Alstom making progress on Acela 2 contract

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by DSS&A, Jan 2, 2018.

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  1. Aug 11, 2018 #76

    GBNorman

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    https://www.thrillist.com/amphtml/news/nation/amtrak-acela-express-trains-upgrade

    This article appeared on a Google news feed this morning. Who knows, maybe I'll get in a joyride before my "one way trip topside".

    Now on seating configuration; riding backwards? Get used to it. If passengers are more interested in their "playthings" than the view, rotating seats are a hindrance to the power and USB connections.

    I guess my first exposure to "ride backwards" was overseas during '60. I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now. Where fixed seating is in place with the commuter agencies (that means most of 'em), it has always seemed to me that forward riding fills first.
     
  2. Aug 11, 2018 #77

    railiner

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    I miss the days when commuter MU's had 'walkover' and later 'flipover' seats, everyone got to ride forwards back then.... [​IMG]
     
  3. Aug 11, 2018 #78

    cpotisch

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    If the seating layout is "symmetrical", would it be possible for the assigned seats to be relative to the direction of travel? So if you chose the leftmost seat of the front row when you booked, regardless of what direction the train set itself is pointing, you would just be put in the leftmost seat of the front row when you board.
     
  4. Aug 11, 2018 #79

    cocojacoby

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    Well the pictures seem to show digital seat numbers, so that is a real possibility. But I do think that there will be 50% of the passengers that may be in for a big surprise not knowing the ropes of seat picking.
     
  5. Aug 11, 2018 #80

    Thirdrail7

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    That may work with some of the equipment but what happens if the you have programmed cars featuring 2x1 seating in a specific direction and the trains is backwards?

    What happens if you took first class/sleepers/business class to be on a particular side of the train and the equipment is improperly pointed and now the person doesn't have their "ocean view?"

    What happens if you selected first class because it is supposed to be in the rear of the train and you wanted to avoid the noise from the horn and engine. Now, you show up and it it is on the head end?

    These are items that plagued the last seat selection process and they have run into these issues with the current pilot(gee, who didn't see that coming?). Some passengers have demanded refunds or reassignment.

    It SHOULD be easier as long as the seat is uniform, but when you throw in tables (which may now be the first seat on the left since the train is backwards) and other variables, it can get challenging.
     
  6. Aug 11, 2018 #81

    cpotisch

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    Firstly, I'm thinking specifically about Acela right now, so I'm going to preclude sleepers from this, as well as the engine sound since Acela power cars are on both ends.

    Now I'm not saying they should do this, but if in the first class car, the 2x1 seating switched in the middle, such that what was the single seat side turns into the two seat side facing the other way, the layout would always be the same, regardless of the direction the train is pointing. Therefore passengers would always end up in the spot they had wanted.
     
  7. Aug 11, 2018 #82

    cocojacoby

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    Obviously not true in Japan.
     
  8. Aug 11, 2018 #83

    mfastx

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    Riding backwards sucks. I am susceptible to motion sickness and once had to ride backwards on a regional train in France, it really messed me up. Too bad, but hopefully they allow you to choose your seat like an airline to ensure you are facing forwards.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2018
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  9. Aug 11, 2018 #84

    Thirdrail7

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    The layout may be the same but the side of the train you're sitting on will differ depending on the pointing. You'd be in the same seat, but that seat may not be on the side of the train you'd like. I can't speak for the rest of the country but I know this is a consideration on the Pennsylvanian, the Empire Service and the Boston line where some passengers want a certain view while others want to avoid the sun.
     
  10. Aug 11, 2018 #85

    cpotisch

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    Nope. You'd be on the same side. Here's what it would look like:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2018
  11. Aug 11, 2018 #86

    Thirdrail7

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    You're missing an important point. The diagram on the website must conform to the seat number on the train, which is (currently) fixed.

    Using the diagram you made above, let's say the seats are numbered/lettered by row (like the current set.) Let's say that is car 3204.

    When you board the train, car 3204 row 1/seat 1 is the blue seat is what you selected in your diagram., The red seat at the rear in the same direction of travel is row 12/seat 1.

    The rows will not change by pointing.

    So, if don't you loop or wye the train when it departs a terminal, row 12 will be at the front of the car. However, if you loop or wye the train, it will once again be in the rear...on the opposite side of the train. The reason you're not imagining this is because you're not considering things like bathrooms, handicapped seating, doors or tables being on a specific end. Your diagram just puts in an equal amount of seats where presumably, the row numbers can be changed at a whim. That may be an option but I'd think ti would remain fixed since ADA accessible seating has positioning and it would be difficult to nail down if you randomly changed row numbers.
     
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  12. Aug 11, 2018 #87

    cpotisch

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    Couldn't they have a little display or something that shows the seat number? Either way, that was to demonstrate that you can have a car with the same seating layout relative to the direction of travel, regardless of which way the train set is pointing.
     
  13. Aug 11, 2018 #88

    Thirdrail7

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    The current equipment has this. Even the regular equipment has seat/row numbers. I'm confident the new set will have something similar.

    Annd your demonstration failed. Let's try this one more time. Using your diagram above, let's take the picture on the right and say the blue seats are row one and that is the "A" end of the coach. Let's say the red sets are the "b" end of the coach and instead of a row of seats, You have a table with four seats surrounding it.

    Under normal circumstances, the train will depart NY with this car on the head end of the train. So, the tables are at the rear of the coach. Seat two is a backwards facing seat, with an inland (garden) view. When you arrive in Boston, the train was scheduled to change direction in the station. So, when you depart, the tables would be at the front of the coach and seat 2 would be a forward facing seat, with an inland view. However, there is a problem and the wye the entire train. When you depart, the tables are once again at the rear of the coach and now seat 2 which would have normally been a forward facing seat on this leg is once again a backward facing seat. Additionally, you now are on the side with the shore view.

    This is why there have been issues. and this is why Acela asked about pointing solutions.

    If you still don't understand, take out a pen and paper and draw it out.....like I just had to do. [​IMG]
     
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  14. Aug 11, 2018 #89

    cpotisch

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    I see. So the main issue is that it has tables at one end and therefore it will be flipped around with a view of the opposite side. Hypothetical solution: Tables at both ends.

    To put it another way, do you agree that if the layout is identical when flipped 180º, it will work in either direction, assuming that the seat numbers aren't assigned to specific physical seats? Not saying they should do this. I'm just asking if they did do this.
     
  15. Aug 11, 2018 #90

    jis

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    I don’t think this is manageable unless you are able to have better control on train composition and orientation.
     
  16. Aug 11, 2018 #91

    Acela150

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    Exactly my point. [​IMG] The pointing of the HST. Cause I'm going to assume FC will be only at one end like the current HST.

    Let's say you reserve seat 4A and that is at a table on Train 2150 and you think the FC car is the last car of the train so you think you'll be facing forward. But FC ends up at the front and now your going backwards.

    I just don't see this being without issues from Pax.
     
  17. Aug 12, 2018 #92

    bretton88

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    Is it sad that in Turkey (a developing country), I can buy a ticket for their HST service a month in advance and know which direction and side of the train I am on but Amtrak can't guarantee tomorrow? Why have other countries mastered this but not Amtrak?
     
  18. Aug 12, 2018 #93

    Acela150

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    Merica!! That’s why.
     
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  19. Aug 12, 2018 #94

    PVD

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    It isn't always as hard to do something as it is to decide you actually want to do it.
     
  20. Aug 12, 2018 #95

    gatelouse

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    Put the seat numbers on electronic displays and adjust them according to the direction the train is pointing. Voila—seat 1A is always front left and facing the same direction every time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2018
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  21. Aug 12, 2018 #96

    OBS

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    Then you need a general manager in charge of electronic seat displays and a foreman to oversee the technician in charge of setting the displays as well as the technician person...way too costly....
     
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  22. Aug 12, 2018 #97

    Ryan

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    In the example above with 2x1 seating, you’ve just changed the seat to a single to a double.
     
  23. Aug 12, 2018 #98

    Ziv

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    So the article said that a prototype Avelia trainset would be available in 2019. Will it actually carry passengers alongside the existing Acelas or will it just do test runs with no revenue passengers? I imagine the latter, but the former would be cool to see. Who knows, maybe in 2020 you would be able to book a ride on the future of Amtrak, a year before the rest of the trainsets start to show up.

    http://railcolornews.com/2018/08/09/us-amtrak-reveals-interior-design-of-its-future-alstom-avelia-trains/
     
  24. Aug 12, 2018 #99

    cpotisch

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    Nope. I don't want to argue on this one and I'm probably not properly articulating my point, but when it's rotated 180º, the layout is always the same. This means that you can always have the exact same seat, so long as they make sure the numbers are switched properly.

    DISCLAIMER: Again, I'm not actually saying they should do this. This is just a hypothetical layout and an idea that physically could work, but probably wouldn't make practical sense.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2018
  25. Aug 12, 2018 #100

    cpotisch

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    Just to clarify, the example on the left is showing where you would put a passenger in 1A when the train set is traveling with the blue seats first, and the example on the right is where 1A would be when the train is traveling with the red seats first. Either way, the seat is facing forwards in the front row, and is always a double. Once the train is there and ready to go, the seat numbers are assigned to the physical seats, and pax will end up facing the correct way in the correct seat on the correct side of the train.
     

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