Wastewater from trains: where does it go?

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CTANut

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Does all the waste dump to the tracks except for the toilets?
 

Burns651

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I've seen bathroom sink water drain out of Horizon cars, possibly Amfleet too, lots of times.
 

Dakota 400

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I think the only waste that drains onto the tracks is from Superliner showers. As far as I know, all other waste is held in tanks until the car can be serviced.
I did not know this. I thought all of the waste water went into holding tanks.
 

Oreius

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Amfleet 1 coaches have chemical toilets, while the newer Amfleet 2’s have water flush retention potties. I don’t understand why both car types DON’T use chemical flush—it helps reduce the stink!

Viewliners have vacuum toilets like those on a cruise ship. There is a lighted display above the corridor on one end of the car that indicates how full the waste tank is. Kind of neat. The only thing is, I wouldn’t try flushing these while on the pot. That’ll be one hell of a cool breeze! 😁😆
 
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niemi24s

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If each car has its own cooling system, I wouldn't assume any clear liquid dripping under a car to be waste water of any sort. Could be just condensation - just like under a motor vehicle.
 

Oreius

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Food for thought: I’ll bet an Amtrak train could get a speed boost if everyone in a Viewliner flushed their commodes at the same time! Be like a jet engine!! 😁
 

Oreius

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Seeing the ties flashing by through the drain holes in the shower was the clue for me.
As a matter of fact, I do remember riding in the old Heritage coaches on my very first Amtrak trip from Buffalo to Boston in 1990. I was amazed that the bottom of the pot simply was a hole to the track below! There was a sign that said: “Please flush toilet, except when train is standing at station.” I remember getting off at Depew and someone flushed their “No. 2!!” Gross!!
 
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zephyr17

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As a matter of fact, I do remember riding in the old Heritage coaches on my very first Amtrak trip from Buffalo to Boston in 1990. I was amazed that the bottom of the pot simply was a hole to the track below! There was a sign that said: “Please flush toilet, except when train is standing at station.” I remember getting off at Depew and someone flushed their “No. 2!!” Gross!!
I remember those days, but I wasn't referencing them. The discussion was on greywater, specifically the shower. Many Superliner public showers do directly drain straight down onto the tracks, and you can see the roadbed through the little drain holes. That's today.

I don't know what they do with the grey water from the sinks and private showers.

I know the blackwater on Superliners goes through a macerator and into retention tanks, where it is pumped out.
 

AMTRAK709

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This thread discussion fondly reminded me a an incident in the late 1980's when Amtrak 98 (then Amtrak 88) dumped waste at Buffalo Bluff over the St. John's River in Putnam County Florida--and the waste hit 2 fisherman in a fishing boat. Putnam County hauled Amtrak in to court. I was there on that court day and its was my pleasure to meet W Graham Claytor--Amtrak's CEO at the time--for the first time.
 

Dakota 400

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Many Superliner public showers do directly drain straight down onto the tracks, and you can see the roadbed through the little drain holes. That's today.
I must remember to look down the drain holes on my next Superliner trip.

I remember the old cars where one could watch the ties go by when the commode was flushed. I was a child then and it always rather fascinated me.
 

zephyr17

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Not all of them are direct, only some. The incidents don't seem to follow Superliner type. I'd say no more than about 1/2 based on me noticing it.
 
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Oreius

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This brings up another question: Do Superliners have vacuum toilets? I would assume not, since most were built in the 70s.
 

jis

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That's a Superliner II from the 1990s. And, yes, there is vacuum action, they suck the contents down.
Wasn't the original holding tank and spray out while moving system on the Super Is replaced by full holding tanks after a Santa Fe track gang got sprayed or some such?

I thought the commodes were all converted to vacuum type too at some point. Or am I remembering wrong, and you can tell whether you are in a Superliner I or II simply by visiting the toilet?
 

OBS

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Wasn't the original holding tank and spray out while moving system on the Super Is replaced by full holding tanks after a Santa Fe track gang got sprayed or some such?

I thought the commodes were all converted to vacuum type too at some point. Or am I remembering wrong, and you can tell whether you are in a Superliner I or II simply by visiting the toilet?
You can tell VLII because of the Warning lights next to lid of toilet seat....
Not sure about holding tanks. I do remember they used to spray when operating over a certain speed or something like that....
 
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jis

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You can tell VLII because of the Warning lights next to lid of toilet seat....
Not sure about holding tanks. I do remember they used to spray when operating over a certain speed or something like that....
Were the original commodes in SL Is vacuum type or the Amfleet style Blue splish-splash type?
 
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