Amtrak Northeast Corridor News

Old Sep 7, 17, 9:22 am
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Amtrak Northeast Corridor News

We’re Enhancing the Customer Experience One Seat at a Time.

Amtrak is investing in an extensive overhaul of its train interiors on more than a dozen popular services operating in the Northeast and Midwest aimed at introducing a more modern, more comfortable experience.

Beginning this month, Amtrak coach cars will begin to undergo a series of major improvements including:
  • Brand-new seats
  • New carpeting
  • New LED reading lights
  • New bathroom flooring
  • Upgraded wainscoting and bulkhead
  • New curtains in Business Class cars
  • Redesigned galleys in the café cars

More details here: http://blog.amtrak.com/2017/08/amfleet-refresh/
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Old Sep 7, 17, 1:12 pm
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Seems very vague and unspecific... I hope it won't mean the end of the 2-1 Leather Business Class seats on some routes. The coach seats don't look different at all. I wish they would improve the Acela tray tables/seats.... I have no complaints about the current regional coach cars.
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Old Sep 7, 17, 2:13 pm
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I wonder if this is the rumored reduction in seat pitch on these trains.
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Old Sep 7, 17, 3:01 pm
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Amtrak tries REALLY hard to pretend that they're an airline. They've even picked up the terminology.

Remember folks, an "enhancement" always means that something is being taken away!

On their Facebook page, they posted this announcement with the caption that they're coming out with "enhancements that we think you will like!"

Almost sounds like United's "enhancements" and "changes you will like" back in the Jeff Smisek days
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Last edited by diburning; Sep 8, 17 at 12:19 am
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Old Sep 7, 17, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by KENNECTED View Post
We’re Enhancing the Customer Experience One Seat at a Time.

Amtrak is investing in an extensive overhaul of its train interiors on more than a dozen popular services operating in the Northeast and Midwest aimed at introducing a more modern, more comfortable experience.

Beginning this month, Amtrak coach cars will begin to undergo a series of major improvements including:
  • Brand-new seats
  • New carpeting
  • New LED reading lights
  • New bathroom flooring
  • Upgraded wainscoting and bulkhead
  • New curtains in Business Class cars
  • Redesigned galleys in the café cars

More details here: http://blog.amtrak.com/2017/08/amfleet-refresh/
I noticed LED lighting in an Amfleet on one of the Michigan Service trains last week. Nothing else was new, though.

Originally Posted by rittenhousesq View Post
I wonder if this is the rumored reduction in seat pitch on these trains.
On a recent TV interview, Richard Anderson pretty clearly said they're not looking at reducing seat pitch. Yes, he's the king of gutting frequent flyer programs, but I think he would have been more political and less specific when asked that topic if that were in the cards.
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Old Sep 7, 17, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by rittenhousesq View Post
I wonder if this is the rumored reduction in seat pitch on these trains.
It's hard to see from the rendering, but the new "cushion" in coach looks "slimlined" and have more empty space at the feet. So the seat pitch may stay the same but the spaces are actually tighter. Reminds me of WN installing the (d)evolve seats and touting the seat pitch and claiming that they could add in more rows with "efficient design" ("really, this is an honest surprise, we don't see this coming" wink, wink).
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Old Sep 10, 17, 8:56 am
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It's new seat cushions, not seats (which on Amtrak are a lot bulkier than anything you'd see an airline tolerate). I highly doubt you could shave enough space with thinner cushions to squish an extra row of seats into a car.

Overall, these changes look fine to me. And LED lights alone should save Amtrak non-trivial money just from labor costs avoided by not having to replace incandescent bulbs all the time. Now if they could do something about the food for sale in the cafe cars...
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Old Sep 10, 17, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by DCA writer View Post
ItNow if they could do something about the food for sale in the cafe cars...
The food in some of the state-supported corridor routes (California, Washington, Michigan, etc.) can actually border on reasonably edible, in some cases (plus there are often quite good regional craft brews). I'm always disappointed when I visit the regular Amtrak cafe (on Regionals or long-distance trains) and find such a mediocre selection.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 9:53 am
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I was on a business class car on the Northeast Regional on Monday, which had the new seat cushions. It seemed like there were more seats than in the older cars.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by newbiztraveler View Post
I was on a business class car on the Northeast Regional on Monday, which had the new seat cushions. It seemed like there were more seats than in the older cars.

How? aren't the seats 2 by 2 seating or do you mean there was an additional business car?
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Old Oct 4, 17, 3:33 pm
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I highly doubt that there are more seats. They simply did a quick cushion change. If they moved the seats closer together, they'd have to redo the entire interior since the reading lights and power outlets would become misaligned.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
The food in some of the state-supported corridor routes (California, Washington, Michigan, etc.) can actually border on reasonably edible, in some cases (plus there are often quite good regional craft brews). I'm always disappointed when I visit the regular Amtrak cafe (on Regionals or long-distance trains) and find such a mediocre selection.
I concur. The Downeaster (a state supposed train) actually has delicious food since the cafe is contracted to a catering company. If you still want a microwaved hot dog, they're $3.75 for two of them, as opposed to $5.25 for one on the Northeast Regional.
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Old Oct 9, 17, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
I highly doubt that there are more seats. They simply did a quick cushion change. If they moved the seats closer together, they'd have to redo the entire interior since the reading lights and power outlets would become misaligned.
My recollection was that there were less rows of seats in the business class car. The config with the newly reupholstered seats seems to be like the standard coach cars.
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Old Oct 13, 17, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by KENNECTED View Post
Beginning this month, Amtrak coach cars will begin to undergo a series of major improvements
Two photos of the first Amfleet cars with the new interior refreshes:

Coach Class -- Railpictures Photo of AMTK 82725, October 2017

Business Class -- Railpictures Photo of AMTK 81534, October 2017

Notice the hanging "Business Class" Banner in the 2nd photo, which confirms it is a Business class car.
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Old Oct 14, 17, 9:18 am
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Certainly looks nice, will be interesting to find out how comfortable the cushions are. As long as they didn't mess with seat pitch should be good.

Amazing to think that these cars are now on their third interior replacement/refurbishment (at least?). There was the original, then the late 90's/early 00's rehab in conjunction with the Acela brand launch.

Would love to know if they addressed the worst piece of customer-facing engineering though - the dreaded Amfleet "push up" restroom faucet!
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