David Benton wrote:Seems to me to be even more reaon to move away from stainless . there would be plenty of Local ability ot weld the bodies in aliminuim.
I though Amtrak would be looking to the future , and i would think the future is aliminuim and composite material s , not stainless .
For the current system, a stainless steel body is absolutely the best option. Amtrak's passenger cars aren't really limited by weight, the FRA has high crush standards with no alternate crumple zone standard, and Amtrak can't count on politicians fully funding their maintenance obligations on a less-durable car (nor on being allowed to purchase new cars.) Besides, Amtrak often assigns two or more locomotives per train as it is, regardless of the weight of the train.
If/when Amtrak becomes a true HSR provider beyond the NEC, with FRA-alternate-compliant cars and a guaranteed large funding source for new equipment, aluminum and composites may possibly be the better option.