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Sleeper-Less Overnight/LD Trains?


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#21 jis

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 03:30 PM

Amtrak should not be in the business of designing cars. They are a rail operating company, not a car manufacturing company. They should lay out their operational requirements and let the car manufacturers propose designs. In the recent past, each time Amtrak (and FRA) has tried to get into the car designing business it has led to nothing but great deal of pain, budget overruns and endless delays. They should stop repeating that.



#22 west point

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:05 PM

Have not traveled in cafes. How many additional passengers could a café if not used except as a coach ?

#23 railiner

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 09:46 PM


Amtrak has coaches, why not convert a few to day-nighters, with airlines first class style lie flat seats? I think such an arrangement would be agreeable to passengers.

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Setting aside that Amtrak is chronically short of single-level coaches, a car with true lie-flat seats would not have appreciably more passenger capacity than an all-economy sleeper (all Roomette car, or Slumbercoach duplex rooms, etc.).  
Since you could not "double-stack" true lie-flat seats, like you do with economy bedrooms, you would end up with less total capacity in an all-chair car...
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#24 Texan Eagle

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 11:04 PM

Since you could not "double-stack" true lie-flat seats, like you do with economy bedrooms, you would end up with less total capacity in an all-chair car...


But you CAN double, or even triple stack lie-flat things in a train, unlike on planes. The rest of the world calls them sleeper berths, or as the US called them sectionals or whatever. On an overnight segment, you'd almost certainly get more passengers willing to travel sleeping flat with just curtains and no meals included or all that fluff than slumming it in coach.  



#25 railiner

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 05:10 AM

Since you could not "double-stack" true lie-flat seats, like you do with economy bedrooms, you would end up with less total capacity in an all-chair car...


But you CAN double, or even triple stack lie-flat things in a train, unlike on planes. The rest of the world calls them sleeper berths, or as the US called them sectionals or whatever. On an overnight segment, you'd almost certainly get more passengers willing to travel sleeping flat with just curtains and no meals included or all that fluff than slumming it in coach.  

That is what I meant... berths can be double stacked either in open sections or private rooms, but airliner style lie-flat seats cannot...
As a matter of fact, Viewliner carbodies have enough height to even triple stack bunks in a super budget type berth....the only problem with doing that, would be trying to convert triple bunks into seats for daytime travel, like you do with double bunks as is done now, although it may be possible somehow...
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#26 cirdan

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:17 AM

That is what I meant... berths can be double stacked either in open sections or private rooms, but airliner style lie-flat seats cannot...
As a matter of fact, Viewliner carbodies have enough height to even triple stack bunks in a super budget type berth....the only problem with doing that, would be trying to convert triple bunks into seats for daytime travel, like you do with double bunks as is done now, although it may be possible somehow...


As in European style "couchette cars". You typically get 6 berths to a compartment / room, triple stacked on either side. The middle bunk folds down and become the seat back with the lower bunk becoming the seat. Such a compartment seats 6. I think in France on the older car types they even nominally seat 8, but they only sell them for 6.

Edited by cirdan, 02 May 2017 - 07:19 AM.


#27 jis

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:43 AM

The three tier AC or non-AC Sleepers in India are similar though they do not have compartments. They just have cubicles, and they have two tier berths on the corridor side, so 8 per cubicle module.

 

Some one of the rail ministers tried to cram three tier on the corridor side, but that did not prove to be too popular.



#28 railiner

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:37 AM

That is what I meant... berths can be double stacked either in open sections or private rooms, but airliner style lie-flat seats cannot...
As a matter of fact, Viewliner carbodies have enough height to even triple stack bunks in a super budget type berth....the only problem with doing that, would be trying to convert triple bunks into seats for daytime travel, like you do with double bunks as is done now, although it may be possible somehow...

As in European style "couchette cars". You typically get 6 berths to a compartment / room, triple stacked on either side. The middle bunk folds down and become the seat back with the lower bunk becoming the seat. Such a compartment seats 6. I think in France on the older car types they even nominally seat 8, but they only sell them for 6.
Now that arrangement sounds like a pretty good solution...would be nice to see that concept tested in North America...,
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#29 Bob Dylan

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 10:48 AM

Best compromise for the Privacy obssesed US: Sections priced like the old Slumbercoaches, ie without meals and other Sleeper Perks.

I predict 100% Occupancy on the LD Trains if this comes about. Still the best train deal I've had before and after A-Day!
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#30 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:20 AM

You're making me jealous talking about Slumbercoaches. When were they available and on what trains? How were they price wise? Comfort wise?


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short Limited (NYP-CHI)
Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL)
Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX)
California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY)
City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#31 neroden

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:11 PM

Amtrak should not be in the business of designing cars. They are a rail operating company, not a car manufacturing company. They should lay out their operational requirements and let the car manufacturers propose designs. In the recent past, each time Amtrak (and FRA) has tried to get into the car designing business it has led to nothing but great deal of pain, budget overruns and endless delays. They should stop repeating that.

Unfortunately this is more of an FRA problem than an Amtrak problem.  Amtrak does actually know something about passenger car design; FRA knows nothing at all and has been propounding completely senseless rules for literally *decades*.  If we could get the FRA to adopt European rules, Amtrak would probably spec off-the-shelf European cars, but right now they can't, so...


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#32 railiner

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:51 PM


Amtrak should not be in the business of designing cars. They are a rail operating company, not a car manufacturing company. They should lay out their operational requirements and let the car manufacturers propose designs. In the recent past, each time Amtrak (and FRA) has tried to get into the car designing business it has led to nothing but great deal of pain, budget overruns and endless delays. They should stop repeating that.

Unfortunately this is more of an FRA problem than an Amtrak problem.  Amtrak does actually know something about passenger car design; FRA knows nothing at all and has been propounding completely senseless rules for literally *decades*.  If we could get the FRA to adopt European rules, Amtrak would probably spec off-the-shelf European cars, but right now they can't, so...
Good point...VIA sort of did that, with its purchase of those "Ren" cars...
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#33 railiner

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 08:35 PM

You're making me jealous talking about Slumbercoaches. When were they available and on what trains? How were they price wise? Comfort wise?

Wiki has pretty good answer's for you....  https://en.wikipedia...ki/Slumbercoach

 

As for comfort...I loved them!   Rode them dozens of times between Denver and New York City thru the years they were in service....

The relatively narrow bunks did not bother me in the least, and the bonus was at night you had access to the toilet, without the need to raise the bunk, as you did in a standard roomette.

 

The two basic types were the 24 Single, 8 Double type, and the other was a 16 Single, 10 Double type.   The latter type had four "secret bonus" Single rooms, for those in the know...

These were built as double rooms, but were finally outfitted with only one bunk, to be sold as a Single...they had the larger window, and the interior space of a Double, but sold at the same price as the duplex type Singles...

I always tried to score one of those rooms when I booked, if available... :)


Edited by railiner, 02 May 2017 - 08:36 PM.

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#34 Bob Dylan

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 01:01 AM

My Slumbercoach experiences were all between WAS and ATL on the Southern RR Crescent, and after Amtrak took over from Southern the Amtrak Crescent.

As was said, they were comfortable, dirt cheap, and I would have Dinner in the Diner on the way down and Breakfast in Virginia on the way North!

The most comfortable Room I ever had on a LD Train was a Lower Berth (Section) on the Canadian.
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".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#35 cirdan

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 02:51 AM

Best compromise for the Privacy obssesed US: Sections priced like the old Slumbercoaches, ie without meals and other Sleeper Perks.

I predict 100% Occupancy on the LD Trains if this comes about. Still the best train deal I've had before and after A-Day!


I think it's not just privacy obsession. It's also being able to lock your door from inside so you can sleep in peace knowing nobody will steal your stuff. On a plane with reclining seats in business class that is less likely as there are generally always staff around and there aren't that many places a thief can hide. On a train its much easier to board in the middle of the night, hide in the bathroom, and then leave again at the next stop without anyone being any the wiser.

Edited by cirdan, 03 May 2017 - 02:51 AM.


#36 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:15 AM

I was looking for old Slumbercoach service on timetables.org schedules.

 

My favorite train had them in 1981 (when they had through service off the BL to BAL/WAS) and 1994:

http://www.timetable...10426&item=0036

http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0018

 

The LSL did as well. So did the Crescent but NYP-ATL only for some reason.

http://www.timetable...1030n&item=0016

 

The Florida service said Slumbercoach was available on some trains. They did have them in 1981: http://www.timetable...10426&item=0030

 

If the Crescent only had Slumbercoaches available up to ATL then they must have cut them off there. The PRIIA suggested cutting off cars at ATL to increase capacity north and not have to carry extra cars south. If they could cut off trains then, why can't they now?


Trains Traveled:
 
Broadway Limited (CHI-Harrisburg, PA) 
Three Rivers (Harrisburg, PA-CHI, Altoona, PA-CHI, PHL-CHI)
Capitol Limited (CHI-WAS)
Lake Short Limited (NYP-CHI)
Silver Meteor (PHL-ORL)
Southwest Chief (CHI-LAX)
California Zephyr (CHI-SLC, SLC-EMY)
City of New Orleans and/or Illini (CHI-Champaign, IL)

 

Bring back the Broadway Limited (or Three Rivers or any Chicago-Pittsburgh-Philly train)!
 

https://www.facebook...roadwayLimited/

 


#37 jis

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:58 AM

Because the tracks used to do so are gone?




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