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Passenger Trains > What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?


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Date: 01/20/18 16:57
What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: skidroe

Being a former private car owner, a consultant to a dinner train conversion and being in the commercial heat & air conditioning field for 35+ years,what parts of the Pacific Parlour cars are high maintenance?
The outside swing hanger trucks are standard in the industry and are made to be rebuilt many times. the tight lock couplers are standard.
The brakes are D-26, the same as the rest of the Amtrak fleet.
The electrical, lighting, heating & air conditioning systems were all upgraded in the 1980's when the heritage fleet was rebuilt with standard 480 volt 3 phase COMMERCIAL components, common thru-out the the Amtrak fleet.
The car body and some of the door hardware are about the only original parts, and maybe the a/c evaporator and condenser coils, if they were not replaced during the 1980's rebuild ( not rocket science to replace )
About the only non standard replacement items would be the window glass.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/18 16:57 by skidroe.



Date: 01/20/18 17:20
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: ronald321

You may have "outed" the Delta crowd.

Their intent is probably to downgrade all Ld train in preparation for discontinuance. A lot of downgrading has already taken place:

. Flowers in the diners were the first to go,
. Then the dining cars on the Silver Star
. Then the diners on the Lake Shore
, Now the removal of the Pacific Parlor Cars

We will have a better idea of their intent if dining cars are NOT returned to the Star and Lake Shore--even though new cars are available



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/18 17:26 by ronald321.



Date: 01/20/18 17:20
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: trainjunkie

AFAIK, they were originally built in 1956 making the car bodies 62 years old.



Date: 01/20/18 17:25
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: PHall

The center sill and the underframe are probably still original as would be the body.



Date: 01/20/18 17:31
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: altoonafn

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You may have "outed" the Delta crowd.
>
> Their intent is probably to downgrade all Ld train
> in preparation for discontinuance. A lot of
> downgrading has already taken place:
>
> . Flowers in the diners were the first to go,
> . Then the dining cars on the Silver Star
> . Then the diners on the Lake Shore
> , Now the removal of the Pacific Parlor Cars
>
> We will have a better idea of their intent if
> dining cars are NOT returned to the Star and Lake
> Shore--even though new cars are available

3 of the 4 things you listed happened before the “Delta Crowd” got there



Date: 01/20/18 17:55
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: Margaret_SP_fan

Thanks for the very interesting post, and it is from someone who knows his stuff.

Just a question, and in no way justifying Anderson's decision retire the PPCs permanently--
I thought the heritage fleet was 100% single-level streamliner-era cars, and that, therefore, these former Santa Fe hi-level lounge cars were never part of any rebuilding. Am I correct about this? And, from what I remember reading, these wonderful cars were not placed into service on the Starlight until around 1990. Am I correct about that? Did Brian Rosenwald have these cars rebuilt before they were put into service o the Starlight?

FYI, on another site, I read that the reason these cars were put into service on the starlight, and not another western US LD train, was because there were only 5 of them, which is not enough for any LD train that takes 2 nights to get it its final destination, and, as the Starlight takes only one night, it was the only train that these wonderful cars could be used on.

IMO, it is a very bad decision to retire these wonderful cars. somehow, when we ordinary people want something, there is never enough money for it, but when the mega-wealthy -- who are not the ones who ride the Starlight and use these PPCs -- want something, there is always plenty of money.

I hope some way can be found to keep this wonderful service going. Are there other double-deck passenger cars around that are not being used that could be modified to have pretty much the same interiors as these PPCs? And special lounge cars for sleeping car passengers should be on every LD train, and every LD train should have two Sightseer Lounge cars. And, while I am asking for the Moon, we really need a lot more LD passenger trains. This should be the direction Amtrak should be going in, instead of just cutting more and more amenities and service. And dining cars are not amenities -- they are essential.

I am only asking thee questions because I do not know the answers. TIA for any answers!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/18 18:08 by Margaret_SP_fan.



Date: 01/20/18 18:03
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: SDGreg

Margaret_SP_fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I thought the heritage fleet was 100% single-level
> streamliner-era cars, and that, therefore, these
> former Santa Fe hi-level lounge cars were never
> part of any rebuilding. Am I correct about this?

If I'm not mistaken, all of the Santa Fe hi-level cars that Amtrak inherited (coaches, diners, and lounges) were converted to HEP and used for quite some time.



Date: 01/20/18 18:23
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: Margaret_SP_fan

Thanks, SDGreg!

So did Amtrak use those hi-level cars only after Superliners came into use in 1981? Or was there even one LD train that ran with 100% hi-level cars before 1981? They cannot be used in the same train as single-level cars, unless one of the hi-level cars is a transition car, like a trans-dorm.



Date: 01/20/18 18:45
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: niagara484

Margaret_SP_fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks, SDGreg!
>
> So did Amtrak use those hi-level cars only after
> Superliners came into use in 1981? Or was there
> even one LD train that ran with 100% hi-level cars
> before 1981? They cannot be used in the same
> train as single-level cars, unless one of the
> hi-level cars is a transition car, like a
> trans-dorm.

I'm loathe to use Wikipedia as any official reference but there is information on the Santa Fe Hi-Levels there at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi-Level#Coaches

In short, Amtrak used the entire Santa Fe Hi-Level fleet from its beginning in 1971 well into the Superliner era. As I recall reading in the 1970s they were used on the Southwest Limited, the Lone Star, the Sunset Limited, and perhaps occasionally on the San Diegans. According to Wiki 22 of the coaches had stairs at one end to permit access to single-level baggage cars and sleepers. Those were the cars that Amtrak rebuilt and used as coach-dorms prior to delivery of the Superliner II transition-dorms in the early 1990s.

All the active cars (coaches, diners, lounges) went through the HEP program in the late 1970s.

niagara484



Date: 01/20/18 18:59
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: Margaret_SP_fan

Thank you, niagara484! Shoulda looked at Wikipedia, even though it is often full of errors.



Date: 01/20/18 21:42
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: TWC

The air brake system is funky compared to the Superliners. Not in a way that makes it more difficult to maintain, just more time consuming. The big issue is not the age, but the unique hi-level parts inventory. Windows, a/c systems parts, air brake valves, etc. are all essentially custom parts to Amtrak.



Date: 01/20/18 21:52
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: WP17

The high level transition coaches were an important part of trains like the early 1980s Desert Wind which ran with Superliner coaches but single level sleepers and food service cars.



Date: 01/20/18 22:47
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: DevalDragon

Margaret_SP_fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks, SDGreg!
>
> So did Amtrak use those hi-level cars only after
> Superliners came into use in 1981? Or was there
> even one LD train that ran with 100% hi-level cars
> before 1981? They cannot be used in the same
> train as single-level cars, unless one of the
> hi-level cars is a transition car, like a
> trans-dorm.

Probably not - there were no hi-level sleepers until the Superliners were launched in 1979.



Date: 01/20/18 23:58
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: coach

Don't worry-sell the PPC's to VIA in Canada--they know how to fix / maintain old cars, and run a very classy train.  They have a work ethic, apparently.



Date: 01/21/18 01:00
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: aronco

Stainless steel cars such as the high-level lounges discussed here have a habit of developing cracks in the side sills. Because they are stainless cars, the repair is to engineer a patch of stainless steel and huck-bolt it in place - a very expensive and time consuming operation. I suspect that those car bodies are beginning to develop cracks in the side sills.

Norm

Norman Orfall
Helendale, CA
TIOGA PASS, a private railcar



Date: 01/21/18 06:40
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: railwaybaron

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't worry-sell the PPC's to VIA in Canada--they
> know how to fix / maintain old cars, and run a
> very classy train.  They have a work ethic,
> apparently.

Really not such a bad idea, but will they take the bait? We always sold off our cars to Mexico, but ever since we bought their railroads, that market dried up when we dumped their passenger trains.



Date: 01/21/18 07:25
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: bretton88

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't worry-sell the PPC's to VIA in Canada--they
> know how to fix / maintain old cars, and run a
> very classy train.  They have a work ethic,
> apparently.


They also are very good at only running a train 2 days a week. They desperately want to replace the HEP coaches as well, which are in sad shape. Very different situations.



Date: 01/21/18 10:17
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: PHall

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't worry-sell the PPC's to VIA in Canada--they
> know how to fix / maintain old cars, and run a
> very classy train.  They have a work ethic,
> apparently.

Well the lack of any other hi-level equipment could be just a small problem...



Date: 01/21/18 12:47
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: ats90mph

coach Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't worry-sell the PPC's to VIA in Canada--they
> know how to fix / maintain old cars, and run a
> very classy train.  They have a work ethic,
> apparently.


I've been waiting to mention this for a while, now seems as good of a time as any...

Does anyone actually think that VIA would hold onto these 60-70 year old cars, if an MP or some other government official said: "hey, lets buy you new Long Distance rolling stock"? Of course not, VIA has had to make the best out of a bad situation. The government of Canada has not been kind to VIA outside the Corridor. The only LD equipment that VIA has gotten were the 2nd hand Renaissance cars (which were a steal at less than $1M a piece), which are woefully inadequate, and got them sued by a Disability Lobby.

Point is, the Stainless Steel equipment at VIA is operated out of necessity, not want...

VIA also knows, that when these cars finally go chest up, you can pretty much say goodbye to all LD service in the western provinces (and that day is coming sooner, rather than later)...


Also BTW their fleet is pretty standardized, mostly ex CP cars, which makes things way easier on the mechanical side...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/18 13:39 by ats90mph.



Date: 01/21/18 13:16
Re: What parts of the Pacific parlour car are 60 years old ?
Author: ATSF3751

ats90mph Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> coach Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Don't worry-sell the PPC's to VIA in
> Canada--they
> > know how to fix / maintain old cars, and run a
> > very classy train.  They have a work ethic,
> > apparently.
>
>
> I've been waiting to mention this for a while, now
> seems as good of a time as any...
>
> Does anyone actually think that VIA would hold
> onto these 60-70 year old cars, if an MP or some
> other government official said: "hey, lets buy you
> new Long Distance rolling stock"? Of course not,
> VIA has had to make the best out of a bad
> situation. The government of Canada has not been
> kind to VIA outside the Corridor. The only LD
> equipment that VIA has gotten were the 2nd hand
> Renaissance cars (which were a steal at less than
> $1M a piece), which are woefully inadequate, and
> got them sued by a Disability Lobby.
>
> Point is, the Stainless Steel equipment at VIA is
> operated out of necessity, not want...
>
>
> Also BTW their fleet is pretty standardized,
> mostly ex CP cars, which makes things way easier
> on the mechanical side...


Thank you for your sobering assessment. I suspect VIA management would be stepping over one another in the race to sign the contracts to begin replacing their rolling museum of decaying, HIGH cost per passenger mile rolling stock. Stainless steel cars WILL NOT last forever, especially given the type of stresses these cars experience during day to day operations. In addition, and this is something some fans seem to forget about, the lower capacity of the ex-CP rolling stock places them at a competitive disadvantage as compared to higher occupancy, more efficient, Superliners. A higher level of efficiency translates into lower operating costs.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/18 13:29 by ATSF3751.



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