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Brightline Railcars Any Reason They Can't Be Used By Amtrak?


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#21 west point

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 12:50 PM

This poster's observations and talk to passengers has been the Amfleet tube type construction is a put off. Viewliner and Heritage diners to a lesser extent have been more to the liking of passengers I've talk to.
Anyone know the various cubic volume in side Viewliners especially diners, Amfleet 1 & 2s and Heritage diners ? Also the Brightline cars as well ? Do Brightline cars have one vestibule or 2 ? It would seem the overhead baggage racks in V-2 coaches would be less intrusive at eye level in the aisles of coaches than Amfleets ?

#22 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 01:08 PM

If that mattered they should have stuck with the classic Budd shape (no not Amfleet. The original Budd shape like the Heritage Sleepers). They didn't. So it is safe to assume that it really does not matter.

At what point? That may have made sense during the original construction of Amfleets or Viewliner Is, but the existing Viewliner Is are not going anywhere anytime soon. It is clear for this reason that aesthetics did not matter in the past, but different people are in charge now compared to back then. The only way to make all the cars match at this point is with Viewliner coaches and lounges. I agree with "A Voice" that this should not be the priority, but should not be completely ignored either. Even though it doesn't have much of an affect on passenger experience, it could affect passenger's opinions of a company.
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#23 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 01:14 PM

If that mattered they should have stuck with the classic Budd shape (no not Amfleet. The original Budd shape like the Heritage Sleepers). They didn't. So it is safe to assume that it really does not matter.


Come on, JIS. Asthetics always matter to the extent people choose to let them matter. Obviously, operationally it is almost irrelevant, and practicality and getting trains running trump it thoroughly, but to say they don't matter is a rather sweeping statement.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#24 A Voice

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 01:16 PM

If that mattered they should have stuck with the classic Budd shape (no not Amfleet. The original Budd shape like the Heritage Sleepers). They didn't. So it is safe to assume that it really does not matter.

 

The Amfleet body shape wasn't a deliberate design choice.  It was retained mostly because Budd had a completed design and tooling to produce "Metroliner Trailer Cars".  Can you honestly say that a train with a mix of Heritage, Amfleet, and Superliner cars (it's been done) looks just as sleek as an Acela trainset (or even a Surfliner)?  

 

Regardless, Amtrak apparently thinks it matters.  Note the publicity photos in the old National Timetable and Amtrak Vacations booklet; They never showed the Crescent with a mix of Viewliner, Amfleet, and Heritage cars.  Rather, we see a matched Amfleet set (no sleepers or diner or baggage) on the Toccoa Viaduct or a solid train of Superliners (no baggage) out west.  These were trains sent out solely for these publicity purposes.  

 

I am certainly not suggesting appearance should trump basic design, function, utility or most anything else (including production cost).  But I do contend that a sleek, modern trainset is sufficiently preferable to a circus train reject that attention should be paid to aesthetics in future passenger car design.  There are undeniable advantages to Amtrak taking what is available, but for a vehicle which will be in service probably the next forty or fifty years it is more important to get the design right than rush an existing production design or pinch pennies in development.  



#25 jis

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 01:40 PM

Factors that should matter more is cost of production and currency of design. that is my only point. Some seem to be making the argument that we should perpetuate a particular shape of an 80s design for the sake of "sleekness" irrespective of anything else. that is just nuts.

 

If one is starting greenfield of course it would be nice to have everything shaped the same. but we are (a) not starting from green field and (b) are in a very financially constrained situation. We should be looking for the best design that is available as quickly as possible with the least possible cost, and place niceties like aesthetic alignment with designs from the last cetury rather low on the list of priorities.



#26 neroden

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 01:59 PM

Honestly, I don't think the added cost of a Viewliner profile is significant.  There's nothing wrong with the Viewliner design and it's specifically designed to maximize volume of space used while fitting in the clearance envelope of the NEC.


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#27 A Voice

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:01 PM

Factors that should matter more is cost of production and currency of design. that is my only point. Some seem to be making the argument that we should perpetuate a particular shape of an 80s design for the sake of "sleekness" irrespective of anything else. that is just nuts.

 

Nobody here has claimed that aesthetic considerations should override all other elements of passenger car design.  That's a strawman argument.  



#28 jis

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:05 PM

 

Factors that should matter more is cost of production and currency of design. that is my only point. Some seem to be making the argument that we should perpetuate a particular shape of an 80s design for the sake of "sleekness" irrespective of anything else. that is just nuts.

 
Nobody here has claimed that aesthetic considerations should override all other elements of passenger car design.  That's a strawman argument.

 

All that I said was that should not be done to start with so I was just re-emphasizing that, since it was not clear what anybody was actually saying :P I am glad to see at least you agree with me. I have no idea what the real position of anyone else is.
 

Honestly, I don't think the added cost of a Viewliner profile is significant. There's nothing wrong with the Viewliner design and it's specifically designed to maximize volume of space used while fitting in the clearance envelope of the NEC.


And it is entirely possible that the shape can be achieved in other car bodies with minor variation. Afterall Bombardier had very little trouble doing the M-8 and M-9s with similar bulges. The problem arises when one then goes on to insist that the airconditioning units muse be similar to the ones used in Amfleets and on and on.

 

What should be provided to the manufacturers is the loading gauge, internal dimensions, the regulations they must comply with and furnishing specs and then let them propose how they are going to meet those, rather than hand them a detailed design and say produce us 150 of these. It is the former approach that Amtrak has taken with the Acela II order, and the latter approach with the Viewliner II order. And the lesser we say about the cluster among Amtrak, FRA, Bombardier and Alstom that begat the Acela Is came to be the better.

 

Speaking of new cars (Coaches), whatever its outside shape is, it would be really much more pleasing I think if the interior could be designed to resemble something akin to the so called "Sky" interior that we are seeing in planes today. A 14'6" tall car certainly leaves enough room for doing that and making the car feel much airier even without the upper row of windows, specially with some judiciously designed indirect lighting one would think.


Edited by jis, 08 August 2017 - 02:25 PM.


#29 west point

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:35 PM

Still no comparison of View liner and Brightline profiles ?  Brightline appears to have very large windows which may improve passenger acceptance.  Granted that will require higher capacity HVAC and more efficient shades. ?  Still believe that most but certainly not all persons will like the View liner inside profile compared to Amfleets ?  View liner lounges will certainly have a bigger viewing angle available for outside viewing.  Can imagine that V-2 lounges on the Cardinal thru New River Gorge will be well received. 

 

About Air conditioning units.  Our understanding is that the units are now designed to be interchangeable with quick disconnects and identical air handling connections that will prevent delays due to replacements of failed units. Compatible units allow for more maintenance locations to carry a spare unit(s) such as Atlanta, Florence, Memphis, Denver, Minot.  That way additional improvements in unit efficiency can be used for new and replacement units. .    



#30 neroden

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:04 PM

Honestly, I don't think the added cost of a Viewliner profile is significant. There's nothing wrong with the Viewliner design and it's specifically designed to maximize volume of space used while fitting in the clearance envelope of the NEC.


And it is entirely possible that the shape can be achieved in other car bodies with minor variation. Afterall Bombardier had very little trouble doing the M-8 and M-9s with similar bulges. The problem arises when one then goes on to insist that the airconditioning units muse be similar to the ones used in Amfleets and on and on.

Sure. I believe the Viewliner IIs have a completely different primary electrical distribution system from the Viewliner Is, however, so they're obviously not being too picky. Did they really specify *Amfleet* A/C units? That would make no sense given that the Amfleets are totally different.
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#31 west point

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:30 PM

Amfleet-1 HVAC units ? Ridiculous.
1. Not built anymore due to going from banned R-22 to R-410 to meet current EPA regulations.
2. SEER probably was only 7 - 8 where as units now SEER units are 14+
3. Today's new units will probably be bulkier and weight more than original AM-1 units

#32 railiner

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:13 PM

 

If that mattered they should have stuck with the classic Budd shape (no not Amfleet. The original Budd shape like the Heritage Sleepers). They didn't. So it is safe to assume that it really does not matter.


Come on, JIS. Asthetics always matter to the extent people choose to let them matter. Obviously, operationally it is almost irrelevant, and practicality and getting trains running trump it thoroughly, but to say they don't matter is a rather sweeping statement.

 

Once upon a time it mattered a lot, when railroads could easily order matched sets of equipment from a choice of builder's, to equip their new streamliner's.

Now, we have trains like VIA Rail's Ocean, where they match up Renaissance cars with classic Budd Park series cars... Practical? Certainly.     Aesthetic? Hardly......


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#33 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:43 AM

Still no comparison of View liner and Brightline profiles ?  Brightline appears to have very large windows which may improve passenger acceptance.  Granted that will require higher capacity HVAC and more efficient shades. ?  Still believe that most but certainly not all persons will like the View liner inside profile compared to Amfleets ?  View liner lounges will certainly have a bigger viewing angle available for outside viewing.  Can imagine that V-2 lounges on the Cardinal thru New River Gorge will be well received. 
 
About Air conditioning units.  Our understanding is that the units are now designed to be interchangeable with quick disconnects and identical air handling connections that will prevent delays due to replacements of failed units. Compatible units allow for more maintenance locations to carry a spare unit(s) such as Atlanta, Florence, Memphis, Denver, Minot.  That way additional improvements in unit efficiency can be used for new and replacement units. .    

Is there actually a proposed design for Viewliner lounges? I would like to see the same size windows as SSLs as well as the same-style chairs. Obviously, some space will be lost due to the need for the food service area on the same level as the viewing area.
Trains travelled: Capitol Limited WAS-CHI, Cardinal CHI-WAS, Carolinian CLT-RGH, Coast Starlight SJC-LAX, Crescent BAL-ATL, Empire Builder MSP-CHI, Empire Service NYP-NFL+NYG-YNY, Lake Shore Limited BOS-ALB, Maple Leaf ALB-NYP, Northeast Regional FBG-RVR+WAS-BOS, Pacific Surfliner LAX-ANA, Pennsylvanian NYP-PGH, Piedmont RGH-DNC, Silver Meteor ORL-NYP, Silver Star FTL-WAS, 2016 Autumn Express NYP-HAR-NYP

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#34 jis

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 06:12 AM

There isn't. Except at AU :P

#35 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 08:19 AM

I agree shape isn't particularly important. I'm just rejecting the argument that it is immaterial. All things being equal, it is a positive for trains to have a consistent car appearance. Obviously all things are not equal, and it is quite low priority.

Nate, I would tend to agree with you that the marginal cost difference of producing a Viewliner shape rather than some other shape would be limited. However that cost would mostly likely mean either dealing with the dunderheads at CAF or setting up new tooling, which would be substantially more expensive than asking Seimans to fire up the bright liner plant and asking them to build Amtrak a fleet of coaches and lounges based on that design. Whether that would be true for additional sleepers I am not sure.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#36 west point

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:07 PM

Do we know for sure that the Bright liners meet NEC loading gauge ?

#37 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:58 AM

It would be astonishing if they don't, since they were built to a specification that they do.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#38 cirdan

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 10:40 AM

To revert to the original question.

 

I remember some time ago on this forum, when it was first announced that Siemens had been selected to supply the Brightline equipment.

 

At the time I said that the Railjet coach was taylored for European conditions where track is generally smoother than on most Amtrak LD routes. I questioned whether these coaches would stand up well under American operating conditions.

 

It was countered that FEC tracks were also going to be maintained to very high standards so this wasn't a problem.

 

So to come back to the original question, in my opinion it depends on how well they perform on average and poor track, and whether they can still provide an adequate level of comfort unde those conditions, quite apart from not falling to bits.



#39 jis

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 12:39 PM

They could hardly run any more poorly than Amfleets on any track IMHO. that would take a special ability to design something with a goal set for poor ride quality and maintenance requirements ;) Not that it cannot be done, but it would be quite an achievement.

 

BTW, it  ight be surprising for some to learn that the considerably larger loading gauge of a double decker TGV also fits within the NEC loading gauge envelope. Yes, the Brightline cars would fit fine on the NEC. Actually the NEC loading gauge is not that small by world standards.


Edited by jis, 10 August 2017 - 12:53 PM.


#40 PerRock

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 01:09 PM

For loading gauge, the Viaggio Twin is 4600mm tall. https://www.mobility...gio-twin-en.pdf

 

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