Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

Amfleet SSL


  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#1 Thunder Road

Thunder Road

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 144 posts

Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:36 PM

Ok so I know there are no new car orders for new designs or anything like that, but would it at least be theoretically possible to have a single-level sightseer lounge that connects to Amfleet equipment? I know Superliners can't run into NYP because of height constraints, but would it be possible to take the top level of an SSL and reproduce it on a single-level car?

Would it be too dangerous to have more windows lower down where they're exposed to cracking from vandalism and debris?


After taking my first trip on a Superliner, I feel like I won't enjoy a train as much if it doesn't have an SSL. There's so much scenery on the Pennsy, Adirondack, LSL, Cardinal, and many more, that you miss when you can only see out an AmCan window.


I know I'm just dreaming...but is it at least possible?

#2 sechs

sechs

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,128 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:ATL

Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:40 PM

Have you taken a trip on a Viewliner?

#3 Opiatephoto

Opiatephoto

    Train Attendant

  • Training
  • Pip
  • 18 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 March 2012 - 11:08 PM

Well, assuming the cash could be found, a remake of the old SAL Solarium cars would fit that bill.

Hollywood Beach


The photo was taken back when the car was based in Nashville, TN. I rode it on an excursion once, and it was very nice.

#4 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,172 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports/Gov't/ Politics/History/Reading/
    Movies/Music/Space-Ancient Aliens

Posted 08 March 2012 - 11:31 PM

Unfortunately Amtrak only has ONE Dome Car Left :wacko: from the Good Ole Days when Domes were on Most LD Trains! :wub: It usually is run on the Surfliners in Caliifornia (one of our Members thinks it's his Personal Car! :lol: )Once a Year in the Fall it is Hauled East and Runs on the Adirondack from Albany to Montreal, and a Couple of Times on the Cardinal!The Cafe/Lounges on the Single level Trains Leave Alot to be desired as you Know, as was Said Riding in a Viewliner Roomette or Bedroom is the Best Way to Sight See on Single Level Eastern Trains!!

There is discussion on Train Sites all the Time about Amtrak Purchasing or Leasing Dome Cars for the Routes with "Good Scenery", but Neither Money nor Will Seems to be Available @ 60 Mass @ This Time!! :(

Edited by jimhudson, 08 March 2012 - 11:36 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#5 NE933

NE933

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,074 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, New York

Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:03 AM

I remeber reading in either a train magazine or forum website like this one, that Amtrak's original Viewliner plans to have a 300+ fleet total, included lounges that would have been "spectacular". A few years ago, myself and a few others here on AU tossed some ideas around that were spectacular, but would've been structurally impossible. Large windows, for example, would break the continuity of key structural beams that support the integrity of the car, especially during a crash. See our recent conversation about the 1993 tradgedy in which a heavy barge just bumped an Alabama bridge enough to bend the track 3 feet out of wack, and there's your recipe for disaster. Car builders must walk the tightrope of spectacular and safe enough to hold up during the tonnage forces involved in crashes.

The best we did is that someone came up with using Amfleet II and I windows as they are used now, with the addition of more Amfleet I windows on the roof, though their small size probably won't add much openess. Superliner sized windows were too large to be safely incorporated without breaking the continuity of cross beams.

When you have a straight beam it is extremely strong; start bending angles into it to accomodate a window or some other thing and its strength is reduced by half or more.

#6 afigg

afigg

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,876 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:27 AM

Ok so I know there are no new car orders for new designs or anything like that, but would it at least be theoretically possible to have a single-level sightseer lounge that connects to Amfleet equipment? I know Superliners can't run into NYP because of height constraints, but would it be possible to take the top level of an SSL and reproduce it on a single-level car?

Would it be too dangerous to have more windows lower down where they're exposed to cracking from vandalism and debris?

It should be possible to modify the Viewliner design with bigger windows for a sightseer lounge type car. Probably not to the extent and size of the window area in the SSL because of structural strength issues. The car shell might have to be modified with larger window cutouts that would make it unique and no longer fully modular and convertible to the other Viewliner types. Have a 6" to 8" raised floor on either side of the center aisle to provide some elevation and better view. Add on outside LED lighting strips that go on when in tunnels; could make the trip through the tunnels in NYC a creepy experience!

I don't see why it could not be done technically. Getting management to accept the idea and then getting the funds for a special order run of, say 20 to 25, Viewliner "Sightseer" lounge cars in the current political environment is the difficult part.

#7 Thunder Road

Thunder Road

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 144 posts

Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:03 AM

I remeber reading in either a train magazine or forum website like this one, that Amtrak's original Viewliner plans to have a 300+ fleet total, included lounges that would have been "spectacular". A few years ago, myself and a few others here on AU tossed some ideas around that were spectacular, but would've been structurally impossible. Large windows, for example, would break the continuity of key structural beams that support the integrity of the car, especially during a crash. See our recent conversation about the 1993 tradgedy in which a heavy barge just bumped an Alabama bridge enough to bend the track 3 feet out of wack, and there's your recipe for disaster. Car builders must walk the tightrope of spectacular and safe enough to hold up during the tonnage forces involved in crashes.

The best we did is that someone came up with using Amfleet II and I windows as they are used now, with the addition of more Amfleet I windows on the roof, though their small size probably won't add much openess. Superliner sized windows were too large to be safely incorporated without breaking the continuity of cross beams.

When you have a straight beam it is extremely strong; start bending angles into it to accomodate a window or some other thing and its strength is reduced by half or more.


I'm a meteorologist, not an engineer, so I didn't know the details, but I suspected something like this...that it's not as simple as moving the whole window structure down to the ground because it would compromise the integrity of the car. Thanks for explaining it a bit more.

#8 Thunder Road

Thunder Road

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 144 posts

Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:04 AM

Have you taken a trip on a Viewliner?


No but I'm seriously considering booking the Cardinal for a return trip CHI-TRE in June and using my dad's accumulated Amtrak points before the AGR rates go up on April 1st.

#9 Anderson

Anderson

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,216 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:24 AM

I would think that perhaps seem slightly larger windows might be doable (I'm not sure of the structural details), though more likely would be a Viewliner window design of some sort (i.e. two rows of windows, as noted above).

What is a real shame is that Amtrak can't round up 3-5 domes to supplement the "Great Dome" and regularly have one on at least the Cardinal and/or the Adirondack. I would even think that they'd be able to sell at least some surcharged "dome class" seats on both routes (as well as allowing sleeper passengers access to the dome on the Cardinal).

Another idea, thinking of domes, would be to order a small-to-moderate number of bilevel NJT-ish coaches with a modified window design and 2-1 seating upstairs, and either standard 2-2 seating or some other setup downstairs. You couldn't run a full train of them (and step-up/step-down issues would probably preclude doing so anyway...just ask the Pennsy), but doing so could get you both a set of higher-capacity eastern cars and upgraded service.*

*To deal with ADA stuff, you'd need sets that went something like this:
[Engine]-[Bilevel]-[Coach]-[Lounge]-[Coach]-[Bilevel]
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)

#10 dlagrua

dlagrua

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,742 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hillsborough, NJ
  • Interests:Car collecting, Train Travel, Model RR, Visiting Historical sights, Cooking, Antiques, but above all love for friends and family.

Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:32 AM

In a rough sense the Viewliner diner seems to fit the bill of a SSL car. Beyond that the dome is the solution but the full roof domes would probably be best. Unless something unusual happens, I doubt if you will be seeing anything like this in the near future.

#11 jis

jis

    Engineer

  • Gathering Team Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19,967 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
  • Interests:Trains, Planes and Travel

Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:14 AM

A full roof dome will not fit the loading gauge of NEC.

The standard single level car specification uses every available inch of height for the main car body leaving zero room for any protrusions above the roof line.

#12 printman2000

printman2000

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,696 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amarillo, Texas

Posted 09 March 2012 - 03:13 PM

A full roof dome will not fit the loading gauge of NEC.

The standard single level car specification uses every available inch of height for the main car body leaving zero room for any protrusions above the roof line.


What is "loading gauge"?

Are you talking about the tunnels? Or the wires?

#13 OlympianHiawatha

OlympianHiawatha

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norman, OK

Posted 09 March 2012 - 03:20 PM

In a rough sense the Viewliner diner seems to fit the bill of a SSL car. Beyond that the dome is the solution but the full roof domes would probably be best. Unless something unusual happens, I doubt if you will be seeing anything like this in the near future.


Since Viewliners use modular interiors, I imagine it would be fairly easy to design a Lounge interior to use in the Diner frame. Getting funding for this is a whole different story.

#14 PerRock

PerRock

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,653 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ann Arbor, MI
  • Interests:Passenger Rail, Auran Trainz, Traveling, Graphic Design

Posted 09 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

I've seen a handful of viewliner lounge mockups out there done by varrious people. Here are a few of mine:

Single Floor design:

http://i68.photobuck...ungedesign1.png
http://i68.photobuck...ungedesign2.png
http://i68.photobuck...oungeFloor1.png

Double-Floor* design:
http://i68.photobuck...ungedesign3.png
http://i68.photobuck...oungeFloor2.jpg
http://i68.photobuck...inerlounge1.jpg
http://i68.photobuck...inerlounge2.jpg

*I sadly don't know if it is physically possible to squeeze two floors into a Viewliner.

peter
Given the choice; I fly Amtrak.
 
http://www.amtraktrainz.com

#15 NE933

NE933

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,074 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, New York

Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:35 PM

I've seen a handful of viewliner lounge mockups out there done by varrious people. Here are a few of mine:
peter


It seems the only way to do this and keep it structurally sound is to use your first exhibit, as it's the only one that doesn't break the cross beams' continuity.

Can you try perhaps using all Amfleet II style windows, even the 2nd row as well as the roof? That should fit in the confines and provide more openness!

#16 Swadian Hardcore

Swadian Hardcore

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,406 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Halmar, EOS 1M8P
  • Interests:Transportation, business, politics, and military history.

Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:02 PM

I think you can do it on the Eastern trains if you buy something like the Solarium. If it was possible back then, it should be possible now. Don't know about Viewliners due to modular design. Amtrak's single Great Dome cannot run into NYP. Still too high!

Edited by Swadian Hardcore, 09 March 2012 - 09:03 PM.

MCI 102DL3 SUPERFAN
LINER ANVIL
PROUD HATER OF THE D4505, TD925, AND T2145
MCI 102DL3WC INTERCITY MOTORCOACH SUPREMACY Professional Drivers Commited to Safety 1-800-SAFE-BUS SEATING CAPACITY: 50 PASSENGERS PT70414
TAKE IT EASY  TAKE THE GREYHOUND
OPERATOR: GREYHOUND CANADA TRANSPORTATION CORP. CAGARY, AB NSC-000026177, FHA-MC-304126 TARE 15,000 KGS GVW 20,140 KGS
DETROIT DIESEL SERIES 60

#17 Thunder Road

Thunder Road

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 144 posts

Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

I think you can do it on the Eastern trains if you buy something like the Solarium. If it was possible back then, it should be possible now. Don't know about Viewliners due to modular design. Amtrak's single Great Dome cannot run into NYP. Still too high!


When it was on the Cardinal and Adirondack, did they unload it right before NYP then?

#18 NY Penn

NY Penn

    Conductor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 516 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York City

Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:46 PM

It went Montreal-Albany and Chicago-Washington.
Visiting New York? Find out what to see and do in this thread.

#19 PerRock

PerRock

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,653 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ann Arbor, MI
  • Interests:Passenger Rail, Auran Trainz, Traveling, Graphic Design

Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:11 PM

What is the maximum height possible for a car in NYP?

peter
Given the choice; I fly Amtrak.
 
http://www.amtraktrainz.com

#20 sechs

sechs

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,128 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:ATL

Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:14 PM


Have you taken a trip on a Viewliner?


No but I'm seriously considering booking the Cardinal for a return trip CHI-TRE in June and using my dad's accumulated Amtrak points before the AGR rates go up on April 1st.

While you won't confuse it for a Sightseer Lounge, I think they can give about 75% of what you're looking for.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users