Superliners in need of deep cleaning

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Richie Allen, Dec 7, 2019.

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

  1. Dec 7, 2019 #1

    Richie Allen

    Richie Allen

    Richie Allen

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    Recently completed a round trip from Kelso WA to Joliet IL. I had roomette accommodation both directions on the Empire Builder and business class seating on other legs. Had a great time, trains were reasonably on schedule... the #500 Cascades was 1 1/2 hour late into Seattle. No missed connections. Superliner car attendant was really good, helpful, personable and available.

    The equipment was superficially clean, but I note that all equipment is in need of a serious deep cleaning. Cracks and crevasses exhibit years of accumulated grime. Many horizontal surfaces were caked with multiple layers of dust. Is this equipment in such constant use that there is no time for deep cleaning? Can't they rotate cars out of consists regularly for deep cleaning? It wasn't just my sleeper car, I checked in other cars and that seems to be the norm.
     
  2. Dec 8, 2019 #2

    Just-Thinking-51

    Just-Thinking-51

    Just-Thinking-51

    Conductor AU Lifetime Supporter AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,835
    Location:
    USA
    They do rotate the cars out for service, and deep cleaning. The level of deep clean may not meet your requirements. The equipment old and has high mileage.

    One trip between Chicago and Seattle requires the air filter to be swapped. That just airborne dirty trying to get in through the vents.

    When I travel by Viewliner sleeper I remove the seat backs off the wall. Pull from the bottom. The amount of black dirty behind can be impressive.

    My big issue is the carpet, some sleeper I wonder A) is that carpet? B) was it OEM?
     
  3. Dec 8, 2019 #3

    Richie Allen

    Richie Allen

    Richie Allen

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    I accept it the way it is, I think about potential customers who may not be so impressed.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2019 #4

    RSG

    R

    RSG

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains USA
    A lot of potential customers will not be impressed, and that's a shame. But it's not a big difference from other forms of transport, notably airlines. The interwebs are full of stories about how clean airliners are not. (The last item I remember seeing was how you should feel relieved and not cheated if you don't get a pillow for your flight.)

    The airlines have done a remarkable job of adding entertainment options, available Wi-Fi, and updating interiors all so passengers won't notice the shrinking seat sizes, declining pitch, and reduced in-flight service in addition to the increasing fees for items no one imagined they would be charged for not so long ago.

    In that respect, I admire the honesty that is passenger rail travel in the US today. Yes, it's a bit grimy and dilapidated and in need of updating, but it's not pretending to be something it's not (save perhaps for some of the promotional material distributed).
     
    Bob Dylan likes this.
  5. Dec 8, 2019 #5

    Metra Electric Rider

    M

    Metra Electric Rider

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Messages:
    785
    I'm looking forward to the whinging from die hard railfans when the new midwest cars arrive that they aren't as comfortable or based on a 70+ year old design all while charging their devices at their seats.

    That said, cleaning things like carpet and fabric in heavy public use isn't easy. I recently saw a great quote from a flooring guy though when asked about patterns to hide dirt which was "wouldn't you really rather have a clean floor?" I think our homes are pretty filthy overall, especially with wall-to-wall carpeting.
     
    sttom and milest303 like this.
  6. Dec 8, 2019 #6

    jis

    jis

    jis

    Conductor AU Lifetime Supporter Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    25,235
    Location:
    Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
    That’s why my home has very little carpeting, and whatever there is will be gone in the next round of fix-up. They are pretty much impossible to keep clean without spending a huge amount of effort on it.
     
    cirdan likes this.
  7. Dec 11, 2019 #7

    cirdan

    cirdan

    cirdan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,351
    There is a limit to how effective cleaning can be, and fabrics need to be changed out every here and there, as do padding and upholstery.

    This level of dirt never seems to be a problem in hotels (the very cheap and grubby ones excluded) and I guess their trick is that they don't expect stuff to last forever.

    How big a deal is it really to exchange all fabric items on a superliner (curtians, seat covers, carpets, etc etc)?
     
  8. Dec 11, 2019 #8

    cirdan

    cirdan

    cirdan

    Conductor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,351
    I agree. Me too. I have only one room with carpeting and I only left it in situ because it was still in such good condition when I moved in. The others I all took out and put in parquet or laminate flooring. Much more hygienic.

    One reason they use copious amounts of carpeting in trains and on planes is that it is sound absorbent. If you replace it by hard surfaces you need to find a different way to absorb that noise.
     
  9. Dec 11, 2019 #9

    Qapla

    Qapla

    Qapla

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2019
    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Gator Country Florida
    Not only does the carpet help reduce noise ... it is also less "slippery", especially in wet weather, than a hard surface is.
     
  10. Dec 12, 2019 #10

    jis

    jis

    jis

    Conductor AU Lifetime Supporter Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    25,235
    Location:
    Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
    There are ways to make hard surfaces less slippery. Such techniques are used for platform surfaces at many train stations I have been to abroad.

    In the US the technique seems to be sufficient amount of chewing gum dropped on the floor though, which is yucky.
     
    daybeers, RSG, drdumont and 2 others like this.
  11. Dec 12, 2019 #11

    frequentflyer

    f

    frequentflyer

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    688
    The Superliners are in need of replacing, not deep cleaning.
     
  12. Dec 12, 2019 #12

    jis

    jis

    jis

    Conductor AU Lifetime Supporter Gathering Team Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    25,235
    Location:
    Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
    Superliners and Viewliners need the same treatment that the Amfleets just got.
     
  13. Dec 13, 2019 #13

    jiml

    jiml

    jiml

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2019
    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Toronto area
    Exactly. I recently spent 4 days and 2 nights in an almost 70 year-old VIA car with an interior no more than a year old. The new Amfleet refurbs are a chapter from the same book. From the inside their age is well-hidden.
     
  14. Dec 13, 2019 #14

    drdumont

    drdumont

    drdumont

    Service Attendant AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
    I believe chewing gum is outlawed in Singapore. ISTR a kid who was caned for tossing it on the sidewalk.
    I've watched a crew use a steam cleaner on the sidewalk in front of their store in New Orleans EVERY DAY to get the gum up. There is a bus stop right at their entrance. One would think the sidewalk was made of some bumpy black material.
    Bad enough outside, but I've had to use drastic measures to stop control room operators from tossing it on the floor. "Oh, I threw it in (at) the trash can... Must have missed". That now gets the crew assigned to three months of the 0400-0700 newscast out of rotation and added to their assignment. Two episodes of that and I haven't seen any more.
    It's GOOD to be da King!
     
    Just-Thinking-51 likes this.
  15. Dec 13, 2019 #15

    Just-Thinking-51

    Just-Thinking-51

    Just-Thinking-51

    Conductor AU Lifetime Supporter AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,835
    Location:
    USA
    Maybe a miss quote but Walt Disney test the distance between trash cans at his Disneyland. He determined 25 feet was the maximum distance people would walk before throwing trash on to the ground.

    Off topic, but still a fun fact.
     
    SarahZ likes this.
  16. Dec 13, 2019 #16

    RSG

    R

    RSG

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains USA
    It also absorbs dirt on an immediate basis and gives an appearance of luxury (yes, I know most here will laugh at that description in relation to the current Amtrak fleet). Trendy hotels are now going carpetless, as is Motel 6 in all new remodels and construction. But you're not going to see that at Ritz-Carltons or any Four Seasons properties anytime soon, for the reason noted above.

    An alternative would be to use specialty runners which would be changed out before the trains are turned at their respective termini. I'm sure Aramark would love to provide (and bill) for that service. If not, existing companies such as Alsco or Cintas would. As with many things Amtrak, the major thing missing seems to be the will to make a change.
     
  17. Dec 13, 2019 #17

    RSG

    R

    RSG

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains USA
    Not so off-topic, as Disney is world renowned for its management of public facilities and if there's an issue that turns into a problem, they have a solution, or will come up with one if it doesn't already exist.

    There's an outdoor parlor game of sorts for some visitors to drop an item of trash inside various areas of the company's parks and time how long it takes before it is picked up.

    Long ago, The Walt Disney Company realized that people would pay for a premium experience if it truly was a premium experience, with facilities cleaner than most of the homes of visitors and an image that reflected the atmosphere of escaping from everyday reality. Other businesses have eventually taken note (airlines probably being foremost among consumer industries, with hotels and movie theaters being more recent converts). The real problem are those customer-dependent businesses which tend to charge already-premium prices for a decidedly sub-premium experience.
     
    daybeers and SarahZ like this.
  18. Dec 13, 2019 #18

    drdumont

    drdumont

    drdumont

    Service Attendant AU Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    The Great (and may I add) SOVEREIGN State of TEXAS
    Great quote. My apes can't hit a 24" diameter can from 1 foot away.
    It is to weep.
     
  19. Dec 13, 2019 #19

    RSG

    R

    RSG

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains USA
    As Michael Fay can attest, a lot of offenses result in caning in Singapore; though last I heard, chewing gum now has limited distribution. Residents know better than to deposit it in anything other than an approved receptacle.
    That's still not as bad as a station of my acquaintance which makes its on-air talent responsible for cleaning of the station restrooms (in an Amshack-style building, no less). Together with two-year contracts. "Hey Joey,...congratulations, you get to be the sports reporter for KRAP-TV and we're giving you a two-year contract!" "Oh, sorry...didn't we tell you that we don't have an outside cleaning crew? You do know how to use household chemicals, right?"
     
  20. Dec 14, 2019 #20

    Metra Electric Rider

    M

    Metra Electric Rider

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Messages:
    785
    One of my friends visited Singapore a few years ago and saw quite a bit of trash on the street (took pictures in fact). I know people who've had gum there, at least taken in to the country with no issues. He was in non-CBD areas which are not quite as clean as areas most tourists visit.

    I can't remember what the floors were in my recent European train travel were, nor my more youthful travel either, but a lot of European nations abhor carpet (the north) while others adore it (looking in your direction Ingleterre).
     
  21. Dec 16, 2019 #21

    Larry H.

    L

    Larry H.

    OBS Chief

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    942
    This is nothing new. The cars have been less that clean for years. Just walking in a restroom shows that corners of the floors or fixtures are almost never really cleaned correctly. Its not just cleaning either, its often the curtains on the rooms on the Lake Shore are hanging by less than the needed hooks leaving privacy for the toilet questionable at best. The duck tape on the doors and dividers as well show that repairs are nearly completely ignored by management. Thats where the problem stems from, the cars will only get the repairs and cleaning that a standard sets. If the people over the help don't care you get what we have now. When I worked I supervised cleaning at times. I always stressed that you have to look for the dirt and when you see it then stop it. We had a manager that came in every morning with white gloves on and wiped his hand across fixtures in the retail store I worked for and if he found any he let the supervisor over that area no that wasn't acceptable. I still think if the management and congress had to ride the trains more often this kind of neglect might stop. And worse of all is the dirty windows which there should be no excuse for. The advertise seeing the scenery but often the view out the spotted dirty windows spoils the trip. Some of that may be due to the type of window material they use but if so they need to figure out how to fix it.
     

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page



arrow_white