Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

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Arlington
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by Arlington » Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:31 pm

For those who haven't drilled down: the Avelias will have electronic signs over each seatpair showing reserved or available.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by David Benton » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:21 pm

With this system , and trainline door opening, is there really any need for a Assistant Conductor on the Acela's? I would think the average trip lenght would be quite a bit longer on the Acela's , so less on and offs as well.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by Tadman » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:38 am

Nasadowsk wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:33 pm
Arlington wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:50 pm
Riding backwards is diffrent and new, which is all it takes in this forum to be denounced as a plot against customers, despite global (and commuter) acceptance.

I predict it will be a non issue with customers (as it has for Brightline) and a clear win for mechanical and operational simplicity.
I agree. It's a non issue elsewhere in the world, and most European trains out accelerate US ones by a good amount, which is where it'd be most annoying. A lot of commuter equipment has fixed seats now, even in the US.
Also doesn't seem to be an issue in sleeper, where 50% of the seats face backwards and are certainly not rotating. Where are the guys complaining about the sleeper seats facing backwards? Haven't heard much on that.

Related, it seems that very early sleeper cars in Great Britain had beds oriented longitudinally, like Amtrak roomettes. Around 1890 or 1900, an engineer figured out they could fit more passengers by going to transverse berths like Amtrak bedrooms. It caused quite the uproar, and a prolific poet at the time wrote that he would "pull in my feet as I pass Aviemore", implying he was afraid they'd strike the platform because it was such an unconventional riding position.

Evidently it's not been an issue as all British sleeper berths are transverse, and none of them even convert to daytime chairs.

Closing the loop with Acela 2, I'm sure there will be grumbling. I sincerely hope the improve the chairs rather than decontent them, like Hitachi did with the IET/800-class that replaced the HST125.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by bostontrainguy » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:09 am

Tadman wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:38 am
Also doesn't seem to be an issue in sleeper, where 50% of the seats face backwards and are certainly not rotating. Where are the guys complaining about the sleeper seats facing backwards? Haven't heard much on that.
Because it's not true. Fact is they always orient the sleepers vestibule or A end forward which means that most seats do face forward. Since every bedroom (except the Viewliner ADA which has the seat facing forward) has the jump seats, every room has available forward facing seats.

I have ridden many Amtrak sleepers and have always faced forward. This includes the Family Room in the Superliner.

If I am traveling by train I want to see what's coming. I don't want to see what I just missed!

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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by Greg Moore » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:09 pm

Except.. Tadman is right.
There are times for example on the Crescent when the sleepers have been at the head of the train and "facing" backwards so that the one H room closest to the diner can meet the ADA requirement.

So sleepers have certainly been oriented in either direction.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by bostontrainguy » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:55 pm

Greg Moore wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:09 pm
Except.. Tadman is right.
There are times for example on the Crescent when the sleepers have been at the head of the train and "facing" backwards so that the one H room closest to the diner can meet the ADA requirement.

So sleepers have certainly been oriented in either direction.
Just checked the Crescent consist and looks like the sleepers are at the rear. But even if it ran as you say, every bedroom has jump seats so every bedroom and roomette would still have forward facing seat availability (except for the Viewliner ADA room if the car is running backwards).

I should also add that I have never slept backwards in a sleeper. Not really sure if that is because they always make the beds facing forward or I just lucked out every time. Could be a safety issue.

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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by Rockingham Racer » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:29 pm

bostontrainguy wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:09 am
Tadman wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:38 am
Also doesn't seem to be an issue in sleeper, where 50% of the seats face backwards and are certainly not rotating. Where are the guys complaining about the sleeper seats facing backwards? Haven't heard much on that.
Because it's not true. Fact is they always orient the sleepers vestibule or A end forward which means that most seats do face forward. Since every bedroom (except the Viewliner ADA which has the seat facing forward) has the jump seats, every room has available forward facing seats.

I have ridden many Amtrak sleepers and have always faced forward. This includes the Family Room in the Superliner.

If I am traveling by train I want to see what's coming. I don't want to see what I just missed!
That doesn't make sense. If you saw it, then you did not miss it. You saw it from a different perspective and a little later. That being said, I prefer not to ride backwards either.

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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by Arlington » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:54 pm

Thing is: only half of seats, on average, will face rearwards. Given no middle or windowless seats,basically nobody is going to be forced to sit in a seat they strongly dislike.

Me? I want a proper table. Others like to be near the toilets* or door, and others want to be in the middle. Others its about window or aisle. Or being next to (or facing) a friend. Or the quiet car.

There are a LOT of binary criteria, which when you mash them all up, in the end mean that people have many different ways to pick a seat that makes themselves "happy enough'

Layouts like Avelias are making customers happy in more ways than they make unhappy, globally, on commuter trains, on other HSR on Brightline.

Evidence that the new seats have a higher chance of making you unhappy [in a single attribute that only half have] is not evidence that the new seats will make actually force anybody to be unhappy [overall]

*for An 80 year old I know with a weak bladder, it is ALL about being near a toilet
Last edited by Arlington on Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by gokeefe » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:10 pm

Nice presentation from LB Steel (Alstom sub contractor) showing fabrication of Avelia trucks.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by Acela150 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:18 pm

David Benton wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:21 pm
With this system , and trainline door opening, is there really any need for a Assistant Conductor on the Acela's? I would think the average trip lenght would be quite a bit longer on the Acela's , so less on and offs as well.
Yes! Their is a need for AC's. The UTU would pitch a fit if they went against the contract. The UTU/Amtrak Contract states that trains are provided with an Assistant Conductor and if one isn't provided then the Conductor of the train in question gets some type of extra pay. But if Amtrak deliberately went against the contract the UTU would lose it.

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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by David Benton » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:31 pm

I realise it is a union agreement to have a Assistant Conductor for so many cars (7?), so it would obviously have to be negotiated over , if Amtrak chose to propose it. I would say it could be in exchange for an extra OBS position to enhance the service onboard. But different union I think.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by frequentflyer » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:53 pm

gokeefe wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:10 pm
Nice presentation from LB Steel (Alstom sub contractor) showing fabrication of Avelia trucks.
1. Neat that they worked on the ORD Airpot awning.

2. Does LB Steel logo look similar to the old Eastern airlines?

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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by gokeefe » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:19 am

David Benton wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:21 pm
With this system , and trainline door opening, is there really any need for a Assistant Conductor on the Acela's?
Absolutely. There are significant safety risks that have to be managed on a train of this size regardless of the number of stops.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by Arlington » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:13 am

Acela150 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:18 pm
The UTU would pitch a fit if they went against the contract. The UTU/Amtrak Contract states that trains are provided with an Assistant Conductor and if one isn't provided then the Conductor of the train in question gets some type of extra pay. But if Amtrak deliberately went against the contract the UTU would lose it.
How does the UTU contract specify staffing levels? Is it "per train" or "per coach" or "per seat" or "per door" or "per bogie"? (I can't see increasing conductors per seat just because the coaches got smaller.)

Given that the number of seats per coach is different on the Avelia, and that the doors are now centrally controlled, and that fare-collection is ever-more-automated, I'd expect the number of Assistant Conductors per seat and per coach to go down.

For example, a contract deal designed to keep UTU staff essentially constant per typical train (no loss of employment) Amtrak would still get a labor-productivity boost on a per available-seat-mile ASM or revenue passenger mile RPM basis.
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Re: Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

Post by Acela150 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:55 pm

David Benton wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:31 pm
I realise it is a union agreement to have a Assistant Conductor for so many cars (7?), so it would obviously have to be negotiated over , if Amtrak chose to propose it. I would say it could be in exchange for an extra OBS position to enhance the service onboard. But different union I think.
Yes. I believe that it's 1 Conductor and 1 AC for 6 or less cars, and above 6 cars 1 Conductor and 2 AC's.

I seriously doubt that Amtrak would propose this as the UTU wouldn't allow it and if it went higher then they'd lose that as well.
Arlington wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:13 am
Acela150 wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:18 pm
The UTU would pitch a fit if they went against the contract. The UTU/Amtrak Contract states that trains are provided with an Assistant Conductor and if one isn't provided then the Conductor of the train in question gets some type of extra pay. But if Amtrak deliberately went against the contract the UTU would lose it.
How does the UTU contract specify staffing levels? Is it "per train" or "per coach" or "per seat" or "per door" or "per bogie"? (I can't see increasing conductors per seat just because the coaches got smaller.)

Given that the number of seats per coach is different on the Avelia, and that the doors are now centrally controlled, and that fare-collection is ever-more-automated, I'd expect the number of Assistant Conductors per seat and per coach to go down.

For example, a contract deal designed to keep UTU staff essentially constant per typical train (no loss of employment) Amtrak would still get a labor-productivity boost on a per available-seat-mile ASM or revenue passenger mile RPM basis.
It's per train consist. So by number of cars. I believe that with a total of 9 cars that would increase the Train crew by one. Even though the cars will be shorter.

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