Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:02 am

WASHINGTON – Amtrak has released a Request for Proposals today, for a new fleet of single-level passenger rail vehicles to replace Amfleet I cars, providing new equipment with contemporary rail amenities to better serve Amtrak customers. Amfleet I cars are used primarily on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and adjacent State Corridor routes, including Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Vermonter, Downeaster, Carolinian, Pennsylvanian, Keystone Service, Virginia Service and New Haven/Springfield Service.
“Nearly half of Amtrak’s annual ridership is comprised of trips along the Northeast Corridor and adjoining corridors, and this new state-of-the-art equipment will provide customers with an enjoyable and efficient travel experience,” said Amtrak Vice President of Corporate Planning Byron Comati.
Amenities will include improved Wi-Fi equipment and connectivity, improved seating, weather-tight doors and vestibules as well as freedom to move throughout the train conveniently. The modernized fleet will also feature large picture windows, improved climate control systems for passenger comfort and completely new designs for restrooms and passageways between cars. Also, the new rail equipment will feature bi-directional operating capability, which will minimize endpoint turnaround times and provide operating efficiency.
The new railcars and trainsets will include all necessary equipment for Positive Train Control technology and meet recently updated federal Tier I safety standards for equipment operating at speeds of up to 125 MPH. Also, the new equipment will adhere to all accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The new trainsets will replace Amtrak’s fleet of 470 Amfleet I and ex-Metroliner railcars. Amfleet I railcars are over 40 years of age, while Amtrak’s fleet of ex-Metroliner equipment entered service 50 years ago this week for Amtrak’s predecessor, Penn Central. The base order for the new replacements includes 75 trainsets or their railcar equivalents with options to provide equipment for future service growth along the NEC and other state-supported routes. While Amtrak has recently refurbished the interiors of its Amfleet I railcars with new seating upholstery and carpeting, the age of the fleet and industry-standard lead times for new equipment requires that the replacement effort for this work-horse fleet begin now.
The Amfleet I replacement is one more step in Amtrak’s plan to upgrade and enhance the passenger experience, complementing other onboard and in-station initiatives including: acquiring new, modern locomotives and Acela trainsets; ongoing improvements at New York Penn Station; opening the new Moynihan Train Hall in New York; and further development of stations in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:29 am

I could care less about Amtrak going the DMU route. Locomotive hauled trainsets are good. As for the NHV-SPG shuttles, hopefully, there will be enough brand new coaches ordered so that way, Amtrak can run longer shuttles out there. Passengers should not be getting turned away on a regular basis. I also hope that Amtrak is able to order enough cars to provide the maximum capacity for it's network, especially during Thanksgiving day weekend. If somebody has an Amtrak ticket to travel between Newark and Washington, DC, they should be riding in Amtrak equipement, not New Jersey Transit's.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Jeff Smith » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:35 am

So,they’re replacing a fleet that originally had 492 cars before wrecks, etc. I have these questions:

1. I couldn’t view the actual proposal on my pad, but the verbiage on the link seems to indicate that they may accept more than one bid/supplier for the 75 “train sets”. So it might not be a single, homogeneous fleet. Am I reading that right?

2. Bi-directional? I assume that means the seats will flip?

3. How specific are they being? Have they learned their CAF lesson on hamstringing builders?

4. They’re replacing the remaining Metroliner cab cars... are they planning on customizing some of these?

5. Did they make any specific requests for AmDinettes (Cafes)?

6. 75 sets... what does that translate to in cars? What’s the typical consist length? Interesting wording.

This will be interesting.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby zuckie13 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:41 am

I think I'm wondering whether "Also, the new rail equipment will feature bi-directional operating capability, which will minimize endpoint turnaround times and provide operating efficiency." means more than just seats flipping, Like maybe having cabs to do push pull. Needed for Keystone obviously, but also useful if they want to save time at Union Station and South Station by avoiding having to wye trains.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Matt Johnson » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:04 pm

As I recall, some of the California and midwest Siemens coaches will be semi-permanently coupled. I wonder if they're looking at that for the northeast.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby superstar » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:24 pm

It sounds like they want a carbon copy of Via's Siemens trainsets.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Train60 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:10 pm

I doubt that Amtrak is looking for seats that flip. A mix of seats facing one or the other way in each car is likely.

We should assume that this order will also include Cab cars and Bistro (sorry, Cafe) cars.

There is no typical consist length that applies to the entire network. It varies by line/service. e.g. Springfield Shuttles are 2-cars today, while on the NEC 8/9/10 seems to fairly normal.

Keep in mind that the new equipment will most likely not be compatible with the Budd Amfleet equipment. Simply put, the analog system on the Budd vehicles won't interface with the digital systems on the new vehicles. To do this for the transition would be a waste of money in my view.

Let's hope that Amtrak doesn't spend to much time and money over customizing equipment that is almost off-the-shelf in Europe today.

My hope is that they think about electronically managed reserved seats so that we can finally retire the paper seat check.

Yes, this will be interesting
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby ExCon90 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:30 pm

I must reluctantly agree with Train60 that they almost certainly mean permanently fixed seats, with half facing in the wrong direction regardless of the direction of movement. Not clearly written; let's hope the rest of it is more clearly expressed than that.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Ryand-Smith » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:32 pm

Train60 wrote:I doubt that Amtrak is looking for seats that flip. A mix of seats facing one or the other way in each car is likely.

We should assume that this order will also include Cab cars and Bistro (sorry, Cafe) cars.

There is no typical consist length that applies to the entire network. It varies by line/service. e.g. Springfield Shuttles are 2-cars today, while on the NEC 8/9/10 seems to fairly normal.

Keep in mind that the new equipment will most likely not be compatible with the Budd Amfleet equipment. Simply put, the analog system on the Budd vehicles won't interface with the digital systems on the new vehicles. To do this for the transition would be a waste of money in my view.

Let's hope that Amtrak doesn't spend to much time and money over customizing equipment that is almost off-the-shelf in Europe today.

My hope is that they think about electronically managed reserved seats so that we can finally retire the paper seat check.

Yes, this will be interesting


This is almost verbatim "We are ordering the Siemens Corridor equipment for the NEC". We know based on the Siemens information that they will have cab cars as part of the set, and semi permanent A/B cars. so this means that we expect every NEC train to now have a cab car as part of its rear. Semi coupled still allows for flexibility since we know they can do ABBA and still have a 3-4 car small shuttle, and allow for expansion, and it solves the issue of reversing once and for all.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mtuandrew » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:49 pm

Yep, I expect to see someone float married pairs, triples, or quads. If I were at an enterprising company with such an option, I’d offer the option of articulated coach-coach and cab/business-cafe pairs in one bid package, and single cars in another.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby Matt Johnson » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:58 pm

I assume this will include individual coaches as well that are compatible with Viewliner and other equipment for long distance services.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:00 pm

Jeff Smith wrote:2. Bi-directional? I assume that means the seats will flip?
...
6. 75 sets... what does that translate to in cars? What’s the typical consist length? Interesting wording.

This will be interesting.


2: Pull/push arrangement. Wye'ing the trains takes time, fuel, and thus money. That means two cabs per train, and half-opposite seating.

6: How many Charger and Sprinter locomotives will Amtrak have? 75 sets seems to match how many Chargers that will come online.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby electricron » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:43 pm

Let’s do some math, from the nes article
470 Amfleet I plus 15 Metroliner cabs 485 total cars.
Divide by 75 train sets = 6.47 new cars / set on average.
If you do not account for the 16 Metroliner cabs, here is the math:
470 / 75 = average of 6.27 cars per set

Amtrak has 75 Chargers on order for themselves and had bought 70-71 Sprinters, although a web site reports only 66 of them are active today.

I’m assuming Amtrak’s “bean counters” are considering the Multiple “States” order for 137 Siemens coach cars is replacing the 90+ Horizon cars, which is why there is no mention of replacing them in the RFP.

Which leaves Amtrak with the remaining decision on what they should order to replace their 139 Amfleet II coach cars?
A follow up order of Siemens coaches or an order of Viewliner based coaches?
Last edited by electricron on Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby mdvle » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:45 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:6: How many Charger and Sprinter locomotives will Amtrak have? 75 sets seems to match how many Chargers that will come online.


The previous Charger order was for the long distance services.

I think the media release is a bit confusing, but the "The base order for the new replacements includes 75 trainsets or their railcar equivalents" would seem to me to indicate that this is a complete train request like VIA did and not strictly a coach only request.
Last edited by mdvle on Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Budd Amfleet I Replacement Discussion

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:12 pm

train sets sans Engine, the 75 sets are for NEC and a few of feeder lines like Empire service and Harrisburg service and Amtrak already got new Electrics.

also there is no base order, a RFP (request for Proposal) is like asking your local car dealers for brochures and what is best price they offer. It has nothing to do with actual order.
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