• 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

  • 4831 posts
  • 1
  • 291
  • 292
  • 293
  • 294
  • 295
  • 323
  by gokeefe
 
I believe coach-baggage combines are one of the planned types for the Next Generation Corridor Equipment (and or NGEC standard compliant) ... Pretty sure these combines were also cab cars and that the baggage space behind the control cab was being treated as a potential safety factor.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Bob Roberts wrote: Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:12 pmNCDOT's vending / lounge / baggage combines (made from retrofitted heritage gear) work very well on the Piedmonts and have plenty of room for bikes. I think the crew likes them since its easier for one of them to get into the baggage compartment than it is on a separate car.
In fact built from 1953 U.S. Army ambulance cars and cafeteria-lounges by St. Louis Car. Some of these USAX cars ended up as Amtrak baggage cars, such as the 1800s (Adirondack/Ethan Allen/Vermonter cars).

Obviously, I think of "M*A*S*H" (early 50s, Korean-era) when I think of these cars.
  by gokeefe
 
OT ... There is a fully restored U.S. Army Hospital Car at the museum in Spencer, NC. Very special piece of railroad history.
  by Paul1705
 
Okay, debunk Randal O'Toole:

"Amtrak can solve the food service issue by contracting out meal preparation to restaurants and caterers along its routes. On boarding a train, passengers would be given a menu of meals they can order that would be delivered at various stops along the route. Dining cars and dining car crews would be eliminated and replaced with one person who would take orders, phone them to the restaurants, and deliver them to the passengers. Although similar ideas have been suggested in the past, Amtrak has stubbornly refused to consider them."

I suppose with that scenario the diners could be used as table cars and also offer snacks, drinks and beverages. So there would probably have to be at least one more employee for that. Some of the passengers could eat at their seats or in their rooms.

Yes, no or maybe? Worth a study or a trial run?
  by west point
 
We would expect that food sanitation is a main reason AMTRAK is so reluctant to source intermediate locations ?
  by ExCon90
 
Amtrak would first have to achieve a far better record of on-time performance to make it work. (It seems that regardless of the specific subject, all roads lead to the relationship between Amtrak and the host road--fix that and you've fixed a number of things.)
  by Paul1705
 
ExCon90 wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:43 pm Amtrak would first have to achieve a far better record of on-time performance to make it work. (It seems that regardless of the specific subject, all roads lead to the relationship between Amtrak and the host road--fix that and you've fixed a number of things.)
That occurred to me too.

Actually, there is the whole question of what Amtrak's purpose is - or what the purposes are of the different types of service - but that belongs in another thread (probably the one starting with the Wall Street Journal article).
  by SouthernRailway
 
Paul1705 wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:54 pm Okay, debunk Randal O'Toole:

"Amtrak can solve the food service issue by contracting out meal preparation to restaurants and caterers along its routes. On boarding a train, passengers would be given a menu of meals they can order that would be delivered at various stops along the route. Dining cars and dining car crews would be eliminated and replaced with one person who would take orders, phone them to the restaurants, and deliver them to the passengers. Although similar ideas have been suggested in the past, Amtrak has stubbornly refused to consider them."

I suppose with that scenario the diners could be used as table cars and also offer snacks, drinks and beverages. So there would probably have to be at least one more employee for that. Some of the passengers could eat at their seats or in their rooms.

Yes, no or maybe? Worth a study or a trial run?
So Amtrak is supposed to now be able to get a restaurant to deliver food for potentially hundreds of passengers, have it delivered and put on the train in a brief time and then serve it, hot, to hundreds of people? And do this several times a day? Without delaying the train?

Really? That’s a logistical disaster waiting to happen.

Better to have meals prepared elsewhere, loaded on a train like food is loaded into airplanes, and heat and serve onboard- eliminating most on-board cooking but otherwise having food service similar to now.
  by mtuandrew
 
SRY: maybe the answer is for Amtrak to build kitchens at its stations that only need to be staffed and operational when a train is nearby. Of course not every station needs a kitchen, so to ensure they are in the right place at the right time, they’d better build mobile kitchens in railcars. That of course means Amtrak would have to haul these mobile kitchens on its own trains (why pay a Class 1 to spot them for you?) And since setting out cars and loading hundreds of meals costs a lot of time, may as well just have these “kitchen cars” travel end-to-end with the rest of the consist. Oh, did I mention that they would need a seating area so as to reduce the amount of food contamination between cars? At that point, best to include windows, tablecloths, and waiters like a restaurant. Since it’s not just a kitchen anymore, maybe we could call it a “dining car” or “diner” for short?

:P

The only place I’ve ever seen the Harvey House model work like a charm is on the Cumbres & Toltec, where they make a meal stop for a homestyle luncheon at Osier. It works beautifully when you have no freight interference and some schedule flexibility.
  by Paul1705
 
SouthernRailway wrote: Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:53 pm
Paul1705 wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:54 pm Okay, debunk Randal O'Toole:

"Amtrak can solve the food service issue by contracting out meal preparation to restaurants and caterers along its routes. On boarding a train, passengers would be given a menu of meals they can order that would be delivered at various stops along the route. Dining cars and dining car crews would be eliminated and replaced with one person who would take orders, phone them to the restaurants, and deliver them to the passengers. Although similar ideas have been suggested in the past, Amtrak has stubbornly refused to consider them."

I suppose with that scenario the diners could be used as table cars and also offer snacks, drinks and beverages. So there would probably have to be at least one more employee for that. Some of the passengers could eat at their seats or in their rooms.

Yes, no or maybe? Worth a study or a trial run?
So Amtrak is supposed to now be able to get a restaurant to deliver food for potentially hundreds of passengers, have it delivered and put on the train in a brief time and then serve it, hot, to hundreds of people? And do this several times a day? Without delaying the train?

Really? That’s a logistical disaster waiting to happen.

Better to have meals prepared elsewhere, loaded on a train like food is loaded into airplanes, and heat and serve onboard- eliminating most on-board cooking but otherwise having food service similar to now.
I think O'Toole is pulling our legs here a bit, or sort of exaggerating to make a point.

Okay, there seems to be a demand for long-haul trains with sleepers, and that requires dining. But does that justify government funding? Or could it eventually be expanded to a point where profit comes in that helps the corridor trains? I've never seen that really penciled out and it seems unlikely, but it's conceivable. (Does ''profit" cover long-distance capital needs in this scenario?)

Or should it be like the Rocky Mountaineer or American Cruise lines - not a public operation but not really a transportation service either? The latter has nice river boats but I doubt they are ever used for point-to-point travel.
  by Tadman
 
So it's interesting that the ViewII, built by CAF, has a recently delivered cousin in the British MK-5 cars. CAF built them in Spain and delivered quite timely, but they are having an awful time getting them to work right. Do a news search for the Caledonian Sleeper, there is all kind of talk of big delays and cancellations. Have we seen any reliability issues with the new CAF cars? Granted it's hard to have such with baggage cars, but the diners?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
YAAY, thanks to Mr. Dunville, I see this topic returning to discussion of CAF equipment and away from F&B.

The Caledonian issues are not the same as with the V-II Boxcars as noted, and with one spare for each assigned, the Diners are well "covered".

I still think the V-II's are the worst car boondoggle Amtrak has faced (locomotives will likely always be the SDP-40). Say your prayers for the Acela II.
  by gokeefe
 
I think we have plenty of examples at Amtrak that are far worse. The delays are outrageous but the product seems to be pretty good.

Even without reference to Mr. Johnson's favorite trainsets there are pretty good arguments to be made with regards to the LRC cars, the SPV's and the more recent Nippon Sharyo bi-levels. Even the Horizon cars look like a pretty bad deal in retrospect given the freezing trainline doors and oxidizing aluminum skin.
  by bostontrainguy
 
We all know that there are expected delays with any rail car delivery. Amtrak seems OVERLY patient when it comes to CAF and the Viewliner IIs. I just wish that the powers-that-be were more patient and worked with NIppon Sharyo with the bi-level order since those cars were more important for their use in the planned regional service as well as the future incarnation of the Superliner III which is very important for Amtrak's future long distance equipment needs.
  by gokeefe
 
I've turned that question over a few times myself. The problem with CAF apparently was change orders from Amtrak. NS was an engineering design flaw. I think Amtrak rightly figured no one else would rebid the Viewliners at the recession era price they're getting them for. The bi-levels were a different question entirely. NS failed to deliver a specification that was contract compliant. Hard to argue for a contract modification when there's an active assembly line elsewhere with a better product. I'm guessing Sumitomo probably offerred some significant concessions just to save face.
  • 1
  • 291
  • 292
  • 293
  • 294
  • 295
  • 323