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

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cocojacoby

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Not as large as the new Acela ones which allow complete rotation of a wheelchair inside at the serious negative of eliminating a second restroom that is now available on the original Acela. That leaves only one restroom per car.

The new trains will carry 378 passengers compared to 304 on today’s Acelas and will have 9 cars verses 8 cars on the present trains. I believe that translates to 9 restrooms compared to 16! This may become problematic.
 

Mailliw

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Yeah. At the very least any long distance coach is going to need a 2nd non-ADA restroom. Back on topic; what's really needed is for a firm decision to be made what kind, if any, long distance network or overnight trains Amtrak is going to have. Then they can commission a study on what's needed for new sleeping cars (especially if bilevels are still worth it).
 
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Bob Dylan

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Not as large as the new Acela ones which allow complete rotation of a wheelchair inside at the serious negative of eliminating a second restroom that is now available on the original Acela. That leaves only one restroom per car.

The new trains will carry 378 passengers compared to 304 on today’s Acelas and will have 9 cars verses 8 cars on the present trains. I believe that translates to 9 restrooms compared to 16! This may become problematic.
Especially the way the " Buisnessmen" pour down the drinks in FC!! Lol
 

sttom

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Yeah. At the very least any long distance coach is going to need a 2nd non-ADA restroom. Back on topic; what's really needed is for a firm decision to be made what kind, if any, long distance network or overnight trains Amtrak is going to have. Then they can commission a study on what's needed for new sleeping cars (especially if bilevels are still worth it).
Bilevels are still worth having because of the capacity alone. The capacity of a Superliner is 45 compared to a Viewliner's 30. Add in a lot of stations don't have long enough platforms for the trains to get longer. The engines at my local station regularly sit in the crossing while the train is stopped. To replace the existing Superliners with Viewliners, you would need to replace 2 Superliners with at least 3 Viewliners, and you are losing the family room on top of it. That is also assuming Amtrak leadership is smart enough to argue for a roughly equivalent replacement of capacity. I would bet, should something like this come to pass, that they'd replace 1 Superliner with 1 Viewliner either because of Congress being filled with "lovely people" or because Amtrak leadership is the most competent political donations can buy.
 

Mailliw

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Here's an example of the bilevel sleeping cars Nightjet is using now. I wondwon't something like this could be viable for Amtrak. The single corridor set might enable both a ADA compartment on the intermediate level and let a wheelchair use move through the car to other car, the 4 berth compartments are perfect for families or groups, and the upper level deluxe compartments are roomier than anything Amtrak has. On the negative side no lower level boarding (Western platforms are low level), wheelchair users still have trouble accessing diners or lounges (setup doesn'twork for either cartype) ,no roommettes (but economy compartments), everyone not in an ADA compartment has to go up/down half flight of stairs, and I think these cars may be too tall except for the Auto-Train. Thoughts?
 

Mailliw

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OK, that's shorter than I thought; I was thinking they were 18/19 feet like the new Russian bilevels. So at least with regard to overhead clearance this design could replace Superliners.
 

jis

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OK, that's shorter than I thought; I was thinking they were 18/19 feet like the new Russian bilevels. So at least with regard to overhead clearance this design could replace Superliners.
Incidentally UIC-C gauge exists to accommodate UIC Russian interchange loading gauge freight wagons.

Here is a brief summary of the main bits of Russian Loading Gauge quoted from the Wikipedia:
The main static profile T allows for a maximum width of 3,750 mm (12 ft 3.6 in) rising to a maximum height of 5,300 mm (17 ft 4.7 in). The profile Tc allows that width only at a height of 3,000 mm (9 ft 10.1 in), requiring a maximum of 3,400 mm (11 ft 1.9 in) below 1,270 mm (50.0 in), which matches with the standard for train platforms (with a height of 1,100 mm [43.3 in]). The profile Tpr has the same lower frame requirement but reduces the maximum upper body width to 3,500 mm (11 ft 5.8 in). The more universal profile 1-T has the complete body at a maximum width of 3,400 mm (11 ft 1.9 in) still rising to a height of 5,300 mm (17 ft 4.7 in).[57] Exceptions shall be double-stacking, maximum height shall be 6,150 mm (20 ft 2.1 in) or 6,400 mm (21 ft 0 in).
So in general, in addition to UIC-C, 17'4.7" (taller than Superliner), 20'2.1" (more or less the same as US Plate H and K) and 21', taller than anything in the US.

Incidentally, India has a loading gauge of 23'3.5" for its double stack special clearance Dedicated Freight Corridor tracks with catenary contact wire at 28'4.5". The pantographs on those high power electric engines are a sight to behold.
 
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sttom

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Here's an example of the bilevel sleeping cars Nightjet is using now. I wondwon't something like this could be viable for Amtrak. The single corridor set might enable both a ADA compartment on the intermediate level and let a wheelchair use move through the car to other car, the 4 berth compartments are perfect for families or groups, and the upper level deluxe compartments are roomier than anything Amtrak has. On the negative side no lower level boarding (Western platforms are low level), wheelchair users still have trouble accessing diners or lounges (setup doesn'twork for either cartype) ,no roommettes (but economy compartments), everyone not in an ADA compartment has to go up/down half flight of stairs, and I think these cars may be too tall except for the Auto-Train. Thoughts?
A European Bilevel is a US Multilevel which means a OBB's "bilevel" sleepers are more like NJT's Multilevels than they are like Superliners. The problem with using Multilevels as sleeping cars in the US is that you will need to go up and down two flights of stairs per car you travel through to get to the lounge or dining car. In a Superliner, you will need to deal with at least 1 flight of stairs to get to the lounge and at most 2. Having 2 sets of steps per care will annoy a lot of people. Sleeping equipment on a lot of European railways, OBB included are designed to only be used for over night trips and under the assumption that once you board the train you have no reason to leave your car until you get off under normal operation.

As for height, I know the Viaggio Twins are about 7 inches taller than the NJT Multilevel cars. Are the Multilevels at the maximum height the tunnels into New York can handle or could they accomodate cars that are 7 inches taller?
 

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jis

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Nope 14’6” is it for NYP. That is how tall the multilevels are. Also they have to have beveled end to clear the entry into North River Tubes from the NYP bathtub on any of the diverging tracks.
 

jiml

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A European Bilevel is a US Multilevel which means a OBB's "bilevel" sleepers are more like NJT's Multilevels than they are like Superliners. The problem with using Multilevels as sleeping cars in the US is that you will need to go up and down two flights of stairs per car you travel through to get to the lounge or dining car. In a Superliner, you will need to deal with at least 1 flight of stairs to get to the lounge and at most 2. Having 2 sets of steps per care will annoy a lot of people. Sleeping equipment on a lot of European railways, OBB included are designed to only be used for over night trips and under the assumption that once you board the train you have no reason to leave your car until you get off under normal operation.
It's important to note that the flights of stairs on the European cars are half the number of steps of Superliners and don't usually curve around tight corners. They're more like those on NA commuter cars. That said, there might certainly be more of them enroute to the food service car (if the train has one).
 

Mailliw

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Nightjet's bilevel sleeping cars were originally built for CityNightLine, which did have bistro cars. However I think only the sleeping cars were bilevels; if the connection is on the mezzanine you can connect them directly to single levels.
 

joelkfla

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I thought I saw a YouTube of a sleeper that had a mid-level corridor, and steps up or down to a foyer at each group of 4 rooms (2 upper + 2 lower), but I can't remember where it was or find it again.

If I'm remembering correctly, passengers would be able to pass thru the car with no stairs involved.
 

toddinde

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Great list. Do you know which of the ones you've listed were transferred to CN? And yes, I for one would be very interested in your list.
All the 8 bedroom lounges were transferred. There were six. The Olympian Hiawatha had six train sets as opposed to five for the competing roads (NP and GN). That’s because the Milwaukee didn’t keep enough cars in the west to put together a makeup train in the event of a late Olympian from the east. The four Skytop Parlors were built in the Milwaukee Road shops in Milwaukee (the sleepers were Pullman built). They remained in Milwaukee Road ownership for the two Twin Cities Hiawatha (Morning and Afternoon Hiawathas). In 1970, the Afternoon Hiawatha was discontinued, and the Skytops were removed from service. A straight parlor remained on the Morning Hiawatha which was a fine train right up to Amtrak day when it was replaced by Amtrak’s rerouted Empire Builder. One Skytop parlor had been burned and scraped leaving three. The remaining three were slowly sold off by the Road. I saw the CN Skytop sleepers in 1977 in Winnipeg sitting in a yard. Some were later emasculated for a restaurant. I believe at least one is undergoing restoration. I know, more info than you asked for, and maybe didn’t answer your question, but maybe you’ll find it interesting.
 

Willbridge

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All the 8 bedroom lounges were transferred. There were six. The Olympian Hiawatha had six train sets as opposed to five for the competing roads (NP and GN). That’s because the Milwaukee didn’t keep enough cars in the west to put together a makeup train in the event of a late Olympian from the east. The four Skytop Parlors were built in the Milwaukee Road shops in Milwaukee (the sleepers were Pullman built). They remained in Milwaukee Road ownership for the two Twin Cities Hiawatha (Morning and Afternoon Hiawathas). In 1970, the Afternoon Hiawatha was discontinued, and the Skytops were removed from service. A straight parlor remained on the Morning Hiawatha which was a fine train right up to Amtrak day when it was replaced by Amtrak’s rerouted Empire Builder. One Skytop parlor had been burned and scraped leaving three. The remaining three were slowly sold off by the Road. I saw the CN Skytop sleepers in 1977 in Winnipeg sitting in a yard. Some were later emasculated for a restaurant. I believe at least one is undergoing restoration. I know, more info than you asked for, and maybe didn’t answer your question, but maybe you’ll find it interesting.
I remember seeing Skytop CN cars sidetracked at Vancouver, BC in the 1970's due to leaking water and the problem of heating them. Numerous windows were fogged up. Of course, I wondered if that was endemic or due to poor maintenance.

My 98-year old father remembers riding Tacoma to Seattle with the train reversed. He would head for the Skytop lounge and watch the electric locomotive at work. Lounge passengers had a good view of the catenary.

Christmas season 1977 and no Skytop on VIA/CN.

1977 063.jpg
 

west point

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This poster really wants to see taller than Superliner bilevels. However, that means somehow getting taller overhead clearances at CHI union station. There may be some other stations needing some clearance improvements especially side clearances?
 

Tlcooper93

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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?
The same crowd who pays up for train accommodations probably would prefer complete privacy (me). I wager I’m not the only one, especially in long distance. There is definitely a difference in feeling from an ULH flight to a LD train. Privacy matters, and if it doesn’t for some people, I probably wouldn’t wanna be seated near them anyways.

The only place I can imagine Delta one style working is the NEC, with a plausible LSL if that train ever gets its act together and shortens trip time.

On the subject of Viewliners, this whole thread continues to highlight the sad truth:
Amtrak desperately needs more sleepers and varied cars, and only ordering 25 VLII sleepers is a massively short-sighted move.
 

cocojacoby

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This poster really wants to see taller than Superliner bilevels. However, that means somehow getting taller overhead clearances at CHI union station. There may be some other stations needing some clearance improvements especially side clearances?
Using something like the Ultradome would be the maximum in efficiency. It would be like stacking two Viewliners together. You could even have walk throughs on both levels. But as mentioned it might not be easily done.
 

Exvalley

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The same crowd who pays up for train accommodations probably would prefer complete privacy (me). I wager I’m not the only one, especially in long distance. There is definitely a difference in feeling from an ULH flight to a LD train. Privacy matters, and if it doesn’t for some people, I probably wouldn’t wanna be seated near them anyways.
I agree with you that privacy is one of the best features of a sleeper car.

However, I can think of one situation in which a lie-flat seat would be appealing to me - a trip of shorter duration than a full overnight.

For example, if I was traveling from 8:00 PM to 1:30 AM I would prefer a lie-flat seat if it was cheaper than a roomette.

I'm not sure that I would pay extra for a lie-flat seat during the daytime. The long distance coach seats have plenty of room as it is.
 

John819

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As has been explained on other threads, because the dining car, the observation car, and the cafe car are "public" the ADA requires that wheelchair passengers be able to access these areas. To do this with double level cars, you would need to install a lift from the lower level to the upper level in each car, costing a significant amount of space and a high cost. For safety reasons, this might require the train attendant's assistance to operate.

It is more likely that Amtrak, if it and LD travel still exist, will go for a nationwide fleet of single level cars (probably based on the Siemens Venture).
 

joelkfla

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As has been explained on other threads, because the dining car, the observation car, and the cafe car are "public" the ADA requires that wheelchair passengers be able to access these areas. To do this with double level cars, you would need to install a lift from the lower level to the upper level in each car, costing a significant amount of space and a high cost. For safety reasons, this might require the train attendant's assistance to operate.
Not necessarily. There are bi-level cars in Japan (and maybe in Europe) that have the corridor at boarding level, with stairs up and down to each group of cabins. The accessible room is at the end of the car at boarding level.
 

Qapla

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There are bi-level cars in Japan (and maybe in Europe)
Yes, but this is the US ... Even if there were bi-level cars with bi-level boarding so wheelchairs could load onto either level, thus allowing wheelchairs to access all "public" areas - there would be someone who would bring a lawsuit because the wheelchair cannot move from the lower level to the upper level (or the upper to the lower) while the train is moving
 
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