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Passenger Trains > Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?


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Date: 09/08/07 05:43
Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: ARR701

Can someone shed the light as to why the cars are not seen in service anywhere? Or what happened to the consist all together besides the 4 never-in-service cars that are at Colorado Railcar Manufacturing? One memo revealed a list of more than 70 problems encountered during
construction: faulty locks, electrical problems, showers that wouldn't drain properly and
inadequate battery chargers. A 1996 press release talks of train trips being
rescheduled due to construction delays. A “train buff” newsletter, the Danville Flyer,
revealed that delays were due in part to structural problems encountered in the cars that
were to haul thousands of pounds of water for the hot tubs and spas, and reported that
Philip Morris had to order a third locomotive to help power the train.

A commentary in the Denver Post
reported that Rader Railcar, Inc. laid off 249 manufacturing workers after Philip Morris
canceled construction of the luxury train. A phone call to Rader Railcar (now called
Colorado Rail Car Manufacturing) on April 27, 2004 revealed that the cigarette maker
hired an outside firm destroy the train. According to an engineer at Colorado Rail Car, the
train was cut up into scrap using a huge “jaws of life” type metal cutting device. I recall seeing the photos in "Trains" magazine a while back.

Employees of Rader Railcar were compelled to sign documents saying they would not talk
talk about the train or its demise.


So does any of the old employees able to talk about the demise or the train now?



Date: 09/08/07 07:04
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: aehouse

One reason that was speculated at the time of the project's cancellation was that Philip Morris's research people determined that a rolling orgy of smokers and drinkers might not--in the long run--be the sort of positive image they hoped to gain from the train's operation.



Date: 09/08/07 07:06
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: Lackawanna484

At least one car (the pool and spa car) had issues with weight and distribution, I believe.



Date: 09/08/07 09:18
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: dan

It also was speculated that tobacco can't market to kids (supposedly) and kids love trains. You would think these other issues may have been able to be solved.



Date: 09/08/07 10:30
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: PumpkinHogger

Too I recall hearing they were going to have alot more people eligible to ride the thing because of the promotion than anticiapted, the cost was going to be enormous.

Some flunky at PM didn't run all the numbers. They thought like "hey lets get a trainset and have fun with it" ohhhh wait - we can't just buy it take it home and run it on the floor???

The prospects of operating costs along with much bigger than planned cap costs and yes image all brought it down.



Date: 09/08/07 10:44
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: mgwsy1978

Also Liability insurance, paying railroads for operating crews, track time, and other fees associated with passenger trains.



Date: 09/08/07 10:45
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: puckeringswine

I remember there being an issue with the railroads as well, many of them including Amtrak, who most likely would have crewed the train, began agressive anti smoking policies about the same time. It would not have been good for the railroads to offer help to crew members for non smoking programs and then call the same crew to work the Marlboro train.

I am also not sure if they ever entered into talks with any of the carriers to see if they could even run where they advertised they would.



Date: 09/08/07 11:20
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: indyspy

The two F59PHI engines survive, they were sold to Metrolink

More info...... use the search feature!

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,1122450,nodelay=1



Date: 09/08/07 12:16
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: RD10747

Perhaps they lost their 'ash'...



Date: 09/08/07 12:34
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: daylightdon

Too bad they didn't sell the spa cars to Metrolink. I dip in the hot tub or some time in the sauna might attract more riders.



Date: 09/08/07 13:49
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: Gonut1

Something about Nicotine?

Gonut



Date: 09/08/07 14:51
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: prr4828

Indyspy, thanks for finding my previous post ... saved me some time in posting it all over again. ;-)

I just visited the page I referenced in the 2006 TO post ... still up. Code name for the train was "Thunder".

Here's the deep link again:
http://tobaccodocuments.org/pm/2048226050-6118.p31-40.html

Scroll down to see a breakdown of the proposed 20-car consist.

* JB *


indyspy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The two F59PHI engines survive, they were sold to
> Metrolink
>
> More info...... use the search feature!
>
> http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,1
> 122450,nodelay=1



Date: 09/08/07 15:24
Re: Why did the Marlboro Unlimited get scrapped?
Author: MLC

The October 2007 Trains magazine has an article on Colorado Railcar entitled "Building Dreams", pages 56 through 63. On page 62 is a discussion of the Marlboro Unlimited train, including its demise.



Date: 09/08/07 19:43
Illegal to be on the rail
Author: djansson

The plug REALLY got pulled on the train when Amtrak (of all people!) killed it when the cars proved to be out of spec (height/width) and basically illegal on the rails. The reasons why are many but boil down to what happens when you get a bunch of marketing types WITH A BIG BUDGET (and NO common sense) to design a train. A beautiful example of tobacco $$$ literally going up in smoke.

The cars were scrapped according to the contract. I believe the A/C systems and trucks wound up being used for other projects but that was about all.



Date: 09/08/07 20:09
Re: Illegal to be on the rail
Author: BuddPullman

What types of cars, and or heritage were selected for the project?

Thanks.

HH



Date: 09/08/07 20:54
Re: Illegal to be on the rail
Author: webmaster

Those documents are really interesting. Too bad the train never got built as it would have been really neat to see it in service after the promotion was over. I can't imagine a hot tub or pinball machine on a moving train. It is as if the concept was designed by people that never stepped on a train before.

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 09/08/07 21:52
Re: Illegal to be on the rail
Author: poultrycar

I was fortunate enough to have had a tour of the train when it was well along in 1996. It was awsome. Those sleepers with full width bedrooms at each end on the upper floors were something to behold.

I sorta stumbled a bit when I went through the car with two big (water) hot tubs (on a train?) but they really had a very impressive engineering department that seemed to know just what they were doing.

I felt very sad when I heard that it was to be scrapped, for it was a real marvel. But as stated, cigarettes are on their way out, no matter what.

But it looked like a great train to this old foamer.



Date: 09/09/07 05:36
Re: Illegal to be on the rail
Author: prionw

djansson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The plug REALLY got pulled on the train when
> Amtrak (of all people!) killed it when the cars
> proved to be out of spec (height/width) and
> basically illegal on the rails.

I'm very curious about this - do you have any more specifics? Would this still be the case today? Autoracks are longer and taller than superliners and of course many cars are heavier. I know those Colorado Railcar models are a little taller and longer and heaveir than superliners - but would they not be able to travel on routes currently used by superliners? Superlines are only about 85 tons so there's a long way to go for a 4-axle car. And what about those tourist cars in Alaska?

Thanks,

Win



Date: 09/09/07 10:37
Re: Illegal to be on the rail
Author: djansson

> I'm very curious about this - do you have any more
> specifics? Would this still be the case today?
> Autoracks are longer and taller than superliners
> and of course many cars are heavier. I know those
> Colorado Railcar models are a little taller and
> longer and heaveir than superliners - but would
> they not be able to travel on routes currently
> used by superliners? Superlines are only about 85
> tons so there's a long way to go for a 4-axle car.
> And what about those tourist cars in Alaska?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Win

As I recall, the width dimensions of the cars exceeded spec. The full-width goodies in the car (bedrooms, hot tubs, God only knows what else) pushed the envelope and Amtrak said "Nope!". Something similar happened with the Acela trains, remember? The excess width was rumored to be due to the requirement for a full-width aisle but all that did was screw up the clearance parameters when two trains passed on a curve and one or both weren't tilting.

In any event, Amtrak essentially owns the contract and liability for operating any passenger train over freight RRs and when the dimensions were defined, they killed it then and there.



Date: 09/09/07 15:57
Re: Illegal to be on the rail
Author: TheOssman

djansson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As I recall, the width dimensions of the cars
> exceeded spec. The full-width goodies in the car
> (bedrooms, hot tubs, God only knows what else)
> pushed the envelope and Amtrak said "Nope!".
> Something similar happened with the Acela trains,
> remember? The excess width was rumored to be due
> to the requirement for a full-width aisle but all
> that did was screw up the clearance parameters
> when two trains passed on a curve and one or both
> weren't tilting.
>
> In any event, Amtrak essentially owns the contract
> and liability for operating any passenger train
> over freight RRs and when the dimensions were
> defined, they killed it then and there.

On the Connecticut owned section of the NEC that Amtrak operates over, from the CT-NY border to New Haven, the Acela trainsets are not allowed to use the tilting function, as the tracks are too close to allow a safe passage of trains past each other.



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