Budd "Slumbercoach" 24-8 Sleeper - Open Discussion

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Budd "Slumbercoach" 24-8 Sleeper - Open Discussion

Postby AmtrakPhill629 » Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:02 pm

Were these sleepers ever in Phase 4 paint?

http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/932-6364
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Postby D.Carleton » Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:26 pm

No. Me and my aching back wish they were still around but alas, no.
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Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:13 pm

Not only did any of these cars ever see Phase IV, none ever saw the "Heritage Fleet" HEP rebuild program.

There is even a possibility that none ever saw Phase III (equal sized Red White Blue), I just reviewed an April 1982 timetable and note their absence of being assigned to the Silver Star, which was the last "steam' train on the system. Evidently, the Slumbercoaches had been withdrawn earlier than that date.
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Postby John_Perkowski » Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:58 pm

FWIW, the double slumbercoach room (20 inch upper and lower berths hopper and stand), is one of three prototype rooms for Viewliner and Superliner Economy, Standard, or Roomette bedrooms:

The classic Pullman open section is the grandfather of the prototype, since this basic footprint (6'4" x 3'3") has not changed in the almost 150 years since the Pioneer (and 150+ years since #9).

The enclosed Pullman section of 1934, introduced on the car Overland Trail, is one of the immediate protoptypes of the Amtrak enclosed section (I didn't mean to say Amtrak enclosed section... NOT!!!). Unlike the Superliner enclosed section, the Pullman enclosed section of 1934 had a WASHSTAND.

The double slumbercoach room, designed by Budd in the 50s, was the last prototype for the current Amtrak enclosed section. The seats are about the same size, and it had both a hopper and a washstand. Definitely a more complete accomodation than the current Amtrak Superliner enclosed section, the Budd double slumbercoach room, save the upper berth windows (a feature borrowed from Pullmans of the heavyweight era and early lightweight era), is equivalent to the Amtrak Viewliner enclosed section.

I rode one of these in the 1972 90 day resurrection of the Chief. I'd rather have a standard double bedroom, two roomettes, or an open section!!!
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Postby Ken S. » Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:10 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Not only did any of these cars ever see Phase IV, none ever saw the "Heritage Fleet" HEP rebuild program.

There is even a possibility that none ever saw Phase III (equal sized Red White Blue), I just reviewed an April 1982 timetable and note their absence of being assigned to the Silver Star, which was the last "steam' train on the system. Evidently, the Slumbercoaches had been withdrawn earlier than that date.


They did see the "Heritage Fleet" HEP rebuild program and Phase III
http://hebners.net/amtrak/amtSLEEP/amt2056.jpg and
http://hebners.net/amtrak/amtSLEEP/amt2091.jpg
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Postby JoeG » Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:15 pm

When I was young and skinny, my girlfriend and I got a slumbercoach double bedroom. It was so cramped we upgraded to a regular double bedroom, which we found was comfortable. If they came back with slumbercoaches today, I would have to pass on them, even though the idea seems good.
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Postby D.Carleton » Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:39 pm

Sorry to differ Mr. Norman but several ex-Northern Pacific 24-8 slumbercoaches received HEP including the Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. I saw and rode them many times on the Silver trains through Ocala, FL. I'll take a slumbercoah over coach any day. Then again I'd stay home rather than ride a bus.
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Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Aug 13, 2005 4:15 pm

Evidently I am mistaken; that is why we have a Forum.
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Postby CNJ » Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:34 am

Somebody track down those Budd blueprints and dust them off.......

I think we could really use those plans right now.
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Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:57 am

I realize, Sgt. CNJ, that the Slumbercoach design does have its fans around here, and I further realize that it was the only economy sleeper arrangement that ever made a dime for any road (all others, including the Touralux on my MILW, were flops).

However, even after extending the due respect that you and the others who support the arrangement deserve, I must disagree.

First, let us be mindful the Slumbercoach was a product of a regulated industry environment. The fare was the fare and could only be changed after a burdensome process of seeking approval from a now defunct regulatory agency - the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Secondly, regulation notwithstanding, no passenger carrier had perfected demand pricing models to the extent they have been today. This perfection can of course be credited to (blamed on, anyone??) the device you are presently looking at.

As a result, adding any kind of economy sleeper, which allowing me to reiterate, the slumbercoach was the best of the bunch, would simply result in one more style of car for Amtrak to maintain with questionable revenue enhancement capacity. I think the best approach is to add more Sleepers perfected from the existing design, and allow demand pricing to accomodate those who "have their limits" on a Sleeping Car accomodation charge.

In closing, allow me to note that when Amtrak WISELY made the decision to have not less than two berths in any accomodation, that created the economy sleeper - it is known as double occupancy of a Roomette.
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Postby Ken W2KB » Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:37 am

The viewliners were designed to be modular, no? The intent was that Amtrak could vary the types of rooms if wanted to since there is a large panel that allows for moving modular rooms in and out. The idea was that Amtrak could have indentical cars (for maintenance purposes) with varying numbers of deluxe and standard bedrooms for different routes where desireable. But the extra modules were not built, and the idea seems to have been dropped.

It would seem possible to design an economy sleeper module ala the Slumbercoach to be used in the basic Viewliner carbody.
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Postby CNJ » Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:37 am

Thats very interesting....

I had always thought that Slumbercoaches...like the traditional Pullman Roomette, were for single occupancy.

The faring aspect is also interesting...I seem to remember that Slumbercoaches were ticketed not as first class (i.e. Pullman)accomodations....rather a passenger was ticketed at the coach rate, plus a modest surcharge for the Slumbercoach room.
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Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:44 pm

CNJ wrote:
I seem to remember that Slumbercoaches were ticketed not as first class (i.e. Pullman)accomodations....rather a passenger was ticketed at the coach rate, plus a modest surcharge for the Slumbercoach room.


You are correct.
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Budd Slumbercoach 24-8 Sleeper -- Open Discussion

Postby NellieBly » Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:57 pm

Slumbercoaches were definitely HEPped -- my last Slumbercoach trip (IIRC) was in 1992, on the northbound Crescent from Spartanburg, SC.

Amtrak started out with two types of Slumbers: ex NYC 16-10 cars (that may have been homebuilts) and ex-Q and NP cars (don't think GN had any) that were 24-8. I was a great fan of Slumbers and used them whenever they were available -- a bed and a private space for not much more than coach!

The original railroad concept was to treat the Slumbers as "coaches" -- passengers paid coach fare plus a supplement. In those days, the first class fare was higher than coach, plus you had to pay an accommodation charge.

There was one other car type that was sold as a "Sleepercoach" by SCL in the late 1960s -- a series of 16 duplex roomette, 4 bedroom cars, ex-B&O, named after birds (e.g. "Oriole"). They did enter Amtrak service -- I've seen one in Amtrak paint -- but I don't know whether Amtrak sold the space as "Slumbercoach" or sleeper, nor how long they lasted. But the 24-8 cars lasted until all Heritage sleepers were removed from service in the Downs era.
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Slumber

Postby jp1822 » Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:42 pm

Would I be correct in saying that the 24-8 designation would mean 24 roomettes and 8 bedrooms? The roomettes being either for one or two people, and the bedrooms for 2 people? Not too familiar with this designation. This seems like a LOT of rooms.

I never had the experinece of riding in a slumber sleeper? What were the rooms like? I assume some of the rooms were similiar to what VIA Rail designates as its Chataeu roomettes.

Sounds interesting - but tight!
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