Amfleet Refresh

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:24 pm

10 ex- SPV-2000 CDOT Constitution Liners coaches are still rotting away in the New Haven Yard dead line behind the stored FL9 locos. But unlike the Metroliner cabs the C Liners won't pass current FRA regs as-is and need an extremely expensive rebuild program to be of any roadworthy use, so the value of those tubular shells are purely for scrap unless somebody wants to make more static FEMA trailers out of them.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby Mackensen » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:19 am

And if we want to be really silly, there are some incomplete SPV-2000 shells hanging around on a track just north of the station in Wilmington, Delaware. There was proposal in the early 1990s to use them for a new San Antonio-Monterrey service: https://library.ctr.utexas.edu/digitized/texasarchive/MS4622.pdf
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:35 am

Grief, how to keep consultants feeding at the trough.

Who knows how long those shells will sit at Delaware Car (nee: Mechtron Industries). In view of that passenger trains in Mexico are comprised of two excursion trains - Guadalajara-Tequila; Los-Mochis-Chihuahua - that proposal is dead...dead...dead.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:02 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:The livery refresh was going to happen in some form or another because the practical fastest timetable for Amfleet replacements is a wee too far for milking the current decaying livery another 7-10 years without customer backlash. I doubt anything Anderson brought to the table substantially informed that decision, other than maybe stating preference to pay up-front for a preemptive 'package' update instead of doing reactive band-aiding (i.e. pretty much a marketing decision rather than a fleet management-driven decision). They already knew they had to do something, and had their final choices narrowed down to Door #1, Door #2, Door #3 long before he got hired. But that's not the same as pursuing a strategy to lean more on old stuff that's tarted up to look new...because there's no decision to make there. If they issued the Amfleet-replacement RFP tomorrow and knew in advance that it was going to be a PRIAA-fied Siemens Brightline, it'll still be 2025 before the last Amfleet I gets punted to reserve service, because it simply takes that long to produce, test, and accept 600 cars while pushing all the up-front paper. The current livery wasn't going to last until '25 without becoming reaaaallly dodgy, so the cosmetic refresh program was always a fait accompli.


I don't agree with this last part at all because the analysis ignores the fact that the livery itself is being upgraded and changed. Amtrak could very well have kept all colors, fabrics, trims and finishes identical and merely continued to replace them as part of regular overhauls and maintenance. The simplicity of the "refresh" is one of several reasons that I would at least consider the possibility that Moorman, Anderson or both had some significant input on this decision. There doesn't appear to be a major requirement for advance planning.

I guess my most important point is that there was never any obligation for Amtrak to switch colors, lighting fixtures and other parts. This goes beyond cosmetic and as a consequence I think is getting some well-deserved "earned media".
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:27 pm

You're assuming that they've still got suppliers for all of those exact fabrics in those exact stitch patterns sporting those exact Pantone colors this many years after the last refresh....and don't have to resort to facsimiles that only look/feel only 96% alike because their supply chain of original-sourced fabric spindles is tapped out in the warehouse. Livery feels the effects of supply chains and expiring vendor service & support contracts too over time, too, despite being a far easier problem to work around than car component supply chains. A car with a handful of replacement seats that look only nearly like the others is going to stick out like a sore thumb to riders. Also, beware the unintended consequences of playing mix-and-match old and new in the same car when having to account for weathering. "Pantone ____" color seatback fabric with such-and-such stitch pattern may fade to a duller shade over time vs. what it looks like factory-spec fresh off the spindle fed into the industrial sewing machine at Beech Grove. So even with a 100.00% exact reproduction it could end up looking tacky as hell to replace every third seatback in a coach and create an unintended contrast with the weathered surfaces.

If you've got the money and ample enough motivation to take the preemptive strike...sometimes a full whitewash is much easier than trying to guesstimate whether a band-aiding of heterogeneous-age livery is going to end up clashing with its own self.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:49 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:If you've got the money and ample enough motivation to take the preemptive strike...sometimes a full whitewash is much easier than trying to guesstimate whether a band-aiding of heterogeneous-age livery is going to end up clashing with its own self.


Without realizing it I answered the post in part based on direct knowledge not otherwise available from my recently more frequent trips aboard the Downeaster.

There is no doubt at all from what I have seen that Amtrak does in fact have parts sources to be able to continue to replace and maintain existing liveries right now and potentially indefinitely. The coaches are completely uniform in appearance and style. Seat coverings and all other components mentioned as part of the refresh are all currently maintained without any apparent difficulty. I would specifically acknowledge the point about color tones and stitch patterns which are all completely consistent and in more than one case have clearly been replaced (usually wholesale for an entire car) over time. The only place where you might observe some visible difference would be in light tones coming from the flourescent indirect lighting fixtures which is generally a function of the bulbs themselves. Even in this instance the observed variation is very uncommon.

Finally and in fairness I think its worth admitting that there is the distinct possibility that some specific part of the Amfleet interior may be dependent on a single vendor who for whatever reason may no longer be able to supply a part in the future. That would certainly explain in large part the livery change. For the moment I remain convinced that Amtrak is choosing to do this as part of a broader strategy beyond dodging a vendor change.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:50 pm

F-line: by ordering enough materials for a 100% fleet refresh, economy of scale comes into play. It's expensive to buy a few Amfleet carpets at once, but a vehicular flooring company would happily bid a much lower per-yard price on 400 cars' worth of carpet and mat.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:51 pm

That would assume that Amtrak doesn't have an ongoing supply contract for replacement parts which I'm pretty sure they probably do.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby MisterUptempo » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:58 pm

Just wanted to post a few bits of info, courtesy of the 514 Equipment Capital Subcommittee.

From March 27, 2017 minutes, the first reference to the Amfleet I refresh is made. The decision was made during an Amtrak Board meeting. This mention is made a full three months before Anderson is announced as Amtrak CEO.

Image

source - http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/514%20sc%20minutes%202017-03-27%20final.pdf

Then, at the April 06, 2017 meeting, the refresh is brought up again, specifically as it relates to the states' questions about having to pay for the Amfleet I improvements.

Image

source - http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/514%20sc%20minutes%202017-04-06%20final.pdf

Finally, at the May 08, 2017 meeting, word that the refresh will have to take a little longer than hoped, as acquisition of required materials and scheduling of the work are proving difficult.

Image

source - http://www.highspeed-rail.org/Documents/514%20sc%20minutes%202017-05-08%20final.pdf
Last edited by MisterUptempo on Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby electricron » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:04 pm

Fashions change more frequently than the rolling stock.
While not Amtrak at all in any way, here's links to two photos of interiors of RDCs, while the exterior looks actually the same, the interiors look signicantly different, although the physical layout is basically the same.
http://www.trainweb.org/ultradomes/compare/budd2.jpg
http://condrenrails.com/JDI/Chicago-Dal ... G_7276.jpg
Seats, cushions, fabric material, carpets, curtains, wainscoting, and light fixtures can make anything old look brand new. ;)

It would prefer buying brand new rail cars to replace he Amfleets, but when cash for new cars isn't present, and there are funds for a remodel and livery refresh, I'm all for doing that. Many of us repaint and refurbish our old cars instead of buying a brand new car, there's many cable TV shows showing us how. It is an American thing to do! Shucks, it's even a world wide thing to do!
Last edited by electricron on Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:05 pm

That is a very interesting find. Thank you for posting it.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:46 pm

Ron: the second and third guys on the left in that bottom picture don't seem to be enjoying the decor much :-D

George: I'm sure they have an existing go-to supplier, and that supplier will have the cat's seat in an RFP for full-fleet renovation. Whether that supplier gets a no-bid contract, I don't know.
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby BandA » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:27 pm

The folks are cranky in the second picture because the seats aren't as comfortable as the originals and don't flip :wink: . The modern drop ceiling and luggage racks are much less interesting than the original
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby electricron » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:38 am

Was there anyone siting in the seats in the first photo? ;)
I wasn't suggesting either was better, I was suggesting that one looked newer than the other.....
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Re: Amfleet Refresh

Postby east point » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:50 am

What cn be interesting is how Amtrak will use the last of its inventory and what ever is in the procurement pipeline. Would hate to see that go to the scrap heap ?
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