Viewliner II Delivery/Production

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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby ApproachMedium » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:26 pm

mtuandrew wrote:But what if the engineer forgot to bring a roll of quarters? :wink:


If an automated commercial car wash can recycle most of its effluent dozens of times daily, Amtrak should be able to do the same.



Recycling train wash water is a bit more complicated, so is disposing of the hazardous waste that comes off of the cars. The problem here has nothing to do with any of that. The POS train washer in SSYD thats NOT automated right now is an original PRR relic thats been slightly updated over the ages. Its slated to be replaced whenever the MTA finally finishes ESA. Regardless of that getting finished or not, what about washing trains In Savanna? Miami? Pittsburgh?
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby bostontrainguy » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:27 pm

Recent news posted on Railway Age:

Various Amtrak sources have told Railway Age that the brand-new CAF USA-built Viewliner II dining cars are having their expensive cooking equipment removed and undergoing conversion into lounge cars.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:30 pm

I noted that same clip myself, Mr. Train Guy.

If Amtrak is serious about a discontinuation of Full Service Dining - at least on the Single Level LD's, then such a conversion would make sense. The car would be open to all; Sleeping Car passengers would pick up their "comp goodies" amd Coach passengers would purchase whatever - all from one "egalitarian" counter. If food storage could be built into the V-Bags, then likely half of the Kitchen area could be converted to passenger seating. All told, the converted car would resemble the A-I Cafe (counter at one end, tables throughout the rest of the car) in Warrington Lava Lamp livery.

The existing A-II Cafe could be converted to Coaches. Beech Grove has done it before.

But as always, why this could not have been thought out before the V-II's were delivered.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Matt Johnson » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:10 pm

The only way that would make sense as a lounge car is if they cut windows in the other half of the car and put in some swivel chairs or something.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby David Benton » Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:18 pm

Could use the storage space to ensure the cafe doesn't run out of food.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby jp1822 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:02 pm

bostontrainguy wrote:Recent news posted on Railway Age:

Various Amtrak sources have told Railway Age that the brand-new CAF USA-built Viewliner II dining cars are having their expensive cooking equipment removed and undergoing conversion into lounge cars.


Not surprised to hear this in the least! Remove the expensive equipment and then let it run as a lounge car wherever they can - long distance overnight trains or long distance day trains. I can't imagine Amtrak pouring any money, right now at least, into modifying or re-engineering any part of this car, but Mr. Norman's post seems spot on as well. Swivel chairs? Forget it!
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:15 pm

I think the big "wait and see" is whether the House will mandate reinstatement of Full Service Dining, which could be done by injecting necessary language into the Spending Bill. The Senate could kill it in their committee, but after that it is Joint Committee to reconcile differences. The President, short of vetoing the entire Spending Bill, can't do a thing.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby David Benton » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:27 pm

Outside of railfans , I doubt there is enough people complaining to their representatives, to warrant any action .
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby jp1822 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:47 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:I think the big "wait and see" is whether the House will mandate reinstatement of Full Service Dining, which could be done by injecting necessary language into the Spending Bill. The Senate could kill it in their committee, but after that it is Joint Committee to reconcile differences. The President, short of vetoing the entire Spending Bill, can't do a thing.


Amtrak seems to be stuck in sea of "wait and sea." They are smart to do this to a degree - in regards to any major modifications to the Viewliner II Diners. Surely, the modifications will re-purpose the Viewliner II Diner purchase - which was, to be short, a ho-hum continuation of the 1950s dining car model.

I also take pause to think about any warranties with CAF Amtrak will negate if they start making alterations to the "as delivered car." To me that's going to be a big hurdle (if they even care to think about it).....or Amtrak just voids the warranty and accepts responsibility of said cars as Amtrak modifies. No idea what warranties are involved, but there's bound to be something. Warranties on new equipment HAS saved Amtrak money in the past.

As I see it, the simplest thing would be to try and operate these Viewliner II Diner as a simple lounge car - double row of windows (check!), seating (booth seating - check!), tables and booth seating (Superliner Sightseers have them - check!), seating for 48 (less a potential four for the ADA modification that was done - check!), etc. Other added amenities and niceties would be great, but after just receiving a $2.5M brand piece of equipment (I believe that number still holds up even though it sounds low) that's a hard sell for this accountant and CFO to comprehend.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:19 pm

Guessing CAF is involved too, which would account for one diner still yet outstanding, and that both Amtrak and CAF are quite aware of what steps need to be taken to remove the kitchen equipment. If they are really smart, they will have planned specifically for a quick-change into cafe-lounge or diner lite format. Anderson can’t be the only person within NRPC who thought dining cars weren’t the wave of the future.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Tadman » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:36 pm

electricron wrote:
ThirdRail7 wrote:Not all places the trains operate have car washing facilities. Indeed, some trains may not get near them for days at a time.

Who's fault is it that Amtrak doesn't have enough washing facilities?


That's not such an easy issue. The Class 1's would flip if a wash rack were proposed on a main line. That limits the wash rack to maybe 10 places that are terminals with Amtrak property. Boston, NYC, DC, Philly, Miami, NOLA, Chicago, Detroit, LA, SFO, Portland, Seattle... And how many of those really need a rack when a nearby station has a rack? Not every point on the corridors need a wash rack.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Tadman » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:41 pm

Amtrak706 wrote:
Tadman wrote:
Matt Johnson wrote:
From a customer service perspective, it makes zero sense that overnight sleeper passengers can't expect at least the food quality of Acela first class.


Based on what? The Acela First passenger adds a big chunk of revenue to the bottom line, the Sleeper passenger takes a big chunk away.

Either way you look at it, I’ve had Acela First meals and they’re not that good, certainly not as good as the Sleeper meals under Wick Moorman. I’m not sure it’s a comparison you want to make in the first place.

Moorman did not change anything about Sleeper meals so I am not really sure what you are talking about. And how do you know that sleeper cars lose money? Amtrak's accounting practices are not exactly accurate.


The sleeper meals went significantly better under Moorman. As for sleepers losing money, that's a fact. The Acela trains cover their operating costs, the sleeper trains do not. I don't disagree that Amtrak's accounting is murky, but operating costs are a lot harder to fudge than overhead costs. The sleeper revenue does not cover costs of all of your meal, the Acela revenue does pay for your meal.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby gokeefe » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:52 pm

Tadman wrote:The sleeper revenue does not cover costs of all of your meal, the Acela revenue does pay for your meal.


End of story. Amtrak has spent almost 48 years trying to make this arrangement work. They gave it their best effort and then some more than once. People simply aren't willing to pay the full price necessary to cover costs.
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