• Amfleet Replacement Discussion.

  • 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

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  by ACeInTheHole
 
Since the VII thread keeps derailing.. Lets bring that single level replacement discussion in here please.. Have at it.
  by Sir Ray
 
OK, I'll start - what were the reasons the Amfleet shells couldn't be rebuild (again)?
If they couldn't be rebuilt, what would the (apparently mythical) Viewliner Coach layout be?

If you check the wiki Viewliner entry, apparently the original idea of Viewliner was to replace all the heritage fleet, and then expand outward so there would be solid Viewliner consists - sounds like a reasonable plan to me.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Sir Ray wrote:OK, I'll start - what were the reasons the Amfleet shells couldn't be rebuild (again)?
Question isn't "could they be rebuilt again" so much as "would rebuilding them again be more cost-effective than purchasing new equipment," right? Even stainless steel isn't indestructible; at some point it seems like the shells, frames, etc. are going to have metal fatigue issues that make rebuilding a major challenge.
  by Matt Johnson
 
Even if the Amfleets are structurally sound, I think the rounded shape, small windows, rough riding Pioneer trucks, and exposed undercar HVAC systems probably make them inherently inferior to the new coach spec.
  by DutchRailnut
 
two problems with current shells, window size which can not be changed due to shell reinforcements. plus it would cost almost as much as new shell, just to strip old shell of all interior, insulation and wiring.
believe me the cost of the shell is not as much as all above plus labor.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
There's also the fact that the Viewliners are modular and have snap-in fixtures. You can change what type of car it is to suit changing needs, and you can upgrade the fixtures easily so the livery isn't frozen in time for 30 years. Amfleets you pretty much have to do an invasive rebuild to change anything inside, and that already shows its limitations today with uneven distribution of configurations that occasionally leaves them scrambling. Then throw in the stuff about the cramped space, windows, exposed HVAC underbelly, etc. Then the fact that Beech Grove has to fabricate its own parts because Budd is 30 years defunct and they're decades past having any manufacturer service/support to turn to. Then the diminishing returns of extended lifespan a #2 rebuild gets you before rebuild #3 has to be programmed a dozen instead of 20 years out. And the fact that addressing the car shortage in any meaningful way while wedded to another generation of Amfleet usage means wringing another round of stimulus rebuilds of stored and wreck units. Possibly even with need to dip into the ranks of stored Metroliners and stored SPV-2000's--at greater rebuild expense--to churn out enough reserves of additional coaches to protect the Amfleets against attrition from future wrecks.

At best, the price tag is not that much less than a new order. At worst, it's worse than a new order.
  by Mackensen
 
I believe it's also the case (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) that Amtrak owns the design for the Viewliner, while the Amfleet and all other Metroliner derivatives belong to whomever wound up owning Budd's IP.
  by Backshophoss
 
Believe BBD owns the Metroliner/Amfleet design,plans and any remaining production jigs of the Budd Co.
  by Tom6921
 
How about building new coaches based off the Amfleet design? If the design worked once, why not again?
  by Matt Johnson
 
Tom6921 wrote:How about building new coaches based off the Amfleet design? If the design worked once, why not again?
Needs bigger windows, no reason to go with a tubular shape, better HVAC system design would be desirable. Fix all that and you're getting close to a Viewliner coach! Whatever form the next coach takes, it'll look something more like an Acela coach or Viewliner I think.
  by Backshophoss
 
Amtrak is still unhappy at best with BBD after the the Hippo's and Acela I's were delivered and debugged,
the Viewliner body shell can be converted to coach/food service(lounge) variants easy at little cost by
creating coach,food service,and lounge modules.
  by electricron
 
Considering Amtrak owns the Viewliner design, and loves everything about it as well, it's a no brainier that is what they will want to buy when it is time to replace the Amfleets (max speeds 125 mph). They will issue a RFP when the time comes and see who submits bids to build their design just like they did for the Viewliner 2 order. CAF may or may not win the bid.
  by David Benton
 
The Amfleet replacement for the NEC should be based on the Acela 2 design.
Long distance could conceivably be the Viewliner, but I would base it on the Acela 2 as well. Real economies of scale there.
I dont really see how the 2nd set of windows can be used in coach. Bigger single windows would be better.
  by electricron
 
They don't have to install the second set of windows in coach cars, although they'll be nice in a future lounge car.
  by Greg Moore
 
Tom6921 wrote:How about building new coaches based off the Amfleet design? If the design worked once, why not again?

Because it sucks?

Honestly, it was a design built for the "jet-age" that's woefully out of date.

Even the Amfleet IIs with larger windows are honestly nowhere as nice and bright and airy as an Aceal.

A new design will have larger windows (in part because required by law to make evacuation in an accident easier and in part because passengers want it) and be designed ground up for easier servicing and even greater commonality of parts.

It most likely will be a bit larger, entirely using the loading gauge available, much more like the Viewliner, so there's more room for luggage a bit higher up, and a bit wider.

Whether it's Viewliner based or Acela based it'll be much nicer.
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