Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak Viewliners’

In Its Customary Position

May 21, 2019

An Amtrak Viewliner baggage car brings up the rear of the westbound Lake Shore Limited as it cruises through Olmsted Fall, Ohio, en route to Chicago.

The next stop for Train 49 will be Elyria, Ohio.

The typical operation of Nos. 48 and 49 has the Boston section at the front of the train. Only the New York section still has a baggage car and it is always on the rear.

And that’s for good reason, too. You would not want passengers walking through a baggage going to and from the Boston and New York sections.

Ahead of the baggage cars are a pair of Viewliner sleepers and Viewliner dining car Dover.

Bound for Miami

May 19, 2019

Amtrak’s Silver Meteor rushes past the Newark Liberty Airport station without even slowing down.

No. 97 is bound for Miami and assuming it doesn’t lose any significant time en route will be halting at its destination in more than 24 hours.

Rounding the Bend in Berea

May 10, 2019

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited passes through Berea, Ohio, Thursday morning, passing BE Tower, which has long been closed.

No. 48 was running 2.5 hours late. It had been three hours late when it arrived in South Bend, Indiana, earlier in the day.

The Amtrak website reported that the train got out of Chicago Union Station 2 hours and 56 minutes late at 12:26 a.m. I don’t know the reason(s) for the delayed departure.

Whatever the case, it was a rare opportunity to photograph Amtrak in daylight in Cleveland.

Aside from the two P42 locomotives, No. 48 had its normal summer consist.

The Boston section upfront had a Viewliner sleeper, cafe car and two Amfleet coaches. The New York section had Amfleet coaches, two Viewliner sleepers, Viewliner dining car Dover, and a Viewliner baggage car.

Viewliner dining car Springfield was apparently deadheading on the rear of the train.

Amtrak Describes Plans for Superliner Fleet

March 27, 2019

Amtrak recently released a five-year fleet plan that envisions replacement and rehabilitation of the passenger carriers Superliner fleet that is used on some long-distance trains.

The carrier envisions spending $405 million to rehab the Superliner fleet and %1.55 billion to replacement the oldest Superliner cars. Replacement is projected to begin in 2022.

The plan said the Superliner replacement and rehabilitation is contingent upon Amtrak receiving a congressional reauthorization in 2020 that provide direction as to what type of service Congress wants Amtrak to provide.

The fleet plan also describes how 130 new Viewliner cars are to be deployed. Amtrak envisions restoring sleeping car service to overnight trains 65 and 66/67 in the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak last issued a fleet plan in 2012.

Seeing the Sunrise in Ohio

March 4, 2019

Your train didn’t get out of Chicago Union Station until 12:33 a.m., making it just over three hours late when its wheels finally began to turn.

So maybe you wanted to sleep in a little the next morning.

By the time you pulled back the curtains from the windows in your Viewliner sleeping accommodations on Train No. 48 it was just after 8 a.m.

The skies were mostly cloudy, but a bit of sunlight was peaking through as the Lake Shore Limited roared through Olmsted Falls in suburban Cleveland.

No. 48 has made some of the time lost leaving Chicago, but not much.

By the time it halted at the Amtrak station next to Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland No. 48 was 2 hours and 51 minutes late.

It would not get much better the rest of the way, reaching New York City at 8:09 p.m. The scheduled arrival time at Penn Station is 6:23 p.m.

Around Utica, New York, No. 48 had dropped down to 3 hours, 15 minutes off the published time card.

As it the practice these days, a continental breakfast is available in the dining car just ahead of the two New York sleepers.

Today’s train has one of those new Viewliner dining cars that are named for state capital cities.

This one is named after the capital of Ohio, Columbus, a city that has not seen a scheduled Amtrak train since the last National Limited snuck out of town on May 1, 1979, on its last day of operation.

Amtrak Expects Delivery of 1st CAF Viewliner Sleeper

February 16, 2019

Amtrak expects to take delivery of the first of its new CAF-built Viewliner sleepers during the week of Feb. 17.

The carrier has ordered 25 Viewliner sleepers whose manufacturing and building have been delayed for several years.

The sleepers are the last cars from a 125-car order and will supplement 50 existing Viewliner sleepers that are used on long-distance trains in the East and South.

Delivery of one CAF-built baggage-dorm has been completed along with 70 baggage cars and 24 of the 25 dining cars that Amtrak ordered.

Amtrak will test the new sleepers before pressing them into revenue service, perhaps by the end of this year.

One significant different between the new Viewliner sleepers and the existing fleet is the absence of a toilet in the roomettes.

Upon delivery, the new Viewliner sleepers will be sent to Amtrak’s Hialeah yard in Miami for installation of a few items, including Wi-Fi capability.

Not a Good Restart for No. 48

February 2, 2019

First there was the severe cold that sidelined Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited for two days.

Although other long distance trains out of Chicago were to resume operations on Thursday night (Jan. 31), the restart of the Lake Shore was held until Friday.

Make that Saturday morning. No. 48 left Chicago Union Station 6 hours and 28 minutes late.

It managed to gain back some time en route but was still 5 hours, 35 minutes down when it reached Cleveland on Saturday morning.

It is shown passing through Olmsted Falls, a Cleveland suburb, just before 11 a.m. on the Chicago Line of Norfolk Southern.

Tis The Season for Late Trains

January 23, 2019

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited is running five hours late as it rushes through Berea, Ohio, on Jan. 22 on Norfolk Southern tracks.

No. 48 was 3.5 hours late leaving Chicago Union Station the night before and was expected to reach New York Penn Station at 11:57 p.m. on Tuesday night, having lost another half hour en route.

Note that No. 48 has its winter consist of one coach for the Boston section and two coaches to New York. The Boston baggage car is gone.

Also in the consist is Viewliner diner Montgomery, a city in Alabama that Amtrak has not served in several years.

Lake Shore Limited Summer Consist

June 2, 2018

As soon as the eastbound Lake Shore Limited rounded a curve in North East, Pennsylvania, I had the answer to a question I had come here to have answered.

The Chicago-Boston only edition of the train is much shorter than the usual order.

A summer track and bridge project on the route that Nos. 48 and 49 use to access New York Penn Station prompted Amtrak to suspend the New York Section of the train through early September.

Passengers boarding the Lake Shore Limited bound for New York City must make an across the platform transfer in Albany-Rensselaer, New York, to reach the Big Apple and all other points served buy No. 48 south of Albany.

I expected a shortened consist for the Lake Shore, but was a little surprised at how short it was.

What I saw on Thursday was one P42DC locomotive, a Viewliner baggage car, four Amfleet II coaches, two cafe cars and two Viewliner sleepers.

This is just three cars longer than the normal consist of the Boston section of a Viewliner baggage car, cafe car, Viewliner sleeper and two coaches.

Also different is that the train is operating as Nos. 448/449. Those numbers have long been used by Amtrak to denote cars assigned to the Boston section.

But it was the first time I’ve heard the train use those numbers for operational purposes west of Albany.

Frigid Outside, Warm Inside

January 25, 2018

Outside the temperature was in the low teens and the wind chill was below zero. A friend and I were waiting to photograph Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited roaring through Geneva, Ohio. No. 48 was running two hours late. It also was running a few minutes behind a CSX stack train.

The usual consist of the eastbound Lake Shore Limited has the Boston cars toward the front and the New York cars on the rear. Typically, No. 48 has two Viewliner sleepers for New York.

This day was no exception. Shown above is the first of the two New York sleepers. Some passengers in those rooms might just now be getting up and about while others might be watching the wintry countryside of Northeast Ohio fly by. Still others might be having breakfast in the “dining car” just ahead of the first New York sleeper.

I placed the phrase “dining car” in quotations because it is not the same as the dining cars that used to run on this train. With Viewliner diners, presumably, being readied for revenue service, the Lake Shore Limited might get a full dining car some day.