Japan/Europe can figure out how to keep trains moving with minimal delay. Southwest does it all day long, thousands of times a day, with their 737s, at hundreds of different stations. We're asking Amtrak to figure it out at just TWO locations.
SURELY, Amtrak can figure it out.
Or, maybe, this is just a realization the Talgo trainset is not the appropriate equipment, if its blue water/black water tanks can't withstand a 300 passenger load for less than four hours. It's already bad enough the doors can't open automatically leading to deboarding delays at PDX/SEA as a Conductor has to walk around and open the doors (God forbid if you're in Car 9...)
Some really good points here.
First, when you're not incentivized to figure things out, the rate of innovation is much lower. Amtrak is not known for innovation, they are known for interia. The though that they would find a way to fast-turn trains is a stretch. This is why I like the Brightline mentality - they have to be scrappy and nimble to make it work and start making money, so fast turns is a good idea.
Regarding Talgos as the right equipment, I have plenty of thoughts there, too. The justification was the curvy ROW, but the curves are mostly north of Tacoma. The maintenance costs are high from what I understand, requiring a tech onboard at all time. I'm a bit surprised that the tanks can't seem to handle the load, as Talgos are used for overnight sleepers between Hendaye and Lisbon and Berlin and Moscow nightly.
If I were ODOT/WSDot, I'd ask Brightline or BN for a bid to run the service, and I'd look at Siemens Velaro train sets.