• Viewliner II Delivery/Production

  • 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 mtuandrew
 
I have to wonder what would have happened if Amtrak and CAF had completed this order five years ago. Would Amtrak have already completed a full rebuild of the V-I class?

I don’t know which party contributed more to the delays (I suspect Amtrak, at least in the last several years) but I’d be surprised if CAF bid on any more NRPC car contracts.
  by west point
 
Wonder how the additional V-2s option was written ? Amtrak may be able to exercise that option if it is still valid. We nneed to know how it was to expire ? Calendar or maybe until a certain number of cars were built or some other metric ?w
  by ApproachMedium
 
Its not even worth it at this point. the V2 project has gone almost as long as my amtrak career, 10 years, and we still do NOT have all the cars delievered and in service. They need to just get what they paid for and walk away. With the lack of ridership and shorter trains it doesnt pay to buy anymore LD cars.

If anything needs to be done, these wreched amfleets need to GO ASAP.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Approach, I'm surprised that, at least "for the duration", Amtrak has not been assigning Sleepers to Corridor consists and selling them as Day Rooms.

Both PRR and NH offered them on their respective ends. The Drawing Rooms always "did OK". The Roomettes on the NH "uh, not so hot". But there is COVID today, and fifty years ago, there was not. I would think that could generate demand, and maybe, just maybe, the demand might stay post-COVID.

At least DO SOMETHING with those [email protected] cars. "Sunning themselves" at HIA is the kind of stuff that makes for Congressional Inquiries.
  by ApproachMedium
 
Theres no need to sell day rooms when the place is loosing money left and right. They are selling tickets on all kinds of sales and discounts to attract ridership as it is. why would they try to add a car that costs a ton more money to maintain and service for maybe a handful of people who want private compartments?
  by ExCon90
 
Do we know that it would be only a handful of people? There have been comments that some people are attracted by being able to go to a room, shut the door, and take off the *&^%$#@! mask for the whole trip.
  by ApproachMedium
 
From the companies point of view, a passenger car that seats 72 people, with social distancing if everyone is traveling alone sits 36 people. it sits a few more if they are traveling with a friend or family member. Thats more money in their pocket and only 2 restrooms to service and 72 seats to spray with disinfectant. The viewliner is only 15 individual rooms, each with a sink, toilet, linens, bath tissue, and abunch of electronics (reading lights fans space heaters). Thats a lot more stuff to check every turn around and between passengers for half of what fits in a coach. Most people are happy sitting in the coach. Maybe further down the road the idea could be played with, but unless somebodys gonna throw some money at it im telling you right now Amtrak is not.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Approach, my thought was based on ads as part of their "we're safe" campaign. The ad says "Private Rooms Available". Obviously that only refers to the LD's, and I guess the Meteor/Star and Crescent will now sell rooms to "locals" on the Corridor.

Not for one minute would I suggest to put 'em in as many Corridor consists as you can (a guess; but I'd say 25 sets), just to give 'em away as some kind of "humanitarian" gesture". Charge whatever the traffic will bear, and I would think that translates to "plenty".

It's moot to me as the only way I will get from A to B "for the duration" is in my own auto. That now runs about 100 miles a month (me, own a 2.5yo auto with only 21K on it - 19954 "when COVID began"?, unheard of; also last on an airplane Oct '19) and the only other person who gets in it is a wash rack worker every six weeks - and he is of course masked. Don't think the dealer will see me anytime soon for 5K service.

But if I HAD to travel (never know when a family emergency in New York will erupt), Mr. ExCon's thought sums it up to me.
  by lordsigma12345
 
I could see them fully deploying the new cars and putting the Viewliner 1s in mothballs as long as service remains 3x weekly. Do they have enough cars yet to equip the Silver Star/Meteor sets? I'm sure that would be the first place they'd show up.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Lord, last report, after two additional, Rivianna and Roanoke, were delivered late last month, there should be eleven VII-S on the property. Assigning protects to both SSY and HIA (anyone know the codes for other maintenance facilities about the System?) means nine available. There are four Meteor/Star consists, so that would mean two lines per set.

However, if my proposal for Day Rooms were to move forth, the V-II's would be preferred. "Facilities down the hall" would be best in such a setting.

But as Mr. Approach, with his ten years "inside", notes, the "Amtrak Way" will be to "let 'em soak up the Rays".
  by bostontrainguy
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:59 am However, if my proposal for Day Rooms were to move forth, the V-II's would be preferred. "Facilities down the hall" would be best in such a setting.
Not in this day of Covid-19. Sharing facilities would not be what people want.
  by jp1822
 
First of all - In public transit you can't get around the sharing of bathroom facilities. Amtrak does send around a "cleaning crew" to clean bathrooms enroute. Wash your hands, sanitize, wear your mask etc.

Back to point - I've suggested what Mr. Norman mentions on another site as well. Although the NEC corridor trains may be "worth a look" - I think there's a market for them NOW on the long distance "day trains," where people are spending longer times on the trains and want the privacy/independence to do "what they want" in their "private room." Amtrak has changed their marketing and reference point in terms of "sleeping cars" and types of "sleeping car options." They are now referred to as just "private rooms." I think this is a good positioning move to sell "day rooms." Amtrak has made this into a preferred option. Finally going after the higher end revenue. Moreover, there's two people watching over an Acela First Class car with limited passengers aboard. If the private room option catches on, it could get its own private attendant. Otherwise, couldn't the conductor just check up on folks in the day room. As long as there's no "attendant" - it says as a day room and you don't make up the beds.

I've purchased a "private room" from LA to the Bay Area on the Coast Starlight and even on the Three Rivers from Pittsburgh to NYC, and NYC to Richmond/Lynchburg etc. I used it largely as a private office for the day, or just to have "my space." Price didn't make too much of a difference to me, and the day rooms were largely on my dime, not the company's.

But I think the day room option for long distance day trains and corridor trains should be tried. Amtrak needs all the revenue it can get. Don't put out the sheets and pillows etc.

Suggested trains - Maple Leaf, Pennsylvanian, Palmetto, Carolinian. Lets recall that the Adirondack, Vermonter, Ethan Allen Express and other state-corridor trains have still not started back up! Then fill in with some corridor based trains. Amtrak has the sleepers available - that's for sure!

The NEC still has lighter traffic, and in a world that is moving to working remotely, it's going to have the hardest recovery to what it was.

And the truth of the matter is - people ARE travelling. Should they be travelling? That's not for me to judge in the midst of this pandemic's second wave, but guess what - people are travelling. I've watched the Capitol Limited FILL TO CAPACITY this past weekend - private rooms and coach seats had complete sellout rates on some trips between Oct 28 and Nov 2nd. As the train filled, the coach and sleeper price also increased, as the laws of supply and demand would dictate. But Amtrak did not ADD a coach or sleeper, it kept the train at a SOLD OUT basis.

I would also support launching the Viewliner II Sleepers, and storing the Viewliner I Sleepers or using the Viewliner I Sleepers for the day room use. Could Superliner Trans Dorms be used as "day rooms" on bilevel trains operating on the West Coast, or MidWest.

In general I think Amtrak should be doing a complete inventory of what equipment it has operating where, and should any of that be switched up - to put the Viewliner II sleepers in place, the Viewliner Diners (Sleeper Lounges) in place, etc. Why store brand new equipment and operate the old stuff? I don't get that.

If people weren't travelling and there wasn't a swell like you could see on the Capitol Limited this past weekend, then perhaps a day room suggestion with Viewliners doesn't make sense. But the fact that people are travelling, private rooms may be seen as a better option to coach, and people are likely willing to pay the price.
  by ApproachMedium
 
They still are not going to do this for an additional reason. Sleeper would need a car attendant. And what do you do with the additional car? do you loose a 72 seat amfleet 1 that could possibly sell 30 plus tickets in place for a 15 room viewliner? or do you add the car to the train which then makes 7 revenue cars and requires to pay another brakeman?

Its not gonna happen. If you want more space, business class is pretty empty and has lots of room at each seat. the viewliner fantasyland isnt going anywhere anytime soon.
  by jp1822
 
ApproachMedium wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:59 pm They still are not going to do this for an additional reason. Sleeper would need a car attendant. And what do you do with the additional car? do you loose a 72 seat amfleet 1 that could possibly sell 30 plus tickets in place for a 15 room viewliner? or do you add the car to the train which then makes 7 revenue cars and requires to pay another brakeman?

Its not gonna happen. If you want more space, business class is pretty empty and has lots of room at each seat. the viewliner fantasyland isnt going anywhere anytime soon.
I doubt the Acela Express II Is going to be introduced with any big fanfare next year either. What was to be a happy turning point - will yield more cars heading to storage than in operation.

And lets face it - business class on the NEC sucks - what product differentiation is there between corridor coach class and corridor business class any more? None, other than a higher fare. and free soft drinks? It's a pathetic rip-off.

And I doubt the Viewliner option being proposed here is gonna happen either. But at least it has some differentiation and perks. It's also a way to get NEW cars out, rather than just going to what inevitably may be permanent storage while owned by Amtrak

Frankly, I don't think Amtrak can figure out which end us up right now. Some LD tri-weekly trains are running sold out with private rooms. Can Amtrak use that as leverage to gain passengers or market share? They've been touting and advertising for it!

Likewise, I don't think we will ever see the restoration of daily LD Amtrak trains, this is just the beginning of the "end."

Some corridor and State supported trains also haven't come back online....Yes, I realize the pandemic is playing a role in all this, to see some trains like the Adirondack or Vermonter not come back - not sure if they in the long term or not. States are hurting and train service is not likely their big priority.

For those trains that are running, just "what if" Amtrak happened to re-think how the trains (train sets) should be equipped and/or what options they should offer in the midst of a pandemic. We've all seen "what used to be" turned upside down.

However, if day rooms were added (even back in the early 2000's the Star and Meteor advertised day rooms in Florida travel.

- Suggest the car be setup so no attendant is needed and it stays in daytime use, not night time.
- Conductor and Asst Conductor "checks" on the folks here periodically (Viewliner positioned as last car of train).
- Lose the 72 Amfleet I coach, as the revenue potential would be greater with the Viewliner (roomettes for $300, bedrooms for $375). Premium pricing just like Amtrak's presently doing for Acela Express. At least you are getting some "square footage" with the Viewliner option!
- Still, the differential between Amfleet and Viewliner option is only about $2K in aggregate, so it's definitely not a "home run" for Amtrak.
- Some people in current environment would rather have a "private room" to travel in, and this option has seemed to be touted by Amtrak.

Businesses that have been able to survive or keep afloat through this pandemic are those that have had to think outside the box, and do things they normally didn't have to or want to do.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
I wholly concur with Mr. JP. If the stored (again I think it's eleven) and the remaining undelivered (14?) V-II's are added to Regional consists for Day Rooms, charge through the nose for 'em.

Sooner or later, the Micascope will be broken out, and, even if not in plain sight, twenty five brand new cars never used will be in it's X-hairs.

There's no market anywhere for those cars; same for the eleven VII-D's reportedly also stored. Canadian and Ocean are "done for", and the "remote" trains are Coach only. Mexico? dream on (the interior's scenery the Cancun crowd never sees is spectacular - and neither would I again nowadays). When the KCS and UP laid down the loot and took operational control of the NdeM and FCM (or whatever the SP lines were), the word was the passenger trains were to be gone - and "don't even think about a MEXTRAK".

Defer to Mr. Dunville if any South American roads have sufficient clearances to handle US passenger equipment.

And finally, if Corridor Regional Day Rooms come to pass, only V-II's could be used. What if two Business associates of different genders were using a Roomette, and one's "gotta go"? The V'I's have no facilities down the hall.
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