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Passenger Trains > Train 21 departing Austin yesterday


Date: 02/21/24 06:45
Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: Hou74-76

Yesterday evening as I sat in bumper to bumper traffic in Austin TX, I heard two short blasts of a Nathan K5LA horn.  It was Amtrak's Texas Eagle, train #21 acknowledging a highball to depart the Amtrak Depot.  Realizing my luck, I pulled out my handy iPhone and captured the train over the Lamar St bridge.  As the train slowly rolled by I thought to myself, it has been very close to on time (consistently southbound & northbound) for a while.  It looked fairly clean from a distance too. Were there many travelers onboard, who knows?  Will the train ever grow beyond this truncated and diminished consist of four cars, who knows?

It has always been my hope since the 1960s that passenger rail operations would relieve some of the overcrowded streets and highways where I lived.  Judging by this video, I don't think we are there yet.  And how about that art on the walls of the underpass?  It's not all graffiti but commissioned murals by the City.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/24 08:12 by Hou74-76.

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Date: 02/21/24 07:27
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: texchief1

Nice video!  That Eagle is not much of a train.  Used to ride it all the time between Austn and Cleburne to meet a friend for lunch and then return.  Haven't been since they took the lounge car off.

texchief1



Date: 02/21/24 07:53
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: ronald321

The configuration of this consist looks very bad to me -- but, I'm not sure - please help.

It appears the dinner (or cafe car) is the first car on the train -- the worst position possible (especially for sleeper passengers).

If the sleeper is the second car (can't tell), this means coach passenger must trample through the sleeper
if it is the last car -- the highest paying customers have the longest walk

My view has always been -- whenever the food service car is the first car on the train (or the last car) - Management
has placed the car as far away from the majority of passengers onboard as possible.

(railroads in the past all knew the diner belongs mid-train, or to separate coaches from sleepers. )

If I'm reight, the Texas Eagle consist shown here, is further proof to me that AmManagement cares nothing
about the passenger's experience onboard their trains.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/24 07:55 by ronald321.



Date: 02/21/24 08:00
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: Hou74-76

Consist:
AMTK #55, Cross Country Cafe, Coach/Baggage, Coach, Sleeper.  



Date: 02/21/24 08:02
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: northridgeswitcher

Diner/Lounge (Diner Lite Car)
Coach Baggage
Coach
Sleeper

The last 2 cars could be the through cars of the Sunset.
 



Date: 02/21/24 08:10
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: Hou74-76

This was not a 421 train carrying through cars for train #1.  But maybe the sleeper and coach were exchanged with a set parked in San Antonio.  



Date: 02/21/24 11:10
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: ironmtn

Wonderful video - thank you. I think many of us look forward to moments like that. The train looks pretty good - the engine is a bit grimy and could use a wash, but the cars look pretty clean - reflections on the window glass, usually a sign of a clean window. Thanks for the effort to pull out the phone and grab the shot, download it, and share it with us. VOTD material, I think!

*************

Wow, "ronald321", you are really looking for something to criticize here.  Looking really hard.

I realize that you posted before "Hou74-76's" consist listing (he is knowledgeable as a former Amtrak employee in Texas), which acknowledges that the sleeper is on the rear. As just about everyone here on TO thinks that it should be - much criticism when that's not the case here on this forum. But you were right about the first coach being separated by one car, the Cross Country Cafe (CCC), from the engine. That's to the good. There is therefore some separation for those Coach passengers (or sleeper passengers, if they were in that position) from the locomotive, and some quieting of the horn sound as a result, again pretty widely agreed on here as desirable. For a short, four-car consist that is about the best that can be done. The CCC car has limited and temporary occupancy - people in and in, not their regular seat - especially overnight during sleeping time. In this short consist, that is its best position for overall utility and passenger comfort. And I think the sleeper passengers will be able to tolerate the walk through two coaches to the Cross Country Cafe without too much difficulty.

What's really too bad is that the Sightseer Lounge and a second sleeper and third coach are not back on this train. Or full cooked meal service. And maybe a full baggage car with them, at the head end, behind the engine. Then it would be more appropriate to have a concern about the CCC (or, hopefully, a full diner) being midtrain between the coaches and the sleepers. But with this consist, I think your concern is misplaced, and you're unfortunately searching for a problem where none exists.

MC



Date: 02/21/24 12:27
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: Korigaoka1811

>
> What's really too bad is that the Sightseer Lounge
> and a second sleeper and third coach are not back
> on this train. Or full cooked meal service. And
> maybe a full baggage car with them, at the head
> end, behind the engine. Then it would be more
> appropriate to have a concern about the CCC (or,
> hopefully, a full diner) being midtrain between
> the coaches and the sleepers. But with this
> consist, I think your concern is misplaced, and
> you're unfortunately searching for a problem where
> none exists.
>

I'd like to see another coach, sleeper and sightseer lounge too and they should be there and they are not.

Yet, I recall late 1970s consists, when this train was still called the Inter American usually had only a baggage-dorm, 3 (or maybe 4) 48 seat leg-rest coaches, a food-service car (diner-lounge or lunch-counter diner) and a single 10 & 6 sleeper.  So, capacity-wise, todays consist isn't too bad.  But todays's train could be better, I agree.

J.
> MC



Date: 02/21/24 12:28
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: ronald321

ironmtn

Yes, you're right,  that this is probably a good arrangement for this short consist.

But, if I had Gardner's job -- i would put an idler car(cars) behind the loco, and move the diner more mid-train

If they can run idler cars on the X-IC in Illinois to triger crossing gates,  they can do it on the Eagle (and the Lakes Shore, as well)
Of course, to think like this, you have to care about the passenger's comfort and convience,

(PS: naturally,  if no cars are available for this purpose -- well then, we have to live with what we got.)

 



Date: 02/21/24 12:49
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: UP951West

Nice to see the Eagle in Austin again . Thanks for posting this video. 



Date: 02/21/24 14:10
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: WrongWayMurphy

That slow Eaglet is like NASCAR compared to Austin traffic



Date: 02/21/24 16:02
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: Goatboat

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The configuration of this consist looks very bad
> to me -- but, I'm not sure - please help.

For what it's worth - the late, lamented Pioneer ran with exactly the same consist, in the same order, for most of the time it was equipped with Superliner equipment. Here is an example on September 1, 1990.




Date: 02/21/24 18:16
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: CP8888

I would walk thru 5 coaches to reach the "diner" from tailend sleeping cars.



Date: 02/22/24 06:57
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: ronald321

CP8888

So would I - but we're both train fans.

But, I doubt the average Amtrak customer would enjoy it very much,

But, I admit, this is no big deal -- just another little downgrade of the customer experience.

 



Date: 02/22/24 07:33
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: Korigaoka1811

ronald321 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CP8888
>
> So would I - but we're both train fans.
>
> But, I doubt the average Amtrak customer would
> enjoy it very much,
>
> But, I admit, this is no big deal -- just another
> little downgrade of the customer experience.


Isn't it a pretty sad commentary about modern Americans (with no disablities) if we can't be bothered to walk less than 500 feet for a meal???

J.



Date: 02/22/24 07:55
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: Typhoon

Korigaoka1811 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ronald321 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > CP8888
> >
> > So would I - but we're both train fans.
> >
> > But, I doubt the average Amtrak customer would
> > enjoy it very much,
> >
> > But, I admit, this is no big deal -- just
> another
> > little downgrade of the customer experience.
>
>
> Isn't it a pretty sad commentary about modern
> Americans (with no disablities) if we can't be
> bothered to walk less than 500 feet for a meal???
>
> J.

I doubt most people would care, as they would have no issue parking that far from their favorite restaurant.   Jus more complaining about nothing.



Date: 02/22/24 13:09
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: ronald321

Typhoon

If the 20-car Broadway Limited were still around -- would you place the twin-unit  Diner as the first car?



Date: 02/22/24 15:32
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: rhburn3

My granddaughter graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.  I went to the station many times.  Always locked per the City of San Marcos.  No open bathrooms.  Very bad management in San Marcos, a city opposed to passenger trains.



Date: 02/22/24 20:49
Re: Train 21 departing Austin yesterday
Author: ProAmtrak

21 used to look a lot better than this, this shows you how blind Amamangment is!



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