Regional New England Rail (Amtrak & State DOT & NEC)

Brattle Loop

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The California cars will not have a cafe actually, very stupid plan
At one point weren't they planning on having a section of one car with vending machines instead of a cafe car? (Shades of Amtrak's odd "automat" experiment on, I think, the Cardinal once upon a time.)
Your mileage may vary on the suitability of vending machines as a replacement for a cafe car.
 

jass

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At one point weren't they planning on having a section of one car with vending machines instead of a cafe car? (Shades of Amtrak's odd "automat" experiment on, I think, the Cardinal once upon a time.)
Your mileage may vary on the suitability of vending machines as a replacement for a cafe car.
Thats still the plan
 

Jahvon09

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I think I saw a rendering of how the 'touchless' cafe car on the new Acelas will look, meaning that there will be all vending machines & no live cashier waiting on you. Amtrak may spread that throughout the whole system. I think covid has something to do with it. Or maybe they are laying off people to slash jobs & save money. :(
 

Jahvon09

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Maybe I was wrong. There's a cashier shown behind the counter, in the rendering, but we'll see.
870px-Acela_Express_cafe_car_interior.jpg
 
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Brattle Loop

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I'm not sure what rendering you're talking about (I've seen some of the new Acelas that do show a counter), but just to avoid any confusion, that picture is of the current Acela cafe car.
 

BostonTrainGuy

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Yeah, that cafe has seats. Amtrak doesn't think we want to sit down to eat in the new Acela :mad:
 

Arlington

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Stlin

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Just because it seems appropriate, this appears to be the interior designers portfolio, containing the original design renders as well as some alternate concepts they were playing with, complete with floor plans, presumably accurate. The text is in french, but the images are pretty? (the reality looks a little VE'd, but I did like the couch concept, however impractical today.)


New Liberty: (from above site)
d1c4a383692681.5d440ec786eb1.jpg

Old Acela:
Acela-Express-Interior-Layout.png


However, the proportions of that liberty render are odd; either the Liberty cars are substantially shorter than the Acela I's, or (my working assumption) it's excluding restrooms and vestibule space. Layering them, it appears that there is a reduction in public space, to account for the counter & display case "self service area," but what public areas remain are now distributed to each end rather than just one, and appears to provide more net "eating surface" area for passengers.
1625006525019.png
 
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Arlington

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I always thought there should be more space for queues and passing through.
 

Brattle Loop

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However, the proportions of that liberty render are odd; either the Liberty cars are substantially shorter than the Acela I's, or (my working assumption) it's excluding restrooms and vestibule space. Layering them, it appears that there is a reduction in public space, to account for the counter & display case "self service area," but what public areas remain are now distributed to each end rather than just one, and appears to provide more net "eating surface" area for passengers.
I believe the Avelia Liberty passenger cars are actually that much shorter than the Acela I cars, by something upwards of 20 feet at least.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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F-Line to Dudley

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Some good Acela news shared via RR.net by an Amtrak engineer who's qualified on the Acela sets and will be qualified on the new Aveilas. . .

The FRA has given its blessing for waiving 2 big speed restrictions on the HSR sets.
  1. The Aveilas can now run 165 MPH on some of the stretches of legacy variable-tension catanery in New Jersey that are currently restricted to 130 MPH on the A1's. The A1's have to be speed-limited on the bouncy old wire because the bouncy old wire requires them to run with both pantographs up, which really beats the living snot out of both the overhead and the trainsets. The Aveilas have an improved-enough contact system to run entirely rear-pans-up (the ideal setup) the entire way Boston-D.C., and the saved wear and tear lets them now go 35 MPH faster on the remaining pockets of old wire. This is crucial, because the Jersey straightaway has the largest remaining concentration of old variable-tension wire left to replace.
  2. Max speed over curves has been raised from 130 MPH to 150 MPH. This is because the Aveilas are so much lighter than the A1's and don't beat up curve rail nearly as badly. This was a key one, because if speeds as a whole are to be raised +15 MPH from 150 to 165, it would've sucked to have the spot restrictions at curves stay static at 130 instead of tracking upward with the speed increases. The acceleration penalty (which isn't much to begin with) at those spot curve restrictions will be very nearly the same despite the higher topline,

Another poster in that thread calculated the possible schedule gains from opening up that new 165 territory. It basically triples the amount of max-speed territory on the NEC from 34 miles of present-day 150 to 97 miles of future-165, minus the spot restrictions at curves. And that should indeed be enough to be worth some tangible reductions on the schedule. Though...caveat...you're still not likely to see the gains rolled into the schedule from the Aveilas' debut; it has to wait until the A1's are whittled down to minority-enough share of service that their lesser capabilities are no longer setting that standard at each/every schedule slot.

But this is genuinely good news, and an affirmation that the new equipment is stratospherically higher-quality and better-suited to the job than what they're replacing.
 

Stlin

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  1. The Aveilas can now run 165 MPH on some of the stretches of legacy variable-tension catanery in New Jersey that are currently restricted to 130 MPH on the A1's. The A1's have to be speed-limited on the bouncy old wire because the bouncy old wire requires them to run with both pantographs up, which really beats the living snot out of both the overhead and the trainsets. The Aveilas have an improved-enough contact system to run entirely rear-pans-up (the ideal setup) the entire way Boston-D.C., and the saved wear and tear lets them now go 35 MPH faster on the remaining pockets of old wire. This is crucial, because the Jersey straightaway has the largest remaining concentration of old variable-tension wire left to replace
Isn't this the same track segment (Trenton - New Brunswick) that got a huge federal grant a couple of years ago to replace the catenary wire and supports? Admittedly, the Amtrak website pins that as complete in 2020, targeted 2017 so it may just be percolating down to actually operating at that speed. Presumably, the Acela Is can still come up to 150 on that segment, even if they can't around curves, so some schedule improvement could happen?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Isn't this the same track segment (Trenton - New Brunswick) that got a huge federal grant a couple of years ago to replace the catenary wire and supports? Admittedly, the Amtrak website pins that as complete in 2020, targeted 2017 so it may just be percolating down to actually operating at that speed. Presumably, the Acela Is can still come up to 150 on that segment, even if they can't around curves, so some schedule improvement could happen?
There's definitely multiple places left in Jersey where the center/express tracks are upgraded, but the outer/local tracks have not been and still sport the un-upgraded variable-tension wire. Acelas can/do get forced to the outer tracks when one of their normal assignments is down for maintenance or when something gets FUBAR'ed in the schedule layer cake forcing somebody to cross over around a mis-timed meet, so it's worth its weight in shed schedule padding to not have to contingency around those scenarios anymore. The actual pace of progress in replacing the wire is molasses-slow because of the small effective work windows (as they found out in CT), so they are definitely not done-done with all of it everywhere of consequence even if they're mostly done and/or done in the highest-of-impact places.

A lot of these newly-greenlit gains are more the stuff of lowered contingencies more than raw speedometer reads, but it's beneficial all the same. Slaying the padding overload is one of the biggest payoffs from renewing the infrastructure, because the contingencies themselves are amongst the very worst of the NEC's incumbent inefficiencies.
 

BostonTrainGuy

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So this is even faster then the planned 160 mph? They would have had to reach 170 mph testing to do this right? I thought they only got it up to 166.8 mph.
 

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