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Viewliner II Part 2: Dining Car Production, Delivery, Speculation

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Guess I'm a lone wolf on this. I prefer sleepers on the rear. I was on the Crescent a few years ago and loved standing at the rear window as we negotiated the curves in northern Virginia. I didn't find objectionable the occasional lurch. And, as a railfan, you can't beat the view. Likewise a ride on the rear sleeper on the Texas Eagle/Sunset and EB to Portland I did not notice any problem with a rough ride.

 

But then I grew up riding sleepers that were almost always on the rear on 15-20 car trains pre-Amtrak. The Pullman company had sleepers on the rear to facilitate intermediate set offs/pick ups and to have shorter walk for Pullman passengers when boarding at terminals with the train on stub tracks and the rear next to the station. The main exceptions were trains that were ordered as coach streamliners with a coach observation on the rear but later sleepers were added to the head end - eg. Silver Meteor, South Wind. The baggage cars were on the head end so that all the activity with 'working' those cars didn't interfere with sleeper switching and /or boarding. At some intermediate stops, cars at both end of the train would be switched. Of course with Amtrak there is very little intermediate activity.

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But then I grew up riding sleepers that were almost always on the rear on 15-20 car trains pre-Amtrak. The Pullman company had sleepers on the rear to facilitate intermediate set offs/pick ups and to have shorter walk for Pullman passengers when boarding at terminals with the train on stub tracks and the rear next to the station.

 

The baggage cars were on the head end so that all the activity with 'working' those cars didn't interfere with sleeper switching and /or boarding. At some intermediate stops, cars at both end of the train would be switched. Of course with Amtrak there is very little intermediate activity.

My ancestors told me that at my home town north and southbound trains arrived in the morning three Pullmans would be removed from end of each train. As well Express cars were removed from front of both trains. Probably because Pullman needed to rotate cars the morning southbound cars would go on the evening southbound train and morning northbound cars on the evening northbound.

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"I was on the Crescent a few years ago and loved standing at the rear window as we negotiated the curves in northern Virginia"

Obviously before the bag was the last car.

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Just spotted 98 with the new diner in Winter Park, FL.

Greetings from Florida! :)

 

Was hoping the Mrs. and I would get it on the way down on 97 yesterday.. alas now I know where it was!

Edited by sitzplatz17

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Amtrak has begun advertising the new cars...

 

http://blog.amtrak.com/2016/12/sneak-peek-of-new-dining-cars/

I see from the photo that the lower windows have a mesh-type pull down shade, but not the upper windows...I could imagine that a bright sun could be an annoyance under some circumstances.

Hate to have a valid reason to encourage the wearing of a baseball cap to the table.... :(

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Amtrak has begun advertising the new cars...

 

http://blog.amtrak.com/2016/12/sneak-peek-of-new-dining-cars/

Are the flowers back for real or were they just part of the photo-shoot set?

 

Is the fluffy Railroad French Toast the waitress is carrying back for real in the SM?

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Can't help noticing that Viewliner II diners Montgomery, Nashville, and Tallahassee will be named for cities that once had Amtrak service but no longer do. Also ironic that Viewliner II diner Raleigh will never be seen on the Silver Star running through its namesake city.

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Is the Viewliner Diner now permanent (well at least "Amtrak" permanent) on the Meteor? If so, could the Lake Shore Limited at least get a Heritage diner back before the second Viewliner Diner goes out to service?

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Can't help noticing that Viewliner II diners Montgomery, Nashville, and Tallahassee will be named for cities that once had Amtrak service but no longer do. Also ironic that Viewliner II diner Raleigh will never be seen on the Silver Star running through its namesake city.

 

With enough cars in service, the Star could get its diner back. Part of the issue right now is a logistical one - there simply are not enough diners to go around.

As for names, remember that Annapolis, for instance, never had Amtrak service.

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Is the Viewliner Diner now permanent (well at least "Amtrak" permanent) on the Meteor? If so, could the Lake Shore Limited at least get a Heritage diner back before the second Viewliner Diner goes out to service?

Not likely. One additional car is not sufficient. You'd need to have enough additional ones in service to provide one for each train set. And, I imagine that the newly delivered diners will replace Heritage cars before any new routes are added.

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Is the Viewliner Diner now permanent (well at least "Amtrak" permanent) on the Meteor? If so, could the Lake Shore Limited at least get a Heritage diner back before the second Viewliner Diner goes out to service?

 

As noted, there is thus far only the one Viewliner II diner in service among the Silver Meteor's multiple (four, I believe) equipment sets; The other sets necessarily use a Heritage diner (or the 8400) so there still aren't enough cars available for the Lake Shore. Doesn't make sense to put a dining car back on just one set of equipment for 48/49 and leave the rest with an Amfleet II "diner lite" lounge. Give it a few months, at least.

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Also, I understand meanwhile another Heritage Diner has been removed from service. So there has been no net increase in the number of serviceable Diners yet.

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Also, I understand meanwhile another Heritage Diner has been removed from service. So there has been no net increase in the number of serviceable Diners yet.

I expect that's what we'll see until all the Heritage cars are removed and replaced. They'll take them offline beginning with the worst ones and the net will remain the same until they're all gone.

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To operate the Meteor and the Star Amtrak needs 13 dining cars (inlcluding a shop count for when the cars are in for regular inspection, and one "protect" car at each terminal). Apparently with Indianapolis and Annapolis in service... they only have 13 dining cars, because the active Heritage fleet is down to 10.

 

Restoration of dining car service on the LSL would require a total of 17 or 18 dining cars. (Although I query why the Crescent kept its service when the LSL didn't, since the LSL had higher patronage in the dining car....) How early this can happen probably depends on when various Heritage cars come due for inspections. If there are a number which were inspected very recently and are good for a year, they might not *all* be replaced before LSL dining service is restored.

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To operate the Meteor and the Star Amtrak needs 13 dining cars (inlcluding a shop count for when the cars are in for regular inspection, and one "protect" car at each terminal). Apparently with Indianapolis and Annapolis in service... they only have 13 dining cars, because the active Heritage fleet is down to 10.

 

Restoration of dining car service on the LSL would require a total of 17 or 18 dining cars. (Although I query why the Crescent kept its service when the LSL didn't, since the LSL had higher patronage in the dining car....) How early this can happen probably depends on when various Heritage cars come due for inspections. If there are a number which were inspected very recently and are good for a year, they might not *all* be replaced before LSL dining service is restored.

could you please enlighten us on how you got 13 for the star and meteor? my count would be 10, eight in service and two protect. 11 if there is one in maintenance.

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The Star needs four trainsets. Now if they would bump the Silver Meteor back to its 2001 schedule (I think that was the year) it could run with three sets. And honestly I would love to move that train back to that slot because we don't need two trains trailing each other by two hours in Florida. Plus it would give the Carolinas south daylight service to Florida.

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They should say new dining "car" until they receive another one.

There is the 8400 too, or doesn't that Viewliner Diner count anymore?

The 8400 isn't new and isn't a Viewliner II.

Edited by Ryan

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