Horizon Coach Refurbishment

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Postby Irish Chieftain » Sun Dec 26, 2004 3:41 am

One thing that still gets me is the end door configuration; on some, there are fold-up steps and on some, the steps are fixed (such as on unrebuilt NJT Comet IIs or Metro-North Shoreliners). Must've been budgetary considerations that resulted in some being delivered without the fold-up stairwell...

Still, having the Horizons sort of paints a picture of a "what if" situation, were the Erie-Lackawanna to have gone in with Amtrak and Amtrak have run out of Hoboken to destinations like Scranton PA or Binghamton NY, using former E-L Pullman Standard cars...
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Postby RMadisonWI » Sun Dec 26, 2004 2:07 pm

CoastStarlight99 wrote:Do they just refund you if you have a biz. class ticket and get on the Horizon, or is there some kind of better accomodation available?


If you are talking about the Surfliner train, it runs the 799/798 turn from LAX to SLO. It does have a food service car with business class seating. I have seen reports on another forum that this car is the rebuilt club-dinette 58108 (why they picked that numbering series, I have no idea, but anyway...).

On some Midwest Corridor trains, business class is available. It is generally the section of seats on the other side of the cafe, a configuration available in both Horizon and Amfleet cars.
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Postby ryanov » Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:52 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Amtrak evidently has a policy that passengers will board and alight only through vestibules attended by a crew member. Possibly, there are exceptions at high level platforms along the Corridor, but that 'gap' seems wide to me and I think it was further enlarged to accomodate Acelas.


Policy or not, all the doors open in Newark Penn and there are definitely not crew members at each on a regional. Something tells me this one may not be true in all circumstances (or that there IS a high-level exception).
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Postby RMadisonWI » Mon Dec 27, 2004 2:08 am

IIRC, on the NEC, the doors are all trainlined, so that they all open at each stop. I recall hearing a bell ring in the vestibules a few seconds before the train departed when I rode Amtrak on the NEC in the past, and while I never actually witnessed it, my own logic linked the bell with the closing of the doors.

They certainly don't have one crew member per door (or pair of doors) on the NEC, so there is an NEC exception. If the traps/step boxes are required, then a crewmember needs to take care of it.

Robert Madison
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Postby AmtrakFan » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:30 am

I wouldn't want to see automatic Horizon Doors due to Liability.

John Poshepny
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Postby EastCleveland » Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:58 pm

As a Horizon fan, I find the refurbished cars perfectly comfortable for trips of up to 12 hours or so. I just wish the railroad (as long as they're fussing with new upholstery) would also rethink the harsh fluorescent lighting. Traveling inside a Horizon after dark is like being trapped inside a 24-hour convenience store.

Ripping out the fixtures and installing something less migraine-inducing would be costly for sure. But a less expensive bolt-on addition of some sort, designed to diffuse the light and make it more indirect, wouldn't be a bad investment.
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Postby AmtrakFan » Mon Dec 27, 2004 6:25 pm

EastCleveland wrote: I just wish the railroad (as long as they're fussing with new upholstery) would also rethink the harsh fluorescent lighting.

I get bad migranes, so I can live quite nicely without the lighting of the Horizon.

John
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Postby scannergeek » Sat Jan 01, 2005 2:22 pm

RMadisonWI wrote:
CoastStarlight99 wrote:Do they just refund you if you have a biz. class ticket and get on the Horizon, or is there some kind of better accomodation available?


If you are talking about the Surfliner train, it runs the 799/798 turn from LAX to SLO. It does have a food service car with business class seating.


Business class seating is available on this train. One end of the "club car" has the biz. class seats (which are leather, BTW-no other Surfliner has leather seats). Then there's the food counter, and then booth seating.

I'll be taking a day trip up to San Luis Obispo, then taking the Starlight back. I'll be sure to take pics of the interiors.
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Postby David Benton » Sat Jan 01, 2005 3:45 pm

the lighting could be altered just by changing the tubes . probably cost about $ 10 per tube . most public places have "cool white " color tubes however .
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Postby Silverliner II » Sat Jan 01, 2005 4:31 pm

The entire Horizon fleet came with the fold-up steps and sliding manual doors. The folding steps was an Amtrak option; the manual sliding doors are used on the Bombardier equipment in commuter service on the MBTA in Boston.

If Amtrak had chosen to have the Horizons equipped with automatic doors, there'd be no kind of liability issues (as Amfleet I is used in many situations where all doors don't open outside the NEC). In that case, a crewmember would simply open the local door and trap for passenger boarding and de-training.

Amtrak modified some Horizons with fixed steps and traps, and many others with Dutch doors, ala Heritage Fleet.

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Postby AmtrakFan » Sun Jan 02, 2005 2:56 pm

I happened to ride in one today 54544 on 334(2) very nice. However, I dislike the lighting in them as it is too bright.

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Postby Jtgshu » Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:02 pm

The best version of those types of flourcesent lights is found on NJT's comet 3's and 4's (the same type of cars as the Horizon fleet)

The solid rows of flouresent lights shut off and the "emergency lighting" comes on when the train either looses HEP (go thorugh a phase gap for example) or when the main passenger lighting circuit breaker is shut off.

The emergency lights are incandencent like lights, althought I don't think they are incandecent bulbs though, and are spaced roughtly every 4 or 5 "tubes" apart on opposite sides, going down the length of the car. Teh lighting is quite nice, and Amtrak could put in a "dark" mode for the lights where there are these lights spaced say every other flouresent tube and when the main lights get shut off, these turn on.

But there is a large difference between the various types of flourescent tubes as well, compared to "cool white" to "warm white" and all the various shades inbetween!!!
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Postby RMadisonWI » Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:25 pm

AmtrakFan wrote:I happened to ride in one today 54544 on 334(2) very nice. However, I dislike the lighting in them as it is too bright.


54544 is actually not a rebuild. It has blue seat cushions (and, in fact, the 54504 which would have been one car back of 54544 has those same seat cushions), and somebody added a red stripe to the bottom of the coach, but that's it.

I'm told the rebuilds have a linoleum floor instead of carpets. I've never been on one, so I couldn't be sure of that.

Jtgshu wrote:The solid rows of flouresent lights shut off and the "emergency lighting" comes on when the train either looses HEP (go thorugh a phase gap for example) or when the main passenger lighting circuit breaker is shut off.

The emergency lights are incandencent like lights, althought I don't think they are incandecent bulbs though, and are spaced roughtly every 4 or 5 "tubes" apart on opposite sides, going down the length of the car. Teh lighting is quite nice, and Amtrak could put in a "dark" mode for the lights where there are these lights spaced say every other flouresent tube and when the main lights get shut off, these turn on.


Maybe I'm not quite understanding the differences, but I think Amtrak's Horizon cars have the same "feature."
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Postby AmtrakFan » Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:38 pm

RMadisonWI wrote:I'm told the rebuilds have a linoleum floor instead of carpets. I've never been on one, so I couldn't be sure of that.

Mr. Madison,
These had no carpeting on the Walls as well as on the Cealing.

John Poshepny
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Postby RMadisonWI » Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:36 pm

AmtrakFan wrote:
RMadisonWI wrote:I'm told the rebuilds have a linoleum floor instead of carpets. I've never been on one, so I couldn't be sure of that.

Mr. Madison,
These had no carpeting on the Walls as well as on the Cealing.

John Poshepny


Don't know if the ceilings ever had carpeting on them. The "no carpeting on walls" configuration has been around since the late 1990s or so, before the current rebuild program started.

I was in that very same car (54544) on Friday.
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