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Would Viewliners like these be possible (Or even Useful)?

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I know a gentleman that works at an administration level position at Amtrak and I mentioned to him how after riding in the Viewliner dining cars how well that carbody would lend itself to a lounge-type car with double row of windows in an open space. He said there was a sleeper lounge design that unfortunately never made it past the “paper” stage which took a lot of inspiration from the Seaboard sun lounge cars with bedrooms at one end.

the problem with any type of boat tail design is operational inflexibility. Any car design with rear windows would more than likely have to incorporate the ability to be used mid-train if required. The most practical design would likely be like a sun lounge design with some windows cut in on either side of the diaphragm. If you look at the private car Hollywood Beach it appears that is exactly what they did.

Jason P

Hello all,

I'm sure some of you will be saying to yourselves "oh great, another Viewliner thread from fantasy land," but because I've been stuck inside, I figured I'd try to draw out the Viewliners that I envision from time to time, and how they'd be used.

So my main idea was that different Viewliners could be used to take all Amfleets out of LD service, so they could be used to bolster the corridor fleet (although I'm sure by time these were delivered the Amfleets would be replaced already.

Anyway, here are a few of my ideas, in my order of most to least likely to be used. (

Firstly, a Viewliner Coach. This is essentially a carbon copy of an Amfleet II, but in Viewliner form.
View attachment 17605
A Viewliner Cafe Car, with the layout changed up to a more open design.
View attachment 17606

A Lounge-Sleeper combo. This is the design I like the least out of all of them, could definitely use tweaking but I;m not sure where. Maybe no Roomettes?
View attachment 17607

A Coach-Dorm car. The only thing I wasn't sure about was whether a sleeper needed an ADA bedroom or if one like this could be made.
View attachment 17608

Lastly, a Viewliner Observation-Dorm-Lounge. I just had fun with this one, let me know what you think.
View attachment 17609

Let me know what you guys think, of anything I've gotten wrong. Please excuse the art and car design, I'm neither an artist or an engineer.

Based on diagrams from here: Amtrak Car Diagrams @ CraigMashburn.com
 
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cocojacoby

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This design yields 36 of these lie flat seats vs. the sleeper car capacity of 30 seats (4 bedroom and one ADA room.) I'm not sure this slight increase in capacity will allow them to charge sufficiently reduced fares to make the lack of privacy attractive. Also, is the double sized restroom module large enough to contain an ADA compliant toilet?
I doubt every room is at full double occupancy on most Viewliners.

That's what Amtrak is doing with the new Viewliners but of course they have an ADA room. So maybe a single ADA restroom would be the way to go.
 

cocojacoby

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You can call these double windowed Viewliner, or other designs like the old Silver Meteor Sun Lounges with glass tops "domes" if you wish, but to me, a true dome must have 360° visibility. The only "domes" low enough for the NEC that approached that requirement, were the former United Aircraft Turbo Trains.
Got to compromise a bit. The Dome Lounge/Diner combo would be very efficient and pleasant enough. The only train that could give you what you want is probably the Talgo and that's probably not happening since the floor is too low for high level platforms.

I understand what you are saying but unless you grab the first row or two most people are left with a side-wards view anyway.

This pic is of the Sightseer Lounge on a recent Auto Train trip I took. The car is still a very pleasant place to be. Not great scenery but very bright and attractive car.

IMAG1894.jpg
 
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railiner

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Got to compromise a bit. The Dome Lounge/Diner combo would be very efficient and pleasant enough. The only train that could give you what you want is probably the Talgo and that's probably not happening since the floor is too low for high level platforms.

I understand what you are saying but unless you grab the first row or two most people are left with a side-wards view anyway.
I usually try to do just that...grab the front "railfan seat";)
Even so, in a short dome with only six rows, since the seatbacks are low for sightseeing, I find that even in the back row, you can get a pretty good view out the front, and certainly out the back...
 

JohannFarley

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I know a gentleman that works at an administration level position at Amtrak and I mentioned to him how after riding in the Viewliner dining cars how well that carbody would lend itself to a lounge-type car with double row of windows in an open space. He said there was a sleeper lounge design that unfortunately never made it past the “paper” stage which took a lot of inspiration from the Seaboard sun lounge cars with bedrooms at one end.

the problem with any type of boat tail design is operational inflexibility. Any car design with rear windows would more than likely have to incorporate the ability to be used mid-train if required. The most practical design would likely be like a sun lounge design with some windows cut in on either side of the diaphragm. If you look at the private car Hollywood Beach it appears that is exactly what they did.

Jason P
I feel like you could easily add a door to the end of my design like this:
o.jpg
That could easily allow it to be used mid train if necessary.
 

JohannFarley

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There were also some square-ended observation lounges, that did have windows on the ends on either side of the door. They blended in better aesthetically if placed mid train...
An example without a diaphragm.
Those would definitely be more aesthetically appealing for mid train use. I've just always been a big fan of the round end cars. I feel like the cap off a train so well.
 

railiner

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That 1956 version of the DZ, I believe was one of the very last complete long-distance streamliner's built...
In any event, its obs was in marked contrast to the 1948 boat-tail on the CZ...
 

Dakota 400

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Add a little more glass to the roof-line and I think you've got it!

Below are cars CN acquired from 'The Milwaukee Road' that were originally used on the Olympian Hiawatha



I am fairly certain such cars were also used on the Morning Hiawatha and Afternoon Hiawatha between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
 

NS VIA Fan

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I am fairly certain such cars were also used on the Morning Hiawatha and Afternoon Hiawatha between Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Yes....but the cars on the Milwaukee's Morning and Afternoon Hiawathas were Parlour Cars.


My photos above were Sleeping Cars. The glass area was a bit more extensive than the Parlour Cars.
 

sttom

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This design yields 36 of these lie flat seats vs. the sleeper car capacity of 30 seats (4 bedroom and one ADA room.) I'm not sure this slight increase in capacity will allow them to charge sufficiently reduced fares to make the lack of privacy attractive. Also, is the double sized restroom module large enough to contain an ADA compliant toilet?
Looking over the prices in the fare bucket thread, the coach to roomette prices don't really seem to have anything to do with how much space they take up. The approximate amount of space the roomettes in a Viewliner take up is about 10 rows of seats. Making the ratio of space approximately 3 to 1.

LSL NYLSL BCRESSTARMETCARD
Coach$90$96$139$130$130$90
Roomette$383$391$466$404$479$383
Ratio4.34.13.43.13.74.3
Roomette "Space" Price$288$307$445$416$416$288
Bedroom$614$623$649$689$852$614

The rough math shows that current low bucket prices are generally beyond the approximate rule based on space. But since there is little transparency on how fares are set, we can't know for sure what the charge for food is and what the charge for the accommodation is.

Also, there is no rule that a lie flat seat would have to have the same mark up as a roomette. Even the base bedroom rate isn't two times what a roomette is. So there is precedent that the various accommodation options have to generate equal revenue based on space, since based on current pricing that doesn't seem to happen.
 

dlagrua

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If Amtrak is trying to sustain a minimalist long distance service they are moving in the wrong direction. The airlines offer a far better solution for price and shortness of trip. Amtrak can only compete by going back to advertising it as a comfortable full sleeper service, full of amenities and it must be affordable. Sleepers bring in the highest revenue but a coast to coat fare should not cost $2000 to $3000. There is no reason that Amtrak long distance service cannot be both profitable and affordable but it would require far more sleepers and a congress willing to fund it..
 

Dakota 400

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Yes....but the cars on the Milwaukee's Morning and Afternoon Hiawathas were Parlour Cars.


My photos above were Sleeping Cars. The glass area was a bit more extensive than the Parlour Cars.
I have added to my knowledge about rail travel this afternoon thanks to you. I appreciate it! I did not know that there were two versions. I did some googling and found more information as well as some good photos of the interior of the cars as well as there floor plan. I remember seeing the car during my rail trips in the late '50's and recognized how unique the car was.

For some reason, I recall that one of the Hiawathas derailed en route to/from the Twin Cities. Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson was on that train and was a passenger in the Skytop Lounge car. Having seen the car, that news piqued my interest then--and, I guess has helped that memory stick.
 

cocojacoby

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These cars are really special.

I just happened to be passing through Washington Union Station one day in the 80's and Cedar Rapids was at the bumper post. My wife and I got a private tour. That was so great.

And then I was playing a really cool game about a year ago called Obduction. I was climbing inside this tower and really had no idea what this tower was. It's the upright structure in the center of this pic:


Then I soon suddenly realized what it was! Was I surprised:


Note that the poster thought it was a school bus!
 
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toddinde

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Yes....but the cars on the Milwaukee's Morning and Afternoon Hiawathas were Parlour Cars.


My photos above were Sleeping Cars. The glass area was a bit more extensive than the Parlour Cars.
Yes. The Skytop sleepers were built for the Olympian Hiawatha for service between Chicago and Seattle/Tacoma. There were six, with eight bedrooms. I always thought it strange they didn’t have a bar or buffet of any kind. I later learned that if a car operated by the Pullman Company had a bar, Pullman had to operate it and got the revenue. Thus a bar in the Skytop would have competed with the Milwaukee’s Tip Top Tap and after 1952, the Super Dome. The four Skytop Parlors were built in the Milwaukee Road’s Milwaukee Shops for the Morning and Afternoon Hiawathas. They had one drawing room, a parlor section, and a smaller lounge area at the rear. They were removed from service in January 1970, when the Afternoon Hiawatha was discontinued. Straight parlors continued on the Morning Hiawatha until Amtrak. I saw the Skytop sleepers awaiting disposition in Winnipeg in 1977. I’m glad some survived. Probably more information than anyone wanted, but the Milwaukee Road was the best, and these cars were beautiful.
 

NS VIA Fan

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Yes. The Skytop sleepers were built for the Olympian Hiawatha for service between Chicago and Seattle/Tacoma. There were six, with eight bedrooms. I always thought it strange they didn’t have a bar or buffet of any kind......
After the Skytop Sleepers went to CN they got a bar (but the seating wasn't as comfortable!!)

 

LookingGlassTie

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I kinda like the idea of a Coach-Dorm car as an option for lower passenger demand, depending on the time of year and such. Right now, some routes run with partially filled coaches and partially filled sleepers. I think that the C-D cars could be used when demand is lower and separate coach and sleeper cars could be used when demand is higher. Or perhaps all three car types can be used in a consist when demand is REALLY high.

The question I have is: how does running full vs. partially occupied cars affect Amtrak's costs?
 

Dakota 400

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I later learned that if a car operated by the Pullman Company had a bar, Pullman had to operate it and got the revenue.
I never knew that. I remember on a PRR overnight train between Columbus, Ohio and Chicago there was a Pullman with Sections in the front of the car and a small lounge at the rear of the car. An attendant took beverage orders. I thought at the time that he was a PRR employee and what we paid for a beverage would go to the railroad.
 

toddinde

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I never knew that. I remember on a PRR overnight train between Columbus, Ohio and Chicago there was a Pullman with Sections in the front of the car and a small lounge at the rear of the car. An attendant took beverage orders. I thought at the time that he was a PRR employee and what we paid for a beverage would go to the railroad.
I’ll see if I can find a reference for that.
 
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