Will Amtrak use Viewliners on the LD Western Trains?

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Recent derailing accidents on the EB and SWC have wiped out quite a bit of Superliner equipment of which Amtrak doesn't have a surplus of. It seems that to continue the Western routes either superliner equipment must be found, ordered or Amtrak must use what it has in Viewliners. My thought is that LD service may not be able to continue as it is with the shortage of equipment. So what is going to happen? Will schedule changes to three day a week service be done? Is it possible for Amtrak to rebuild the damaged Superliner sleepers, coaches and diners or will they use Viewliner equipment that they have? What are your thoughts on this?
 
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It would be far more likely to see an existing SL train such as the CL or CONO to be converted to single level, using that equipment elsewhere. I'm not making a judgement on whether anything like that might or might not happen, but there are a number of reasons why it might make more sense. CL is 3 sets, not sure of CONO.
 

andytiedye

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Recent derailing accidents on the EB and SWC have wiped out quite a bit of Superliner equipment of which Amtrak doesn't have a surplus of. It seems that to continue the Western routes either superliner equipment must be found, ordered or Amtrak must use what it has in Viewliners. My thought is that LD service may not be able to continue as it is with the shortage of equipment. So what is going to happen? Will schedule changes to three day a week service be done? Is it possible for Amtrak to rebuild the damaged Superliner sleepers, coaches and diners or will they use Viewliner equipment that they have? What are your thoughts on this
The entry-exit doors are too high on Viewliners. They are made for high platforms, and stations that expect Superliners have low platforms.
 

zephyr17

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The entry-exit doors are too high on Viewliners. They are made for high platforms, and stations that expect Superliners have low platforms.
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Viewliners already serve stations with both high and low level platforms, New York Penn and Chicago Union Station being the most obvious examples of each.

There is no problem with Viewliners serving low level platforms, they already do. That is why they have step traps.

There are no reasons Viewliner/Amfleet consists cannot be used on the Capitol Limited or the City of New Orleans or other routes served by Superliners. Note all stations between Cleveland and Chicago are served by both a Viewliner/Amfleet train, the Lake Shore, and a Superliner train, the Capitol.

Low level platforms are no impediment using Viewliners.

Note the converse is not true. The doors in Superliner sowbelly vestibules are much too low to be used at high level platforms.
 
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Just-Thinking-51

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Amtrak been selling off damage Superliner equipment lately. Couple of damage Lounge have been sold, several coaches are or have been listed. No new equipment enroute, but the old stuff getting show the door.

So would not be surprised to some changes, the bigger issues is the Viewliner 2 are have maintenance and reliability issues.
 
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The Capitol Ltd is certainly a likely candidate for conversion to single level, especially since the SSL was removed. If they did that I would hope the schedule could be changed to originate in NYP or PHL (i know servicing would have to be established there). Currently the train lays over in Washington for 27 hours which is terrible equipment utilization. There is more than enough time to extend the route without requiring additional equipment and provide a daily one seat ride to points on the NEC from Chicago. Of course this would depend on some of the sidelined V2 cars being pulled from storage as the train would need a V2 diner and some more sleepers.

Since less equipment is required for the tri-weekly Cardinal perhaps that could terminate in Washington with some of the CL Superliner cars and still provide a few Superliners for western trains that appear to be badly needed, at least until Beach Grove catches up on repairs..
 

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Capitol Limited would seem like the easiest conversion. It would also in theory streamline operations by making DC an entirely Viewliner station.
I agree...this train should never have been equipped with Superliner's. By converting it to Viewliner's, they could easily combine it with the Pennsylvanian at Pittsburgh. Or, better yet, make it a second train on the Pittsburgh/New York route. Then they would not need to extend it from Washington to New York, unless they wanted to, to give Wilmington and Baltimore a 'one-seat' ride to its route...
 

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What about limiting superliners to certain premium routes? Just as an example, maybe make the CZ , CS, and EB all superliner equipment, daily service. SWC and the others use viewliners until repairs catch up.
 

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What about limiting superliners to certain premium routes? Just as an example, maybe make the CZ , CS, and EB all superliner equipment, daily service. SWC and the others use viewliners until repairs catch up.
Where are those extra Viewliners going to come from? It is not like there isn't a shortage of Viewliners even when they are not sitting in mothballs. There really isn't a single Viewliner that is in serviceable condition that is sitting idle to be used to replace a Superliner train. And what about single level Cafes? This is the most unrealistic idea that has come by in a while I am afraid.
 
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Amtrak is also talking about expanding routes? If I may ask with what equipment? The heart of the matter is that Amtrak is very short on LD equipment and eventually more routes will need to be cut but maybe that's the plan.They have the money and need a solution.
 

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I like that the Capitol limited is superliners so it gives people an option as to what accommodation they prefer, however I agree making the Capitol single level would be nice
 

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Amtrak is also talking about expanding routes? If I may ask with what equipment? The heart of the matter is that Amtrak is very short on LD equipment and eventually more routes will need to be cut but maybe that's the plan.They have the money and need a solution.
Amtrak is not talking about expanding LD routes. It is talking mostly about adding regional corridor routes (as in ConnectUS) funded by states presumably using new equipment acquired by the states.

Amtrak does have a plan to acquire replacement for its LD fleet and presumably bungle along with what it has until that happens. But of course parking a third of the fleet in mothballs does not exactly engender much confidence in folks like us watching from the outside.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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Amtrak is also talking about expanding routes? If I may ask with what equipment? The heart of the matter is that Amtrak is very short on LD equipment and eventually more routes will need to be cut but maybe that's the plan.They have the money and need a solution.
Well nobody at Amtrak is pitching a plan expending the LD sleeper routes, all the noise is about expending the state support routes. No need for Sleepers and Dinners.

What money? The extra funds was not given to Amtrak, it was given to USDOT, and there looking for things to spend it on. See Miami test trains, a good project, but really now, a simple tape measure could of determine if it would work.
 

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jis has it correct; The movement of any single level cars away from the present trains just causes more problems at present. At present there are ~ 75 V-1 & V-2 sleepers and 25 diners.. Also 10 Bag - dorms. Reasonably only 60 of the full sleeper cars can be in service at any time except for short holiday traffic.. The routes; 2 Silver trains and Crescent need 16 sleepers each. LSL needs 12. Cardinal needs 4. If Cardinal goes daily then 6. Night owl 2. == OOPS already exceeded that full sleeper 60 number although bag dorms might continue to substitute on Crescent and maybe Cardinal to get below 60.?

Now a partial solution would be to have cut off cars at WASH 1 each on Silvers and Crescent. ATL can justify 2 cut offs there. However, it appears that Amtrak only looks at costs not revenue increases more than costs..

Car building slots are very limited in the short term. More about this later in this post. That leaves the only option of Amtrak rebuilding all out of service cars at Beech, Bear, and Willmington in this same short term. However, it is only until just this last month that Amtrak has started job opening listing at those 3 locations. Rebuilding and even new cars has a very difficult time for spare cars. Example, FRA 223 glass probably in short supply Why US DOT has not announced funds for this rebuiilding someoe else will have to find out.

How does Amtrak get building any LD cars cars single level or Superliner size cars? It appears that CAF would never build any more V-2s. Of course, never is a long time. The stated item that Amtrak owns the plans and patents of the V-2s have not had citations that it is true. Can Siemens fit in sleepers, dinning cars and lounges for LD single level trains is a problem.

Then we have the possible Meridian <> DFW connection to the Crescent if CPKCS happpens. UP Marshall <> DAL might be a problem for adding that train. Amtrak probably would be all worried about additional switching costs at MEI.
 

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It makes the most sense (see Southwest Airlines) to have all train cars made by the same manufacturer. The Siemen's shell has FRA approval, so "all" that would be needed is to specify the interior configuration (coach, sleeper, diner, lounge). And as been pointed out elsewhere new bi-level cars will raise all sorts of ADA issues.

The problem here is the time frame. I would expect that the corridor car manufacturing process will take us to 2025, which is when the LD cars could finally start to come off the line. It is very unlikely that Amtrak will have enough LD equipment unless they use the "old" Amfleets that are replaced as single level coaches and are able somehow to get more sleepers on the road and out of the shops.
 
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It makes the most sense (see Southwest Airlines) to have all train cars made by the same manufacturer. The Siemen's shell has FRA approval, so "all" that would be needed is to specify the interior configuration (coach, sleeper, diner, lounge). And as been pointed out elsewhere new bi-level cars will raise all sorts of ADA issues.

The problem here is the time frame. I would expect that the corridor car manufacturing process will take us to 2025, which is when the LD cars could finally start to come off the line. It is very unlikely that Amtrak will have enough LD equipment unless they use the "old" Amfleets that are replaced as single level coaches and are able somehow to get more sleepers on the road and out of the shops.
Streamlining service and mechanical costs with a uniform fleet like Southwest or JetBlue is more important and necessary to airlines than it is to trains.

So far, there are no plans to make the Seimens “shells” as you put it into sleepers.
In fact, its not guaranteed that Seimens will actually manufacture the replacement for superliners or Viewliners.
 
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Amtrak is not talking about expanding LD routes. It is talking mostly about adding regional corridor routes (as in ConnectUS) funded by states presumably using new equipment acquired by the states.

Amtrak does have a plan to acquire replacement for its LD fleet and presumably bungle along with what it has until that happens. But of course parking a third of the fleet in mothballs does not exactly engender much confidence in folks like us watching from the outside.
As pessemistic as it is to say this, I have a feeling we will slowly see the LD fleet (and ultimately trains) eroded away until new equipment comes. Amtrak just seems too complacent to really do anything else.
 
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However, it is only until just this last month that Amtrak has started job opening listing at those 3 locations. Rebuilding and even new cars has a very difficult time for spare cars. Example, FRA 223 glass probably in short supply Why US DOT has not announced funds for this rebuiilding someoe else will have to find out.

I have seen jobs posted at Beech Grove on the career site at different times over the last few months - not just in the last month. Often times postings come down and new postings come up with new dates. They are also offering incentives.

IIJA funding is not likely to be used for refurbishing existing Superliner/Viewliner/Amfleet equipment or wreck rebuilds - that would likely come from the capital budget from Amtrak’s normal appropriation. IIJA funding is likely going to be used for new equipment programs only.
 
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jis

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Then we have the possible Meridian <> DFW connection to the Crescent if CPKCS happpens. UP Marshall <> DAL might be a problem for adding that train. Amtrak probably would be all worried about additional switching costs at MEI.
Addition of any LD trains at present unless explicitly asked for by Congress in a bill with adequate targeted money attached, is nothing but a fantasy in our feverish minds at this time. Ain't gonna happen. Realistically we would be lucky to maintain the current LD network unscathed until new equipment arrives. Just keep fingers crossed that we do not lose too many more pieces to accidents.Meanwhile growth will take place in short/medium corridor services.
 

alpha3

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Where are those extra Viewliners going to come from? It is not like there isn't a shortage of Viewliners even when they are not sitting in mothballs. There really isn't a single Viewliner that is in serviceable condition that is sitting idle to be used to replace a Superliner train. And what about single level Cafes? This is the most unrealistic idea that has come by in a while I am afraid.
Jis, I said that because I heard, or recently read, that Amtrak is refurbishing old viewliners as fast as it can and still taking delivery of new cars. So, you're saying there's no movement at all on the mothballed fleet, then?
 
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Some tidbits from Amtrak's FY 2022-2027 Service and Asset Line Plans:

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"As new equipment typically takes four or
more years from contract award to when the first unit
enters service, Amfleet and Superliner I equipment will
have operated for approximately 50 years, and P-40/P-42
diesel locomotives approximately 25-30 years, by the time
replacements are manufactured, tested, and delivered."

"... the remainder of the Intercity Trainset procurement and
our planned order for new long-distance rolling stock
will continue after the period covered by this plan. We
anticipate the complete retirement of our P-40/P-42,
Amfleet I and II and Superliner fleets by the early 2030s."
 
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jis

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Jis, I said that because I heard, or recently read, that Amtrak is refurbishing old viewliners as fast as it can and still taking delivery of new cars. So, you're saying there's no movement at all on the mothballed fleet, then?
Some of them are scheduled to be taken out of mothballs later this coming year. Nothing is going to happen before that. And even with all of them out of mothballs there is not enough to replace even a single western train. So you can scratch that idea. It won't happen. At most the Capitol might get swapped from Superliner to single level, if that.
 
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