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Passenger Trains > Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch


Date: 12/14/16 05:02
Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: NYC4096

Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch

I've been interested in the new Amtrak Business Class service which is now offered on the Cardinal and Lake Shore Limited.  The details, features and benefits of the new service are presented on the Amtrak webpage, but I believe that no reference to seat pitch was mentioned.  Amtrak would also do well to show color pictures of the seats which are positioned 2+1 abreast in a part of the Cafe car.  Giving a visual image of the seating and space in the car might persuade more travelers to book those seats.  Some of the pictures of the Business Class now rolling on Michigan Service trains appears on Google but not on Amtrak's webpage.  I wonder why Amtrak hasn't been more creative in the delivery of the concept online?  IMHO the currently-shown "drawn graphic sketch" of a seat pair is a bit too casual.

Does anyone have any information:
• on the degree of seat pitch on these seats?
• share any personal experiences sitting in them?
• if such a concept will eventually be added to the Silver Service Trains?

https://www.google.com/search?q=amtrak+business+class&biw=1067&bih=718&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjnj4KG3vPQAhWe2YMKHfAYBQ0Q_AUIBigB&dpr=1.2#imgrc=Q_6B5L2BQyg9sM%3A

Just as a point of reference, I remember quite fondly the old Santa Fe highlevel cars that used to run on the Amtrak LD Trains in the Western US.   Part of the upstairs on those cars had 20 or so of the most comfortable, plush leather-like seats I have ever seen.  The pitch on those seats went way back, too.  I dont know the degree of pitch but wow, it was much better than the coach seats of today...


 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/16 05:04 by NYC4096.



Date: 12/14/16 06:20
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: andersonb109

Amtrak needs to look at VIA's Business Class (Formerly VIA I ) to see what a real Business Class service is all about. A completely seperate car, not just a few seats in the back of the cafe. Decent meals served at your seat, priority boarding, advance seat assignment, etc. As for the LSL, given recent reports, your Business Class seat could just as easly end up being a bus. 



Date: 12/14/16 06:24
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: RevRandy

A friendly clarification -  seat pitch refers to the distance between one point on any seat and the exact same point on the next seat ahead or behind it.  It is a measure of legroom. The pitch in the cafe - dinette - BC Amfleet cars is greater than the pitch in the full Amfleet BC cars.  And both are far superior to airplane (which can be as little as 28 inches, averaging around 30, with 32-35 in upgrade airplane coach seating.  If I remember correctly, the Business Class 2 + 1 seating is at about 40 inches.  That seat in front of you is a loooong ways off. 

What you are asking about is seat recline angle.  This is achieved by one of two methods or a combination of both.  In the standard mode, which is what the BC cars you are talking about have, the seat back lower backwards.  In another mode, often used in higher capacity situations and in Roomettes, the seat cushion moves forward creating the reclining angle.  As far as I know, none of the BC 2 +1's achieve any level of recline angle equivalent to the old day-nighter seats which really reclined. Overnight in the modern BC seats would still mean "sitting up" albeit reclining all night.  

And you comments about the old hi-levels brings back memories of the NYNH&H parlor cars, 1+1 seating, on plush swivel seats -- now that was comfort. 

 



Date: 12/14/16 06:40
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: cabsignaldrop

Basically on 50/51 the Cardinal, business class is 18 seats in an otherwise unused lounge car. The seats are leather, 2 and 1 seating. As far as reclining and room---no more space than a normal Amfleet II long distance coach seat. You are paying for a much less crowded car with the chance to grab a single seat if one is available when you board. Also much less foot traffic since you are adjacent to the sleeper and not 3 coaches.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/14/16 07:26
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: joemvcnj

You buy this accommodation not so much for seat pitch, but for seat width, quiet, and maybe not be ordered where to sit by a control freak.
What you stay away from is Biz Class on the Palmetto and Pennsylvanian, a 60 seat AM-1, which is an inferior accommodation to an AM-2, which is in the same consist. Amtrak should convert those to 45 seaters.



Date: 12/14/16 07:37
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: cabsignaldrop

Agree 100%. Also the business class on 19/20 is also just a standard 60 seat Amfleet II coach.

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You buy this accommodation not so much for seat
> pitch, but for seat width, quiet, and maybe not be
> ordered where to sit by a control freak.
> What you stay away from is Biz Class on the
> Palmetto and Pennsylvanian, a 60 seat AM-1, which
> is an inferior accommodation to an AM-2, which is
> in the same consist. Amtrak should convert those
> to 45 seaters.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/14/16 11:15
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: sums007

Biz class on the NEC isn't anything to write home about, either.  It makes people feel special, though.



Date: 12/14/16 14:44
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: jdw3460

I've ridden business class on Amtrak's Wolverines between Jackson, MI and Chicago several times.  At that time, the difference in fare was minimal but the comfort level was much better.  Yes, BC occupies the back end of the cafe car, making it possible to get a cup of coffee or whatever very easily, without staggering through several coaches on the way.  In fact, BC passengers were given free coffee and a morning newspaper upon boarding.  The BC location in the train could be on either end.  If you were lucky, you ended up about 6 steps from the station at Chicago.  If not lucky, you ended up at the opposite end of the train.  But there was always no waiting in lines to board as an attendant boarded BC passengers directly on the cafe car.  Seats were bigger and much more comfortable than coach.  Since the Wolverines were almost all day trains, very few people were looking for a seat that reclined into a sleeping position, like with coach on superliners.   I don't know if BC fares have gone up in the past 3 years, but it was always worth the cost to me.  On this route, however, BC sold out pretty early except on weekends.  I think Amtrak could have sold more BC seats if they were available.  The ridership on the Wolverines is pretty good, I think, which of course is good for Amtrak.  But I do not like wandering through the coaches looking for a seat.  Back in the "good ol' days", I rode reserved coach seats many times on the Santa Fe Chief and El Capitan and I always knew which car and which seat I had reserved.  On Amtrak, it simply means they limit sales to the number of seats available.  I guess this is called progress.



Date: 12/14/16 15:00
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: reindeerflame

jdw3460 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've ridden business class on Amtrak's Wolverines
> between Jackson, MI and Chicago several times.
>  At that time, the difference in fare was minimal
> but the comfort level was much better.  Yes, BC
> occupies the back end of the cafe car, making it
> possible to get a cup of coffee or whatever very
> easily, without staggering through several coaches
> on the way.  In fact, BC passengers were given
> free coffee and a morning newspaper upon boarding.
>  The BC location in the train could be on either
> end.  If you were lucky, you ended up about 6
> steps from the station at Chicago.  If not lucky,
> you ended up at the opposite end of the train.
>  But there was always no waiting in lines to
> board as an attendant boarded BC passengers
> directly on the cafe car.  Seats were bigger and
> much more comfortable than coach.  Since the
> Wolverines were almost all day trains, very few
> people were looking for a seat that reclined into
> a sleeping position, like with coach on
> superliners.   I don't know if BC fares have gone
> up in the past 3 years, but it was always worth
> the cost to me.  On this route, however, BC sold
> out pretty early except on weekends.  I think
> Amtrak could have sold more BC seats if they were
> available.  The ridership on the Wolverines is
> pretty good, I think, which of course is good for
> Amtrak.  But I do not like wandering through the
> coaches looking for a seat.  Back in the "good
> ol' days", I rode reserved coach seats many times
> on the Santa Fe Chief and El Capitan and I always
> knew which car and which seat I had reserved.  On
> Amtrak, it simply means they limit sales to the
> number of seats available.  I guess this is
> called progress.

If Amtrak had more creativity, it would sponsor a design competition to develop the most comfortable contemporary seat for overnight long distance travel -- rather than relying on off-the-shelf concepts that are more suitable for daytime travel.  Instead, the thinking appears to be that overnight coach is an economy product without much retail value, and that people seeking comfort will opt for the sleepers.

The other issue, of individually reserved seats, has been much previously discussed.  Again, inertia reigns.  All over the world people have the opportunity to select airline, train, or even bus seats based on an on-line diagram.  Even in Ireland, which essentially offers only short-distance regional trains.  But not at Amtrak.  Think of the options and opportunities: everything from having every single seat available for advance reservation to just having one or two cars with advance seat reservations.  Continuing, there would be the ability to charge extra for advance seat selection, and the ability to charge extra for certain seats, like the best oceanside seats on the Coast Starlight.  A single person who wanted 2 seats just for that person could potentially be allowed to buy both of them at a special rate.  Instead, what we have is "one size fits all".  Amtrak could do much better.



Date: 12/14/16 16:36
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: joemvcnj

They put new seat frames in the Superliners. They look different, but are of the same PRR 1967-Metroliner design - they feel just the same, but they go back one less notch. There is no posturpedic science in them, their lumbar support sucks (i.e. non-existant), and there is still the propensity to slide of.



Date: 12/14/16 22:31
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: agentatascadero

I think the chaos of Amtrak coach travel most annoys us old geezers.  First off, even Amtrak, in the early days did use the reserved seat method of old.  And remember, this was all done, as in the railroad operated passenger days, by pencil and paper and telephone/telegraph.  Sort of like going to the moon using slide rule math, etc.         Also, there is zero need to design conforable seats, that was done many decades ago, and the finest state of the art in long distance caoch travel was found on, among many other trains, the ATSF Hi-level coaches.  The well known Sleepy Hollow seats of the streaminer era were just about as confortable....the recline was phenomenal, almost bed like with the leg rests up and engaged.                                                                                                                                                                                            Then, there are the impossible to compare differences in "sleeping car"....read PULLMAN car travel.  Once upon a time, patrons slept on actual mattresses, not the paper thin torture pads of current Amtrak "sleepers".  The post war streamliner era represented the best comfort/travel experience for the buck ever....and will never return.  I am thankful indeed for the few Pullman cars still in PV service, and patronize them when I can.                                                                                                   AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 12/15/16 01:55
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: mp51w

All 3 of the last posts are spot on, even Reindeerflame's!  LOL!



Date: 12/15/16 04:30
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: joemvcnj

And what has Amtrak done about their 1967-era coach seat:
  • upholster out the wings in the seatback in the 1980's, which could prevent whiplash when dozing off.
  • the Utica Bus Driver yanks away coach pillows (I used to use that to fill in the lower seat back for lumbar support), and then prices sleepers for the top 0.2% of income earners.

Lack of Seat Science (even VIA has a better seat with its poltical enemies and no capital budget for 30 years)  is not about money - this is about being apathetic and stupid.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/16 07:49 by joemvcnj.



Date: 12/15/16 06:00
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: Lackawanna484

On the Auto-Train, business class is a standard super-liner coach. But you get to eat with the sleeping car people (woo-hoo!)

And there's a sign on the coach end of the car, telling the riff-raff in coach to stay out. It's essentially the same sign which used to be at the first sleeping car, saying the same thing.



Date: 12/15/16 20:33
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: Wurli1938

sums007 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Biz class on the NEC isn't anything to write home
> about, either.  It makes people feel special,
> though.

It is 2 & 1 seating on 66 & 67



Date: 12/16/16 03:25
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: sums007

Wurli1938 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> sums007 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Biz class on the NEC isn't anything to write
> home
> > about, either.  It makes people feel special,
> > though.
>
> It is 2 & 1 seating on 66 & 67

That's good.  And bring back the sleeper.



Date: 12/16/16 05:01
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: NYC4096

RevRandy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A friendly clarification -  seat pitch refers to
> the distance between one point on any seat and the
> exact same point on the next seat ahead or behind
> it.  It is a measure of legroom. The pitch in the
> cafe - dinette - BC Amfleet cars is greater than
> the pitch in the full Amfleet BC cars.  And both
> are far superior to airplane (which can be as
> little as 28 inches, averaging around 30, with
> 32-35 in upgrade airplane coach seating.  If I
> remember correctly, the Business Class 2 + 1
> seating is at about 40 inches.  That seat in
> front of you is a loooong ways off. 
>
> What you are asking about is seat recline angle.
>  This is achieved by one of two methods or a
> combination of both.  In the standard mode, which
> is what the BC cars you are talking about have,
> the seat back lower backwards.  In another mode,
> often used in higher capacity situations and in
> Roomettes, the seat cushion moves forward creating
> the reclining angle.  As far as I know, none of
> the BC 2 +1's achieve any level of recline angle
> equivalent to the old day-nighter seats which
> really reclined. Overnight in the modern BC seats
> would still mean "sitting up" albeit reclining all
> night.  
>
> And you comments about the old hi-levels brings
> back memories of the NYNH&H parlor cars, 1+1
> seating, on plush swivel seats -- now that was
> comfort. 
>
>  

Yes, RevRandy, thank you for the clarification and helpful response.  I stand corrected: What I am looking for and asking about is the Seat Recline Angle.  An Amtrak agent just told me by phone:
The Business Class (Amfleet 1, I believe) Seat Pitch is 48-53 inches, and the Seat Recline Angle is 25-30 degrees.  I'm looking forward to sampling the service soon, as I like the "quiet car" aspect and the wider seat offered. 

 



Date: 12/16/16 06:19
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: BRAtkinson

sums007 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wurli1938 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > sums007 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Biz class on the NEC isn't anything to write
> > home
> > > about, either.  It makes people feel
> special,
> > > though.
> >
> > It is 2 & 1 seating on 66 & 67
>
> That's good.  And bring back the sleeper.

When I rode BC on 66 this past May and the May before, the 2 & 1 seating half cafe car was replaced with standard a NEC BC car.  About 1/4 of all the seats were filled, ie, someone in every side & row.



Date: 12/16/16 06:20
Re: Business Class on Cardinal and LSL: Seat Pitch
Author: BRAtkinson

NYC4096 Wrote:

> Yes, RevRandy, thank you for the clarification and
> helpful response.  I stand corrected: What I am
> looking for and asking about is the Seat Recline
> Angle.  An Amtrak agent just told me by phone:
> The Business Class (Amfleet 1, I believe) Seat
> Pitch is 48-53 inches, and the Seat Recline Angle
> is 25-30 degrees.  I'm looking forward to
> sampling the service soon, as I like the "quiet
> car" aspect and the wider seat offered. 
>
On every NEC train I've been on, the quiet car and BC are two separate cars.  The quiet car is your run of the mill Amfleet I coach.



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