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Date: 03/21/15 06:31
Hoosier State inspection update
Author: eee

Thursday March 19 Iowa Pacific hosted inspection of rolling stock selected for the Hoosier State.  Approximately 30 people in total attended, including representatives of Amtrak, FRA, Indiana Department of Transportation, the City of Lafayette, Trains Magazine and of course Iowa Pacific.  FRA provided feedback as the inspection went along, and will provide a written report.  The Amtrak representatives told us they were unable to provide feedback.  Hopefully they will provide  INDOT with a report.  Amtrak did inform us that they have inspection standards for this rolling stock that are different from private car standards.  INDOT has asked Amtrak to provide the standards, but it appears that whatever standards Amtrak inspected to on Thursday have not yet been provided to the State, let alone the results of the inspection.

A question was raised about ADA accessibility.  This consist has one accessible car, which is set up with wheelchair stanchions and an ADA restroom. The code of federal regulations reads as follows:
  §37.93   One car per train rule.  (a) The definition of accessible for purposes of meeting the one car per train rule is spelled out in the applicable subpart for each transportation system type in part 38 of this title. (b) Each person providing intercity rail service and each commuter rail authority shall ensure that, as soon as practicable, but in no event later than July 26, 1995, that each train has one car that is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. (c) Each public entity providing light or rapid rail service shall ensure that each train, consisting of two or more vehicles, includes at least one car that is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, as soon as practicable but in no case later
than July 25, 1995.

Based on the one car per train rule, we believe we are compliant, and we are prepared to provide the same food service to disabled passengers that we would provide to other passengers, just as Amtrak does today.  The dome car is not an accessible car, but neither is a Superliner lounge car, or even a Superliner coach-baggage.  So we hope that FRA will look at the same regs we are looking at.  We still have some distance to go to get ready and have more than a dozen people working on this full time.  We will add additional cars to the Indiana fleet once we get these in service.






Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/15 06:35 by eee.








Date: 03/21/15 06:57
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: joemvcnj

Can I assume the fluted side coach is ex-SP, and the smooth sided is ex-UP (aluminum), and both were Amtrak Heritage cars at one time ?

The full dome must be ex- Santa Fe, never Amtrak, but probably Autotrain Corp, possibly NYS&W, then Alaska, and back ?



Date: 03/21/15 07:03
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: Englewood

eee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Amtrak representatives told us they were
> unable to provide feedback.  Hopefully they will
> provide  INDOT with a report.  Amtrak did inform
> us that they have inspection standards for this
> rolling stock that are different from private car
> standards.  INDOT has asked Amtrak to provide the
> standards, but it appears that whatever standards
> Amtrak inspected to on Thursday have not yet been
> provided to the State, let alone the results of
> the inspection.

Not surprised



Date: 03/21/15 07:04
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: railaddict

  Great report Ed, I wish you nothing but success in this endeavor.  I hope it is a deal changer for the American rail passenger scene.  With that stated, let me offer some advice to help you meet Amtrak's standards....

1)  Make sure your locomotives can fail en-route on a regular basis.  This puts you in line with standard Amtrak operating procedures.

2)  Make sure that any lateral shock device on your equipment if worn out so that the cars can laterally slam like so many Surfliner and Superliner II cars do.

3)  Insure that your toilet systems stink.   No employee should ever clean a sink or toilet in route.

4)  Make sure your coach attendants block off at least 4 seats for themselves, but then do not allow them to sit there.  They are to be in food service areas, texting, visiting and bashing the company and the on-board passengers.

5)  Make sure that at least 25% of advertised food items for sale are not available.

6)  Make sure that all passengers are run out of any lounge area at least an hour prior to arrival in Chicago or Indianapolis, if not before.

7)  Every train should have at least one end door that remains open, for noise and outside air infiltration.

8)  Have the Public Address system on as loud as you can possible crank it, and have every employee talk on it regularly.  Teach them how to be totally unaware of what the other employee just said, so that announcements can be repeated over and over again, preferably in patronizing and condescending ways.

9)  Avoid having the train ready for an on-time departure at the initial terminal at least 35% of the time. 

These first elements of the standard that Amtrak sets on a daily basis will get you started, and more will no doubt come from other TO members.

By the way, my first line is dead serious.  I wish you the best as a deal changer.  I also hope that the day comes when you can tell Amtrak to 'kiss your asteroids!'



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/15 18:51 by railaddict.



Date: 03/21/15 07:07
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: eee

Correct on all counts. 

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Can I assume the fluted side coach is ex-SP, and
> the smooth sided is ex-UP (aluminum), and both
> were Amtrak Heritage cars at one time ?
>
> The full dome must be ex- Santa Fe, never Amtrak,
> but probably Autotrain Corp, possibly NYS&W, then
> Alaska, and back ?



Date: 03/21/15 07:11
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: joemvcnj

Makes us wish a similar consist and service could also be the Cardinal.



Date: 03/21/15 07:12
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: ST214

The train looks nice, but the power needs some new paint!



Date: 03/21/15 07:49
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: eee

They'll get painted.  They will look something like this, except with the full-width carbody...

ST214 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The train looks nice, but the power needs some new
> paint!




Date: 03/21/15 07:55
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: andersonb109

The sad thing is that everything railaddict posted is pretty much true on a regular basis.



Date: 03/21/15 08:05
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: wpjones

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this is the same Dome when used on the Nebraska Football special. I was told it would be painted if it ever stopped rolling.
Photo by Twjurgens
Steve




Date: 03/21/15 08:44
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: cashfare

Amtrak acts like the kid on a playground that got his turn on the merry-go-round taken away for acting up. Don't see why they are upset. They are still providing T&E/reservations/station personnel. And they can save an engine and coach that can be redeployed somewhere else.

Ed and his employees will double ridership within 2 years, if that. Their employees have a vested interest in the train and will market it and treat passengers right. Even with the slow schedules, if you actually market the train and make passengers feel their business is appreciated, they will come back.

BTW Ed, hope a stop in the western burbs around Brownsburg might be considered. It's off I-74 and close to the airport. It would cut 30-45 minutes off the schedule for those living in the western suburbs and save them backtracking to that horrible Indianapolis station.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/21/15 09:17
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: joemvcnj

Are you surprised ?

Amtrak spent the first 18 months of the Obama Administration with a 59 seat Senate majority having an Animal House food fight with VRE.

So in this set-up, they will be present but much out of sight, and they sulk - don't have time for this or that.
We'll see how the CUS Gate Dragons are instructed to handle this train. Perhaps load just 6 minutes prior to departure, then slam the gate on someone's nose 5 minutes prior. Just speculation on my part, but I put nothing past them.



Date: 03/21/15 09:21
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: Jishnu

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> So in this set-up, they will be present but much
> out of sight, and they sulk - don't have time for
> this or that.
> We'll see how the CUS Gate Dragons are instructed
> to handle this train. Perhaps load just 6 minutes
> prior to departure, then slam the gate on
> someone's nose 5 minutes prior. Just speculation
> on my part, but I put nothing past them.

You mean the famous Chicago Gate Dragons actually listen to anybody? ;)

It took over a year of repeated re-training to get the Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago to accept Select+ Cards as credentials for using the Lounge.



Date: 03/21/15 09:45
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: eee

Actually, the stainless car is 551 Sky View, and in your photo it is coupled to 1394 Prairie View our GN Heritage car.  We intentionally made two heritage cars, those won't go into IC paint.  554 Summit View is the car in the HS inspection photo.  We will also qualify 511 Scenic View for the HS.

Here is the full dome roster, all have their historic Santa Fe/GN numbers:

508         Canyon View(Matanuska)
509         CascadeView (former Chena)
510         Sunset View(former Chulitna)
511
         Scenic View(former Nenana)
512
         Alpine View(former Tanana)
513
         ColumbiaView (former Talkeetna)
551
         Sky View(former Kobuk)
554         Summit View(former Eklutna)
1394
       Priarie View(former Deshka)
                                                       
We also own one ex-SP 3/4 dome and one ex-Milwaukee Superdome, plus several Pullman/Budd/ACF "short" domes....



wpjones Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this is the
> same Dome when used on the Nebraska Football
> special. I was told it would be painted if it ever
> stopped rolling.
> Photo by Twjurgens
> Steve



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/15 09:47 by eee.



Date: 03/21/15 10:11
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: wpjones

Sorry Ed, I couldn't quite make out the numbers on the cars but I thought your car rider at Lincoln, John I think it was told me that car also would be painted if it would ever sit still long enough.
Have you started anything on the cars you got from Dave V. I'm anxious to see what you do with the CB&Q Dome Sleeper.
Steve

eee Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Actually, the stainless car is 551 Sky View, and
> in your photo it is coupled to 1394 Prairie View
> our GN Heritage car.  We intentionally made two
> heritage cars, those won't go into IC paint.  554
> Summit View is the car in the HS inspection
> photo.  We will also qualify 511 Scenic View for
> the HS.
>
> Here is the full dome roster, all have their
> historic Santa Fe/GN numbers:
>
> 508         Canyon View(Matanuska)
> 509         CascadeView (former Chena)
> 510         Sunset View(former Chulitna)
> 511         Scenic View(former Nenana)
> 512         Alpine View(former Tanana)
> 513         ColumbiaView (former
> Talkeetna)
> 551         Sky View(former Kobuk)
> 554         Summit View(former Eklutna)
> 1394       Priarie View(former Deshka)



Date: 03/21/15 10:23
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: eee

Steve -

We haven't started on any of Dave's cars yet, most of our Alamosa team is in Chicago getting the HS cars ready.  The next car up in Alamosa for heavy rebuild is Coffee Creek.

Ed

wpjones Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sorry Ed, I couldn't quite make out the numbers on
> the cars but I thought your car rider at Lincoln,
> John I think it was told me that car also would be
> painted if it would ever sit still long enough.
> Have you started anything on the cars you got from
> Dave V. I'm anxious to see what you do with the
> CB&Q Dome Sleeper.
> Steve
>



Date: 03/21/15 10:58
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: gaspeamtrak

Hi Ed.
I was wondering if you could ever get up here to Canada and supply cars for the Gaspe train if it ever runs again!!!
Gotta quit day dreaming...



Date: 03/21/15 12:06
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: Out_Of_Service

what is your pricing for your services on the HS ???

and what is Amtrak's current pricing for the same ???

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/15 12:08 by Out_Of_Service.



Date: 03/21/15 12:31
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: eee

I think you can find Amtrak's pricing on the INDOT website, and it is reported at various places in the press that the "subsidy" is $2.8 or $2.9 million.  We have committed to do it for less than that, and when the contract is complete, it will no doubt be on the website as well.

Also, it should be obvious, but we have to increase ridership and revenue to do well.  If we don't do both, we will not cover all our costs.  So Indiana has put the incentives in the right place.

Out_Of_Service Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> what is your pricing for your services on the HS
> ???
>
> and what is Amtrak's current pricing for the same
> ???
>
> Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/21/15 14:10 by eee.



Date: 03/21/15 21:08
Re: Hoosier State inspection update
Author: JoeLafayette

I regret that you have chosen to resort to sarcasm in this serious interchange.  I just completed a back-and-forth trip to Chicago
yesterday and today with Amtrak crew persons I know well and respect.  The train left Union Station on time, was delayed by
freight trains at Thornton Junction and Dolton but still arrived in Lafayette on time.

The train was full of tired Purdue and other college students plus the normal complement of rail passengers.  None seemed to
be inconvenienced in any way, nor was the equipment faulty.

I am sorry that your experience with Amtrak has not come up to your standards, whatever they are.

Joe Krause, regular passenger assistant (volunteer) at Lafayette, Indiana.

(and a frequent user of AMTRAK and witness
to hundreds of persons who do so every month---frequency between Indianapolis and Chicago would help.)



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