Overnight Coach Configuration Ideas

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Overnight Coach Configuration Ideas

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:01 am

jp1822 wrote:
ExNYC63 wrote:Does anyone know if ALL the Viewliner Sleeper I's are in service or are some in long
them storage with wreck damage.

Supposedly Amtrak will restore overnight service on the NEC with the Viewliner II Sleeper order.!

Maybe Amtrak should be considering something like this for 66/67? Seems like a good match for the market. Imagine Amtrak putting these in a Bombardier double-decker. How many of these would fit? How about a trial in an Amfleet shell? That would free 2 Viewliners for more suitable longer routes.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby electricron » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:19 am

bostontrainguy wrote:Maybe Amtrak should be considering something like this for 66/67? Seems like a good match for the market. Imagine Amtrak putting these in a Bombardier double-decker. How many of these would fit? How about a trial in an Amfleet shell? That would free 2 Viewliners for more suitable longer routes.

How many railroads in the world offer this accommodation? Zero!
Ever wondered why they don't? Could the answer be profitability?
Who would ever want to pay more in fares for so little privacy?

What trains 66/67 needs is Viewliner sleepers that provide roomettes and rooms people are willing to pay more for.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:35 am

From Crowne Plaza Piitter Salzburg--

Mr. Trainguy, I have to concur with Ron's immediate as it seems as if what remains of Continental Europe Sleeping Car business is directed to the Econosnooze market. During my two day trips over here to St. Anton am Arlberg and Vienna, I did see Liegewagons around and they all were marked 2nd Class. The business overnight market, just like Stateside, has gone to the airlines or HSR with a hotel stay.

Now if that photo you posted is Business Class on a B787, it looks like they are crimping on passenger space. At my age, I couldn't even think of an overseas flight in less than Business, and I don't think I'd like it (United is revamping Business with a brand name Polaris and I'm sure that is where they want to go).

But back on the rails Stateside, there have been many an Econosnooze tried over the years - and they all flopped. The only one making any economic sense was the Budd 24-8 configuration. But with Amtrak's "obsession" with standardized everything, those cars simply had no fit - especially considering that there are enough souls willing to pony up and give Sleepers an.occupancy rate higher than found in Coach.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby F40CFan » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:25 am

Its too bad they didn't come up with a V-II slumbercoach configuration. The old slumbercoaches held almost as many passengers as a long distance coach and could be had for a modest fee over the coach fare. They could be offered without frills (buy your own meals in the diner). I believe they were popular, as every time I rode one it was full. However, standardization would shoot this down.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Bob Roberts » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:07 am

When will Amtrak realize that there is no reason they can't put low-end airline-style lie flat seats in a business class car and charge double normal coach costs? There is plenty of room and this would accommodate the slumbercoach crowd.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby F40CFan » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:49 am

Perhaps, but the slumbercoach had privacy and a toilet and sink.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:13 pm

electricron wrote:What trains 66/67 needs is Viewliner sleepers that provide roomettes and rooms people are willing to pay more for.


66/67 is a different animal from all other overnight trains. You board at 9 PM, grab a cocktail in the lounge, retire to your mini-suite, work on your laptop for a couple of hours and then lay down and go to sleep. There's not even anything to watch out the window. You're up at 6 AM and off the train at 7 AM. You don't need a "big" two seat "room". I think plenty of people will pay for the ability to lay flat and get a good night's sleep for a few extra bucks. Sleeping in coach next to a snoring stranger isn't the best experience and paying for a roomette is expensive.

Airlines are not the most pleasant experience anymore and the "pay for every little thing" is getting worse and worse. Hotel rooms in the northeast are very very expensive. I think there is a market here.

Also, as I mentioned, this would free up two Viewliners II for more revenue generation on longer, more suitable routes.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby gokeefe » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:18 pm

Everytime I think of 66/67 having sleeper service again all I can see is dollar signs. Hopefully that intuition turns out to be correct. I wonder, if given the flexibility, just how much Amtrak would allow that train to grow.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby electricron » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:08 pm

bostontrainguy wrote:66/67 is a different animal from all other overnight trains. You board at 9 PM, grab a cocktail in the lounge, retire to your mini-suite, work on your laptop for a couple of hours and then lay down and go to sleep. There's not even anything to watch out the window. You're up at 6 AM and off the train at 7 AM. You don't need a "big" two seat "room". I think plenty of people will pay for the ability to lay flat and get a good night's sleep for a few extra bucks. Sleeping in coach next to a snoring stranger isn't the best experience and paying for a roomette is expensive.


Why do you think snoring passengers are only in coach? Wake up! Snoring passengers are also in Business and First class cars. That's why having even the thinnest of partitions is desired by those paying more and wishing a good nights sleep.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby rohr turbo » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:21 pm

I too believe a 21st century Slumbercoach with airline-style pods as pictured would be successful.

Airlines have trained us to a) use shared bathrooms and b) value a semi-private lie-flat seat at $2000+.

Probably many single travellers who wouldn't shell out for a roomette would happily trade up to one of these. And it sure appears you could efficiently fit many more of these per car than roomettes (with their somewhat wasted 2nd bed, toilet, sink, door, etc.)
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby gokeefe » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:57 pm

I think the airline comparisons are dangerous. We are talking about accommodations typically provided to international or transcontinental travelers on corporate business over thousands of miles. Provision for these arrangements is justified because there simply isn't any other way to get from Los Angeles to Singapore overnight in relative comfort. This has the effect of concentrating high value travelers in a single mode. Railroads have no such advantage whatsoever. Amtrak would be delivering a product that would be in competition with three and four star accommodations readily available at virtually every single exit on I-95 up and down the entire East Coast. I'm not even going to begin to consider this kind of service out West.

Where I think Amtrak is potentially competitive is business travelers who see value in saving a day's driving on the interstate or dealing with the hassle of flying on the East Coast and traveling through very crowded airports. 66/67 has real potential there to provide an option for those who want to save themselves half a day lost at Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, New York or Boston airports.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby Bob Roberts » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:26 pm

We spend a significant amount of time here complaining that Amtrak Business Class is nothing more than a standard coach seat that is sold at a slightly higher price. It seems to me that the addition of lie flat seats in BC might be a realistic and feasible way to make business class travel a more attractive (and cost effective) alternative to standard coach travel.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby David Benton » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:13 pm

I think I've already mentioned that Queensland Railways have lie flat seats/pods. So zero Railways having it is not correct.
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby electricron » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:24 pm

Bob Roberts wrote:We spend a significant amount of time here complaining that Amtrak Business Class is nothing more than a standard coach seat that is sold at a slightly higher price. It seems to me that the addition of lie flat seats in BC might be a realistic and feasible way to make business class travel a more attractive (and cost effective) alternative to standard coach travel.

So you want Amtrak to provide an upscale lay flat seat for business class passengers so they can sleep "overnight" on just ONE specific train service, trains 66 & 67 on the NEC? None of the other "overnight" trains on the east coast and midwest have business class seats, they have first class sleeping compartments. Let's assume Amtrak ran with your proposal and actually spent a few million dollars refurbishing two of their business class Amfleet I rail cars with lay flat seats, one car for each train 66 & 67. How will they ever recoup their expenses? They certainly aren't going to advertise the service for so few trains, so few businessmen will ever learn about it. And if businessmen were ever going to spend more for it, they will certainly be disappointed when their neighbor in a nearby seat snores. They probably will wish they had a partition between the snorer and them and wished they had a sleeping compartment option Instead. Meanwhile, those business passengers that just wanted larger seats and hopefully a quieter ride, are going to get angry over the higher fares they had to buy for lay flat seats they didn't want or need.
Therefore, I suggest Amtrak would make more business class passenger unhappy than they would make happy. ;)
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Re: Viewliner II Delivery/Production

Postby electricron » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:25 pm

David Benton wrote:I think I've already mentioned that Queensland Railways have lie flat seats/pods. So zero Railways having it is not correct.

Does Queensland Railways offer any kind of sleeping compartments? Not on the trains with the luxury first class lay flat seats. Queensland cut the number of first class lay flat seat cars, from three per train to two per train because less than anticipated number of passengers were riding them. All the cuts reduced the train from 14 cars to 9 cars in length. Maybe they should have bought full sleepers instead?
Source> https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_of_Queensland

Here's a link to the layout of both the Rail Bed car and the Tourist class car.http://seniortravellertours.com.au/wp-c ... 00x128.jpg
Tourist class car has 51 seats plus one spot for a wheelchair. Max capacity 51
Rail Bed car has 19 rail bed seats. Max. capacity 19
You'll pay an extra $150 (Australian) for the privilege to use a Rail Bed seat. If there are two in your party, and extra $300. Might as well had booked a room or roomette and have some privacy, if there was one available.

Here's a link to a Viewliner sleeper car layout
http://www.craigmashburn.com/images/amt ... leeper.jpg
A Viewliner has 15 sleeping compartments, each with two beds and two chairs. Max. capacity 30
Last edited by electricron on Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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