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If you could add any amenities to Amtrak, what would they be?


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#81 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 03:13 PM

Let me draw that out further. I hate doing this kind of speculations, but lets consider the following:

 

1) The Superliner I cars are reaching the end of their lifecycle, and would benefit from replacement.

2) The Amfleet II cars are also indicated to be nearing the end of their lifecycle, and would benefit from replacement.

3) The Amfleet I cars were next to be replaced on that list.

 

Further, it would not be difficult, in my opinion, to reconfigure the Russian Rail design cars to have a center aisle with 16 roomettes- the rooms appear to me to be 2 meters wide, so longitudinal berth is likely doable, using the same window design as the Russian car. 

 

This would allow you to create a pair of cars consisting of a 16-roomette car with 2 restrooms, a shower, and an attendant's room (as configured for the russian train), and a 6-bedroom (two berths and a bath), one-handicapped room, and 2 family (four berths, no bath), two bathrooms, and a shower. This combined car pair would give you 16 roomettes, 6 bedrooms, 2 family rooms, and a handicapped room, for a total of 54 passengers; an increase of 10 over a Superliner, and a relatively minor decrease of 3-per-car average over a Viewliner. 

 

Diners, lounges, and coaches are of course in the bag for that sort of thing. Lounges and diners would be a straight replacement sort of thing. For a Superliner coach, you would need 3 60 passenger single levels to replace each one. 

 

To replace the Superliner I sleepers (70 originally), diners (35 originally), lounges (25), and coaches (135, iirc), the Amfleet II coaches (125) and lounges (25), and the Amfleet I coaches and cafes (call it 420 coaches and 80 lounges), you would need:

 

70 Bedroom Sleepers

70 Roomette Sleepers 

305 LD coaches

50 LD lounge cars

35 dining cars 530

420 short distance coaches

80 short distance lounge cars

---------------------

1030 Total Cars

 

Do you really thing that if Amtrak managed to make a coherent order for replacing the cars, consisting of 1030 cars over a 10-15 year time frame at say $3 mil a piece average, for a $3.1 billion order, Siemens would be unwilling to bid, because of the difficulty of redesigning the interior wall structures of 70 of the cars?


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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#82 west point

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:55 PM

Why do some of our posters keep posting that Amfleet-1s will be replaced first ?   That is misleading to new members on this forum. The Fleet Strategy plan revision came out in March 2012.   Each budget revision plan for every year since has stated the AM-2s first as well. Amtrak has always stated that the AM-2s would need replacing first due to fact their average mileage is on average 40% + higher  than AM-1s.  The one exception is the  LD  AM-1s that are lounges that travel with the AM-2s LD  trains.

 

Probably some of us need wait to see how many additional AM replacements will enter service before any AM-2s are retired ?  That of course does not count any wreck retirements of any AMs.


Edited by west point, 07 January 2018 - 11:56 PM.


#83 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 07:27 AM

I have no idea why some people post that. I didnt specify that they would- in fact, I pointedly put Amfleet IIs first. I was just explaining the vastness of a car replacement order, the small ness of Siemens creating Viaggio Comfort sleepers (they did this for 200 Russian Railways cars), and Nerodens preposterous assumptions.
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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#84 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 01:45 PM

The first 10+ years of riding on Amtrak was exclusively in coach. My idea is to allow coach passengers to have ONE shower per trip after about 8 hours on board.
The lounge area at the head end primarily used by women, could be converted to a shower room by taking out the toilet and replacing with a shower.
You would pay the coach attendant or someone else for a $5 chit to use to get into the shower room. Towels, soaps etc. could be provided just as they are for the
sleeping car passengers.

I think that is a great idea. I travel exclusively in coach, sometimes for nights at a time, and this is by far the largest issue I run into. I have considered getting a rail pass and riding Amtrak for weeks in a row with no nights off the train, but I do not know how I would do without the shower. I actually think it would even work to open up a shower or two in the sleeping cars with a limit of one to two coach passengers at a time and only those travelling overnight permitted to use the showers. In past years, I have traveled in sleeping cars with my dad and the showers are always underutilized as it is. This would increase customer satisfaction and attract more customers, especially for multi-night long-distance trips with such a minimal increase in traffic in the sleepers that most passengers would not even notice.
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#85 west point

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 07:06 PM

One possible problem.  Many persons taking showers might deplete potable water to point that more stops would be needed to replenish the potable water ?   Can anyone list present potable water servicing stations ?  Other than terminals only sure of ATL. Florence, Sacramento.



#86 jebr

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:33 PM

Amtrak could also try to find partners at layover points that would allow coach travelers to shower cheaply. Gyms would probably be a good place to start - many have showers and at least some have towel service (or could provide it.) Sell a day pass to the gym for $5 to people with a same-day ticket and shower access is taken care of at least at layover points.

 

It's not perfect, but it seems a lot simpler than trying to regulate access to the sleepers for showers.



#87 Philly Amtrak Fan

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 09:52 PM

I for one would appreciate the opportunity to take a shower en route somewhere. The Chicago Metropolitan Lounge has shower access for $50 according to the website? (https://www.amtrak.c...on-lounges.html). That is the only shower I saw on the page. That is one expensive shower. The $5 jebr suggested or even $10 might be something I'd be more willing to pay and to have it at more than one location in addition to CHI would be nice.


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#88 dlagrua

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 12:31 PM

One possible problem.  Many persons taking showers might deplete potable water to point that more stops would be needed to replenish the potable water ?   Can anyone list present potable water servicing stations ?  Other than terminals only sure of ATL. Florence, Sacramento.

Very good point.  You have far less passengers in the sleepers and lower water use. AFAIK, the water storage tanks are all the same size.  The supply is just not there for everyone in coach to take a shower and replenishment stops are typically spaced far away from each other. It would also not be very practical to have shower stops as it would cause large changes in the schedule and late trains often cut the stops short to make up time. In the 30's, 40's,50's and 60's showers were hardly available on LD trains.  The best that can be done at this point is to take along a towel, washcloth (with a zip lock bag) and a small hotel size bar of soap and use the sink to give yourself a "sponge bath".  Not ideal but certainly better than nothing. . I assume this is how they did it back in the early days unless you used the shower in the barber shop!.


Edited by dlagrua, 22 January 2018 - 12:32 PM.


#89 Dank

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 02:43 PM

I would love to see a bar car on LD trains with a full bar and a few regional beers on tap in which the train serviced.



#90 west point

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 05:26 PM

Before we try to get special cars let us get the train consists up to at least 16 cars. Otherwise a very unwise set up.



#91 neroden

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 03:24 PM

Indeed.... I'd like to see platforms on the LSL route lengthened to support consistent 16-car, 2-locomotive operation.  It's already typically 14 cars and 2 locomotives and it could use an extra sleeper most of the time, and it already has an extra coach in peak periods -- and it's a popular train for people to ask to add private cars to (though Amtrak rarely does so).

 

Seems expensive, though. One has to query whether it would be more practical to run a second train on that NY-Chicago route instead, allowing both trains to be shorter than the existing platform lengths.  :-)


Edited by neroden, 03 February 2018 - 03:25 PM.

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#92 Anthony V

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 04:20 PM

Indeed.... I'd like to see platforms on the LSL route lengthened to support consistent 16-car, 2-locomotive operation.  It's already typically 14 cars and 2 locomotives and it could use an extra sleeper most of the time, and it already has an extra coach in peak periods -- and it's a popular train for people to ask to add private cars to (though Amtrak rarely does so).

 

Seems expensive, though. One has to query whether it would be more practical to run a second train on that NY-Chicago route instead, allowing both trains to be shorter than the existing platform lengths.  :-)

Because a second train could give Ohio daylight service?



#93 west point

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:33 PM

Neroden:  Correct about the platform length.  However it is not  just the LSL that needs longer platforms.  NYPS and many stations out of it do as well !  Then there is the BOS platform length problem that is going to be horribly expensive to correct ! 



#94 Dank

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 11:54 AM

Before we try to get special cars let us get the train consists up to at least 16 cars. Otherwise a very unwise set up.


Sorry, I'm lost. What is special about 16 cars?

#95 neroden

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 05:39 PM

 

Indeed.... I'd like to see platforms on the LSL route lengthened to support consistent 16-car, 2-locomotive operation.  It's already typically 14 cars and 2 locomotives and it could use an extra sleeper most of the time, and it already has an extra coach in peak periods -- and it's a popular train for people to ask to add private cars to (though Amtrak rarely does so).

 

Seems expensive, though. One has to query whether it would be more practical to run a second train on that NY-Chicago route instead, allowing both trains to be shorter than the existing platform lengths.  :-)

Because a second train could give Ohio daylight service?

 

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#96 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 08:37 AM

16 cars is the current understood limit for Amtraks current HEP standard and requirements.

Before one starts expanding platforms, EMUs and Bi-level cars are options to consider.
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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#97 west point

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 09:13 PM

OTP ! !



#98 neroden

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 01:03 PM

16 cars is the current understood limit for Amtraks current HEP standard and requirements.

Before one starts expanding platforms, EMUs and Bi-level cars are options to consider.

 

Bilevels aren't practical on the LSL route -- hello, NYC tunnels.  NJT's bilevels are a hack which is not efficient in any way.

EMUs are a great idea as soon as someone puts up the billion dollars to put wire over the entire route.  ;-)

 

Platform lenghtening is somewhat more practical in the short term than either.  You can get away with stopping the train at some platforms which are short, if there aren't that many passengers getting on or off at that station.  (However, stopping twice at Syracuse, or Rochester, really is inappropriate.)  Thankfully both New York and Chicago have long platforms already.  (Especially if, as has been proposed, the LSL moves to the high-level ex-mail platform at Chicago.)

 

Economies of scale do mean that generally one wants to have longer trains, so long platforms fit with that.


Edited by neroden, 10 February 2018 - 01:04 PM.

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#99 The 3 Ducks Quacking

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:36 PM

I've traveled on several trains since the "blanket wrapped in plastic" started, and I have yet to actually see a blanket wrapped in plastic. My bedding has always been placed and tucked in as normal.

 

Are the wrapped blankets only used on certain trains?

 

Speaking of blankets, I say no to wool. People tend to be allergic/sensitive to it.

That's interesting about wool.  Wool is an animal hair and is washed many times before being spun into yarn and after being woven into fabric  and placed into bags to keep dust and germs from them.  The purpose of the bag is to keep the blanket clean and germ free after being washed.



#100 SarahZ

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:34 PM

Some people are allergic to the lanolin. For others, it’s a sensitivity to itchy material.

I can’t have wool anywhere near my skin. I feel like I’m on fire, and I break out in a rash.

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