All things Pennsylvanian AND Keystone West

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Post by khecht » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:49 am

Was it visible from the NEC? If so, it was the Wilmington Shops.

Remember that there are two major Amtrak facilities in Delaware: the Wilmington locomotive shops, located in the Landlith neighborhood along the NEC a few miles NE of Wilmington station, and the Amtrak Bear Car Shops, a few miles south of the NEC, where access is via a non-electrified track that branches from the NEC at Davis interlocking just east of Newark, DE. The line continues south to allow Norfolk Southern to serve the Delmarva peninsula.

I have never been to the Bear location, but I know they store cars there, and though Wilmington does engine maintenance, they do store other equipment there, and I've seen plenty of Amfleets there.

Here are the two locations from the air:

Wilmington Shops (The yard closest to I-495 is the NS Edgemoor freight yard along the Shellpot branch, which allows freight to bypass downtown Wilmington and access the New Castle Secondary. The NEC is the northwesternmost tracks in this view.)
Bear Car Shops (Located along the NS Delmarva Secondary)

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Post by keystonepassenger » Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:59 am

P42 #98 is currently sitting in the Harrisburg station, turned and pointed towards Philly.

Pretty much since the line returned to all-electric service, they keep a spare P42 in Harrisburg that gets called upon when (usually) a cab-car is malfunctioning or (not as often) an AEM decides to not run.

It probably averages once every 3 weeks that the engine is put to use.

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Pennsylvanian Questions

Post by SwingMan » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:00 pm

I have some questions..and here they are!

1:Is the buisness class in the cafe car?
2:Is it better than the regular class?
3: Is the cafe in the rear(I might go east from Pitthsburg to NYP)of the train?

Answers please!


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Post by Gilbert B Norman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:40 pm

Peter, I think the Pennsylvanian is assigned an Amclub, or 18 2-1 seats in short end, cafe, 32 Coach seats long end. For a PGH-NYP trip, I would certainly book it. I seem to travel Business when "I'm out' and riding the Corridor; I've never needed "smelling salts' arising from the surcharge for such.

I'll defer to others regarding where in the consist the Business Class Car is in line.

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Business Class - Pennsylvanian

Post by jp1822 » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:53 pm

As a followup to Mr. Norman's post, the Pennsylvanian uses a recently overhauled Amfleet Cafe/Business class car. Half of the car is booth seating, then the cafe, then the business class coach seats in a 2-1 arrangement.

There's NO seats on both sides of the cafe - one side is booth seating then the other side is business class seating. The car runs as the tail end of the Pennsylvanian from Philly to Pittsburgh, but then is on the front between NYC and Philly, as this is where the train changes direction. Also between NYC and Philly, the business class riders ride backwards. But this is only a small part of the trip for those passengers riding the entire route or at least between Philly and Pittsburgh. Even in coach, you ride backwards for the route described above.

I always book in business class on the trains that have this arrangement for business class (Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express, Vermonter, Pennsylvanian, and some other Amfleet corridor trains), as the seats are relatively new (some are leather and some just have new cushionining/upholstry). THey also have leg rests, foot rests etc. Very comfortable. In the two seaters, there's even a middle arm rest and place for you to place your drinks. Then there's also th fold down trays of course.

The leater seats are often really nice. Not sure if the new upholstry seats are going to have a long life, as they seem a little delicate.
So I would spend the extra money and spring for business class on the Pennsylvanian.

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Post by Gilbert B Norman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:30 pm

To reconcile my posting with that of Mr. JP, I was referring to the as delivered configuration of the AmClub cars. Evidently some of the cars have been reconfigured to that noted by Mr. JP - especially since the car in question appeared recently refurbished.

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Post by jp1822 » Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:42 pm

The only cars left that I know of that have 2-1 seating and 2-2 seating on either side of the cafe car are former (yet overhauled) Amfleets for the Downeaster - "Coastal Club Service." Amtrak has gone to a standard configuration with its Amfleet cafe and cafe/business class cars.

1) All booth seating to support the cafe
2) 1/2 booth seating to support the cafe and 1/2 business class seating

Again, the exception is Amfleet business class operating on the Downeaster.

As for the Horizon Business class cars - haven't ridden those as much.

The former Metroliner First Class Cars had seating on either side of the cafe car, but they have all been "done over."

I think it was Mr. Gunn that was responsible for standardizing these Amfleet cafe cars! Would love to see a "Club" style atmosphere in the business section with upgraded food service from the cafe - especially for those that operate as long distance day trains (i.e. Pennsylvanian, Maple Leaf, Ethan Allen Express, Vermonter, Palmetto etc. I think the Palmetto though operates with a full business class car still though. And of course the Adirondack should have a business class car but does not!

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Post by arrow » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:38 am

I took the Pennsylvanian a few months ago NYP to Pittsburgh. Booking the business class was well worth the money. The 2-1 seating is great and the reclining leather seats are very comfortable. The 9 hour trip didn't seem quite that long, I think in coach it may have been unbearable.
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Re: Followup

Post by JimBoylan » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:55 pm

jp1822 wrote:I think the Palmetto though operates with a full business class car still though. And of course the Adirondack should have a business class car but does not!
I rode the Palmetto Business Class in Feb., 2007. It was a full Amfleet II coach with leg rests and an attendant distributing pillows. I also rode Adirondack when it had Business Class, back when it ran through from Washington. That was a full Amfleet I coach with medium density seats, about 68 of them, no amenities except for 1 free beverage from the adjacent Cafe.

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Post by KillerB » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:40 pm

I ride the Palmetto from PHL-RVR Monday morning and back on Thursday evening. Most times it has the 2+1 business class in the front half of the Cafe car, which is 90% of why I take the train. Those accomodations are fantastic for the price - $80 each way - and a big part of why I deal with a weekly round trip that takes about 60-90 minutes longer than if I flew the airlines instead (I live in Allentown, PA).

Unfortunately, occasionally Amtrak uses a "Businessclass" car which I honestly cannot tell from a regular coach. Those days I wish I'd flown.

If Amtrak offered 2+1 business class on all their trains, I would ride a lot more often. It's a setup that is rarely found on the airlines with that much space, and when it is you either have to pay a fortune for it, or spend a lot of time on CRJs to build up frequent flyer status (which I have also done.)

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All things Pennsylvanian

Post by chuchubob » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:46 pm

It was reported on another message board that the Pennsylvanian has been running with six cars, with a full cafe and a full business class car replacing the combination cafe/business class car. Train 43 Pennsylvanian had six cars today, photographed coming and going at North Philadelphia Station.

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Re: Pennsylvanian with six cars

Post by Matt Johnson » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:03 pm

I'll be less likely to travel on business class now on the Pennsylvanian. When it had the half cafe/half business class car, business class meant 2-1 leather seating. The full business class coaches have 2-2 cloth upholstered seats. I'm not even sure the seat pitch is greater, as coach class on the Pennsylvanian uses Amfleet II coaches with a similar seat pitch.

(Not that I'm a freqent rider - I have taken two trips on the Pennsylvanian, once to Harrisburg and once to Pittsburgh and back.)

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Re: Pennsylvanian with six cars

Post by BuddSilverliner269 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:56 pm

Bob, I work 42 on Thursdays only and the past 2 Thursday it did indeed have 6 cars. I font ever see this train the rest of the week so I don't I ow this for sure if this is a permanent change. Usually when there is a change in consist,there's a service bulletin on the change and I haven't seen this.

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Re: Pennsylvanian with six cars

Post by chuchubob » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:46 pm

BuddSilverliner269 wrote:Bob, I work 42 on Thursdays only ...
Cool. If it weren't for a prior engagement, I'd look for you next Thursday. Alas, I'll be in Chicago, hoping the Late Shore makes my connection with the Empire Builder.

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Re: Pennsylvanian with six cars

Post by checkthedoorlight » Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:26 pm

Does the Pennsylvanian still share a rotation with the Palmetto? If so, there must be at least 4 sets of these out there. They can't ALL have a full length business class. Thank goodness I didn't decide to upgrade to business for my trip next month.

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