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Sumitomo/Siemens Contract for 137 Cars (former bi-levels)

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Thank you for the updates.  It looks like they are making steady progress on the cars.  I’m looking forward to riding them.  

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They will know as soon as they bring real seriousness to the table in the form of a real RFP or RFQ. Absent that why would anyone agree to discuss production plans?

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Wow... so sad because I fear the end of the bi-level era is at hand. I can fondly remember as a child using the Amfleet equipped San Joaquins and being in awe at the sight of superliners at 16th and Wood. To me those were the “real” trains. Nothing beats the smoothness and the visibility from up there. To me the worst ride on any train is found on Talgo trains. Aside from not riding comfortably, especially on American track, sitting that low just feels wrong.

we should fully take advantage of the asset we have in American railroad infrastructure, what with its near-universal H, F, or even K loading guages.

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That said, I would add that actually the brightline trainsets are uniquely comfortable compared to any single level stock in American railroad history. And they even seem spacious and uncluttered inside. It helps however to not have to lug stuff up and down a trap.

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7 hours ago, nti1094 said:

Wow... so sad because I fear the end of the bi-level era is at hand. I can fondly remember as a child using the Amfleet equipped San Joaquins and being in awe at the sight of superliners at 16th and Wood. To me those were the “real” trains. Nothing beats the smoothness and the visibility from up there. To me the worst ride on any train is found on Talgo trains. Aside from not riding comfortably, especially on American track, sitting that low just feels wrong.

we should fully take advantage of the asset we have in American railroad infrastructure, what with its near-universal H, F, or even K loading guages.

I wouldn’t say that the “end of the bi-level era is at hand”, just because Amtrak is ordering a bunch of replacements for the single-level fleet. Considering the fact that bi-levels have the advantage of extra capacity without increasing train length, which makes a big difference on the super long-distance routes, and that there has been talk of a real Superliner refresh, I think that we have a while before we should really be concerned about the future of bi-level trains in America. JMO.

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There will be plenty of bi-levels used by various passenger rail outfits irrespective of what Amtrak does.

I agree that it is a bit premature to write off bi-levels even for Amtrak.

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For Superliners being best for LD trains a reduction of 1 -3 cars allows the many stations with short  platforms to avoid 2 - 3 stops at same station or the very big cost to expand platforms with the requirement to meet  ADA !   Not economically feasible for 1 train  a day stations.  The first route that would be a good idea to lengthen platforms would be the Palmetto route.  You  have the many regionals to Richmond and include VRE from its route to Washington.  South of  Richmond you have the Carolinian until Selma  + Silvers to Savannah. .

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The NJT Bombardier Multilevel III order and the Caltrain Stadler KISS order (including the recently exercised option) indicate that the desire for increased people/comfort/amenities can result in multiple level cars when there are length restrictions. Two level TGVs are becoming the norm in France. So, even high speed trains are not limited to single-level when passenger demand is high. The length restrictions do vary. NJT said they are limited to 14 cars. A lot of passenger railroads wished their limit was that long.

 

 

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