Passenger rail build specs?

General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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Passenger rail build specs?

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:31 pm

So with a recent visit to NYC and The Jane Hotel, which was inspired by the later model Pullman sleeper berths featured in North by Northwest, I thought I could try my hand at a similar berth. I was able to find the PRIIA Section 305 specs for single and bi-level passenger cars... but I have a few dimension questions.

Namely:
  • Looking at a car from the side, how thick is the transition curtain between one car to another? Do both ends have said curtain, or only one end?
  • Also looking from the side, how long is the distance between the car end (assuming square end) and the vestuble door?
  • How thick are the outer walls? Right now, I'm guessing 4 inches, but I bet they're thicker.
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Re: Passenger rail build specs?

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:15 pm

Answering some of my own questions, now that I got a copy of "Amtrak Car Diagrams from the 1970's":

  • The "curtain" is 15" in Amtrak cars but can be 16".
  • The vestibule door varies with design but 30" seems to be a good fit. The vestibule itself can be 3' wide.
  • The outer walls look to be 6" thick.

This is getting into me working on a fantasy rail car, the "Canmephian River." The design is to be sort of an apartment on the rail, inspired by the 20th Century Limited.
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Re: Passenger rail build specs?

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:18 pm

Out of curiosity, are you talking about a real berth or a rendering? It’d be interesting to see pictures when you’re done regardless.
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Re: Passenger rail build specs?

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:14 pm

About eight hours of futzing about in LibreOffice Draw got me the attached PDF. The plans for a real-life rail coach car I call the "Canmephian River" -- something to get built if I ever hit the lottery. The scale of the drawings is 1 foot RL to 1 cm drawn.

Inspiration is drawn from cars built for the Milwaukie Road, New York Central, the Chesapeake and Ohio, and the New York/New Haven. I couldn't get enough of that curved rear car, and the MR "River" series were combo lounge/sleeper cars. To make it into a true "apartment" car, I fiddled around with various aspects. I wanted to have each bedroom have a shower and toilet combo, a "Twin XL" bed (6' long beds make me hang my feed off the edge, and I have enough bumps on my head already), a decent kitchen and dining area, as well as a work area in the lounge. I added a separate vestibule set back from the nose (although I do intend on a rear door exit) for a bit of safety (although it's not low platform -- that will be the opposite end).

The bedroom design is something I'd like to explore a bit later on with a "Train Hotel" concept, where the rooms are berths on sleepers.
Attachments
CanmephianRiver-railcar.pdf
Canmephian River initial floor plan.
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Re: Passenger rail build specs?

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:37 pm

Looks nice. I suppose you’d have to start from either an existing OBS, or spend megabucks gutting another car (the car itself would be the cheap part.) I searched “sleeper observation car” on the Google machine and found these GN Empire Builder car diagrams swiped from God knows which book - and reposted on Pinterest of all places - that might help:
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Re: Passenger rail build specs?

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:04 pm

You’d mentioned “apartment car” too, which made me wonder how a gallery (high-rise!) car would work in this role. You would lose the boattail and the PSNY clearance, but gain some very high ceilings.
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Re: Passenger rail build specs?

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:07 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Looks nice. I suppose you’d have to start from either an existing OBS, or spend megabucks gutting another car (the car itself would be the cheap part.) I searched “sleeper observation car” on the Google machine and found these GN Empire Builder car diagrams swiped from God knows which book - and reposted on Pinterest of all places - that might help:


They're similar to the "Amtrak Car Designs of the 1970's" book I procured this year while I was in San Jose, CA for a convention. I may have the last copy... I should scan it in, clean it up a bit, and put it up on the Internet Archive.
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Re: Passenger rail build specs?

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:11 pm

mtuandrew wrote:You’d mentioned “apartment car” too, which made me wonder how a gallery (high-rise!) car would work in this role. You would lose the boattail and the PSNY clearance, but gain some very high ceilings.


I was initially considering a double-decker (a la MARC IV) to keep under PSNY tolerances, but I may need to tweak the build (maybe kitchen/dining up top and bedrooms below?). I don't know how low I can go and keep headroom.
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Re: Passenger rail build specs?

Postby John_Perkowski » Wed May 30, 2018 10:36 pm

Most of the plans are in the library of the Illinois Railroad Museum.

Remember that on a low slung car, you have to allocate space for under carriage mechanical equipment.
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