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New Amtrak Equipment Summary


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#1 Guest_Ben_*

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:27 PM

Lets take a look at what new equipment is coming down the line in the next few years:

1. 42 bilevel short-distance coaches for CA to be used on the 3 corridors. Currently, there are 7 Superliners being used on these corridors, and these new coaches should replace them, freeing them up for service on long-distance trains.

2. 48 bilevel short-distance coaches for Midwest service, 30 coaches for Chi-St. Louis, and 2 Talgo sets for Hiawathas. This would in effect replace the entire Midwest fleet, including the 3 Superliners being used on the Pere Marquette, which could be used on long-distance trains. The freed Horizons could be used to replace the 4 Superliners being used on the Heartland Flyer. Where do you suppose the rest of the Horizons/Amfleets will go?

3. 130 single-level long-distance sleepers, bags, bag/dorms, diners. With the 14 Superliners displaced from the new equipment, some of these cars could be combined with the Superliners through transition sleepers to form new LD consists. Desert Wind? Chicago-Florida?

What do you think will happen when all the new equipment is delivered?

#2 tnrkitect

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:46 PM

I for one would love to see the Floridan revived from Chicago to Florida...

#3 NE933

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:00 PM

I'm missing something: except for the 130 cars coming in from CAF, did Amtrak make an actual order/contract for the midwest and California bilevels?

#4 jis

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:14 PM

Aren't the California cars a CalDOT order? Have any of the midwest orders been placed yet other than the Talgos? Aren't the California Superliners stuck there for 5 or 6 years as a result of the lease agreement in lieu of California paying for their refurbishment?

I suspect that the freed Amfleets will eventually show up on the NEC.

Only the Viewliner Baggage cars will show up on Superliner trains. I do not expect any of the Sleepers, Diners of Bag-Dorms to show up on Superliner trains, except for the possible transfer cars from the Pennsylvanian to the Capitol, if that ever comes to pass.

#5 RyanS

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:28 PM

I for one would love to see the Floridan revived from Chicago to Florida...

You're going to have to see a huge pile of money appear for the required trackwork to make that a reality.
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#6 GlobalistPotato

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:35 PM


I for one would love to see the Floridan revived from Chicago to Florida...

You're going to have to see a huge pile of money appear for the required trackwork to make that a reality.


When that happens, you might as run at least two CHI-FL trains each day, plus additional short-distance corridors. And throw in some high-speed running where the track is straight enough and it needs to be upgraded anyway.

#7 tnrkitect

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:55 PM

I didn't say it would be a realistic hope :cool:

However, when you consider that the Floridian used to make the Chicago - Tampa trip at an average speed of 39.3 mph, (1425 miles in 36:15 ; 8:30p depart, arrive at 8:45 am a day and a half later) I don't see why that would not be achievable on the existing track. I have witnessed personally the speed at which CSX moves freight on those lines through TN and AL, including through the towns and cities, and it is well above 40 mph!

#8 afigg

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:56 PM

Lets take a look at what new equipment is coming down the line in the next few years:

1. 42 bilevel short-distance coaches for CA to be used on the 3 corridors. Currently, there are 7 Superliners being used on these corridors, and these new coaches should replace them, freeing them up for service on long-distance trains.

Did CA sign a long term lease for the Superliners? They did pay to refurbish them, if I'm not mistaken. CA may have no plans to return them to Amtrak. OTOH, Amtrak may work out a deal to get them back if funding for a Superliner 1 replacement order can't be arranged in the next few years.

2. 48 bilevel short-distance coaches for Midwest service, 30 coaches for Chi-St. Louis, and 2 Talgo sets for Hiawathas. This would in effect replace the entire Midwest fleet, including the 3 Superliners being used on the Pere Marquette, which could be used on long-distance trains. The freed Horizons could be used to replace the 4 Superliners being used on the Heartland Flyer. Where do you suppose the rest of the Horizons/Amfleets will go?

Are the 78 bi-levels enough to replace 90+ Horizons? Could be more bi-level cars, BTW, if the bids comes in below $4.5 million a car plus spares. Why not use the new capacity to increase service frequency? Save the new bi-levels for the 110 mph corridors, River Runner, Iowa City (if it happens), add a daily Chicago - Twin Cities train, and maybe one or 2 other corridors, but increase daily frequencies on most corridors. The Hiawathas presumably won't get any bi-levels because it was left out of the bi-level grant announcement.

If FL gets funding to start service on the FEC (ok, after FL gets a new governor), Amtrak can use Horizons on that until new rolling stock is delivered. The Horizons may become pinch cars for Amtrak to use where needed in the Mid-West and East.

3. 130 single-level long-distance sleepers, bags, bag/dorms, diners. With the 14 Superliners displaced from the new equipment, some of these cars could be combined with the Superliners through transition sleepers to form new LD consists. Desert Wind? Chicago-Florida?
What do you think will happen when all the new equipment is delivered?

No, the 130 Viewliner IIs are for the eastern single level LD trains only, except as noted the baggage cars which will be used throughout the fleet. What gets freed up are the coach cars only, which does not cover the tight capacity on Superliner diners and sleepers. Amtrak is not looking to add new LD trains anytime soon besides maybe a Silver Pakm and maube a Three Rivers to Chicago, assuming that the LD service will survive the very real threat in the House to defund LD trains entirely. The only way a Chicago-FL train ever happens is if the Mid-West Regional rail plan gets built with service to Louisville and GA starts up a intercity passenger rail hub centered on Atlanta, so a new LD train service can jump between the corridors and not have to get $100s of millions to restore passenger service over so many miles of track and through cities which don't have train stations anymore.

It is going to be 3-4 years before any new bi-levels are delivered. Lots can happen between now and then. My money is on $150+/barrel Brent Crude oil which will put a severe squeeze on the airlines, and increase support for spending more on intercity passenger rail. However, Mica may have partial success in his plan to stick a knife into Amtrak.

#9 had8ley

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 03:05 AM

Lots can happen between now and then. My money is on $150+/barrel Brent Crude oil which will put a severe squeeze on the airlines, and increase support for spending more on intercity passenger rail. However, Mica may have partial success in his plan to stick a knife into Amtrak.

Speaking of Mica...he makes a big deal out of Veolia picking up the Florida contract out from underneath Amtrak. He needed to add a footnote~ they are the same outfit that killed those pax in Chattsworth while the engineer was texting. They don't have many contracts left. Ironically, one of them is to run the New Orleans street cars.

#10 Anderson

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 03:54 AM

Figg,
Amtrak did put the possibility of running the CONO to FL in lieu of re-establishing the Sunset East. Though it would be a bit of a mess in certain regards, would you consider this to be a more likely option for CHI-FL than the "Floridian" option?

And Mica is...well, he gives me a royal headache, I'll say that much.
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#11 HotlantaAl

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 04:12 AM

I didn't say it would be a realistic hope :cool:

However, when you consider that the Floridian used to make the Chicago - Tampa trip at an average speed of 39.3 mph, (1425 miles in 36:15 ; 8:30p depart, arrive at 8:45 am a day and a half later) I don't see why that would not be achievable on the existing track. I have witnessed personally the speed at which CSX moves freight on those lines through TN and AL, including through the towns and cities, and it is well above 40 mph!


I remember hearing about the plans to bring a Chicago to Florida train all the way back in 1992. I would love to see it, but I don't think that will ever happen.

#12 had8ley

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:50 AM

In lieu of the $400 plus that Amtrak is supposedly losing on each pax on the Sunset, management might be wise to save a few nickels and keep it killed east of NOL. Between the overtime, bustitutions and general chaos associated with the 16 plus hours of common delays (and believe me they can come back)the only sensible move is to turn the City eastbound at 5 p.m. from NOL. You might even pick up some commuter traffic~ a dirty word in Amtrak's LD theories...

#13 jis

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 06:46 AM

I didn't say it would be a realistic hope :cool:

However, when you consider that the Floridian used to make the Chicago - Tampa trip at an average speed of 39.3 mph, (1425 miles in 36:15 ; 8:30p depart, arrive at 8:45 am a day and a half later) I don't see why that would not be achievable on the existing track. I have witnessed personally the speed at which CSX moves freight on those lines through TN and AL, including through the towns and cities, and it is well above 40 mph!

One of the other less remembered features of the Floridian experience was the relative regularity with which it used to fall off the tracks too. :P Since the speeds were slow none of them were serious enough to find huge headlines. But it was an annoyingly frequent occurrence.

#14 jimhudson

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:48 AM


Lots can happen between now and then. My money is on $150+/barrel Brent Crude oil which will put a severe squeeze on the airlines, and increase support for spending more on intercity passenger rail. However, Mica may have partial success in his plan to stick a knife into Amtrak.

Speaking of Mica...he makes a big deal out of Veolia picking up the Florida contract out from underneath Amtrak. He needed to add a footnote~ they are the same outfit that killed those pax in Chattsworth while the engineer was texting. They don't have many contracts left. Ironically, one of them is to run the New Orleans street cars.

I'm surprised that you forgot that Veolia was run out of Austin after making a Mess out of the RedLine StartUp Jay! :o (not to mention that it provided a Roof and Meals for Someone Near and Dear to You! :lol: )

Edited by jimhudson, 17 June 2011 - 09:49 AM.

 
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#15 battalion51

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:03 PM

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Scott Walker kill the funding for the Talgo sets? It seemed like while Wisconsin and Ohio were going batsh** crazy with the union stripping measures, this slid in under the radar...

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#16 The Journalist

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:24 PM

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Scott Walker kill the funding for the Talgo sets? It seemed like while Wisconsin and Ohio were going batsh** crazy with the union stripping measures, this slid in under the radar...


I can't find any information on the Talgo sets going away, but my understanding was they're still building the 2 for the Hiawatha, 2 more for Cascades and then leaving.
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#17 jdcnosse

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 10:59 PM

I never fully understood why the Pere Marquette used 2/3 Superliners anyways. All the times I've traveled from GRR to CHI, we usually have 3 cars, and it's barely half full. Once from CHI to GRR, we only had 2 cars and it was 75% full.
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#18 AlanB

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 12:17 AM


Someone correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Scott Walker kill the funding for the Talgo sets? It seemed like while Wisconsin and Ohio were going batsh** crazy with the union stripping measures, this slid in under the radar...


I can't find any information on the Talgo sets going away, but my understanding was they're still building the 2 for the Hiawatha, 2 more for Cascades and then leaving.


Scott Walker manged to kill a follow-up order for 2 more Talgo sets for Wisconsin. Those 2 sets were needed to be able to provide service to Madison. What he couldn't kill was 2 trainsets already under contract with Talgo, and under construction already, for the Chicago - Milwaukee corridor.

So Talgo is currently building 2 sets for Wisconsin and two sets for Oregon, instead of total of 6 sets as originally hoped for.
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#19 bretton88

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 08:35 AM

Having seen the designs for the Wisconsin talgos, they would be better off not building the 2 sets. Uglies cab cars ever!
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