• Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

  • 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
 
They are, east point, and American railroads have generally opted for nose-hung motors which are half supported by the axle (unsprung) and half by the spring-mounted truck frame. They’re supposed to be a lot easier to maintain and replace that way, and the extra axle weight didn’t matter too much because American roads had previously used such heavy steam locomotives.

It wouldn’t be the first time Amtrak used body-mounted motors though - the GG-1 used six of them.
  by Acela150
 
If you are a subscriber to Trains Magazine the September issue (which is the issue just mailed) has an article about the new Acela sets. If you are not a subscriber it should be hitting shelves in the next 2 weeks. A family friend says that the article is good and has some good photos.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Acela150 wrote: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:36 pmThe first will go to TTCI in Colorado and the second will head to Philly.
The same as 1999 when the first Acela trainsets were rolling out of Barre (power units were built in Plattsburgh, assembly and final inspection of trainsets in Vermont). The "prototype" trainsets were delivered first in 1999, but last accepted (2002).
  by Greg Moore
 
I'm really pleased with the progress on the Acela IIs. I mean I can actually imagine riding them in a few years.
Nice deal.
It'll be quite nice when Amtrak has 28 of them!
  by Acela150
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:07 pm
Acela150 wrote: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:36 pmThe first will go to TTCI in Colorado and the second will head to Philly.
The same as 1999 when the first Acela trainsets were rolling out of Barre (power units were built in Plattsburgh, assembly and final inspection of trainsets in Vermont). The "prototype" trainsets were delivered first in 1999, but last accepted (2002).
Correct. TTCI tests all sorts of new equipment. 2 of ACS-64 units were sent there for testing.
Greg Moore wrote: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:48 pm I'm really pleased with the progress on the Acela IIs. I mean I can actually imagine riding them in a few years.
Nice deal.
It'll be quite nice when Amtrak has 28 of them!
Currently the plan calls for half hourly service in rush hour between WAS-NYP. What rush hour is to Amtrak, only they know. A guess says that rush hour service would also have an hourly train to Boston.

This contract seems to be moving along much better then the first contract, as their were so many moving parts to the last contract. As well as FRA regulations that were being met for the first time ever that no builder had even thought of trying to meet.
  by Greg Moore
 
An article on the new cars: Take a peek at Amtrak’s posh new Acela cars

Pull quote:
The cafe car is significantly redesigned, with an emphasis on self-service. Cabinets will hold food people can pick up, and there eventually may be a self-checkout option on the trains. There’s still a service counter, and for the time being, Amtrak plans to continue having a staff person provide service for hot foods and alcohol.
BTW, one notable difference I'm seeing with the new cars and it's been mentioned in a few places is the overhead bins will go back to the open style. I recall reading someone here a few years ago commenting with certainty that all future cars would be required to have closed overhead bins. Guess not.
  by Matt Johnson
 
The bright colors and bright LED lighting are a little too NJ Transit-ish for my tastes. I like the darker tones and woodgrain finish in the cafe car on the current Acela. But as long as those lights aren't obnoxiously bright at night, the new interiors don't look too bad.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Train Guy, "we care", but a lot of others "just plain don't".

Here are recent incidents of indifference to the travel experience by others include a flight ORD to LGA where I was assigned an asile and the fellow in the window seat had pulled the shade and gone to sleep. With many other shades pulled, I had no concept of which runway the aircraft was taxiing to as well as direction of the takeoff and departure. The "Gift of the Magi", or irony of it all was he woke up on approach to LGA, raised the shade, and said to me "you wanted to look out" to which I kind of said "yeah". "I would have gladly swapped seats". "But you were asleep" and I like to look out". "Oh heavens, I can sleep anywhere".

Another was just this month. Traveling on OBB from Innsbruck, AT to St Anton/Arlberg, the only seat I could find was rear facing to view the ascent to the Arlberg tunnel along the Rosanna River. This (English speaking) lady was facing forward. When she saw I wanted to look out, she says "it's just another river" and then how when flying, she always has an Asile seat (I'm not sure she knows what Coach is) and "if I'm asleep and we get near St.Anton, could you wake me up?". GRRR; but she was there first.

So it appears that much of the population away from the railfan community could care less. On the PRR side, how much scenery is there to see (OK, Philly from Zoo, the Chesapeake from Havre de Grace. Bennett Levin's "Fire Anderson" sign)?
  by EuroStar
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:50 am A cafe car with no seating, seats permanently facing backwards, poorly placed seats with the view blocked by a wall . . . This is an improvement?
It is all design compromises that are all reasonable.
In Europe and on much of the new US commuter equipment half the seats always face backwards. While there are a few who get real motion sickness from going backwards, the majority of the population handles that fine. On top of that going backwards with the seat supporting your neck is best in head-on collision (why do you think car seats for babies are re always backwards?). I personally always prefer a backward going seat over a forward going one and indeed I never figured out why all seats are forward facing on a plane.

"view blocked by a wall..." What is the alternative? Leave the interior car space empty? That wall is there for a reason. It is either structural or there is a door pocket inside. I am quite sure they did not remove a window just so they can save some money. Indeed the preference probably goes the other way as more windows provide more evacuation routes in case of accidents. They just did not have a choice about having a window there.

As for the cafe car seating, that might be down to economics. I am not sure.
  by x-press
 
People need to come off the whole "business travelers don't care about windows" schtick.

While I certainly agree that most business travelers are not gaping out windows for hours with rail atlases and scanners in hand, I have plenty of anecdotal evidence that they do appreciate scenery (particularly New England), the larger windows compared to Amfleet, and seat orientation.

- I have heard many conversations in Acela First Class discussing where we are and the nice views (every year to get back up to wife/kids vacationing up north, plus business trips in a past life).

- Even when not discussing, I note a lot of eyes appreciating the views from Hell Gate, the shoreline around Westerly, and others.

- Even when not staring out the windows, it is nice to have them. It is nice to look up from the laptop from time to time and clear one's head. It is nice to experience some level of natural light. I don't stare out the windows of my house like Jimmy Stewart, but that doesn't mean I'm going to brick them off to save climate control costs. I don't position chairs to stare at walls if I can help it.

- Even in commuter service (which I take daily), with passengers that have far lower expectations than Acela passengers, the forward facing seats almost always go first. Longer distance trains have rotated seats for a long time, and it wasn't to accommodate railfans. Amtrak will do what they do, but I see no need to self-flaggelate for daring to want better, or actually wanting to enjoy travel.

- Finally, I would note that for the overseas examples provided by Mr Norman, trains in those countries are often far more a way of life. Even on the vaunted corridor here, train travel for many Amtrak passengers is still something of a "novelty" compared to overseas. I can see them being a bit more jaded.
  by electricron
 
I think way too many complain about forward vs backward seats, window vs aisle seats, etc.
Some suggest riding backwards makes them sick, do babies get sick riding backwards?
As long as you can look out the windows, does it matter where you sit?
The closer to the center, the easier it is to look out both sides. You get an unobstructed view out your window, but there are more obstructions looking out the window on the other side.
Is it better watching the scenery approaching getting larger, or watching the scenery receding getting smaller?
That can easily be influenced by where the sun is, in your eyes or behind you.
What helps most is having larger windows.

Is it really safer riding backward than forward? Depends upon what type of injury you wish to avoid. Backwards is better for avoiding whiplash and head injuries, forward is better for avoiding missile injuries to your face, especially your eyes.
Almost in every case on Amtrak trains, rearward facing seats have a table or some other obstruction for a quick person to hide behind.

Learn to live life as it comes, appreciate what you have, be willing to share or take turns, and do not expect to have everything your way every time. Ask any twin what it means to share....
  by Acela150
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:50 am A cafe car with no seating, seats permanently facing backwards, poorly placed seats with the view blocked by a wall . . . This is an improvement?
The seats in the cafe are rarely used.

It should also be noted that the view blocked by a wall is a mock up. It's NOT the final design of what the car will look like. The mock up's are not a full car. It just shows the public what the cars will look like as far as seating etc.
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