Cardinal discussion

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, Amtrak67 of America, Tadman, gprimr1

dgvrengineer
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:22 am

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by dgvrengineer » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:44 pm

The line from Roanoke to Riverton JCT has been or is in the process of being downgraded to 35mph to avoid PTC. Most traffic has been moved to the main Via Manassas. Many more potential customers Via Charlottesville.

Alcochaser
Posts: 866
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 4:20 am

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Alcochaser » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:39 am

dgvrengineer wrote:The line from Roanoke to Riverton JCT has been or is in the process of being downgraded to 35mph to avoid PTC. Most traffic has been moved to the main Via Manassas. Many more potential customers Via Charlottesville.
Doesn't surprise me. It's no speedway. MAS is only 45 with copious amounts of other restrictions.

Even with the wye move. Lynchburg C&O to Sou move would be quicker.

jhdeasy
Posts: 2086
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Mount Vernon, Virginia, USA

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by jhdeasy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:25 pm

I observed The Cardinal, train 51, at ALX on Friday June 23rd, while a half-dozen members of the RF&P Historical Society were conducting their annual dawn-to-dusk survey of railroading, something that they do on the Friday closest to the Spring Equinox. The consist order was:

P42 locomotive
A2 coach
A2 coach
A2 coach
A2 cafe
A1 coach (business class)
V1 sleeper
V1 sleeper
V2 baggage

The last time I had seen The Cardinal earlier this spring, business class service was provided in an unstaffed A1 cafe car with 2&1 seating on one end and dinette table/booths at the other end. I'm wondering if the A1 coach I saw last Friday, most likely with 2&2 seating, was a temporary substitute for a bad order car of the other configuration.

I think the working A2 food service car had the short end (where the sit down meals are served to sleeper passengers) positioned facing the coaches, and the long end (the lounge area) facing the sleepers and business class. I think things would work better if the car were turned in the other direction, but I recognize that turning a car at Sunnyside Yard in NY is a complex evolution that requires substantial extra effort - a trip into Penn Station followed by a trip back around the loop at Sunnyside. Probably deemed "not worth the trouble" by a busy Yardmaster with higher priority tasks.

David Benton
Posts: 8712
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by David Benton » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:32 pm

On the Cardinal Facebook page, a lady described her trip , where a coach did indeed substitute for the business Class cafe. So it seems they do not have a spare Cafe car. Or possibly not a spare at both end terminals.
Moderator worldwide railfan , Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.

bratkinson
Posts: 415
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:38 pm
Location: QB 100

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by bratkinson » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:00 pm

David Benton wrote:On the Cardinal Facebook page, a lady described her trip , where a coach did indeed substitute for the business Class cafe. So it seems they do not have a spare Cafe car. Or possibly not a spare at both end terminals.
I suspect that putting the A1 dinette/BC back on #66/67 has shortened out the available spares pool for those cars.

I rode the Cardinal CHI-WAS a couple weeks ago, the BC was the A1 dinette (unused)/BC car. I connected to #66 at WAS and was pleasantly surprised to find the A1 dinette/BC was back as the BC car on that train. I think it went to the full 60-seat BC car perhaps 5-6 years ago. I figure as the full BC car was less than 20% of the rows occupied, they opted to put back the 18-seat 'split', with the lounge part open for business. The good news is the walk to the lounge was now 10 feet or so. The bad news, almost all the 18 BC seats were filled at Baltimore. I figured as much, and took a single seat when I got on at WAS. For sleeping, though, I'd prefer to have the full seat in a 60-seat BC to myself. The trip to BOS taught me something I've been thinking for some years...the older I get, overnight in coach gets progressively more difficult. I think I'll always book sleeper from now on.

Morning Zephyr
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:21 pm

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Morning Zephyr » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:09 pm

Marketing 101: Consistency of Product. Marketing 102: Honesty in Product Description.

Would anyone buy a business class ticket on Lufthansa knowing that sometimes when you get on the plane with a business class ticket you get a business class seat, but that sometimes when you get on the plane with a business class ticket you get a coach seat? And that Lufthansa randomly calls these two different products the same thing, with no explanation to the customer?

gokeefe
Posts: 11946
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:28 pm
Location: Winthrop, Maine

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by gokeefe » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:35 pm

I've been thinking about this and my mind turns to "Business Class" on smaller airliners where the service standards and even seat sizes can vary substantially from the jumbo jets. I don't think Amtrak is that far off in this respect from their airline brethren
gokeefe

Literalman
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:54 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Literalman » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:58 pm

on the Friday closest to the Spring Equinox
Just a nitpick: it was the summer solstice, not the spring equinox. The sun stood still (that's what solstice means). Didn't you notice how hot it was? ;-)

I saw the railway historical gang at Alex that day when I boarded 125 to Norfolk.
Steve Dunham
Alexandria, Virginia
http://www.stevedunham.50megs.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

dcipjr
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by dcipjr » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:57 pm

I'm on the Cardinal next week. Does anyone know whether the sleepers on the Cardinal are still at the back of the train? Trying to plan my scenery watching. :-D

bratkinson
Posts: 415
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:38 pm
Location: QB 100

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by bratkinson » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:32 pm

They were on the rear when I rode the Cardinal a couple of weeks ago.

I have to wonder, though, what the logic is in keeping the baggage car on the rear behind the sleepers. I've always enjoyed looking out the rear window of whatever train I'm on. From pictures I've seen, it seems that all the eastern trains have the baggage cars on the rear lately. So much for aesthetics.

leviramsey
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:12 pm

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by leviramsey » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:25 pm

The only exception there, I believe, is 448/449, where the baggage is behind the locomotives, but the sleeper is then immediately behind the baggage.

User avatar
Rockingham Racer
Posts: 3556
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:25 pm

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by Rockingham Racer » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:31 pm

There has been at least one video recently of the train with 2 baggage cars, one behind the engine, and the other on the tail end. Anomaly?

leviramsey
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:12 pm

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by leviramsey » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:00 pm

I can't imagine there's enough passengers on 448/449 to justify 2 baggage cars. Perhaps an equipment move?

(actually, how recent? Doesn't the MBTA consider anything of less than a certain length or number of axles (corresponding to a locomotive and 4 coaches) to be under light engine rules. If that's the case maybe another baggage car gets added when 448/449 runs without a sleeper.)

bratkinson
Posts: 415
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:38 pm
Location: QB 100

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by bratkinson » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:09 pm

leviramsey wrote:The only exception there, I believe, is 448/449, where the baggage is behind the locomotives, but the sleeper is then immediately behind the baggage.
448/449 has the baggage car in the front as the train is combined with the section from New York Penn at Albany. To keep the joining/separating as simple as possible, the Boston section locomotives are used all the way to Chicago. When the train arrives from New York, the dual-mode electrics are removed and the Boston section backed into the NY section.

I haven't checked lately, but I think the Empire Builder ease of Spokane WA has baggage cars front and rear as well after combining the SEA and PDX sections of the train. Or does the Portland section use a coach baggage car?

electricron
Posts: 4665
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Cardinal discussion

Post by electricron » Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:08 pm

The Portland section often uses a baggage-coach Superliner cars. A recent YouTube video shows the Empire Builder consist having 3 locomotives, VII baggage, 3 sleepers, dining, 2 coaches, lounge, coach, baggage-coach with wrap, and sleeper.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFff4JN3QP0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I believe everything from the lounge to the end of the train heads to/from Portland.

Return to “Amtrak”