Backshophoss wrote:Have there been "forced retirements" of the HEP II cars due to structure or Mech failures??
None that I'm aware of. The whole 33 car fleet is currently being cycled through the MMC for refurbishment work - the cars are getting new interiors that match the latest LRC interiors, with 2+1 seating in Business class and the new style seats in a fixed 50/50 forward/backward arrangement. I don't know how extensive the other work is but they are getting at least some mechanical and electrical work done as well, comparable to what the LRC refurbs received. The most obvious external thing is that they're moving to a new paint scheme, with the window band painted Renaissance green and a solid yellow stripe in the letterboard - not yet clear if there will be a different scheme for the Business class cars.
According to VIA's latest reports/statements, it's the LRCs that are in worse shape. They're anticipating that some of those will have to be withdrawn from service before the new fleet arrives (first starting later this year or next), along with the remaining Corridor Renaissance sets. They seem to count on the HEP2s being around longer, and being used elsewhere in the country when the new Corridor fleet is all delivered.