Gilbert B Norman wrote:I think the big "wait and see" is whether the House will mandate reinstatement of Full Service Dining, which could be done by injecting necessary language into the Spending Bill. The Senate could kill it in their committee, but after that it is Joint Committee to reconcile differences. The President, short of vetoing the entire Spending Bill, can't do a thing.
Amtrak seems to be stuck in sea of "wait and sea." They are smart to do this to a degree - in regards to any major modifications to the Viewliner II Diners. Surely, the modifications will re-purpose the Viewliner II Diner purchase - which was, to be short, a ho-hum continuation of the 1950s dining car model.
I also take pause to think about any warranties with CAF Amtrak will negate if they start making alterations to the "as delivered car." To me that's going to be a big hurdle (if they even care to think about it).....or Amtrak just voids the warranty and accepts responsibility of said cars as Amtrak modifies. No idea what warranties are involved, but there's bound to be something. Warranties on new equipment HAS saved Amtrak money in the past.
As I see it, the simplest thing would be to try and operate these Viewliner II Diner as a simple lounge car - double row of windows (check!), seating (booth seating - check!), tables and booth seating (Superliner Sightseers have them - check!), seating for 48 (less a potential four for the ADA modification that was done - check!), etc. Other added amenities and niceties would be great, but after just receiving a $2.5M brand piece of equipment (I believe that number still holds up even though it sounds low) that's a hard sell for this accountant and CFO to comprehend.