• Is there a baggage car shortage?

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

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by twropr
Could there be more than 5 baggage cars stored unserviceable or stored serviceable awaiting repairs? I ask this question to find out if it is a reason for baggage service having been suspended on the CAROLINIAN and soon on the4 PENNYSLVANIAN?
OnTrackOnLine shows 65 of the 70 Viewliner II cars in service - not sure if any more have been taken out of service since the site was last updated.
Baggage service ended on trains 448/449 (Boston section of the LAKE SHORE LIMITED 1/7/19 and on the overnight Boston-Newport News trains when they were discontinued in December of last year.
It has been suspended on the Carolinian and will be suspended on the Pennsylvanian 10/3 - same day the Silver Meteor returns. I don't think Pakaage Express has ever returned.
The only derailments involving trains that had Viewliner II baggage cars that I can recall were the Empire Builder 9/25/21 in Joplin, MT and SOUTHWEST CHIEF in Mendon, MO on 6/27/22. The Silver Star collision at Cayce, SC 2/4/18 probably
would not have damaged the baggage car since it was on the rear of the train.
So, with baggage cars on the Sunset (?4), Southwest Chief (?6), California Zephyr (?7), Coast Starlight (?4), Capitol Limited (?3), Pennsylvanian (2), Lake Shore Limited (?4), Texas Eagle (?4), City of New Orleans (?4), Carolinian (2), Silver Star (?6),
Silver Meteor (?5) and Palmetto (2), that's about 49 cars. If 65 are in service how can there be a shortage?
  by Gilbert B Norman
How about cars that no longer have a "good COT&S - Clean, Oil, Test & Stencil. - date" and Amtrak has no available and qualified staff to perform this work on the brake system?
  by eolesen
It could simply be a staffing issue more than an equipment issue.
  by west point
These baggage disagreements need to think back. Let us play rolling stock acquisition manager. Senior managers want 100 new sleepers lets call then V-2s, baggage cars to replace worn out. diners to replace all heritage diners and Baggage dorms. bags,

So 25 diners will cover all the single level train sets, 25 baggage dorms will cover expected baggage on those single level trains, 50 sleepers will enable for single level cars to meet anticipated sleeper demand. enabling average of 4 sleepers on each single level. Of course seasonal variations will have more sleepers some times.
Now we can plan our trains with 2 or 3 locos, Bag dorm, diner, lounfe, 4 sleepers and 6 -8 coaches. The western trains will need full baggage cars for the greater capacity and the planned additional Superliners. So, 50 baggage are needed, When ordering let Amtrak get option for more cars for new routes.

Now upper management starts meddling making some dubious assumptions.
1. We need more baggage space on single levels ,. cut bag - dorms to 10 and make 15 more bags.
2. Sleeper demand will not be much better - cut sleepers to 25.
3. Sleeper design wrong continue making change orders.
4. And on and on. 10+ years and counting with no follow up orders.