Acela First Class Car Location

Old Feb 10, 18, 1:35 pm
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Acela First Class Car Location

Where are First Class cars usually located northbound? Or is it random? I always ask a redcap in DC, but wonít have that luxury tomorrow at an unmanned station. And itís been a while for me, so I canít remember. I get to enjoy MET-BBY tomorrow night.
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Old Feb 10, 18, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by palmetto86 View Post
Where are First Class cars usually located northbound? Or is it random? I always ask a redcap in DC, but wonít have that luxury tomorrow at an unmanned station. And itís been a while for me, so I canít remember. I get to enjoy MET-BBY tomorrow night.
Google pointed me to the following... which, unfortunately, indicates that the location is not predictable.

Where will the first class car be on my Acela Express journey? - Guest Forum for Amtrak Questions - Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Only slightly OT, I have noticed lately that the business class car on the Northeast regionals ironically is often in the accordion car (last car) position.
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Old Feb 10, 18, 5:29 pm
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If you ask at Club Acela, the attendant can tell you where the F car is on a given train that day.
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Old Feb 10, 18, 7:04 pm
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It's random. No way to know without asking an agent, or once down to track level looking at the overhead signs to know which end has the FC car.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 12:17 pm
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I would just stand at the middle of the platform, the car will either be on the front or the rear, but it's always 2 cars back (or forward) from the cafe.

The reason why it's not predictable is because sometimes they have time to run the train through the loop tracks at Boston and Washington, but sometimes they have to turn them right in the station (which is possible thanks to the 2 locomotive setup).
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Old Feb 14, 18, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by hi55us View Post
The reason why it's not predictable is because sometimes they have time to run the train through the loop tracks at Boston and Washington, but sometimes they have to turn them right in the station (which is possible thanks to the 2 locomotive setup).
Got it backwards. There are no loop tracks in Boston or DC; although they can wye a train but rarely do that with an Acela set. Most times they just change ends.

It's at NY that most trains get run around a loop track as they go to the yard in Sunnyside.
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Old Feb 14, 18, 8:53 pm
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Originally Posted by AlanB View Post
Got it backwards. There are no loop tracks in Boston or DC; although they can wye a train but rarely do that with an Acela set. Most times they just change ends.

It's at NY that most trains get run around a loop track as they go to the yard in Sunnyside.
Alan, there are two concentric loop tracks at Boston, with catenary on both. One passes through the train washer building with the other close along the outside. There are commercial warehouse type businesses in the middle of the loop at grade level. The Amtrak Hi Speed shop is within the loop and you have been there! Google Maps gives both satellite and street level views. I presume the Acelas use the loop at least when being washed.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by dicksboat View Post
Alan, there are two concentric loop tracks at Boston, with catenary on both. One passes through the train washer building with the other close along the outside. There are commercial warehouse type businesses in the middle of the loop at grade level. The Amtrak Hi Speed shop is within the loop and you have been there! Google Maps gives both satellite and street level views. I presume the Acelas use the loop at least when being washed.
Took me a bit to find it, but here it is: https://goo.gl/maps/nPNxWxRF5yL2

(Unbolded your quoted text as the bolding was annoyingly hard to read)
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Old Feb 23, 18, 10:33 am
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Yep, Southampton Street yard in Boston.

All of the Acela's terminal stations have a way to turn around. Boston and New York have loops, and Washington has a wye. The only times where they wouldn't turn an Acela would be if the wye in Washington is occupied and would be occupied for some time, or if the Acela arrives late and needs to be quickly serviced for the next trip. It is in their best interest to turn the train whenever possible to even out the wheel wear from curves.

I'd say most of the time it is the last car (keeping with Amtrak's standard practice of putting the premium class car on the rear). If it was ever short turned (not looped or wyed) then it would be on the front, but remember, even if it's not turned, the first class car is still on the rear end for one direction of the roundtrip!
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Old Feb 23, 18, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
The only times where they wouldn't turn an Acela would be if the wye in Washington is occupied and would be occupied for some time, or if the Acela arrives late and needs to be quickly serviced for the next trip. It is in their best interest to turn the train whenever possible to even out the wheel wear from curves.
Amtrak rarely wye's an Acela in Boston or DC. Perhaps the final trains of the day are wyed or turned. But during the day, most trains are turned right on the platforms. They don't ever send them to the yard unless there is a problem. The cleaning crews come right out to the platform to take care of things and turn the seats as needed.

Originally Posted by diburning View Post
I'd say most of the time it is the last car (keeping with Amtrak's standard practice of putting the premium class car on the rear). If it was ever short turned (not looped or wyed) then it would be on the front, but remember, even if it's not turned, the first class car is still on the rear end for one direction of the roundtrip!
And that's hardly the standard practice. I'd say it's probably more like 60% on the rear, 40% on the head end. On my last 4 trips to/from Boston, I've pretty much averaged 50/50, with perhaps 1 extra on the rear.

And over the years, I've done several points runs to Boston. Doesn't hurt that I love riding trains either. And more than once, I've had the same consist coming home that I had going up. So the FC car that was in position X was in position Y for the return.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 6:23 pm
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You can also call an agent, and they can look it up. I do it often when boarding at an un-manned station.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 11:32 am
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I have been told the wrong end for FC at PHL and STM with the result of the train having to wait while I walked to the other end. (following conductors directions to stay on platform for the walk)
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