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

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20th Century Rider

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Sacrificing a couple of rooms for an elevator and just adding extra cars may or may not be a good idea. If the aisles can't be made wide enough for someone in a wheel chair to travel around the train, having the elevator would be a waste of space since that would be the only place they could go. If wheelchairs could be accommodated, then my question would be do the modifications sacrifice any existing comfort in a noticeable way? As for the cost, adding cars could mean adding engines which adds costs that may or may not be covered by the extra riders. Just because something isn't meant to make a profit, doesn't mean they should run up their costs without thinking something through.



I'd have a problem with using multilevel sleeper cars in the US because there is an expectation that you will move around the train at some point during your trip. On most European trains, what night trains they have left generally run at times where the only think you should be doing is sleeping since the run times are like 10pm to 7am. I've also seen a few trip reports on YouTube and some companies actually lock the doors between cars so only the crew can travel between cars. If you're on OBB for instance, their trains don't usually have a dining car, so there is no real reason for you to leave your car once you've found it.
Uh huh! And if you're in a roomette and must get up in the middle of the night... you must go to the very overused upstairs WC which frequently clogs up and needs to be shut down... or circumnavigate that tight stairwell to use the downstairs facilities... for a very unpleasant midnight trek.:rolleyes:

Hike to the WC.png
 

sttom

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ADA really isn't a thing outside of the US. Access to things like trains, hotels and what not really is a crap shoot in Europe. From personal experience, the trains in Poland are weird. All their high level platforms seem to be built to the same height across the country, but all of the equipment that would have been built around the same time as them is 1 step about the platform. I don't understand why you would build either the platforms or the cars in such a way that they weren't at least close to level with each other. On the way back from that trip, I was in Ireland for a day and the tub in the hotel room was a I'm guessing a meter step into it. I'm young and reasonably able bodied and I even found this difficult and a bit rage inducing. I can't imagine being someone my dad's age who isn't disabled, but not as flexible or fit as he used to be trying to climb in that thing without falling.
 

sttom

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Uh huh! And if you're in a roomette and must get up in the middle of the night... you must go to the very overused upstairs WC which frequently clogs up and needs to be shut down... or circumnavigate that tight stairwell to use the downstairs facilities... for a very unpleasant midnight trek.:rolleyes:

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Adding an elevator won't solve the problem of overused and undermaintained plumbing. The Superliner cars are running on plumbing and climate controls that are all years passed their expected life span and that's before maintenance is factored in. And cramming more people into a multilevel car that was probably designed for only a 1 night trip is going to make the problem of overused plumbing worse as the cars age and wear and tear take their toll. Not to mention all the people that will have to put up with going up and down 3 to 5 sets of stairs just to go to the Cafe or Dining Cars. So subjecting more people to the problem you're getting at isn't a solution and if anything would probably turn people off Amtrak at the same rate as the Lean Cuisine meals they are serving at the moment.
 

Mailliw

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Good point about what kind of trips the sleeping cars are designed for. The longer the trip the bigger the demand for more hotel-like amenities. And older passengers may have a greater desire for ensuite facilities or a say a lower berth two adults can share. Personally I think having all roomette (VII style) and all bedroom cars (in lieu of or in addition cars w/ both) is worthwhile. ADA requirements are stumbling block to a all roomette cars. Maybe the solution is to operate the sleepers in married pairs like some of the Amtrak Midwest coaches? Would that count as a single large sleeping car? If not what if the all bedroom car had 2 ADA rooms?
 

sttom

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Good point about what kind of trips the sleeping cars are designed for. The longer the trip the bigger the demand for more hotel-like amenities. And older passengers may have a greater desire for ensuite facilities or a say a lower berth two adults can share. Personally I think having all roomette (VII style) and all bedroom cars (in lieu of or in addition cars w/ both) is worthwhile. ADA requirements are stumbling block to a all roomette cars. Maybe the solution is to operate the sleepers in married pairs like some of the Amtrak Midwest coaches? Would that count as a single large sleeping car? If not what if the all bedroom car had 2 ADA rooms?
A Superliner would be easier to add ADA rooms to a Superliner since if the whole upper level consists of Bedrooms instead of Roomettes, the lower level probably could be converted to all ADA rooms, but that doesn't take away from each car needing at least 1 ADA spot. An all Roomette/Section single level car could be done, the question is would a Section count as a seat or as a room. If its a room, then you would need an ADA room. This would still mean 32 people could ride in this car outside of the ADA room. This is the number of passengers the first incarnation of the Slumber Coach could hold and the maximum a Tourist Sleeper could hold.

Cars in the past were married together. The Southern Pacific did so for its Daylight equipment and even had a Triple Section Diner. The caveat I would say to that is I doubt disability advocates would allow a married pair car, one with an ADA room and one in an all Roomette/Section arrangement. The reason they would go after this is why should able bodied people get a discount sleeper and disabled people don't? I would agree with them on this. This problem is easier to solve if a Section is categorized as a seat instead of a room or if they used lie flat seats instead. But this is all a hypothetical until Amtrak is run by people who's first 2 requirements aren't political connections and a recent head injury.

I would doubt they could put 2 ADA rooms in 1 single level car without adding a second door. I've heard from others that navigating the single level trains is next to impossible since the halls aren't that wide.

It would make sense for Amtrak to have some version of a Tourist Sleeper/Slumber Coach, Deluxe Sleepers and some of the existing ones to make up the difference in capacity. The problem is Amtrak leadership doesn't really care to make things work well, most of them are there because of political connections which is a poor way to run anything.
 

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Seaboard92

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I really think our ADA Act has some flaws inside of it which negates the true meaning of it because it becomes a cumbersome stumbling block for future development. I honestly think it is a bit ridiculous that you can't sell the extra roomettes in the Bag/Dorm on the Cardinal where only two of the rooms are occupied one by a coach attendant, and one by the LSA. That leaves multiple rooms you are dragging a long for no real reason. I am in complete support of ADA we should do things to help those most disadvantaged but I think we need to have some common sense as well. I think as long as each train offers some form of an ADA space it should be acceptable.

Is the ADA H Room in the Superliner really that great if you are in need of it. To reach the diner you still have to climb that steep rectangular staircase, and it is 50/50 on if the attendant is willing to bring the meals or items to the room at times. I've had several of them who have asked my grandmother who is 87 years old what her handicap is when she requests a meal brought to the H Room.

Why are the transdorms able to be sold with ADA as I don't believe they have a H Room but I haven't also spent much time on the lower level in one of those.
 

Bob Dylan

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I really think our ADA Act has some flaws inside of it which negates the true meaning of it because it becomes a cumbersome stumbling block for future development. I honestly think it is a bit ridiculous that you can't sell the extra roomettes in the Bag/Dorm on the Cardinal where only two of the rooms are occupied one by a coach attendant, and one by the LSA. That leaves multiple rooms you are dragging a long for no real reason. I am in complete support of ADA we should do things to help those most disadvantaged but I think we need to have some common sense as well. I think as long as each train offers some form of an ADA space it should be acceptable.

Is the ADA H Room in the Superliner really that great if you are in need of it. To reach the diner you still have to climb that steep rectangular staircase, and it is 50/50 on if the attendant is willing to bring the meals or items to the room at times. I've had several of them who have asked my grandmother who is 87 years old what her handicap is when she requests a meal brought to the H Room.

Why are the transdorms able to be sold with ADA as I don't believe they have a H Room but I haven't also spent much time on the lower level in one of those.
Some Superliner Transdorms do have an H Room. The Crew usually uses it.
 

sttom

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Dealing with the H Room on any train and getting food brought to it can be solved at the corporate level. If you are in it, it should be pretty obvious that you will need extra help and room service would be part of that. This is one of the times where having more competent leadership would make a difference and you don't really need Congress to get involved to deal with quality control.

Having experience countries where disability access is not what it is the US, I can understand why we have the ADA, but I do think it goes a bit too far sometimes. But, there needs to be a much more solid standard of what "reasonable accommodations" are with respects to transit. For example, if the only way for access to be improved and quality not be sacrificed would be to make wider trains, then that won't be seen as reasonable to the railroads since loading gauge is a thing. I was once an advocate, and the thing that always annoyed me about other advocates is they forget that other aspects of the world will but up against them.
 

Mailliw

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Is it really impossible to have an ADA width corridor in a sleeping car? As it a wheelchair user is confinement to their room even in viewliner (unless it's the 1 sleeper adjacent to the diner).
 

west point

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Our group all likes the taller Russian cars . They would allow for the upper berth of roomettes to have a window like the View liners. However the problem of CHI union station not able to clear anything taller than a Superliner remains. That just precludes at this time anything taller than a Superliner. There might be a few locations that would need clearance for the Princess type car but maybe in 30 - 40 years?

Of course the taller cars could be assigned to Auto Train but getting them to other locations at present is impossible at WASH.
 

PVD

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Bringing a meal to a sleeper passenger is not discretionary, it is part of the service offering for any sleeper passenger mobility limited or not. Asking someone what their disability is that prevents them from climbing stairs is a serious offense, and might be one of the few things that Amtrak would be forced to act on.
 

PVD

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Is it really impossible to have an ADA width corridor in a sleeping car? As it a wheelchair user is confinement to their room even in viewliner (unless it's the 1 sleeper adjacent to the diner).
Any width added to the corridor is width subtracted from the roomettes on either side of the aisle
 

John Santos

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Are the corridors in the sleepers narrower than the aisles in planes? The airlines have wheelchairs that fit in the aisles. Couldn't all the bedrooms be made available to disabled people who require wheelchairs simply by providing them with a folding airplane-style wheelchair and storing their regular wheelchair in the baggage car or baggage area?
 

sttom

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Is it really impossible to have an ADA width corridor in a sleeping car? As it a wheelchair user is confinement to their room even in viewliner (unless it's the 1 sleeper adjacent to the diner).
Possible in a theoretical sense, yes. In a practical sense, no. The aisles are approximately 36 inches in width and the average wheelchairs fall between 30 and 34 inches which leaves a small margin of error to get them through the halls. The other problem is getting them around corners which would mean a longer or car, or more likely the sacrifice of a roomette to allow a wheelchair to turn. If Amtrak could provide a wheel chair that could fit through the aisles, that might be an acceptable compromise, emphasis on might. With how ADA is, only the Roomettes immediately next to the bathrooms would be considered ADA compliant if the bathrooms are as well. ADA is far more holistic than "can a wheelchair fit".
 

Qapla

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Not all people fit in the same size chair ... one size does not fit all so, even with 36" hallways, some people in chairs would not fit down them.

One of the problems with ADA is that some think it should apply to "everywhere", So, while having an ADA car on a train with ALL rooms ADA would be acceptable to many ADA proponents ... they would object to car without ADA rooms even though the train itself would have more than sufficient ADA facilities - after all, some ADA person might want to ride in that non-ADA car and it wouldn't be fair if there are no ADA facilities in that car.
 

Mailliw

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Possible in a theoretical sense, yes. In a practical sense, no. The aisles are approximately 36 inches in width and the average wheelchairs fall between 30 and 34 inches which leaves a small margin of error to get them through the halls. The other problem is getting them around corners which would mean a longer or car, or more likely the sacrifice of a roomette to allow a wheelchair to turn. If Amtrak could provide a wheel chair that could fit through the aisles, that might be an acceptable compromise, emphasis on might. With how ADA is, only the Roomettes immediately next to the bathrooms would be considered ADA compliant if the bathrooms are as well. ADA is far more holistic than "can a wheelchair fit".
Thanks. Technical design isn't my strong suit and I don't know how to make graphics myself. Eyeballing the photos of the Venture coaches with their ADA aisles it sure seems like a roomette won't take up more width than 2 seats or a bedroom more than 4 seats run together. I forgot about needing turn the wheelchair. As far as Amtrak wheelchairs there is precedent for than, airlines have special narrow aisle wheelchairs for disabled passengers. Come to think of it, I've never even heard of an ADA toilet on a plane.
 

jis

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Come to think of it, I've never even heard of an ADA toilet on a plane.
At least on all new 777s, 787s and A380/350s there is at least one "ADA" toilet which is essentially double size with additional holding rails to help a mobility challenged person move around. These are usually on international or high end domestic flights. I have never seen one of these on a smaller domestic plane.
 

sttom

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Thanks. Technical design isn't my strong suit and I don't know how to make graphics myself. Eyeballing the photos of the Venture coaches with their ADA aisles it sure seems like a roomette won't take up more width than 2 seats or a bedroom more than 4 seats run together. I forgot about needing turn the wheelchair. As far as Amtrak wheelchairs there is precedent for than, airlines have special narrow aisle wheelchairs for disabled passengers. Come to think of it, I've never even heard of an ADA toilet on a plane.
The width of the seats on Amtrak is 23 inches, so for 2 seats, the width is 46 inches on one side of the train. The width of a Roomette is 42 inches, I am not sure if that width includes the walls are not. If it doesn't, I'd imagine they would add at least 2 inches on each side. Which means that the aisle is closer to 32 inches which would make the margins tighter. Until I can see a Venture coach in the wild or at least the measurements of seat width, they probably are going to have the same internal space use. 32 inch aisles can fit a wheelchair, but that's if you are using a standard wheelchair. Once you start factoring bigger people into the mix, you get more problems. This is part of why I think Congress needs to have firmer rules as to what makes something ADA compliant passed through the legislative process.
 

Trogdor

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At least on all new 777s, 787s and A380/350s there is at least one "ADA" toilet which is essentially double size with additional holding rails to help a mobility challenged person move around. These are usually on international or high end domestic flights. I have never seen one of these on a smaller domestic plane.
And to be extremely pedantic, ADA does not apply to airlines. Instead, there is a different law called the "Air Carrier Access Act."
 

PVD

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ACAA permits use of "transfer chairs", and the accessible lav on many planes is basically the same, except that the door swings out instead of in to allow for interior movement. Requirement is based on size and age of an aircraft...
 

jis

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And to be extremely pedantic, ADA does not apply to airlines. Instead, there is a different law called the "Air Carrier Access Act."
Yeah, that's why I put the ADA within quotes. Actually the regulation derived from the Act is 14 CFR Part 382

The specific section pertaining to lavatory accommodation is 382.21 (3) which applies only to aircraft with more than one aisle and specifically says:

Aircraft with more than one aisle in which lavatories are provided shall include at least one accessible lavatory. This lavatory shall permit a qualified individual with a disability to enter, maneuver within as necessary to use all lavatory facilities, and leave, by means of the aircraft’s on-board wheelchair. The accessible lavatory shall afford privacy to persons using the on-board wheelchair equivalent to that afforded ambulatory users. The lavatory shall provide door locks, accessible call buttons, grab bars, faucets and other controls, and dispensers usable by qualified individuals with a disability, including wheelchair users and persons with manual impairments
I tend to use that one if it is open as it provides much more space and is really convenient for changing the outfit that I am wearing, something that I find desirable on a 16 hour flight. The ones on the United 789s and 77Ws are really nice. I am sure they are similar on other airlines too.
 

LookingGlassTie

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I support the "spirit" of the ADA. However, the intricate regulations and stipulations contained in it can get sticky in many situations.

As a disabled person myself (legally blind), I'm more concerned about whether there's a good-faith effort being made to accommodate disabled people. It makes no sense to me to get worked up because, say, a doorway is a couple of inches too narrow or a grab bar in a bathroom is an inch too high. Or even if a a door has a knob instead of a handle. But those are the kind of "check the box" type items that the ADA requires. Even those who have made genuine attempts to make their businesses/facilities accessible have been "dinged" for such minute violations. And I don't feel that that is right.

Sorry to "derail" the thread! ;)

Just my $0.02.
 
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