Horizon Coach Refurbishment

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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby ApproachMedium » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:01 pm

Not that I know of. I would imagine with the new midwest cars coming online these things as horrible as they are, will be put to storage until bear and beech grove run out of room. With the lack of electric doors and stuffed together seats they are kind of useless on the NEC.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby gokeefe » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:22 pm

ApproachMedium,

I ask since I imagine you would probably know....how reliable is the air conditioning?
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby jp1822 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:07 pm

I think they would definitely head to storage. These cars were originally ordered to get Amtrak more cars on emerging corridors. With corridors again potentially growing, Amtrak may need them.

They'd also make for potentially good excursion cars.....as much as I don't like the cars, they would provide extra capacity for excursion runs without having to disturb current Amfleet assignments.....

Upstate NY Empire Corridor service could potentially use them. But it would be nice for all the Horizons to have leather seating and an overhaul on the lighting. The fluorescent lighting is just a killer.

Keep as extras.....
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby EricL » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:45 pm

gokeefe wrote:how reliable is the air conditioning?

Mostly works fine, as long as it is maintained. periodic freon replenishment, obviously. cleaning the condenser coils of debris is absolutely at least a yearly requirement.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:41 am

If FLDOT plays along(with CSX)the Jacksonville/Orlando/Tampa-Miami corridor service seem to be
the best place to use the Horizen Fleet,weather not too bad(just humid :( ),there is a demand for some
kind of intra -Fl service.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:17 am

jp1822 wrote:I think they would definitely head to storage. These cars were originally ordered to get Amtrak more cars on emerging corridors. With corridors again potentially growing, Amtrak may need them...

Mr. JP, I think a more on the mark regarding why Horizons was simply "on the quick and on the cheap".

As Mr. Backshop immediately suggests, the political breezes blowing from Tallahassee could blow differently (and after All Aboard Florida simply goes the way of Sunset East - service to begin on a date to be announced - and everybody start holding their breath on that one), possibly there will be intrastate JAX-MIA service along the FEC - 3-4 a day making at least.one stop in each county. That could be a good home for the Horizons to roll out their days.

But whatever negative is said of them, Amtrak is to be commended for finding a paint source that works. At least now they "look good" on the outside.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby ApproachMedium » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:31 am

gokeefe wrote:ApproachMedium,

I ask since I imagine you would probably know....how reliable is the air conditioning?


Not as reliable as amfleets. On the horizon cars its one main unit to feed both ends of the car. If the main unit goes out or has a refrigerant leak you loose AC in the whole car. It sucks. Its not what you want to give to states like Florida. They are best up north where they run now, and thats probably where they will stay. All other amtrak cars have completely separated dual zone AC systems which provide from both ends of the car. If one end dies, the other end can at least keep the car manageable.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby Tadman » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:05 pm

Perhaps the fleet becomes a surge fleet - on holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter) and for sporting events (Superbowl, 500, Final Four) it gets deployed to wherever needed. It could also add a bit of flexibility, at least for coaches, to consists. Right now the reasoning given for fixed consists is "there isn't enough cars to have consists respond to demands". When 88 midwest bilevels come into play, that's 88 Horizons that could be cherry picked and put on certain trains that have capacity issues such as LSL or CofNO. Further, a group of them could be dedicated "axle cars" for Carbondale service in response to CN/IC's minimum axle requirement on that line. Last week I saw twin baggage cars as axle-count-cars when they're short on the east coast. Go figure...
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:00 pm

Tadman wrote:Perhaps the fleet becomes a surge fleet - on holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter) and for sporting events (Superbowl, 500, Final Four) it gets deployed to wherever needed. It could also add a bit of flexibility, at least for coaches, to consists. Right now the reasoning given for fixed consists is "there isn't enough cars to have consists respond to demands". When 88 midwest bilevels come into play, that's 88 Horizons that could be cherry picked and put on certain trains that have capacity issues such as LSL or CofNO. Further, a group of them could be dedicated "axle cars" for Carbondale service in response to CN/IC's minimum axle requirement on that line. Last week I saw twin baggage cars as axle-count-cars when they're short on the east coast. Go figure...


Yeah...they'll be kept in ready-to-run condition because that's not hard to do with a fleet that's in decent condition. But nobody wants them on their state-sponsored route as a regular fleet, and Amtrak hates running them in regular service. Whether they're in shape for continued service or not, they just aren't good intercity cars and totally reflective of the budget-constrained era in which they were equired. First retirees on the single-level fleet outside of the short-timer Comet IB's.

And I can't see the states looking at these for conversion to commuter rail cars, either, the way all the remaining single-level users are aggressively purging their likeminded "Comet-class" makes for bi-levels. They'd be perfect for Iowa Pacific to acquire, though.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby gokeefe » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:46 pm

Now that the Caltrans/IDOT purchase appears to be moving forward here is a refersher on the current plans for the Horizon Cars from Amtrak's Capital Investment Plan for Amtrak Equipment Deployed in State Corridor Service published in 2015. Level 2 Overhauls on the Horizon fleet which include a comprehensive mechanical inspection, servicing and update are planned out all the way to 2020.

Somewhere in here there is an opportunity for Amtrak ... as always "no trainline doors" remains the biggest challenge.

Some obvious potential candidates for conversion to Horizon fleet: Springfield Shuttle, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf, Adirondack. At least two of these trains (Maple Leaf and Adirondack) are currently operated using Long Distance configured coaches in whole or in part. Other than a change to seat pitch there don't seem to be any other major barriers for conversion. This would also take some pressure off the Amfleet IIs which seem to be stretched to the max on the East Coast.

The one federal train which seems likely to be converted would be the Cardinal. Excepting the Springfield Shuttles all of the above operate out of New York Penn Station currently. The Cardinal is the only train that runs between NYP and WAS.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby Greg Moore » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:18 pm

I thought an issue with the Horizon's was they didn't fare well (despite being used there) in the north?

While I'd love to see more equipment for the trains mentioned, I'd rather see a restored Eastern gulf service first.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby gokeefe » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:24 pm

Greg Moore wrote:I thought an issue with the Horizon's was they didn't fare well (despite being used there) in the north?


Amtrak seems to have done a lot of work on these cars with freeze protection (one of the Level 2 items). They are in daily service on the Hiawatha and seem to be holding up ok.

Worth noting ... these additional cars would make it very easy for Amtrak to return the Cardinal to daily service.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby gokeefe » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:16 pm

Starting on PDF Page 19/126 of the above referenced plan are tables showing expected fleet allocations and resulting redistribution.

The figures (and projected FY) for the coaches are not necessarily accurate at this moment due to the change to the bi-level order but some sense of the ballpark figures can be derived from the plan.

FY 18 (First Redistribution of Cars): 15 Amfleet I, (8 Coach, 7 Club-Dinette); 37 Horizon, (33 Coach (ADA), 4 Club-Dinette)
FY 19 (Additional Cars, Net of Cumulative Totals in Tables): 2 Amfleet I, (2 Club-Dinette); 20 Horizon (18 Coach (ADA), 2 Club-Dinette)

Total Expected Redistributions: Amfleet - 8 Coaches, 9 Club-Dinettes; Horizon - 57 Coaches, 6 Club-Dinettes
Last edited by gokeefe on Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby gokeefe » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:18 pm

Another "notable" is that this is the first indication in the public record that Amtrak does in fact intend to redistribute the Horizon cars into active service elsewhere.
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Re: Horizon Coach Refurbishment

Postby mtuandrew » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:35 pm

gokeefe wrote:Another "notable" is that this is the first indication in the public record that Amtrak does in fact intend to redistribute the Horizon cars into active service elsewhere.

I wonder if Horizons will remain on the Hoosier State. (It’d make sense for as long as Indiana refuses to commit to long-term funding, and would also make sense if the Cardinal gets Horizon cars.)
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