I was thinking about Anderson's stated preference for a standard, single level LD fleet in the future, and I was stuck by the design of Amfleets and Viewliners, which both bulge in the middle. Why?
I guess a case can be made that the somewhat tubular shape of the Amfleets (direct descendant of the Metroliners) could be for structural strength. But the Viewliners are not tubular, they are two flat surfaces that meet at an angle and I can't imagine it does anything but complicate the structure.
No clearance plate is wider in the middle than the top or bottom, past the first 3' 4" above the railhead and then a short taper at the top. All the plates, even the restrictive Plate B (unrestricted interchange) allows for a 10' 8" width from there to 13' 9" above the railhead. So why the bulge? Why not just take advantage of the entire 10' 8" width straight sided.
The Superliners don't buldge, the Acelas don't bulge, the railroads' own passenger fleets never had the bulge. So what is the purpose?
Edited by zephyr17, 19 June 2018 - 03:56 PM.