Viewliner II - Part 1 - Initial Production and Delivery

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by PRR 60, Jan 29, 2012.

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  1. Jan 29, 2012 #1

    PRR 60

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    An article in the Elmira, NY Stargazette describes the production of the Viewliner II order at the local CAF USA plant. One newsworthy item is that the first cars are now expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2013, a delay from the initial schedule of October, 2012. There is also a set of photos (with some obtrusive ads at the bottom of each photo).

    Article

    Photos
     
  2. Jan 29, 2012 #2

    printman2000

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    I see there is a little bit of window changes. I do not believe the current cars have that small windows next to the large opening.
     
  3. Jan 29, 2012 #3

    Hotblack Desiato

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    Doesn't say whether that's calendar year 2013, or fiscal year 2013. If FY13, then that would be right on schedule.
     
  4. Jan 29, 2012 #4

    afigg

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    The article also says the first quarter of 2013 is when the first allotment of cars will be delivered, implying delivery of multiple cars. The earlier Amtrak articles stated that the first car, a diner car, was scheduled to be delivered in October 2012 which could be delivery of a single unit for first article acceptance tests and extensive road & FRA mandated testing in Colorado. Once the first unit passes those tests, then the production delivery would begin.

    Given the time needed to check the cars out, get the cars qualified, get the maintenance and operating crews certified on the new equipment, I would guess that the earliest date for entry into revenue service would likely be mid or late spring of 2013.
     
  5. Jan 29, 2012 #5

    MattW

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    Based on pictures of 8400, I don't believe those are windows:


    [​IMG]
    (not my photo)

    Looks like the car pictures in the article is a diner which jives nicely with what afigg said.
     
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  6. Jan 29, 2012 #6

    Acela150

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    I'll be on the look out at Penn Coach Yard. The car in the article is a Bag-Dorm. With an opening that big and windows it's an obvious answer. I agree that those windows look a tad smaller. But one thing I agree with here is a supplement of cars instead stead of just one diner.
     
  7. Jan 29, 2012 #7

    none

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    Nice photo - thanks.
     
  8. Jan 29, 2012 #8

    Ryan

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    Not necessarily, all of the Viewliners have openings that large in the side to allow the modular interior to be installed.
     
  9. Jan 29, 2012 #9

    printman2000

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    Yeah, you may be right. Anyone know what those grill things are on the dining cars? Kitchen vents?
     
  10. Jan 29, 2012 #10

    Blackwolf

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    Fantastic, photo's have finally been posted! I'm excited to see tangible evidence of the cars being manufactured for once, instead of simple reports saying "yes, there is a contract."

    Those smaller 'windows' next to the plug? Air vents that all the Viewliners have for the HVAC and vacuum toilet systems.

    I am willing to place a bet that the car we're seeing the most of in the photos is indeed a diner. The window setup is identical to 8400, with the double row on one side of the plug, but not the other. Instead, there just a single row of windows where the passage around the kitchen would be and no windows at all on the opposite wall.

    Either way, this time next year we'll have new Viewliners rolling. Maybe not in revenue service yet, but there will be cars going down the tracks for testing and for delivery!
     
  11. Jan 29, 2012 #11

    afigg

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    I expect there will be one or more dedicated serious railfans who will try to get pictures of the new Viewliners as they are moved from Elmira to Delaware. The articles says the cars will be completed in Elmira with trucks and will be moved to the NS yard and taken to Amtrak, presumably Bear? Getting a photo or video of one or more Viewliners of the first deliveries en route from Elmira would be a coup.
     
  12. Jan 30, 2012 #12

    Blackwolf

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  13. Jan 30, 2012 #13

    R30A

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    Your observations on overall shape are obviously correct, but based on my memory of viewliners, and looking at those photos that you posted, I think the old ones are corrigated too.

    With regards to what type of car that is, it appears as if immediately to the left of the plug there is only an upper window on the side we can see- This would roughly correspond to the location of roomette 2 in a modern viewliner. Could this be where the restrooms will be? The other side appears to retain the double window from other photos.
     
  14. Jan 30, 2012 #14

    Acela150

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    That's true. But looking at where the opening is compared to the windows it's a little far for that. Just my 2 cents. Although it could be as there is that little space for those grates can't remember what those are for. Maybe.
     
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  15. Jan 30, 2012 #15

    afigg

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    Look at slides 8 and 17 in the slide show, especially slide 17. That has to be a diner car.
     
  16. Jan 30, 2012 #16

    Acela150

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    Slides 8 and 17 are either a sleeper or Bag-Dorm. Now that I look at it thanks to Ryan's statement it's more likely a Sleeper. That opening like Ryan said is to slip the Roomette modules in and out of the car. If it were a diner it would have a single door on both sides. The door wouldn't be that big. The door on the Diner's will be an Emergency Exit. Which the current Heritage Diner's don't have. They have a door but it's very very small just for putting food in the car.
     
  17. Jan 30, 2012 #17

    printman2000

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    If I remember correctly, the small door you are talking about on the dining cars is actually located in the big module door. Check out pics of 8400 to see what I am talking about.
     
  18. Jan 30, 2012 #18

    Ryan

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    No, ALL of the Viewliners will have the big hole in the side. You can clearly see it in the side of the 8400 diner that was posted earlier. Bags and bag dorms will have it too, to slip in the shelving modules and crew rooms.

    Here's a 100% crop of the above 8400 picture where the opening is clearly visible:

    [​IMG]

    Edit: The "no" was directed at Acela150 - Craig is absolutely right.
     
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  19. Jan 30, 2012 #19

    Acela150

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    Ryan thanks for posting that. I never knew that "hole" was there on 8400. I've only seen it once. That was at Penn Coach Yard and that was from a great distance. Here is where I was standing. In the parking garage next to the Cira Center. It's a good 200-300 yards away. Maybe more. It's hard to see that far. Not to mention I wear glasses on a daily basis. But when I look at it close I see the module "hole".
     
  20. Jan 30, 2012 #20

    Ryan

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    No problem - as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words! :)

    That's the real (unrealized until now) beauty of the Viewliner design - the carbody can be just about the same regardless of what variant it is, just slip in whatever modules you need. Alan has also made the point that this should make refurbs of the cars easy. Order a car's worth of extra modules, then when you bring a car into the shop, slide out the old and broken and slide in the new and refurbed. Fix up the old modules without having to have a car out of service while you do it.
     
  21. Jan 30, 2012 #21

    Acela150

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    I've always said it and I always say it. I always learn something new everyday.

    I had known about the modules but not on the diner. But it's a great idea! Like you said Ryan no taking a car Out Of Service for a period of time.
     
  22. Jan 30, 2012 #22

    jis

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    I think the first car will go to Pueblo CO for FRA/AAR tests and the second car will go to Philly to start testing on the NEC. The rest will go to Hialeah, their maintenance base, to be rotated into service. Don't see any reason for it to go to Bear DE. But then again, of course, I could be wrong too. :)
     
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  23. Jan 30, 2012 #23

    Acela150

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    I agree with the first car going to Pueblo. There is no need for any cars to head to bear. I can agree with the second car heading to Philly, I think Amtrak possibly will want "one of each" to test on the NEC. Not sure if this is true but it's just an idea. This would actually make one heck of a photo! I would imagine coupled up to a few amfleets for breaking protect. But hey we can all dream right.

    Do we have any ideas on how fast the cars will be based for as far as speed?? 110 most likely?? IIRC 8400 hit 120 on it's speed tests on the NEC.
     
  24. Jan 30, 2012 #24

    TCRT

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    I recall reading that Amtrak's plan is to have long-distance trains running at 125mph down the NEC to speed up schedules a bit, so I would imagine they'll get tested to at least that speed.
     
  25. Jan 30, 2012 #25

    jamesontheroad

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    It might be verging off-topic, but there's a very successful parallel to the principle of swapping out interior modules in a rail car - the Boeing 737 QC (or Quick Change) variant. I don't believe it's manufactured any more, but it's basically a standard 737 passenger jet with a large cargo door on the side of the fuselage. The entire cabin can be reconfigured from passenger carrying to cargo carrying in less than 30 minutes. There's a video of just such a conversion on a Jet Time 737 here:



    There are a couple here in the UK - I often used to see one that belongs to Jet2 at Belfast International Airport. Operates low-cost passenger flights during the day, has the seats removed in the late evening and then spends the night doing trips for Royal Mail between Northern Ireland and England. Back in service as a passenger jet the next morning, and few passengers would ever notice :lol:
     
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