Greg Moore wrote: ↑Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:36 pm
A link to the local dead tree: https://www.timesunion.com/business/art ... 133782.php
I suppose it would not be bad timing to refresh everyone what Amtrak California and Amtrak Midwest bought as Venture cars.
The California Department of Transportation has ordered seven trainsets for the San Joaquins service with seven cars each: four coaches with economy seating, two coaches with economy seating and vending machines, and one cab car (control car) with economy seating. The order includes 49 cars for California, formed into seven semi-permanently-coupled trainsets.
Uniquely among Siemens Venture trainsets, the Midwest trains will be made up of married pairs (two coaches semi-permanently coupled with open gangway-style connections) and 26 individual coaches with traditional gangway connections. The married pairs will consist of 17 café cars mated to 17 economy seating coaches and 17 combination "business class"/economy coaches mated to 17 economy seating coaches. The business class and cafe cars will have two vestibules each, while the coaches will have one. Wisconsin later ordered six coaches and three cab cars, for use on the Hiawatha Service, paid for with a grant from the Federal Railroad Administration. The additional six coaches will be added to the pool of equipment used by the Midwest states. The three cab/coach cars will be used exclusively on the Hiawatha Service.
A Brightline trainset consists of four semi-permanently-coupled coaches: three coaches with "Smart" economy seating and one with "Select" premium seating. Each trainset is paired with a Siemens Charger SCB-40 diesel-electric locomotive on each end. Once the route to Orlando is in operation, the trainsets will be expanded to seven coaches, and five more complete trainsets will be purchased.
Via Rail announced that it was purchasing 32 Venture trainsets to replace the entire fleet used on its Québec City–Windsor Corridor. Via Rail trainsets will consist of five individual coaches: two coaches with "business class" premium seating, two coaches with economy seating, and one cab car (control car) with economy seating.
Generally Siemens has mostly delivered semi-permanently coupled trainset, with the exception of the Midwest order of semi-permanently coupled married pairs with additional traditional coupling coaches. What the new Amtrak corridor trains will be has not been announced, it could go either way. Passengers do seem to prefer the open gangways between the coaches that can only be accomplished with semi-permanently couplings.
The married pairs for the Midwest order might be caused by what the different states are willing to subsidize. Wisconsin prefers a train more equivalent to a long range commuter trains than an intercity train full of just standard coaches - not willing to subside food services or business class. Missouri, Michigan, and Illinois on the other hand with longer trains prefer the opposite, an intercity train rather than a long distance commuter train.
It will be interesting to see what Amtrak will want on the NEC and what the respective states will be willing to subsidize for train extensions off the NEC. I'm thinking married pairs like the Midwest order seems more pausible, as different states will be willing to subsidize different levels of service. But that is just my opinion.