Viewliner II Delivery/Production

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Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Tadman » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:54 pm

As proposed by Acelephillies, this thread is for issues relating to production and delivery of the current order of Viewliners. The old thread was a bit broad in scope and long in tooth.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:09 pm

This really should have gone in the old topic, Amtrak.com is already publishing the amenities in the Viewliner Train Coaches at the definition of "Reserved Coach Seat" linked from a Fare page:
extra legroom, at-seat foot rests & curtains, at-seat leg rests
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby lirr42 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:19 pm

What "Viewliner Train Coaches" are you talking about, Mr. Boylan? The current Amfleet II coach seats currently have all of those amenities. There isn't even going to be a Viewliner Coach (the order is only for sleepers, bag-dorms, baggage cars, and diners). Why would Amtrak advertise a car on their fare page that doesn't even exist?
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:31 pm

Amtrak doesn't clearly state that "Viewliner trains" have other kinds of coaches in them, but does list in a table that those trains' coaches have more amenities than in a "Short / Medium-Distance Train"
Reserved Coach Class Seat
Reserved Coach Seat
Advance reservations (by train, not by individual seat) are required. Short / medium-distance trains and single-level / Viewliner trains offer reserved coach seating featuring wide comfortable seats with fold down trays and many other amenities.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Greg Moore » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:03 pm

JimBoylan wrote:Amtrak doesn't clearly state that "Viewliner trains" have other kinds of coaches in them, but does list in a table that those trains' coaches have more amenities than in a "Short / Medium-Distance Train"
Reserved Coach Class Seat
Reserved Coach Seat
Advance reservations (by train, not by individual seat) are required. Short / medium-distance trains and single-level / Viewliner trains offer reserved coach seating featuring wide comfortable seats with fold down trays and many other amenities.


I think you're parsing that incorrectly. I think it's intended to be single-level trains that include Viewliners.

The single-level trains include comfortable seats, etc. the Viewliners "many other amenities"
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby SouthernRailway » Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:10 pm

Just curious to see if anyone has heard any updates re: the first delivery date for the Viewliner IIs? I'm really looking forward to them!

Thanks.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby gaspeamtrak » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:28 am

SouthernRailway wrote:Just curious to see if anyone has heard any updates re: the first delivery date for the Viewliner IIs? I'm really looking forward to them!

Thanks.

Same here! Where the hell are they?
It seems like we know more about "Area 51 " than the "Viewliner 2" order!
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:49 am

Again I must note, where has Amtrak ever used the name Viewliner in connection with these new cars?

While these cars are evidently to the same exterior design as are the existing Viewliners, lest we forget that eighty of these cars are 'non-rev' - 55 Bagg and 25 Bagg-Dorm. CAF has used the term, but then they are not the final say for their fleet name.

Finally, lest we forget, RAILPAX was believed to have been the NRPC's trade name; well, with about two weeks notice, that became a 'non-name'.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby electricron » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:12 pm

Yes, there are differences between the coaches used on Viewliner (LD) trains and regional trains. LD trains use Amfleet IIs while regional trains use Amfleet Is. There are differences in doors, number and type of seats.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Matt Johnson » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:34 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Again I must note, where has Amtrak ever used the name Viewliner in connection with these new cars?

While these cars are evidently to the same exterior design as are the existing Viewliners, lest we forget that eighty of these cars are 'non-rev' - 55 Bagg and 25 Bagg-Dorm. CAF has used the term, but then they are not the final say for their fleet name.


This is good enough for me to feel confident in calling them Viewliners. Should Amtrak decide on a different name at some future point, so be it. After all, I remember a time when people referred to the P40's as AMD-103's! :)

I am a huge fan of the Viewliners, and I am very happy to see this long overdue expansion of the Viewliner fleet. I will say that after traveling 7,943 miles or so (if I did my math right) on Amtrak in the last few days, most of that aboard Superliners, I do have a new appreciation for those cars. I found them to be smooth riding and more stable than I expected - no sense of being top-heavy as I had once thought might be the case. Some of the passengers with more limited mobility did struggle a bit with getting up and down the stairs. I took a full bedroom out to the west coast on the Capitol Limited and Southwest Chief, and then a roomette on the Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, and Capitol on the return. The roomettes are a little smaller than I expected, having once traveled in a Viewliner roomette. The Viewliner version does give more room for baggage storage, and of course also offers the sink. (I'm perfectly ok with the decision not to have individual roomette toilets in the new Viewliners.) Anyway, I guess my point is that now having ridden almost every type of car in the Amtrak fleet, I think I would go with the Viewliner as my favorite and I hope that the option for additional cars does get exercised while the assembly line is still open.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Woody » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:48 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:Just curious to see if anyone has heard any updates re: the first delivery date for the Viewliner IIs?


Are you expecting any announcements of spending while the crazies have shut down the government and want to stop it from paying its bills? No? So please stand bye. LOL.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Arlington » Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:52 pm

Has anyone ever tried to break out the unit cost of the Viewliner II order by car type? They can't really all cost the same, so some will likely cost above average and so some must cost below the average of $2.3m per car.

As an example, a baggage car is mostly a "shell" and you'd expect it to cost less than a fully-fitted out sleeper which has the material and labor costs of plumbing and interior finish (and windows).

Given stated values for the order from Wikipedia, its 130 cars at $298m total to get that $2.3m per car. But, depending on how much the common parts cost ("tube" and road gear) it might actually work out like this:

Units Type $m Each $m Total
_25 Sleepr______2.7____67.5
_25 Diners______2.6____65.0
_25 BagDm______2.4____60.0
_55 Baggage____1.9___104.5
130 "Typical"____2.3___297.0

I began with the premise that almost no matter how you do the math, the Baggage-Dorm car should have a cost "in the middle" (both near the arithmetic mean, and probably at the median too), so I have kept it roughly at the cost of a "typical" car. It is the most typical, being "half" like the 55 Baggage Cars and "half" like the 25 Sleepers (and entirely like itself ;-), it is a good proxy for 105 cars out of 130 in the order.

I could be high on the diners--a commercial kitchen might cost $200k on land and $400k on a train. If I am high on the diners that $ would have to go elsewhere to keep the overall average the same. What looks reasonable?

Anyone have a good price for a "Viewliner Shell"? My model, above, sort of assumes its about $1.7m and that to build out a baggage car costs $200k and to build out the sleepers costs $1m. Seem fair?
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby electricron » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:45 pm

Arlington wrote:Has anyone ever tried to break out the unit cost of the Viewliner II order by car type? They can't really all cost the same, so some will likely cost above average and so some must cost below the average of $2.3m per car.

As an example, a baggage car is mostly a "shell" and you'd expect it to cost less than a fully-fitted out sleeper which has the material and labor costs of plumbing and interior finish (and windows).

Given stated values for the order from Wikipedia, its 130 cars at $298m total to get that $2.3m per car. But, depending on how much the common parts cost ("tube" and road gear) it might actually work out like this:

Units Type $m Each $m Total
_25 Sleepr______2.7____67.5
_25 Diners______2.6____65.0
_25 BagDm______2.4____60.0
_55 Baggage____1.9___104.5
130 "Typical"____2.3___297.0

I began with the premise that almost no matter how you do the math, the Baggage-Dorm car should have a cost "in the middle" (both near the arithmetic mean, and probably at the median too), so I have kept it roughly at the cost of a "typical" car. It is the most typical, being "half" like the 55 Baggage Cars and "half" like the 25 Sleepers (and entirely like itself ;-), it is a good proxy for 105 cars out of 130 in the order.

I could be high on the diners--a commercial kitchen might cost $200k on land and $400k on a train. If I am high on the diners that $ would have to go elsewhere to keep the overall average the same. What looks reasonable?

Anyone have a good price for a "Viewliner Shell"? My model, above, sort of assumes its about $1.7m and that to build out a baggage car costs $200k and to build out the sleepers costs $1m. Seem fair?

But your assumption may be wrong, baggage cars have stronger floors to carry the extra weight, they aren't necessarily cheaper to build, it could be the other way around.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Arlington » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:07 pm

electricron wrote:But your assumption may be wrong, baggage cars have stronger floors to carry the extra weight, they aren't necessarily cheaper to build, it could be the other way around.

I don't consider your offer of an "aren't necessarily" to be sufficient to say my assumption is "wrong," (as you initially did) particularly because the cost of basic materials (like steel beams) is an ever-decreasing share of the cost of making things, with fabrication (assembly labor) and electronics and tech-components (e.g. plumbing electronics) taking an increasing share. (electronics is up to 10% to 15% of the price of a car)

Do you have recent data? Any breakdown of Viewliner II specs or materials? Part of what makes this interesting is that so few baggage cars (or even Cabbage) have been built since the last of today's Heritage units were made in 1956.

Days-to-produce would be a good proxy: the more days, the higher the costs. In fact, I might just estimate that a Viewliner sleeper takes 27 days ($100k per day) while a Baggage Car takes 19 ($100k per day)...or something in proportion to that, where we can turn production days into cost or cost into production days at some dollars-per-day estimate.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby ApproachMedium » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:46 pm

To confirm the name, these are considered Viewliner II cars. Mechanical refers to them this way.

Also keep in mind the first two test cars were supposed to be delivered LAST September. It was pushed back to this September and I still have yet to see a thing more than some factory photos of the things.
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