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Viewliner II - Part 2 - Production and Delivery


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#1221 OBS

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 12:14 PM

Heritage 8505 was on 20(8) which I saw arrive into Washington Union Station on the 9th. So we are still not at all VL II + 8400 always state.

 

97(9) had 8400 BTW. I was on that train.

8505 still on 20 arriving NYP yesterday...



#1222 daybeers

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 12:23 PM

I am on NER #176 right now, and leaving WAS I saw Baton Rouge waiting to depart on the Crescent 20(13) on track 25, right next to ours. It was 1' 43" down leaving WAS. I got *some* video, but it's probably not all that good, as it wasn't on the same platform. The inside looked nice from what I could see trying to shoot from a grimy Amfleet I coach window! :giggle:


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#1223 stappend

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 12:49 PM

 

Heritage 8505 was on 20(8) which I saw arrive into Washington Union Station on the 9th. So we are still not at all VL II + 8400 always state.

 

97(9) had 8400 BTW. I was on that train.

8505 still on 20 arriving NYP yesterday...

 

I'm sure it makes sense, if we knew the logic, but it seems odd to use a Heritage in revenue service and have 2 VL2's in protect status.  



#1224 PVD

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 12:58 PM

If the Heritage was a protect car, and was swapped for a VL, it would be in revenue service. Depending on the reason why the VL was swapped out, and where service is performed, it might be the protect car for a while.



#1225 jis

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 01:14 PM

The logic I am sure is pretty straightforward - make sure that there is a serviceable Diner on each train that is supposed to have a Diner. If all that is available is a Heritage one that is serviceable, so be it. No pint in gratuitously swapping out a serviceable Diner once it is in circulation in a consist.



#1226 Anderson

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:06 AM

So, we're soon (e.g. in a month or two) going to have enough V2s to reinstate a diner on the LSL.  Once that happens, what is the plan for the remaining diners?  Amtrak is taking delivery of 25 diners, but as of right now only 11 plus protect/shop covers are needed, giving probably 8-11 (if we include 8400) "spares".


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#1227 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 01:03 PM

So, we're soon (e.g. in a month or two) going to have enough V2s to reinstate a diner on the LSL.  Once that happens, what is the plan for the remaining diners?  Amtrak is taking delivery of 25 diners, but as of right now only 11 plus protect/shop covers are needed, giving probably 8-11 (if we include 8400) "spares".

Remember near the dawn of time when the announced plan was for CAF to build baggage cars on one production line and on the other one to assemble the diners, the bag/dorms, and then sleepers? The plan changed to first build all the baggage cars a.s.a.p. using both lines.

 

Now we all probably assume CAF and Amtrak will continue producing two cars a month using both lines even as production shifts to bag/dorms and then sleepers.

 

So in about 2 or 3 months, Amtrak may have about enuff diners for today's demand. I'd cut back on diners to produce one a month, on one line. And on the other line start up bag/dorms. In other words, bring forward half a dozen bag/dorms that will immediately produce revenue, while postponing an equal number of what may be surplus and excess diners.

 

This move would to some extent postpone the decisions on what to do with a handful of surplus and excess diners. It allows other ideas to percolate while the facts on the ground may shift, for better or worse. For example, one political possibility is that if the Trillion dollar tax gut bill passes, it will be followed by massive spending cuts, including a deadly whack at Amtrak. On the other hand, after the Congressional election in November 2018, appropriations could increase substantially.

 

On another front, currently, and next year and the next, Amtrak has no spare single-level coaches to use for anything new or different. But when the [Nippon Sharyo] Siemens order starts to deliver 137 new cars, mostly to the Midwest, some 70 - 90 Horizon cars could cascade to other routes.

 

Again, depending on the election returns next year, a massive order could be placed to replace , and possibly to expand, the current flee of Eastern trains. So at some point it could be possible to add a revived "Broadway Ltd", to extend a branch off the Crescent to Dallas, and so forth.

 

If replacing the fleet is only possible in a half-funded, half-assed way, which we might expect of Congress, so that only added single-level cars are available soonish, but no new bi-levels, then switching the Capitol Ltd. to single-level equipment would free up Superliners to augment the Western fleet; likewise with the City of New Orleans. But to make such equipment changes, Amtrak would need more Viewliner diners. In that case, once enuff coaches are available, the surplus and excess of diners we fear now would be put to good use.

 

O.K. Enuff thinking big picture.

 

With a potential surplus of diners, could they be added to existing day trains?  Without sleeping car revenues to offset the diner losses, it could reveal awkward numbers, or not. But are we sure there would be losses if the Palmetto or Carolinian, or the Pennsylvanian, or the Maple Leaf or Adirondack offered sit-down, table dining? Yeah, I know, you can grab a breakfast in Penn Station, but I'd gladly pay another $10 or maybe $20 to sleep 20 minutes later and eat breakfast at leisure onboard. Or maybe any dining car losses could be hidden by including meals in a business class fare.

 

Or try two diners on the Meteor, maybe one full kitchen and one and a half cars of tables, with the other kitchen operating diner lite or as a lounge, with mostly snacks and sandwiches to take back to your seat. (Eliminating only one chef's position saves over $600,000 a year on the City of New Orleans.)

 

Last but not least, if it becomes clear that five or six diners really are surplus and excess, well, the Viewliners are supposed to be modular. So write them off as a loss -- folded in with the larger CAF loss who will know or care? -- and blame it all on Boardman. LOL. Then rip out the kitchen and table modules, and insert roomette modules to make new sleepers at a bargain price. I'm sure Amtrak can find a way to add another sleeper to one of the Eastern trains.



#1228 A Voice

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:17 PM

So, we're soon (e.g. in a month or two) going to have enough V2s to reinstate a diner on the LSL.  Once that happens, what is the plan for the remaining diners?  Amtrak is taking delivery of 25 diners, but as of right now only 11 plus protect/shop covers are needed, giving probably 8-11 (if we include 8400) "spares".

 

There really aren't any surplus dining cars.  The Silver Star and a daily Cardinal, plus the necessary spares, basically account for the remainder.  No, there is no actual confirmation that diners will return to those trains.  But while the service model might well differ from a traditional dining car experience (not necessarily always a bad thing), it is a bit hard to envision Amtrak opting to retain high mileage, thirty-five year old Amfleet II lounge cars while brand-new Viewliner diners sit unneeded.  



#1229 Anderson

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:20 AM

 

So, we're soon (e.g. in a month or two) going to have enough V2s to reinstate a diner on the LSL.  Once that happens, what is the plan for the remaining diners?  Amtrak is taking delivery of 25 diners, but as of right now only 11 plus protect/shop covers are needed, giving probably 8-11 (if we include 8400) "spares".

 

There really aren't any surplus dining cars.  The Silver Star and a daily Cardinal, plus the necessary spares, basically account for the remainder.  No, there is no actual confirmation that diners will return to those trains.  But while the service model might well differ from a traditional dining car experience (not necessarily always a bad thing), it is a bit hard to envision Amtrak opting to retain high mileage, thirty-five year old Amfleet II lounge cars while brand-new Viewliner diners sit unneeded.  

 

Though I don't really agree with the decision, I think the Cardinal will get a diner(-ish) before the Star does.  I actually think you might be more likely to see something like the Pennsylvanian and Palmetto getting the diners (albeit with a somewhat modified passenger experience) first, since the Palmetto is an Amtrak train while the Pennsylvanian occupies a sort of hybrid space (it is nominally a state-supported train but Amtrak has conceded that it produces enough feeder traffic to the Cap that they'd have a real problem dumping it).

Personally, I'd actually like to see Amtrak seriously consider some sort of swap, adding a batch of diners that would operate more or less as cafes and then converting a bunch of Amcafes back to coaches.  I'm not sure how much those conversions would cost, but adding an extra set or two worth of coaches would likely help Amtrak's bottom line...and of course, now I'm trying to figure out how much that would be worth as "surge capacity"


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#1230 Dutchrailnut

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 08:17 AM

Last Diner named after Vermont capital has nameplate mis-spelled , ohh boy



#1231 A Voice

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 09:33 AM

Last Diner named after Vermont capital has nameplate mis-spelled , ohh boy

 

Huh?  Montpelier has yet to be delivered.  



#1232 keelhauled

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 10:25 AM


Last Diner named after Vermont capital has nameplate mis-spelled , ohh boy

 
Huh?  Montpelier has yet to be delivered.  
Nameplate has probably been made though.

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.


#1233 Dutchrailnut

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 10:47 AM

Amtrak reportedly picked up two cars on Dec 11/12 and a picture of name plate is floating around (with two LL's )

http://www.railpictu...640996/#remarks


Edited by Dutchrailnut, 17 December 2017 - 10:50 AM.


#1234 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 11:07 AM

Amtrak reportedly picked up two cars on Dec 11/12 and a picture of name plate is floating around (with two LL's )

http://www.railpictu...640996/#remarks

What do those have to do with Vermont?  Lansing (MI) and Jackson (MS) were delivered.



#1235 jis

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 11:20 AM

Frankly, a misspelled nameplate is the least of the problems in the broader scheme of things. it should take a day or two to make another nameplate or two with the right spelling. Heck even Hialeah could pull that off I am sure.

 

talk about focusing on the less important while Rome burns. :P

 

Then again A. Philip Randolph had been running around with a misspelled name for many many years too :)


Edited by jis, 17 December 2017 - 11:22 AM.


#1236 me_little_me

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 11:29 AM

Frankly, a misspelled nameplate is the least of the problems in the broader scheme of things. it should take a day or two to make another nameplate or two with the right spelling. Heck even Hialeah could pull that off I am sure.

 

talk about focusing on the less important while Rome burns. :P

 

Agreed. More importantly, it is likely to never see the home state and the rest of the country probably can't spell Montpelier anyway. :giggle:



#1237 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 03:14 PM

Forget about the spelling, how many people in this country know the capital cities of any state but their own?
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#1238 Lonestar648

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 03:28 PM

How many people even know have the states in this country?



#1239 Ryan

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:01 PM

How many people even know have the states in this country?


Huh?
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#1240 WoodyinNYC

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:09 PM

 

How many people even know have the states in this country?


Huh?

 

Half the states






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