I see you believe the hype so let's turn it around. What was the most successful service BEFORE the Acela sets? They were call METROLINERS!!! What was the real difference between the locomotive hauled Mets and the regular service? Umm, Amtrak allowed the former to operate at 125mph while holding the other equipment to 110mph, and the Mets had 60 seats per coach vs 84 seats per coach. Other than that, one had a 53 seat café vs an all table café and purty little curtains. That's it. Amtrak charged a premium price for the service and it was successful since it brought in higher revenue. If we benched the Acelas, (which they did...twice) they could STILL bring in higher revenue with a little fluff and fu-fu marketing. A fancy set isn't really necessary. It is just eye catching. the Acelas may be successful but how mush more successful would they be if you could...you know...add more cars to it without spending MILLIONS! Remember, the Metroliners between NYP-WAS held MORE passengers on certain trains since they could ADD cars as necessary. 104, 108, 119 and 123 were 8 car sets prior to the Acela and they SOLD OUT! The rest of them were up to 7 cars....and we replaced them with 6 cars sets...and then years later, wonder why they can't handle the crowd. Very simple. When you have daily grade crossing incidents and other malfunctions, hosts can easily help us out. do you know how many times Amtrak has utilized host facilities to make equipment road worthy? Additionally, it is easier to set out an individual piece of equipment than it is multiple pieces. This is key. if a locomotive needs to be set out after a collision, we can simply add ahead. If the engine fails, we can simply add ahead and any host piece of equipment can be utilized. When Acela sets are benched...the ENTIRE set is benched. How much are you going to spend to put facilities that can handle specialized equipment at EVERY conceivable turn around point or layover facility? An Acela slid on leaves(thank you, pic) and developed flat spots. It limped to PVD, where they could set out the equipment. It sat there for almost two weeks, until they could ship everything to change the wheels on the train. A standard locomotive hauled consist would have had the unaffected equipment back on the road THAT DAY. It is about operational flexibility. Right now, a keystone can become an Empire by swapping a cab car for a split club. We can take that same Amfleet and make this second Amtrak train: Amtrak #974 Monster Train - 4/15/11 Try doing that with a DMUs and how many mechanical personnel will you need to perform all the Locomotive Calendar Day inspections? How would you even MAKE a train like that to accommodate growth or movements of that type with your, confined DMUs. You couldn't be more wrong. That totally depends on who is operating the company. After equipment became available, the Boardman regime went to variable consists. It made all of the difference in the world. that is the reason you are seeing record ridership and record revenue. As for adding trailers, if they aren't being purchased from the onset (and from being on calls, I'm getting the impression that we're talking a fixed, semi permanent attached DMU/EMU similar to the ACELA), where will the money come from in the future? They will have the same problem they have with the current Acela sets. Hey look! Ridership! Let's capture it! How? Order more coaches! (reaches in pocket) Umm...how? Good point! That was the mistake made with Acelas. I'd hate to see it repeated because years later, they are paying the price for their lack of vision. I realize that a lot of that has to do with financing and you have to take what you can get. However, someone needs to make sure there is flexibility in the future and when you put flash over substance, I suspect that has the potential to be an issue....once the luster wears off.