There were good presentations from Amtrak, Talgo, and NARP, as well as from the state advocacy organizations in the Northwest. I didn't take extensive notes, since much of what was discussed has been talked about on AU, but here are some items I hadn't heard before.
Joe McHugh, Amtrak
- The 40th anniversary train will have 75,000 visitors before its tour is over.
- People liked the old paint schemes well enough that they will repaint many of the long-distance engines in the "bloody nose" livery as they cycle through maintenance.
- The oil boom in ND has caused safety concerns around Williston and Stanley. They have had issues with drunkenness and "working girls" working the train.
- Amtrak is negotiating to keep the SWC on its current route. They are not interested in moving to the transcon, since the move would cost $30M. It's cheaper to keep maintaining the existing service.
- They are returning a bunch of P40s to service.
- A revised Fleet Strategy document will be published soon.
- One of the new Viewliners will be used to re-establish overnight sleeper WAS-BOS.
- Statistic: Acela generates 20% of all Amtrak revenue.
- A new POS system is coming to diners and lounges, which will eliminate the enormous forms needed to manage 136 revenue items.
- MI, IL equipment will only be able to be used in those locates, due to non-standard track configurations.
- McHugh doesn't think that the Senate transportation bill will pass this year.
Antonio Perez, Talgo
- The equipment built now is essentially the same as the Talgo 250 series used in Europe. However, FRA required flat windshields, which caused the ugly front end. The train sets will be delivered this summer.
- There will eventually be 13 RTs SEA-PDX-EUG.
- The new individual cars won't be able to be mixed with the existing cars, since the new ones have different equipment underneath the floors. They will have the same capacity, though, so it will be possible to swap out a train set as needed.
- The new train sets won't require an FRA waiver.
- These are US trains, since they are made with 65% US parts, and are assembled here.
- OR and WI cars could be mixed except for colors. WI train sets have coach only, no BC.
Bob Stewart, NARP
- Donations to NARP will shortly get AGR points.
Edited by CHamilton, 18 March 2012 - 11:05 PM.