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Longest Amtrak train


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#1 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:19 PM

Excluding the Auto Train and PVs, what is Amtrak's longest reguler consist? I've heard Coast Starlight or Lake Shore Limited. Any longer ones?


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#2 The Davy Crockett

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:21 PM

LSL W of Albany...
I wish I was a headlight on a northbound of the border train.

#3 boxcar817

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:34 PM

Does Private Varnish count as Amtrak's rolling stock?

Trains ridden: Texas Eagle, Sunset Limited, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sthwest. Chief, Cali. Zephyr, Capital Limited, Silver Meteor. Silver Star, Cardinal, Lakeshore Limited,some NEC regionals MORR,Pac Surfs, Cascades close to 100,000(+/-) Amtrak miles since we started riding Amtrak in December of 2009 


#4 Ryan

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:49 PM

No.

And the LSL is the correct answer.
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#5 johnny.menhennet

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:04 PM

Can't the EB in the summer between MSP and CHI be longer than the LSL in any season? (I'm not counting baggages)

Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (100000000000), Southwest Chief (5), California Zephyr (1), Coast Starlight (6), Capitol Corridor (1), Empire Builder (2), Acela Express (1), LSL (1), NE Regional (2)
Non-Amtrak: NCTD Coaster (at least 20), Metrolink (4), SD Trolley (at least 20), LACMTA Red Line (at least 50), Seattle Streetcar (1), Chicago 'L' (probably 13), NYC Subway (probably 15), WMATA Mass Transit (probably 20), LIRR (1), Las Vegas Monorail (at least 12), MBTA Mass Transit (16), NJ Transit commuter rail (3), I'm sure there are more that I can't think of right now

upcoming Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (10000000000 more)
upcoming non-Amtrak: Coaster, Red Line/Expo Line in LA, NJ Transit (5-10)

Pretty good for a 16 year old :)


#6 Trogdor

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:13 PM

Can't the EB in the summer between MSP and CHI be longer than the LSL in any season? (I'm not counting baggages)


If we exclude engines and baggage:

Empire Builder in peak season: 3 sleepers (2 Seattle, 1 Portland), 1 dorm, 1 lounge, 1 diner, five coaches (2 Seattle, 2 Portland, 1 MSP). Total, 11 cars. There are extremely rare occasions where you get more than that (I think, after a recent disruption had the route shut down for a couple of days, there was an extra coach on both the Seattle and Portland sides to clear the loads), but practically speaking, the Builder's max is 11 cars.

Incidentally, that's also the same max that you'll see on the Starlight: 1 dorm, 3 sleepers, 1 Parlour, 1 diner, 1 lounge, 4 coaches.

The Lake Shore has 3 sleepers, six coaches, a diner and a lounge. Total, 11 cars. However, sometimes, the Lake Shore will run with a seventh coach, and during the winter (though not right now), the Lake Shore can get a second lounge so the New York section's consist can rotate with the Silver Star down to Florida. That would put the Lake Shore at 12 cars, which beats the Empire Builder by one.

Of course, the Builder wins when counting total capacity, since Superliners carry more than Amfleets/Viewliners do.
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#7 Ryan

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

Why not, they are a part of the train?

From the line number thread:

EMPIRE BUILDER  5 sets
2 cars CHI-MSP (seasonal)

----|---- [CHI-SEA] Heritage Baggage
0732|0832 [CHI-SEA] Superliner Dorm/Sleeper
0731|0831 [CHI-SEA] Superliner Sleeper
0730|0830 [CHI-SEA] Superliner Sleeper
----|---- [CHI-SEA] Superliner Diner
0711|0811 [CHI-SEA] Superliner Coach
0712|0812 [CHI-SEA] Superliner Coach
----|---- [CHI-PDX] Superliner Sightseer Lounge
2714|2814 [CHI-PDX] Superliner Coach
2715|2815 [CHI-PDX] Superliner Coach/Baggage
2730|2830 [CHI-PDX] Superliner Sleeper
0709|0809 [CHI-MSP] Superliner Coach*

* seasonal


LAKE SHORE LIMITED  3 sets

----|---- [CHI-BOS] Heritage Baggage
4820|4920 [CHI-BOS] Viewliner Sleeper
4841|4941 [CHI-BOS] Amfleet II Coach
4840|4940 [CHI-BOS] Amfleet II Coach
----|---- [CHI-BOS] Lounge (Horizon or Amfleet I Dinette, or Amfleet II Lounge)
4833|4933 [CHI-NYP] Amfleet II Coach
4832|4932 [CHI-NYP] Amfleet II Coach
4831|4931 [CHI-NYP] Amfleet II Coach
4830|4930 [CHI-NYP] Amfleet II Coach
----|---- [CHI-NYP] Amfleet II Lounge
----|---- [CHI-NYP] Heritage Diner
4811|4911 [CHI-NYP] Viewliner Sleeper
4812|4912 [CHI-NYP] Viewliner Sleeper
----|---- [CHI-NYP] Heritage Baggage


If you don't count bags, the LSL still has 1 more car.
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#8 TraneMan

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:17 PM

EB has 10 cars, and some time 11 between MSP and CHI.

EB last winter had to be joined together, so 20 cars due to the weather.

Amtrak Train travel: Empire Builder = 1677; Silver Meteor = 668; Capital Limited = 780; Hiawatha Service = 172; Cascade = 312; Lincoln Service= 640; Southwest Chief = 2,265;  Total = 21,514

Routes completed: Empire Builder 7 and 8; Capital Limited 29; Southwest Chief 4; Hiawatha. 

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#9 Swadian Hardcore

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:10 AM

Does Private Varnish count as Amtrak's rolling stock?


I said in the OP that PVs DONT'T COUNT! Unless you don't know what a PV is!

Can't the EB in the summer between MSP and CHI be longer than the LSL in any season? (I'm not counting baggages)



Can't the EB in the summer between MSP and CHI be longer than the LSL in any season? (I'm not counting baggages)


If we exclude engines and baggage:

Empire Builder in peak season: 3 sleepers (2 Seattle, 1 Portland), 1 dorm, 1 lounge, 1 diner, five coaches (2 Seattle, 2 Portland, 1 MSP). Total, 11 cars. There are extremely rare occasions where you get more than that (I think, after a recent disruption had the route shut down for a couple of days, there was an extra coach on both the Seattle and Portland sides to clear the loads), but practically speaking, the Builder's max is 11 cars.

Incidentally, that's also the same max that you'll see on the Starlight: 1 dorm, 3 sleepers, 1 Parlour, 1 diner, 1 lounge, 4 coaches.

The Lake Shore has 3 sleepers, six coaches, a diner and a lounge. Total, 11 cars. However, sometimes, the Lake Shore will run with a seventh coach, and during the winter (though not right now), the Lake Shore can get a second lounge so the New York section's consist can rotate with the Silver Star down to Florida. That would put the Lake Shore at 12 cars, which beats the Empire Builder by one.

Of course, the Builder wins when counting total capacity, since Superliners carry more than Amfleets/Viewliners do.



Please include baggage cars, as they are operated by Amtrak and are not powered. Locomotives don't count because they are powered.

How long is the LSL these days including baggage cars? I saw a video of an LSL with fourteen, but can't remember the link.
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#10 johnny.menhennet

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:49 AM

You are right that the LSL is definitely the longest if you include baggage cars, since it is the only train to have two.

Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (100000000000), Southwest Chief (5), California Zephyr (1), Coast Starlight (6), Capitol Corridor (1), Empire Builder (2), Acela Express (1), LSL (1), NE Regional (2)
Non-Amtrak: NCTD Coaster (at least 20), Metrolink (4), SD Trolley (at least 20), LACMTA Red Line (at least 50), Seattle Streetcar (1), Chicago 'L' (probably 13), NYC Subway (probably 15), WMATA Mass Transit (probably 20), LIRR (1), Las Vegas Monorail (at least 12), MBTA Mass Transit (16), NJ Transit commuter rail (3), I'm sure there are more that I can't think of right now

upcoming Amtrak: Pacific Surfliner (10000000000 more)
upcoming non-Amtrak: Coaster, Red Line/Expo Line in LA, NJ Transit (5-10)

Pretty good for a 16 year old :)


#11 PerRock

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:58 AM

there was that the combo train Amtrak ran once on the Michigan line when the Chicago Line was closed for a derailment. Twas a slew up of both the LSL & the CL... It ran between Toledo & Chicago, but only once.

Here is the consist:

P42DC #30 - ITCS leader Consist for 29/Capitol Limited
P42DC #141
P42DC #142
Heritage Baggage #1242
Superliner II Transition Sleeper #39037
Superliner I Sleeper #32021
Superliner I Sleeper #32059
Superliner I Diner #38034
Superliner I Sightseer Lounge #33021
Superliner I Coach #34005 (Phase IV with SUPERLINER billboard lettering)
Superliner I Coach #31019
Consist for 49/Lake Shore Limited
P42DC #71 (mid train helpers... haha)
P42DC #56
Heritage converted Baggage #1712
Viewliner Sleeper #62015 Inland View
Viewliner Sleeper #62045
Heritage Diner #8528
Amfleet II Lounge #28003
4 Amfleet II coaches (first one is #25039, sorry, no other road numbers)

Total of 18 cars.

:D

peter

Edit: sorry formatting messed up the quote. I think I got all the cars back...

Edited by PerRock, 23 February 2012 - 01:06 AM.

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#12 caravanman

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:06 AM

Hi
Yeah I know its not Amtrak but Prayag Raj Express is an Indian Railways' express train which runs between the cities of Allahabad and New Delhi, India. It has 24 coaches including 7 air-conditioned coaches.

Ed :cool:

#13 jis

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:23 AM

There are several trains in India that are 24 cars these days. And surprisingly they are all pulled by single electric engines, usually WAP4 or WAP7 Co-Co units.

#14 dlagrua

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:19 AM

One point worthy of mention is that many Amtrak routes experience their share of sold out trains. If Amtrak were able to make up a consist based on the number of travelers who want to ride the train, revenues would be so much higher. Even the 3/4 mile long Autotrain sells out during peak season. This only confirms the need for more equipment but presently there is none and no Superliners are even on order. Amtrak is continually pressured to take less of a subsidy from congress but they have repeatedly refused to give Amtrak the tools that it needs to grow. Still they continue to grow and when gas hits $5 per gallon their ridership could explode.

#15 Trogdor

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:17 AM

How long is the LSL these days including baggage cars?


See reply #7, which was posted two hours before your question.

Even the 3/4 mile long Autotrain sells out during peak season. This only confirms the need for more equipment but presently there is none and no Superliners are even on order.


I think the Auto Train runs up against the HEP limitation for consist length, so even if there were more cars to be added, during peak season the Auto Train is already as long as it can be.
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#16 Anderson

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:22 AM

One point worthy of mention is that many Amtrak routes experience their share of sold out trains. If Amtrak were able to make up a consist based on the number of travelers who want to ride the train, revenues would be so much higher. Even the 3/4 mile long Autotrain sells out during peak season. This only confirms the need for more equipment but presently there is none and no Superliners are even on order. Amtrak is continually pressured to take less of a subsidy from congress but they have repeatedly refused to give Amtrak the tools that it needs to grow. Still they continue to grow and when gas hits $5 per gallon their ridership could explode.


I'll agree that such is a "when" (inflation being what it is, nominal $5 gas is inevitable provided that the dollar endures long enough), but I'm not sure that $5 gas is coming in the next year or two. I think $4+ gas may be the new normal (at least, during summers, though $3-3.50 will probably have supporting roles in this show during the winter), but $5 is still a little ways off,* at least on a national basis (Hawai'i does not matter for our purposes). It's a long way from $4 to $5.

What is more likely than a ridership explosion, however, is a fare explosion. If I had to take a guess, the "big five" buckets will jump substantially (I'm thinking 10-20% over two years...or roughly what we've seen over the last year or two), but something along the lines of the NER's "25% off under the following terms and conditions" will also be expanded to cover at least some long-distance segments. As-is, you tend to see something like this south of Orlando on the Silvers with the "weekly deals"...my guess would be that you see an expansion of that from being variable to being fairly standard on segments such as MIA-ORL/TPA (to throw the most obvious one out there) or Denver-Reno.

This is a strange question that I don't like to bring up because I know that the horse has been beaten to death, but...*deep breath*

Are there any circumstances where Amtrak would be under enough pressure to at least consider leasing the Hi-Levels from Illinois for a few years to fill a gap (for example, throwing them in as a set of corridor-on-LD cars)? I know that Amtrak does not want to operate these cars, but considering the equipment jam...let's just say that "want" and "need" may increasingly be two different things.** The Superliner shortage is only "deterministic" with sleepers, not coaches.***

The other question I have is whether Amtrak could approach VIA about a joint order the next time VIA puts in a bid of some kind (and I would extend this to some of the mass transit agencies if they end up placing single-level orders for something...if the extent of the difference between the cars is a bathroom and legroom, I don't see a problem piggybacking)?

*Of course, this depends on a lot of things surrounding Iran and the Middle East. If that all goes to Helena, Montana then things look different. I'm not inclined to place a bet either way there.

**To be fair, I'd put them all in the Midwest to keep the maintenance base in CHI, and use them to shift some Superliners to CA. The main use, as I noted, would be the shorter-distance components of the Eagle, Builder, Zephyr, and potentially the Chief (I don't know what the CHI-KCY numbers look like). Even if the use was seasonal (for example, to allow Amtrak to shift some cars to CA for the "Sparks Cars" plan), it's better than nothing. The flipside of this: How bad would things have to get for Amtrak to seriously consider them as a short-term (say, 3-5 year) stopgap?

***And that's another question. I know that the new Viewliners are modular (so that, for example, you could change one to all-roomette, all-bedroom, etc.). Is there any room for switching-over on the Superliners?
Capitol Limited (7), CA Zephyr (4) Lake Shore Limited (1), Acela (2), NE Regional (2), Sliver Meteor (4)

Upcoming: Silver Meteor (1), Lake Shore Limited (1), SW Chief (2), MO River Runner (1), Texas Eagle (1)

Possibly Upcoming: Either Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (2) or Texas Eagle (1), Capitol Limited (1), Silver Meteor (1)

#17 jis

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:24 AM

I think the Auto Train runs up against the HEP limitation for consist length, so even if there were more cars to be added, during peak season the Auto Train is already as long as it can be.

Specially considering that Amtrak or is it FRA(?) does not allow split double HEP circuits in a train with two sections being fed from two different HEP source, which is a common practice in India on super long trains.

#18 Blackwolf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:34 AM

Its not Amtrak, but during the peak travel season VIA's Canadian runs with up to 20 cars, including the baggage.

Amtrak
Capitol Corridor (too many times to count!); Coast Starlight (x21); California Zephyr (x7); Empire Builder (x2); Lake Shore Limited (x4); Maple Leaf (x1); Adirondack (x2); Cascades (x1); Pacific Surfliner (x6); San Joaquin (x8); Capitol Limited (x1); Cardinal (x2); Acela (x1)
VIA Rail
Ocean (x4); Windsor Corridor (x2); The Canadian (x1)


#19 Bill Haithcoat

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:54 AM

Its not Amtrak, but during the peak travel season VIA's Canadian runs with up to 20 cars, including the baggage.


Oh, but I have been on it with 30 cars, though three of them were deadhead.

#20 Blackwolf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:07 AM

Oh, but I have been on it with 30 cars, though three of them were deadhead.


I have to wonder, with VIA's HEP configuration of dual 440v lines running both sides of the cars, what their consist limit is? If you are pushing the legal limit for HEP on Amtrak's Auto Train with the current consist, you have to think about the differences between two fleets and which one works better over-all for flexibility.

Amtrak
Capitol Corridor (too many times to count!); Coast Starlight (x21); California Zephyr (x7); Empire Builder (x2); Lake Shore Limited (x4); Maple Leaf (x1); Adirondack (x2); Cascades (x1); Pacific Surfliner (x6); San Joaquin (x8); Capitol Limited (x1); Cardinal (x2); Acela (x1)
VIA Rail
Ocean (x4); Windsor Corridor (x2); The Canadian (x1)





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