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As most members on here do, I doubt every train will become Viewliner in the near future. Such a move would require a huge car order. In addition, Amtrak would either have to deal with mixed consists or convert entire trains at once as the cars have different floor heights than Superliners. Add this to the potential platform length and height issues and the lack of a sightseer lounge on Western tourist-oriented trains and such a move makes little to no sense.

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While I agree, he did his research. Superliners are the best cars IMHO for passengers but apparantly crews hate them, though I do think it's possible to chop a SSL and make it into a good single level car, putting the cafe where the stairs and wet bar are located.

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If a conductor was saying that Amtrak was converting everything to Viewliner, I can assure you he either did no research at all, or his "research" consisted of listening to a drunken lunatic talking in his sleep (or something of comparable credibility), because there is no such plan in the works. I'm sure *some* crews don't like Superliners, but that doesn't apply to all crews. For the record, when the first Viewliner diner was introduced a couple decades back, crews didn't like it either. Anything (other than the existence of stairs) that is really a problem for crews working those cars could be worked out in a revised design, provided they seek appropriate input.

 

Superliners have a major advantage over the standard single-level fleet in that they are ADA compliant without the need for high-level platforms or lifts at every station. They also have a bit more capacity overall, and so require fewer cars to carry the same number of passengers.

 

It's certainly possible to make a sightseer-lounge-esque single-level car, but there aren't currently any plans to do so with Amtrak's fleet.

 

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While they make sense in a business world, it's much easier to evade the conductor with the bi-level design. I still think everywhere should run Superliners but I know that ain't gonna happen. I love the old Superliner design, my personal favorite Amtrak fleet, but I mean if Amtrak has the rights to the Viewliner design and can build them themselves that makes a lot of sense to standardise the fleet. The was conductor explained it seemed pretty solid and didn't SEEM like he was lying but I don't get why he would be doing that.

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Where is the funding coming from for Amtrak to convert all cars to viewliners? Since Amtrak owns the Viewliner design, why haven't they finished up the the current group of Sleeping cars and Dormitory Baggage cars?
Well the Superliners wil run till the end of their useful life, then rather than replacing them with more Superliners they will replace them with viewliners. Shops aren't efficient and stuff happens, but they'll eventually get done.

 

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You realize that Amtrak isn't building the current order of Viewliners, right?

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You put a lot of faith in one conductor’s statements. As sure as he may sound about this topic, things like this aren’t secretly told to conductors years in advance of public announcement. There is a lot of misinformation that spreads across front-line employees (of all industries) regarding items on which they really have no access to inside info.

 

Often, it is just speculation, or hypothetical discussion, that turns into “fact” after passing through a bunch of people’s ears/mouths (see the telephone game for further info). But I assure you, for decisions of this level of importance, as soon as it was officially announced to a large employee group (such as several thousand conductors), it will be announced to the public almost simultaneously. In many cases, I bet interested members of the public would know before most employees.

 

As already mentioned, Amtrak doesn’t build any equipment. They may own the rights to the Viewliner, but they’re having a hell of a time getting an experienced car manufacturer to build passenger-carrying equipment to that spec. If they can resolve those issues, and secure funding, they could extend the production run and add more cars (and new types, such as coaches or cafes) to the order. If they don’t, and the line shuts down after the current order is complete, then owning the rights to the car won’t do them any good if they don’t have someone who can build it. It would probably be easier/cheaper to go with an already-in-production design than to shop around their blueprints for a 30-year-old design and find someone else that wants to build it.

 

But regardless of any of the above, the reality remains that no such decision has been announced about the replacement of equipment that still has at least a good decade or more of life left in it. And even if someone in charge today has the personal desire to eventually replace those cars with Viewliners, a lot can happen (including more changes to Amtrak management, changes in the political climate and funding situation, federal regulations regarding equipment safety, etc.) between now and when someone is ready to sign on the dotted line to purchase their replacements.

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