Matt Johnson wrote:
This can be repeated on other routes too and would only bring more revenue in without burdening any cost - or no more cost than currently running it EMPTY to fill an axle requirement. Stupidest assignment for this car I've ever heard of. Brand new multi-million dollar state of the art passenger car rolling back and forth to fulfill an axle requirement and not open to anyone.
dgvrengineer wrote:Anyone heard anything about more car releases from CAF? Hopefully they will get out some more baggage-dorms and maybe a sleeper or two soon.
Nope, but I've seen recent photos of the prototype Viewliner diner 8400 being used along with old Heritage cars to meet axle count requirements in Illinois. Sickening.
And then Amtrak will complain that the "frame" is cracked or the car has excessive wear and tear and will need to be retired. To do this especially with the rebuilt prototype diner - wreckless.
Amtrak makes a HUGE investment in brand new Viewliner Diners (great viewing car etc.) only to see 11 in regular service and the rest either PARKED or being dragged around the Midwest to meet axle requirements for a given train? How much are they charging to dead-head it for axle requirement? Not trying to push to the states for a fee - stick it on a long distance day-train paired with a business car to try and get increased revenue. Do SOMETHING with these cars that are truly great, but nearly half the fleet is SITTING. I don't see Amtrak putting them on the Cardinal or Silver Star any time soon IMHO. And even at that, it's only an additional 6 Diners required. Amtrak's not in the mode of adding onboard dining staff, but rather subtracting and replacing with box meals. Don't even need a diner to that quite frankly! So even with 25 Viewliner diners delivered, plus Indianapolis (26 total), 17 would only be used in current single level LD service. And to serve boxed meals...........That's a reserve of over 30%, more than Amtrak requires. Diners as delivered is NOT how Amtrak plans to use them, plain and simple. What else can they be used for rather than totally re-doing the cars into cafe/lounges for more money? One suggestion proposed that wouldn't add any staff and perhaps enhance a service class/revenue.
Maybe things will change in the future, but WHAT can be done now on a simple level and serve passengers, not empty space just for axle requirement.
I know I'm late to the party and this thread was broken off from another, but I sincerely hope you're basing all of this on the fact they have not reassigned dining cars to the Star or Cardinal and not on the fact that someone saw 1 prototype, the 8400 being used as an axle count car.
I don't recall ANY other diner being in axle count service and the 8400 is "probably there" because there was a "problem" not worth fixing in the interior so instead of it sitting there, collecting rust, they are putting to use since the air brake inspections haven't run their length...like they have on a lot of the heritage bags.
Additionally, if you recall some of the earlier cars still had some mods which is why they started coming out of order. As such, when the later cars were put into service, the lower numbers cars came off line so they could receive their mods.
So, I'm not sure where you're getting all of this "sitting dining" cars conversation from....unless you are counting the protects that were assigned during the NYP track work projects.
As of now, no one has mentioned killing the dining car on the other trains....as of now... and if they do, perhaps you will see more of the sleeping lounge/contemporary service on the eastern trains. If not, they can use them as replacements for the cafes, which they can convert to much needed coaches for the eastern fleet.
There is plenty of work for these cars without providing additional, uneven service to one group while leaving another out.