Viewliner II Part 2: Dining Car Production, Delivery, Speculation

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by AmtrakBlue, Dec 10, 2016.

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  1. Dec 26, 2016 #51

    jis

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    My understanding is that the serviceable Heritage fleet is down to 9 now, for a total fleet of 11.
     
  2. Dec 27, 2016 #52

    swc34

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    Don't forget about Columbus.
     
  3. Dec 27, 2016 #53

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    I didn't realize that 8400 was being retired with the Heritage diners. Thks.
     
  4. Dec 27, 2016 #54

    OBS

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    I don't think they have any intention of retiring 8400.
     
  5. Dec 27, 2016 #55

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    I am kind-of wondering why the two "protect" diners, which just sit in stand-by at each terminus, couldn't be Heritage diners? I guess in the case of the Silvers, the best two Heritage diners? While I understand the need for two "protect" diners, it seems a waste to assign two brand new diners to this duty (yes, "They also serve who only stand and wait", Milton :D ).
     
  6. Dec 27, 2016 #56

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    Then why can't it be counted in as part of the new diner car fleet?
     
  7. Dec 27, 2016 #57

    jis

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    Why not use the less confusing terminology - "Non-Heritage Diner Fleet"?

    It is indeed true that 4890 is not new by any reasonable definition of the word "new".
     
  8. Dec 27, 2016 #58

    neroden

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    20% of the time in the shop for inspections and maintenance. This is about right, unfortunately, just based on FRA required inspections (it's slightly higher than the minimum time required by the FRA, as explained to me by someone who detailed all the required inspections). So 8 * 1.2 = 9.6 cars needed. One protect at each of the THREE termini (Miami, New York, and New Orleans) is 3 more (arguably 3 * 1.2 = 3.6). 9.6 + 3 = 12.6, or 9.6 + 3.6 + 13.2. Either way, 13 are needed.
     
  9. Dec 27, 2016 #59

    neroden

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    Sure, they can be, if they haven't been retired. So let's compute with the assumption that Amtrak wishes to retire daily-use Heritage cars ASAP but is OK with using them as protect cars. Meteor, Crescent, and LSL == 11 active. 20% shop count adds 2.2, for a total of 13.2 active *Viewliner* dining cars needed, which rounds up to 14. 4 additional protect cars, one at each terminus, could be Heritage cars.

    We have 2 Viewliner dining cars active. We need 12 more.

    I am a little surprised that dining car service hasn't been suspended in favor of "diner lite" on the Crescent and I suspect it might be before this winter is over...

    Anyway, we have 2 Viewliner dining cars (8400 and 68001). 2 more (perhaps 68000 and 68002) will equip the Meteor, except when one is in the shop, which is 20% of the time. For that, another (perhaps 68003) is needed.

    If 5 more (68004 through 68008) arrive, that would equip the Crescent, with shop count.

    If 4 more (68009 through 68012) arrive, that would equip the LSL, with shop count.
     
  10. Dec 27, 2016 #60

    GaSteve

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    There is no protect car kept at NOL.
     
  11. Dec 27, 2016 #61

    Ryan

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    Because it isn't new?
     
  12. Dec 27, 2016 #62

    JohannFarley

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    But it was overhauled for this specific purpose was it not?
     
  13. Dec 27, 2016 #63

    A Voice

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    Dining car 8400 was restored to service for the explicit purpose of having sufficient diners available to cover eastern (single-level) train assignments; This actually isn't the first time the Lake Shore Limited (or Silver Star, in the 90's) has been without a dining car, nor is the Heritage diner shortage completely new. It was originally one of three prototype Viewliner cars from the late 1980's. The fact it was overhauled and returned to service doesn't make it either new or part of the Viewliner II fleet.

    That doesn't mean it isn't a good car, that it isn't part of the diner fleet, or that will necessarily be retired. All it means is that it isn't a newly built Viewliner II. Amtrak also has five ex-Santa Fe Hi-level cars in service on the Coast Starlight. They were overhauled (more than once) for the purpose they now serve; No one is arguing that somehow makes them Superliners.
     
  14. Dec 27, 2016 #64

    Ryan

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    Precisely.
     
  15. Dec 27, 2016 #65

    Cho Cho Charlie

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    IMHO, it is perfectly reasonable to include 8400 as being part of the Viewliner diner car fleet. Whether like it or not, that's Amtrak's plans for this diner.
     
  16. Dec 27, 2016 #66

    Ryan

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    You left out an important word.

    Nobody is saying that it isn't a part of the Viewliner fleet.

    It's not new, though. It is literally one of the oldest Viewliners in existence.

    I'm utterly amazed at how difficult this concept is for some people to grasp.
     
  17. Dec 27, 2016 #67

    neroden

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    Why on Earth does the Crescent still have dining car service? They can't rely on it northbound (if something goes wrong, no protect car). The ridership is very low south of Atlanta, leading to poor utilization.

    Bluntly, allocation of the remaining dining cars to the Crescent rather than the LSL smells like a hasty action done without forethought or analysis. I suppose they're swapping LSL sets south to the Silver Star still? They could swap the LSL sets with Crescent sets just as well, so this smacks of laziness in management.

    I don't know who in Amtrak management is ultimately responsible for such decisions (besides the CEO) but after following this sort of nonsense for years I'm pretty sure I could do better. Maybe the problem is that these decisions aren't made by one person; they are CEO-level decisions but I don't get the impression that Boardman personally looked into the details. We may be getting the management-by-committee failure mode?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2016
  18. Dec 27, 2016 #68

    OBS

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    I would assume it is assigned to the Crescent because of the length of the trip compared to LSL. Also, there is no spare Diner kept in Chi to replace a shopped car either, so same situation would apply.
     
  19. Dec 28, 2016 #69

    jis

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    I am almost certain that the CEO is not the primary decision maker of which trains get the Diner. It is most likely the operations guy. Afterall as rumors go the CEO inly came to know after the fact the decision about Diners on the Star.
     
  20. Dec 28, 2016 #70

    tommylicious

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    Well we're not riding any overnight train that doesn't have a proper diner. No LSL, CONO.
     
  21. Dec 28, 2016 #71

    Palmetto

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    That list might very well grow in the short term.
     
  22. Dec 28, 2016 #72

    A Voice

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    Hmm...Heritage diners approaching due dates for major work, perhaps before there are enough Viewliners to cover assignments?
     
  23. Dec 29, 2016 #73

    west point

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    Gads ! What adolescent arguments. It will be 25 V-2 diners ; 1 V-1 diner, And depending on how the Heritage diners hold up any where from 0 - 8 on protect status until enough V-2 diners are in service.a
     
  24. Dec 29, 2016 #74

    Thirdrail7

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    The serviceable fleet has yet to change. There have been no official retirements in months. Indeed, I believe one of the diners that was out for some time was just ok'd.

    The main factor as OBS mentioned is Crescent serves more meals than the LSL due to the length and timing of the trip.
     
  25. Dec 29, 2016 #75

    me_little_me

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    Or what Amtrak promised the congressional representative from the appropriate district to trade for a positive vote for funding! :)
     

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