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Private car rules for Amtrak?


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#1 Guest_Terry_*

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 08:19 AM

I posted a question about Amtrak car 10001, however it does seem that it's not available for charter.  Where I was originally going with this was getting an "observation car" (one with the platform on the end) on the NEC.

 

Since this is Amtrak territory does Amtrak even allow people on the back platform while the train is at speed?



#2 Crescent ATN & TCL

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 09:22 AM

They actually do, I've seen many a private car with people sitting on the rear platform in folding chairs.



#3 MikefromCrete

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 09:54 AM

I'm not sure that riding on the rear platform at 150 mph is a good idea. 



#4 lo2e

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 09:59 AM

I'm not sure that riding on the rear platform at 150 mph is a good idea. 

 

I'm not even sure going 79 on the rear platform is something I'd do.  If that train goes into emergency, I know they don't stop on a dime but I can imagine it could possibly still be jarring enough to send someone flying.



#5 ehbowen

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 10:49 AM

If you're serious about wanting to charter a private car on Amtrak, contact the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners or subscribe to their magazine, Private Varnish. There's plenty of equipment out there; it just takes lots and lots of money to "get things rolling".


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#6 ehbowen

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 11:02 AM

Addendum to above: Nobody ever wants to say exactly "how much" money, and that's because every trip is different. Each trip has to be custom-planned around the requirements of the charterer, and there are too many variables to put out a table of charter costs. For example, if there are enough PVs on a train Amtrak will require an extra locomotive...more $$$.

 

With that said, last year I contacted a PV owner here in the Houston area and asked if he could give a general, "ballpark" figure for a charter which is done frequently: A long weekend in New Orleans, leaving Houston on a Friday at lunchtime serving brunch upon boarding and dinner en route; staying over at the station in New Orleans for three nights using the cars as a hotel with continental breakfast or brunch each morning (lunch and dinner on your own in New Orleans), departure Monday morning with a full breakfast, lunch and dinner before arrival back in Houston. He replied that he could do such a trip for eight adults (four couples) in a sleeping car and dome-lounge car for a total of $20,500.00 including car rental, Amtrak and parking charges, crew (one chef and two stewards), and suitable food and beverage (premium quality, but nothing exotic such as Kobe beef or Beluga caviar). Since this trip uses cars based in Houston and requires no positioning moves, it can be regarded as the "low end" of PV charters. There really is no high end; if you have a million to spend and want to spend it criss-crossing the United States for six weeks in a private train with 20 or 30 of your best friends we can blow through every dime of that million and then some!


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#7 Guest_Motorcar_*

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 11:51 AM

 

 

I'm not even sure going 79 on the rear platform is something I'd do.  If that train goes into emergency, I know they don't stop on a dime but I can imagine it could possibly still be jarring enough to send someone flying.

 

Rode thousands of miles on open platform cars, at 90 mph hit debris that popped an air hose. It's a non-issue, the train just comes to a stop. The brakes hit and the momentum carries you toward the equipment not off the back of the platform.



#8 George K

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 11:53 AM

Interesting.

 

That's about $2,600 a head. And you're spending 5 nights in the cars (two en route plus 3)?

 

A good room in NOLA will cost about $150 a head (double occupancy) per night. Figure another $75 a head for meals per day (at least). Coach travel would be about $50 a head each way, so $100 for the trip. That adds up to $1200 or so, per head.


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#9 VentureForth

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 11:59 AM

I'm not sure that riding on the rear platform at 150 mph is a good idea.

 
I'm not even sure going 79 on the rear platform is something I'd do.  If that train goes into emergency, I know they don't stop on a dime but I can imagine it could possibly still be jarring enough to send someone flying.

 
Not real sure without looking, but I would think that much of the PV out there is good for 79, maybe 90 (SWC routing), but I don't know that many make the 115 or 125 cut for the NEC.

"Beech Grove" never goes 150, but I'm sure it goes 125.

Edited by VentureForth, 05 February 2015 - 12:01 PM.

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#10 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 12:00 PM

Ahem. If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it.



#11 ehbowen

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 12:06 PM

Interesting.

 

That's about $2,600 a head. And you're spending 5 nights in the cars (two en route plus 3)?

 

A good room in NOLA will cost about $150 a head (double occupancy) per night. Figure another $75 a head for meals per day (at least). Coach travel would be about $50 a head each way, so $100 for the trip. That adds up to $1200 or so, per head.

 

Just the three nights at the New Orleans station...Houston to New Orleans is a day trip. However, that figure did include snacks during the day and cocktails in the dome car each evening, so with the lounge space and attendant on duty I would say it was nearly the equivalent of a deluxe concierge room.


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#12 George K

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 12:13 PM

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if you're willing to pay for premium (concierge) service, it's not really ridiculously priced - assuming you can find 7 people who agree with that philosophy!


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#13 FrensicPic

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 12:37 PM

PV excursions are not necessarily extravagantly priced.  We've done some reasonable short trips through LA Rail.

 

I've been on the open platform of the Tioga Pass going 90 mph through Camp Pendleton in Southern California...it was a blast. Just stay aware, possibly hang on and consider eye protection. Could someone fly off in some type of emergency or even bad track? Sure but, I'll still be out there!  


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#14 Bob Dylan

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 02:56 PM

I've never personally ridden on the platform of a lounge or business rail car, but I have seen many people doing it on various Amtrak LD Trains and Specials!

Never seen anyone on the platform on the NEC between WAS and NYP however!
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#15 neutralist

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 03:27 PM

Ahem. If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it.

 

Not if you need to set a target for fund raising purporses. If someone want to do a full-length recording of the entire SWC route on the rear platform and upload it to YouTube ( before the route gets shut down ), private car is the only way to do so.


Edited by neutralist, 05 February 2015 - 03:28 PM.


#16 Acela150

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 04:22 PM

I'm not sure that riding on the rear platform at 150 mph is a good idea. 


It's not possible anyway. No private cars can be attached to an active Acela set. The shroud can't be raised while in service. And it would be to much trouble to take off.
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#17 MikefromCrete

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 05:05 PM

 

I'm not sure that riding on the rear platform at 150 mph is a good idea. 


It's not possible anyway. No private cars can be attached to an active Acela set. The shroud can't be raised while in service. And it would be to much trouble to take off.

 

I guess I got a little carried away with the speed. I forgot that only the Acela gets up to 150. I guess I should have said, what, 120? I do believe that Amtrak requires private cars carried on the NEC to be capable of high speeds. Still wouldn't recommend sitting outside, though. 



#18 Acela150

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 06:23 PM

The majority of private cars are rated for 110. 


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#19 MattW

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 07:16 PM

The last I read, private cars on the NEC were limited to the LD trains since they never go over 110mph anyways. At one time Amtrak had a certification program for private cars to be rated for 125mph, but I believe it is defunct now. Even so, I doubt Amtrak would want to risk delaying its Regionals with any switching or risk having any mechanical problems with them on those trains.


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#20 cx824

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 04:40 PM

That's why I was interested in getting Amtrak 10001.  I'm not really looking for private rail "service", I could do without any food etc, I'm just interested in running on the NEC on the back platform (or at least with the door open). 

 

I had hoped that costs for an Amtrak piece of equipment would be less expensive. 

 

With private cars, I'd be interested in riding on a positional move that involved the NEC.






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