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RFP issued for Amfleet I replacement

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The Amfleet I's are obviously older than the Amfleet II's, but the Amfleet II's (being primarily used for Long Distance trains) have had more mileage than the Amfleet I's.
With that, which ones will likely be replaced first? The Amfleet I's or II's? And is there any telling as to what they'll be replaced with?

We already know definitely that Amfleet Is are being replaced first.

We will know soon enough what they will be replaced with as soon as the RFP process in place concludes.

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I'm just wondering if Amtrak is going to re-disburse the Amfleet cars or just scrap them as per usual? I'm assuming they'd be scrapped.  

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I would hope they save and refurbish the ones in the best condition and use the others for parts.  Then scrap the ones used as parts source. There are several corridors than can use additions cars and frequencies. 

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Not to mention there are whole city pairs that lack service all together, like the entire state of Ohio, not to mention Western PA has sparse train service. Another thing I have thought of from time to time was retrofitting some of them as open section sleepers or single seat roomettes and testing out overnight service like they have in Europe or just attach them to existing long distance trains. They may not bring in as much as a full sleeper, but expanding their market should be a goal of Amtrak instead of cut amenities and charge more that airlines are prone to going with. 

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9 hours ago, Dutchrailnut said:

the RFP is only for NEC and feeder lines.

No, it isn't.  I'll leave it to you to actually ready the thread where I've actually pointed this out.

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JANUARY 18, 2019AMTRAK SEEKS NEW PASSENGER EQUIPMENT FOR NORTHEAST REGIONAL AND STATE CORRIDOR SERVICE

WASHINGTON – Amtrak has released a Request for Proposals today, for a new fleet of single-level passenger rail vehicles to replace Amfleet I cars, providing new equipment with contemporary rail amenities to better serve Amtrak customers. Amfleet I cars are used primarily on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and adjacent State Corridor routes, including Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Vermonter, Downeaster, Carolinian, Pennsylvanian, Keystone Service, Virginia Service and New Haven/Springfield Service. 

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Exactly.  Try reading again.  As I already pointed out: "are used PRIMARILY ON the NEC and adjacent State Corridor routes".

Not "exclusively on".  Not just "on".  "Primarily on".  As in they are used in other places.  As has been discussed extensively.

Engage your brain before you engage your fingers.

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I'm wondering whether these cars will be configured to permit MU door operation at low level platforms (as well as high level platforms), as provided on some SEPTA commuter cars. This is not an issue for Brightline as all of their stations have high level platforms. This question may have already been answered on the forum. 

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Do you remember the South Carolina Star crash?  The way that Amfleet II Cafe Car bent in the middle caused many to ask if there is a weakness in the Amfleet frames that might be emerging due to their age.  Never heard anything more on it but I've never seen a car bend like than.  If there is a structural concern then it may be time to replace all of them (Is and IIs).

Crash.jpg

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12 hours ago, cocojacoby said:

Do you remember the South Carolina Star crash?  The way that Amfleet II Cafe Car bent in the middle caused many to ask if there is a weakness in the Amfleet frames that might be emerging due to their age.  Never heard anything more on it but I've never seen a car bend like than.  If there is a structural concern then it may be time to replace all of them (Is and IIs).

Crash.jpg

I've seen pictures of folded autoracks, but they're not common either.  One of the cars in the Philly wreck was folded into an L shape too.

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19 hours ago, cocojacoby said:

Do you remember the South Carolina Star crash?  The way that Amfleet II Cafe Car bent in the middle caused many to ask if there is a weakness in the Amfleet frames that might be emerging due to their age.  Never heard anything more on it but I've never seen a car bend like than.  If there is a structural concern then it may be time to replace all of them (Is and IIs).

Crash.jpg

I can’t speak to what is or isn’t normal for a train car per se, but as someone who has been learning a lot of physics stuff for the past couple years, I will say that that car snapping like that doesn’t really surprise me. We’re talking about a ten car train that was traveling at or near top speed, which pretty much immediately came to a stop upon impact (unlike most derailments). An absolutely tremendous amount of force went into each car, and any slight warp is going to amplify the effect exponentially. I mean, once a frame like that starts to “go” in a crash, it loses most of the rigidity, and therefore any further break or warp requires that much less of a force.

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What I would like to have seen is the car that folded into a V's sills before the wreck. That says a lot.

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Bidders have to ID themselves by 2/13, attend a conference on 2/26, electronic submissions 3/1, hard copies 3/15. 

 

 

90776C4C-FBCD-42E5-9A4F-9C81D3B5F037.png

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Some thoughts:
(1) Let's not forget that where Brightline is able to have all of its stations "built to spec" since they're starting from scratch, even if Amtrak had an ideal spec for the cars it isn't likely that they could make said spec work at all stations.  There's still going to need to be some mix of bridge plates (where the gap ends up too large) and low-level boarding (for a lot of off-NEC stations as well as a few situations on the corridor as well) even with all of the bells and whistles that Brightline's design could theoretically throw at them.

What I think you're likely to end up with, btw, is something like "75 sets of cars that remain coupled 99% of the time and then a few spares for if a car really goes down".

(2) I have been informed that there are issues emerging with the Amfleets as time goes by.  Even with a swift order, some of the Amfleets will almost definitely make it to 50 years of service (depending on how fast Siemens can churn them out and how many cars are in front of Amtrak's orders/interspersed with them).  Four cars per week, 50 weeks per year would give 200 cars/year.  Brightline has at least another 50-70 on order, VIA has their order (160 cars or so, IIRC, plus options), and the ex-MSBL order (137 cars) is also there.  So there's probably at least five years of business lined up at those rates, and that's before any states/options, Brightline's Tampa or LA-Vegas projects, or an Amfleet II/Superliner replacement project potentially get involved, and getting to those rates probably requires some ramp-up time as well.

The thing is that, at some point, even well-kept equipment starts having issues.  If this were still ATSF running the Super Chief, I could see that.  Unfortunately, Amtrak has had several major periods of lousy maintenance (notably under Warrington, but I've heard there have been other spells) and I have been advised at times that some issues are lurking.  Getting the fleet to 50 years is in the cards.  60 years is plausible.  70 years would be pushing it, however, and that's not even a bad statement on the equipment...that's just where you start running into something going wrong and the large-scale use of Amfleets is going to be touchy by then.  That's not saying that a few states might not opt to buy the equipment and run it for a decade or two...but I suspect that it will, at a minimum, be relegated to relatively isolated use (most plausibly by states looking to start service when a new equipment order isn't feasible) by mid-century.

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I have to agree with the statement above. It does make more sense to hold onto the Amfleets, even if its just to use them to start new corridors or for the states to start new ones. 

Personally I think Amtrak should partner with a state to see if they can get some sort of overnight trains going with lower tier sleeping arrangements like bringing back open sections or single person roomettes or something akin to lie flat business seats on long haul airlines. I know most people love the slumber coach, but I don't see how staggering the seats/beds vertically makes more sense than horizontally, but I am not an engineer and this isn't Reddit so I can just spitball ideas lol. 

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The pending Car Length Over Couplers DCR has been withdrawn.

"Single Level Car Review Panel Report commented that (there is) the withdrawal of the car length DCR"

Any thoughts of what this is about?

Edited by cocojacoby

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The withdrawn DCR pertains to the length of cab cars only. So presumably cab cars are going to be allowed to be of length other than 85’, if I am interpreting this right, which is a big if.

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And it’s not a slam dunk for Siemens either. Per the doc,the rfp is vague to see what new ideas some companies present..Smart move.

Anderson has already given Siemens a bone, the 75 unit order.

 

 

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I would not characterize the order for 75 engines with a few hundred options still remaining as a "bone". It would be incredibly goofy of Amtrak to go with any other engine for this round of engine replacement given the additional parts and maitenance headaches that come with each additional type of equipment.

For similar reasons, I suspect the Viaggio derivatives do have an inside track, given the state order in place. It would appear that at least for now it is Siemens' order to lose rather than the other way round. Buying and maintaining real equipment is very different from buying stuff for ones HO set.

Edited by jis

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13 hours ago, sttom said:

I know most people love the slumber coach, but I don't see how staggering the seats/beds vertically makes more sense than horizontally, but I am not an engineer and this isn't Reddit so I can just spitball ideas lol. 

Sorry, how would staggering them "horizontally" work? They had the vertical space, but not the horizontal space to fit them.

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21 minutes ago, cpotisch said:

Sorry, how would staggering them "horizontally" work? They had the vertical space, but not the horizontal space to fit them.

The first one being side to side, the second one is how the slumber coaches were laid out. Not sure if "staggered" is the right word, but stacking units on each other seems like it would take more resources than shifting the beds. 

delta one.png

slumber coach layout.png

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