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Passenger Trains > Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend


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Date: 06/26/20 13:08
Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: MarionLinn

Last chance to ride one or both
of the two Talgo Series 6 trainsets still in service will be today (Friday) through Monday (June 29th).  After that, they'll be sidelined for good.  These are the two Amtrak-owned trainsets, Mt. Olympus and Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood is scheduled to depart Seattle as Train 505 at 2:20 p.m. today (Friday) for Eugene and return Saturday, June 27, as Train 500 leaving Eugene at 5:30 a.m.  The consist makes a repeat round-trip as 505/500 on Sunday/Monday.  Upon arrival in Seattle, scheduled for 11:50 a.m. June 29th, the Mt. Hood will go out of service.

Mt. Olympus makes its final round-trip Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28, as 505/500. 

     Washington state's two Talgo 6 trains, Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier, were sidelined in May.  Mt. Baker's last revenue trip was as Train 500 on May 9th.  Mt. Rainier made its final run as Train 500 on May 12th. 



Date: 06/26/20 14:02
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: ronald321

What will replace them - Amfleet?
 



Date: 06/26/20 14:20
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: OTG

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What will replace them - Amfleet?

For now, I assume nothing.  I doubt they need that many trainsets during Covid-19.  They're probably hoping to have the repurposed Milwaukee Talgo-8s delivered and in service before they expand the schedule again.



Date: 06/26/20 14:27
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: joemvcnj

Didn't they send a dozen Horizon cars to Seattle  a couple of months ago ?



Date: 06/26/20 14:43
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: MarionLinn

Amtrak Cascades service will be "staffed" by Oregon's two Talgo Series 8 trains (Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Bachelor), and by 11 Horizon cars (eight coaches and three cafe/business) that have been on hand in Seattle since mid-May. That should be sufficient equipment to support the COVID-limited Cascades frequencies until arrival of the Wisconsin Talgo 8 trainsets from Milwaukee in late July or August. 



Date: 06/26/20 15:14
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: TAW

MarionLinn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Amtrak Cascades service will be "staffed" by
> Oregon's two Talgo Series 8 trains (Mt. Jefferson
> and Mt. Bachelor), and by 11 Horizon cars (eight
> coaches and three cafe/business) that have been on
> hand in Seattle since mid-May.

Thus, the Cascades will no longer make the current running times (unless someone is going to bypass a whole lot of process we went through, but there will be more axles (thus more rolling resistance) and perhaps more weight, so part of the running time will disappear into that anyway. I put a lot of work into defining the Talgo speed zones for greatest benefit. Yeah, it is only a few seconds per curve, but it adds up to minutes at the end of the trip.

TAW



Date: 06/26/20 15:30
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: BigSkyBlue

Any word on when the new Tacoma route will begin to be used?



Date: 06/26/20 15:46
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: jp1822

Safety measures and adequacy of the Talgo 6's aside, I always felt that these train sets offered a "bright and fresh" atmosphere (interior and exterior) to launch the Cascades service at the turn of the 21st century. Even the colors fit in nicely with the Northwest - dark green and brown. I always liked the original comfortability of these train sets and thought they were something "different" to mark the newness of "state corridors" that may finally emerge in the Amtrak system in the future.

Thought nearly the same about the Pacific Surfliner train sets operating in southern California.

These two corridors on the extreme ends of the West Coast, debuted nearly at the same time with what I thought would be a breath of fresh air for Amtrak's state corridor future. For the most part - they were the two most innovative train sets outside of the NEC home of Acela Express). All other state corridor trains were either Superliners, Horizons, or Amfleets. Some corridors got refurbished Heritage cars - which were nice for a time (e.g. Adirondack, Ethan Allen).

The California cars operating in the Bay Area and down the Valley didn't seem as nice as the Pacific Surfliner cars. New Midwest coach cars are on their way - eventually.

But in 20+ years since their introduction, the Talgos and Pacific Surfliners were perhaps the only "new/modern" variation beyond Superliners, Horizons, and Amfleets. And not talking about Brightline - just Amtrak. It's nice that the Cascade Corridor will get the Wisconsin "Talgo Castoffs." 

I understand the controversy surrounding the Talgos, but overall I felt they were "comfortable" cars to travel in, offered something new and fresh and different, allowed trains to be sped up (even if slightly) in the Northwest Corridor, allowed the Corridor to expand to greater frequencies, and even offered a food service that could be the typical "cafe" style, or the more "sit down and be served" for breakfast or lunch between Seattle and Vancouver, BC (the Las Vegas demo set only offered this unique F&B service). Yes, that amenity was pulled, but it WAS A NICE FOOD SERVICE option. At the end, you were still given silverware, ate off of real china, and received a hot meal - all handled by ONE person, assisted by the cafe attendant and even the conductor of the train!!! Wasn't the ideal work/labor situation, but it was amazing to watch ONE person take orders while you were seated, cook/heat the meals, and serve it. The sit-down meal service was ALWAYS full when I rode the train - for breakfast or dinner. Beverages and food all brought to the table. Dining was nice - great view out to Puget Sound. The at-seat meal service was originally launched with additional help/workers, but as costs were tightened, labor was reduced. They left the flowers, tableware, and tablecloths at the tables though! Business passengers were given a voucher for a "discount" at the Food and Beverage car. Again, even this service was a little innovative for the time, and preceded Amtrak's overall reduction in F&B service - from flowers on the table to labor to box meals.

A lot had been "packaged" in to the Talgo train set, let alone the fact that movies and a GPS for train movement was offered. Hopefully these train sets did introduce new people to train travel and helped to sustain the growth of the corridor. I'd like to think it was the unique "train set" that helped to do this. Not sure if the same "growth" result would have been achieved with Horizon or Amfleet cars. Ironically, it was the controversial safety measures - or lack of strength under stress - that ultimately did the train sets in.......... 



Date: 06/26/20 16:40
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: gbmott

Is it the Series 6 train sets where the food service car has a bar with two or the stools facing the window?  What a great place to enjoy your late-afternoon wine and cheese while watching the Great Northwest roll by.  What a contrast to an Amcafe!

Gordon



Date: 06/26/20 17:10
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: TAW

gbmott Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is it the Series 6 train sets where the food
> service car has a bar with two or the stools
> facing the window?

Yes, and the map of the Puget Sound region in the ceiling and lights in the map to represent the cities.

TAW



Date: 06/26/20 18:53
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: MEKoch

Well, if the State of Washington is silly enough to remove these trainsets from service, are they for sale?   Surely some other state, which has better thinking than Washington State, can use this attractive equipment to bolster their train service.  

If they are looking at equipment for a 2nd CHI-MSP train, they have got it here.   It could operate in the New England corridor from Boston - Portland.  It could be a second Pennsylvanian.  It could operate from New Orleans to Mobile.   ETC.  



Date: 06/26/20 19:29
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: PHall

I thought these train sets were being removed from service because they don't meet the current standards and that they were operating under a grandfather exemption.



Date: 06/26/20 21:21
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: TAW

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I thought these train sets were being removed from
> service because they don't meet the current
> standards and that they were operating under a
> grandfather exemption.

There is a lot unpublished about that. It is not all it sounds like. Look at it this way. After the wreck investigation, while NTSB was going on and on about the Talgo death traps, FRA was saying that they meet all the standards and there is no reason to remove them from service.

TAW



Date: 06/26/20 23:34
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: Jim700

Just by chance I happened to open this thread shortly after MarionLinn posted it and, considering what my schedule is through Monday, I realized that today would be my last opportunity to ride this Talgo series which I pulled for many years.

Time was short and finally, on the third try talking to an Amtrak reservationist, I was able to book a white ticket seat with my Amtrak retiree pass on #505, the Mt. Hood, departing Oregon City at 6:28 PM. After a half-hour's drive from Macksburg I arrived with six minutes to spare!

They ended up being just a little late and I was greeted by Conductor Ronda who,I learned, has ascended to Zone 10 Conductor #3 (#2 in PDX) since I retired almost 14 years ago. She was an AC in PDX in the mid'90s. I think there were less than two dozen passengers on the train but activity at every stop.

After some delay here and there, we arrived in Eugene at 9:02 PM, 57 minutes late. I'm returning in the morning at 5:30 AM on #500. This is the same schedule I worked during my last six years before retirement. The attached picture, if I can get the cell phone to cooperate, is from this evening at Salem.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/20 13:57 by Jim700.




Date: 06/27/20 08:04
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: alally8444

BigSkyBlue Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Any word on when the new Tacoma route will begin
> to be used?

This might be a good time to start the new route, when traffic is down and the media is focused on other things.



Date: 06/27/20 19:07
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: agent1522

I'll be on Sunday and Monday.  I always liked the Talgos.  The ride was far more comfortable than regular Amtrak consists and the tilt mechanism made them ideal for the curves here in the Pacific Northwest



Date: 06/27/20 22:30
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: UnionStationmaster

I was able to take some photos of Amtrak Cascades Train #500 with Charger #1401 and Cab Car #90240 Talgo Series 6 trainset the Mt. Hood on Saturday 6-27-20.  The next to last northbound run to Seattle.   This was at the approach to the Willamette River Bridge in Northwest Portland, OR with Forest Park in the background. 






Date: 06/29/20 06:23
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: RRTom

TAW Wrote:
 I put a lot
> of work into defining the Talgo speed zones for
> greatest benefit. Yeah, it is only a few seconds
> per curve, but it adds up to minutes at the end of
> the trip.
>
> TAW

So did I, as an engineering consultant working for Amtrak.  Months of track chart and spreadsheet calculation work and then flagging crossings on test train runs and installing T-xx speed signs south of Seattle.



Date: 06/29/20 08:41
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: TAW

RRTom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> TAW Wrote:
>  I put a lot
> > of work into defining the Talgo speed zones for
> > greatest benefit. Yeah, it is only a few
> seconds
> > per curve, but it adds up to minutes at the end
> of
> > the trip.
> >
> > TAW
>
> So did I, as an engineering consultant working for
> Amtrak.  Months of track chart and spreadsheet
> calculation work and then flagging crossings on
> test train runs and installing T-xx speed signs
> south of Seattle.

What a small world. I was working for BN at the time, fighting with the engineering department the whole way through. We reached the point of the engineering department refusing to place signs, "just don't have time for that" and the Road Foreman going out on his dirt bike placing signs...until the gandys caught him doing it and started timeslipping. That led to a battle that wound up with the engineering department giving in.

I was on several of the test runs and track geometry car trips, so we might have met at some point.

TAW



Date: 06/29/20 22:57
Re: Last Chance to Ride Talgo 6s This Weekend
Author: agent1522

I seem to recall that when the Talgos were first introduced, the maximum speed limit signs were 90 mph for the "T" sign.  Trips in the last several years seems to indicate that if the "T" signs exist at all, they have been reduced to 79 mph maximum.  Perhaps TAW with his expertise could comment?
 



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