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Philly Amtrak Fan

Expanding the Amtrak Route Map

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I take that back. My brain farted. The Amfleets are already over 40, and by the time the process is completed, theyll be approaching the average age of the Heritage coaches when they were retired- about 50.

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Carshells do more or less last forever, and interior replacements are fairly routine. The Heritage cars really retired because the running gear was obsolete and replacement parts had become "unobtanium".

 

There's been a lot less change in running gear since then, which means cars could potentially last even longer... but the Amfleet carshell design is kind of crap to start with, and the vestibules have been routinely salted. Ugh. At least it's a very large fleet, and some of the trains running Amfleets are arguably longer than they need to be, which gives some flexibility.

 

The Superliner design is old enough and unusual enough that it's heading towards having unobtainable parts pretty quickly, and it's much harder to replace the interior than it is on an Amfleet or a Viewliner. Double ugh. Any Superliners freed from corridor service will go to patching up the long-distance Superliner fleet as cars get wrecked and break down.

 

The Horizons will be fine for warm-weather service for a long time to come, although rather downmarket.

 

When thinking about new car orders, it's also worth thinking about "bang for the buck". Any new cars ordered by Amtrak rather than the states are going to go where they can make Amtrak the most money, with the older cars cascading to other places. There's some question as to whether new cars will make more money on the Northeast Regionals or on the eastern Long Distance trains; the NER makes more money to start with but its passengers are also more of a captive audience. Unfortunately, there's no question about the long-distance Superliner trains; they are an inferior place to invest money and they will not get anything new until the single-level trains have been upgraded. It's also proving much easier and cheaper to get single-level cars than to get bilevel cars, which are a less common order. :-(

Edited by neroden

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