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  #1341  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2017, 5:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Great. Get on with it!

I wonder if Siemens will just adapt their high-level Brightline/"Viaggio Comfort" design for low platforms, or if they will engineer an FRA-compliant version of the low-floor "Viaggio Light" design used in Israel.

Level boarding would really make the Hiawatha feel more like a commuter train...

Either way, the new Siemens cars will certainly gel with the new Siemens locomotives much better than the bilevels would have. Sleeker is always better.
They will look better, just like the Brightline trains with a snub nose on the locomotive. But that will not be better relative to the number of seats on a train.
Some math, assuming the newer replacement cars have the same number of seats.
Existing Surfliners coach cars have 89 seats per car.
Existing Amfleet I coach cars have 72 seats per car.
130 x 89 = 11,570
137 x 72 = 9,864
I have no idea exactly how many seats would have been installed in either of the new cars which is why I used the existing cars as examples. Therefore, most likely the new fleet will have 1,706 fewer seats now, the equivalent of 23.6 single level cars with 72 seats.
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  #1342  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2017, 7:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
It's official. The planned use of bi-level coaches on Amtrak regional trains in multiple trains is out in favor of single level cars built by Siemens after bi-level crash worthiness proves too difficult to accomplish under FAA guidelines:


Thursday, November 09, 2017

Siemens in, Nippon Sharyo out of Caltrans pact



I for one am thrilled. Not only do they look better, single-level coaches function better considering bi-level coaches are not needed on longer distance routes with no capacity issues.
The NGEC had to alter the weight limitations on the PRIIA 305-003 single-level specifications in order for Siemens' equipment to be compliant.

-Single-level coach weight went from 104,000lbs. to 126,200lbs., an increase of 21%.

-Single-level cafe car weight went from 111,000lbs. to 133,200lbs., an increase of 20%

-Single-level cab/baggage car weight went from 108,000lbs. to 137,200lbs., an increase of 27%.

One wonders if Nippon-Sharyo had been given the same increases in allowable weight whether Rochelle would be turning out new bi-levels today.

Siemens has been angling for a while to convince Amtrak that the Viaggio Comfort should be the Amfleet replacement car. This gives Siemens a chance to showcase the car without Amtrak having to spend a dime to test them out. Plus if an acceptable bi-level design does appear (Amtrak needs a Superliner replacement at some point as well) Caltrans/IDOT/MDOT could sell their single-level cars to Amtrak for long-distance coaches.

Last edited by Mister Uptempo; Nov 10, 2017 at 10:05 AM.
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  #1343  
Old Posted Jul 13, 2018, 9:47 PM
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  #1344  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2018, 12:54 PM
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still showing 5 hour + travel times for amtrak between st. louis and chicago...ugh, still waiting...
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  #1345  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2018, 8:57 PM
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still showing 5 hour + travel times for amtrak between st. louis and chicago...ugh, still waiting...
Unfortunately wasn't supposed to happen until 2019 when UP gets PTC fully operational on the route.
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  #1346  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2018, 9:42 PM
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Yeah I wanna go visit St. Louis sometime, but don't wanna sit on the train for that long.
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  #1347  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 4:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Thursday, November 09, 2017

Siemens in, Nippon Sharyo out of Caltrans pact
Three years later... It's okay I guess. And what's with all that clunky mechanical stuff on the undercarriage? Brightline doesn't have those.


source: IDOT Twitter
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  #1348  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 1:15 PM
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^I think they just haven't attached that body panel on yet. If you look closely there are tons of bolt holes and wedge shaped brackets that will accept it. Probably just left off during testing phase.

Looks good overall. Pretty much despise the paint scheme though.
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  #1349  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 2:57 PM
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No, they appear on the line drawings and renderings I've seen as well, for both Midwest and California. Missed opportunity to add that skirt piece. I'm sure Amtrak has some bogus rationale about making it easy to service/inspect...

Also apparently the Midwest cars will be set up as married pairs with an open gangway, either cafe/economy or business/economy. That's why there is the windowless door plug, because passengers are expected to use the adjacent door in the next car. Not as good as a full open-gangway trainset, but kinda nice regardless.
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Last edited by ardecila; Aug 5, 2020 at 7:10 PM.
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  #1350  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 7:02 PM
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I could be wrong, but I really hope you are. It does seem like a waste of time and a bit strange though to install the partial truck shrouds but not the rest of the undercarriage paneling.
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  #1351  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 4:54 AM
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Just for reference, the California cars have gone into testing without a undercarriage panel.
https://youtu.be/kHlrxut4Wcw?t=276
I agree it looks like they plan to attach something there later - perhaps they are backlogged at the factory?

Anyway, I like the paint scheme, and I can't wait to see how it matches with the locomotives!

Also the folding stairs mechanism (in the linked video) is pretty neat. Probably a real maintenance headache during the winter, but it looks nice in California.
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  #1352  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 5:26 AM
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^ The steps are neat, but definitely add a few seconds to dwell time.

The good thing is it looks like the new cars will be compatible with high(er) 22 inch platforms in the future if the stairs are not deployed - similar to the traps of old but without the need for a conductor to manually lower them. Not that the freight railroads will ever allow taller platforms in the Midwest...
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  #1353  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 7:59 PM
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Are the new cars enough to shorten the travel time? Amtrak still has the trip scheduled at 5 hours 20 minutes.
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  #1354  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 8:13 PM
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The windows should be bigger..that's my only complaint.
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  #1355  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2020, 7:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
The windows should be bigger..that's my only complaint.
Why do you need larger windows? What scenery is there around the midwest that requires a larger window to view?
Windows will never be efficient insulating the interior climate from the exterior climate as insulating material between walls. Larger windows require larger heaters in the winter and larger air conditioning units in the summer, all the additional equipment adding operating costs for Amtrak. Which either increases the subsidy the taxpayers must pay or the fares every passenger must pay. Being as efficient as possible is in everyone’s best interest. At some point, the window size balances views with efficiency. These window sizes on these rail cars made by Siemens are common in Europe as well. Yet I do not hear Europeans screaming for larger windows.
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  #1356  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2020, 7:55 PM
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Those windows are plenty big. They're pretty much the int'l standard.
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  #1357  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2020, 4:54 AM
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hah, walking home from Jim's Original last night I think I saw one of these trainsets. Sorry for the crappy phone photo:

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  #1358  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2020, 5:55 AM
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Wow, didn't realize these would arrive so soon. Once again, it does not appear that the graphic on the loco will line up with the graphic on the coaches.

Hopefully at least the rooflines match up, unlike California where they stuck a taller wind deflector on all the Chargers to run them with bilevels (and they look absurd with single level coaches).
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  #1359  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2020, 8:47 AM
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Awesome photo!
I wouldn't sweat it about the stripes matching up - they've been planning for the stripes to match for a long time:


Of note: 1) There are no body pannels below the cars in this old rendering, and 2) The red stripe doesn't match between locomotives and coaches. On the actual coaches, the stripe was made taller and thicker, presumably so that they would match better.
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