve an all new learning curve that Amtrak wouldn't want to deal with again. At least CAF stuck around all these years. They could have just gave up and walked away like Nippon Shayrio.

If the option is still available Amtrak should seriously consider using it in some way . . . more sleepers, dorms, or maybe even new Viewliner coaches.
 

jis

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I agree. Better the devil you know. Adding 20 or more sleepers to the CAF order may be a good option if CAF is willing. It may be that CAF would rather walk away but even their current glacial pace is better than starting over and having to wait years for the first sleeper to be delivered.
And get them in 2035 🤪
 
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Or even more baggage cars. In my youth I slept in a baggage car.
I would have rather seen them convert all the Viewliner baggage car orders to sleepers.
Getting baggage cars is probably much easier, since “off the shelf” box cars could be adapted with passenger trucks and HEP cables, like they did with the MHC cars in the 80’s…
 

Ziv

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I am the eternal optimist. I was hoping to see 2 sleepers arrive per year between 2025 and 2034!
LOL!
Seriously, though, Neroden has a point that is worth considering. CAF has the skilled welders now that they needed so badly at the beginning of the build process. It would be a shame to let the line lapse and see those guys end up moving to a new job in the Gulf of Mexico or some other work site.
The part of this thread that is pretty pathetic is that I was hoping to see 20 or 30 new sleepers. Normal nations buy railcars in the hundreds relatively frequently. I can't imagine how many railcars India or China have purchased in the past 10 years. Yeah, they have larger populations than the US but their railcar buys seem to be much higher even on a per capita basis.

And get them in 2035 🤪
 

striker64

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Currently riding on 98 in a new car. Quite a surprise when I boarded yesterday, although I'm a semi-frequent rider I don't keep up with news so I was surprised - and not in a good way - to see the toilets were removed from the roommettes.

So, ok, fine, we all have to use the bathrooms at the end of the car. Except that the toilets stopped flushing a few hours into the trip and they've been locked out ever since. The attendant mentioned this was not the first time it had happened on her shift, so that seems like a bad omen..

One bedroom was not booked, so we've been allowed to use that toilet instead. Didn't take long at all for that to get gross. Also doesn't help that this train is 4+ hours late.

The room itself otherwise is not bad. It's cleaner obviously, mostly because it's new, and everything works pretty smoothly, but the seats are weirdly plush and I find myself getting pretty uncomfortable.

All in all, I'm not a fan. One reason I ride the train is because I like a private bathroom. Don't really understand why it's gone. I can't afford bedrooms on the regular, so if having to hope there's an unbooked bedroom on my car for if/when the communal restrooms go out of order, my train days are over. Especially when you combine it with the delay, which is by far the worst I've experienced on multiple Silver trips, and the awful flex dining, there's not much left that makes this appealing.

Anyway, I hope everyone that had roommette toilets as their #1 complaint (according to the attendant) enjoy the new cars.
 

PVD

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The in roomette toilet debate has gone on for years. There are reasons for and against. There are plenty of times the in room systems failed, especially in the earlier days when pipes freezing had not been addressed.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Striker64 current on the train. So the pipes have not froze, the system is working because the bedroom’s bathroom is working. Someone flushed a paper towel clogging the pipes is more likely. Anyways the bathroom debate is not over into the Viewliner Ones get refurbished. Should the bathrooms be removed from the roomette, than the debate is over.
 
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