• Amtrak considers narrower seats

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by lordsigma12345
 
Where they are considering more narrow seats is on the new Siemens ICTs. Keep in mind that with the new Acela fleet they will be able to run more Acela RTs. The intention may be to shift some current NER customers - many of your passengers in business and some in coach that expect the current product standard - to the Acela product while allowing the new NER product using the ICTs to pick up some additional passengers looking for lower cost seats which may allow them to better compete with busses along the corridor.
Last edited by lordsigma12345 on Fri Dec 31, 2021 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Apparently, the ADA interests hold that they should be able to wheel about anywhere on the train they choose without interference. That's the only reason coming to mind that this proposal, if it goes anywhere beyond the questionnaire Mr. Literailman received, is possibly "on the table".

Amtrak is not competing with busses. By any standard, they have a more comfortable product and somewhat faster schedules. Starting with heated, many cooled, waiting areas as opposed to the often-street corner, the wider seats and pitch, presently lacking for some inexplicable reason (the A-I's had them as delivered), center arm rests to define "your space, my space", the on-board food and beverage, somewhat cleaner and operative "facilities", and someone knowing where you are at all times.

So let's see how this ostensible proposal plays out; if it moves forth, I have a feeling that many passengers that count - Corridor passengers - will take Col. Perkowski's position.
  by lordsigma12345
 
Mr. Norman that seems like a reasonable approach. Not sure what current law dictates…

And for us LDT passengers (that don’t count as much :laughing: ) the same issue may surface in any Amfleet II replacement order which will almost undoubtedly be a Venture variant but probably in the individual car or married pair configuration as you have to tie them in with Viewliners. This all assuming there isn’t a major LD network cut. Plans have stated that only Superliners are being considered for a life extension - Amfleet IIs are almost certainly going to be replaced.

Superliners are another ball game - whether they go with rebuild or replacement. Part of me can see a rebuild of some of the fleet at least strongly considered as bilevels are critical on the Auto Train and it could be more cost effective then trying to come up with some sort of bilevel replacement car. Going single level on the Auto Train would force either a much longer consist or reduced capacity so I’d think they’d want to stay bilevel even if it’s JUST on the Auto Train. How you make the upper level on a Superliner accessible if ADA requires it could be a thread of its own.
  by STrRedWolf
 
lordsigma12345 wrote: Fri Dec 31, 2021 11:47 am Superliners are another ball game - whether they go with rebuild or replacement. Part of me can see a rebuild of some of the fleet at least strongly considered as bilevels are critical on the Auto Train and it could be more cost effective then trying to come up with some sort of bilevel replacement car. Going single level on the Auto Train would force either a much longer consist or reduced capacity so I’d think they’d want to stay bilevel even if it’s JUST on the Auto Train. How you make the upper level on a Superliner accessible if ADA requires it could be a thread of its own.
Funny enough, I was tweaking my Bombardier Multiliner-based design for the fictional "Nomadic Railways" train for my next novel so that wheelchair users could go car to car. It involves a mostly upper-level (higher than high-level), with lifts in various places. In short, Gaelynn Lea could motor from the baggage car to get her violin, then motor all the way to the other end using only two in-car lifts, and record a new album in the sound booth there.

I'm still tweaking it for head clearance on the lifts in various areas. So it's possible!
  by gprimr1
 
On corridor trains, these could be a very valuable tool to compete with outfits like Megabus.

People who are riding Megabus aren't concerned with large plush seats, they are concerned with a cheap fare. Offer these seats as a "Basic Economy" class on corridor trains.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
When watching "This Is Us" last night (On-Demand; it airs on Tuesday), I thought of this topic.

The episode (S6, E2) depicted a regular character, Deja - still a teenager, running off from Philly to Boston (telling her parents she would be with a girlfriend) to be with her at college boyfriend (be interesting to see how this storyline goes).

She is depicted going there on a bus (no "product placement"). I thought why couldn't the show (filmed around LA) had her on Amtrak?

Well, I guess if Amtrak had some Coaches (A-I's) configured with 105 seats (21 rows of 3-2), the producers "just might have".
  by eolesen
 
People on the west coast treat Amtrak as a carnival ride...

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  by John_Perkowski
 
Amtrak will need to install interior elevators in selected cars to get wheelchair disabilities to the upper deck.

The alternatives are

Rebuild cars to provide an upper level entrance (and provide a lift at each station. )
Scrap the Superliner fleet.
  by rohr turbo
 
John_Perkowski wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:09 pm Amtrak will need to install interior elevators in selected cars to get wheelchair disabilities to the upper deck.
Do A380s or 747s or bilevel Megabus or bilevel commuter trains provide an elevator to the upper deck? Amtrak must take advantage of whatever exemption those carriers enjoy. Bilevel trains are way more efficient, roomy, and pleasant.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Matt Johnson wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 5:42 pm
John_Perkowski wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 4:51 pm
PULLMAN, once upon a time, had a name for this accommodation … A PARLOR CAR SEAT
Employed as recently as the Budd Metroliner
...Employed even more recently by the Long Island Rail Road Sunrise Fleet Parlor Cars - in service
until the Year 2000 when they were retired...The replacement service with the implementation of the LIRR
C3 car fleet was titled "Hamptons Reserve Service" offering a guaranteed seat for an additional fare.

MJ and Everyone - The LIRR once had a long history with parlor cars...This webpage created by our own jhdeasy
offers more insight about these rebuilt lightweight Sunrise Fleet parlor cars (description in the site):

http://parlorcarseast.com

Everyone - The LIRR C1 and C3 multilevel cars are perhaps the best examples of comparing 3/2 and 2/2 seating.
The 10 C1 cars - which were a "test" fleet - contained 3/2 seating - which many riders saw as being "cramped".
The later C3 fleet was built with 2/2 seating offering more interior aisle space as example than the C1 cars.

The only way that I can see Amtrak using 3/2 seats is if they were to offer a very-low-fare economy class.
Even then Amtrak will have to contend with riders not using "that dreaded middle seat" on the 3 side...
I agree with GP is that those that use buses want the lowest possible fare with comfort secondary...

MACTRAXX
  by STrRedWolf
 
John_Perkowski wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:09 pm Amtrak will need to install interior elevators in selected cars to get wheelchair disabilities to the upper deck.

The alternatives are

Rebuild cars to provide an upper level entrance (and provide a lift at each station. )
Scrap the Superliner fleet.
Or rebuild the cars to have:
  • Low block and high-block (not upper-level) access.
  • Internal lifts for high-level to upper level access, similar to buses.
  • Internal lift for lower-to-upper access.
This would require significant re-engineering of the floor layout. Given their age... um, no. That's "replace the Superliners with Superliner IIs"
  by eolesen
 
Fine. Build a disabilities section on on one car per consist, 1 seat per passenger. Charge them coach fares in compliance with ADA.

PULLMAN, once upon a time, had a name for this accommodation … A PARLOR CAR SEAT
Image
Both are still in use on one Metra line.

The UP–North still has a parlor on one train a day, and it is not disability accessible. It runs as a private car and apparently that organization is not subject to ADA.

On every line, the standard operating practice is to have a disability accessible car run in the last position. Because there are no additional service cars in those contests, everything available to an able bodied customer is available to a disabled customer in a wheelchair.

The problem that Amtrak runs into is that there are additional services available on the train such as the lounge or dining cars.

Having only the sleeping cars or a single car being available as accessible is discriminatory because mpbility impaired customers are denied access to services included in the tariff that able-bodied customers are able to enjoy. Thus the push for full accessibility.

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  by eolesen
 

rohr turbo wrote:
John_Perkowski wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:09 pm Amtrak will need to install interior elevators in selected cars to get wheelchair disabilities to the upper deck.
Do A380s or 747s or bilevel Megabus or bilevel commuter trains provide an elevator to the upper deck? Amtrak must take advantage of whatever exemption those carriers enjoy. Bilevel trains are way more efficient, roomy, and pleasant.
No.

Today, it's a moot point because there are no us operators of the 747 or A380. The amenities available on the upper deck of a 747 were also available on the main deck.

The A380 was a little more problematic in that you had full length deck, but again all of the amenities somebody is entitled to based on the class of ticket they've purchased are available on that deck. Every airport with regularly scheduled A380 service would have one loading bridge on each deck, so there was no need for an internal elevator.

Megabus is likely in the same position where are the amenities offered on the main deck are the same as what's offered on the upper deck therefore there is no discriminatory or restriction of availability to services included in the price of the ticket.

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  by STrRedWolf
 
eolesen wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 6:58 pm On every line, the standard operating practice is to have a disability accessible car run in the last position. Because there are no additional service cars in those contests, everything available to an able bodied customer is available to a disabled customer in a wheelchair.

The problem that Amtrak runs into is that there are additional services available on the train such as the lounge or dining cars.

Having only the sleeping cars or a single car being available as accessible is discriminatory because mpbility impaired customers are denied access to services included in the tariff that able-bodied customers are able to enjoy. Thus the push for full accessibility.
This is where we have to read the ADA. There's a clause for alternate accommodation if the normal accommodation would present an undue burden. The Superliners came in service in 1979. The ADA was enacted in 1990. It's kinda late to modify them extensively without a lot of cash.