Classic Streamliners - TRAINCYCLOPEDIA
Amtrak Amfleet I Coach at Iselin, NJ.
By 7Train at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15217345
Amfleet Passenger Cars
Amfleet is a fleet of single-level intercity railroad passenger cars built by the Budd Company for Amtrak in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Budd based the Amfleet design on its earlier Metroliner electric multiple unit. They were the first new locomotive-hauled cars ordered by Amtrak. As of 2015, Amfleet cars are used extensively in the eastern and mid-western United States, forming the backbone of Amtrak's single-level fleet.
Amtrak inherited a fleet of approximately 1,200 steam-heated coaches from private sector railroads when it began operations in 1971. These cars were aging, in need of maintenance, and in many cases incompatible with each other. Amtrak recognized the need and opportunity to standardize on a single design. Amtrak ordered the Amfleets from Budd in two batches. It placed the first order on October 12, 1973, along with orders for 70 EMD SDP40F diesel locomotives and 11 GE E60 locomotives. The first batch, which came to be known as "Amfleet I", consisted of 492 cars in the following configurations:
54 "Amcafe" cafe cars with 51 coach seats and a snack bar in the middle
37 "Amdinette" cafe/dining cars with a snack bar, eight four-person booths and 23 coach seats
40 "Amclub" club/parlor cars with a snack bar, 18 club seats and 23 coach seats
90 "Amcoach" long-distance coaches with 60 seats
271 "Amcoach" short-distance coaches with 84 seats
The first Amfleet cars began running on the Northeast Corridor on August 5, 1975. Amtrak heralded their arrival, calling 1975 as "the Year of the Amfleet". As the cars were distributed throughout the system, timetables would note that trains now had "Amfleet Service" and that trains had been "Amfleeted".
This was followed in 1981–1983 with a second order, dubbed "Amfleet II". This order consisted of 150 cars:
125 "Amcoach" long-distance cars with 59 seats
25 "Amlounge" lounge cars with a snack bar, ten four-person booths, and 17 assorted seats
The Amfleet II cars were intended to replace rolling stock on Amtrak long-distance trains, featuring larger windows, more legroom, and folding leg rests.
Because Amfleet cars can fit through the tunnels and under catenary of the northeastern United States, Amtrak uses them heavily in that area.
Amfleet rolling stock mostly disappeared from service in California when the San Joaquin trains switched to the Horizon Fleet in the 1990s and then to "Surfliner" railcars later in the decade. The San Diegan trains also stopped using the Amfleet when their Pacific Surfliner cars were delivered (with the exception of a single trainset that runs during the Del Mar Racetrack season in July and August, and during Thanksgiving week). The Pacific Northwest Cascades now use Talgo train sets instead of Amfleet.
Each type of Amfleet, I and II, currently is composed of coaches and food service cars. Amfleet IIs include lounge cars. Amfleet I cars can be identified by having vestibules at both ends of the cars; Amfleet II cars have a single vestibule. North American standard (120 V, 60 Hz) electrical outlets are provided in most cars of both types. Amfleet I cars are mostly used on corridor trains in the northeast, such as the Downeaster or Northeast Regional; Amfleet II cars are used on long-distance trains, such as the Cardinal or Silver Star.
Amfleet I coaches are configured as either Regional coach class (72 seats per car, with 2x2 seating) or business class (62 seats per car, with 2x2 seating). Amfleet I food service cars are either Club-Dinettes or Full-Dinettes. Club-Dinettes have 6 tables at one end and a snack bar in the middle, followed by 18 business class seats (1x2 seating). Some tables may be used by train crew members for paperwork. Full-Dinettes have tables on both sides of the snack bar. Table seats in food service cars are not sold and may be used by any passenger.
An Amfleet II coach seats 60 passengers (2x2 seating). Amfleet II food service cars are referred to as Diner-Lites to distinguish them from other types of Amtrak dining cars. When first delivered, the Diner-Lites were configured as Amfleet II Lounge containing 17 lounge seats on one end, a snack bar in the middle, and 8 tables at the other end of the car. Some cars were later rebuilt with an enclosed smoking room in place of the lounge seats. All Amlounge II's were later converted to Diner-Lites between 2006-2010 with additional tables added where the lounge seats once were and increased food service capability (including new ovens).
In the late 1970s Amtrak to converted two Amfleet coaches into sleepers (#22900 and #22901). Two prototype Superliner roomette modules were installed, displacing twelve seats. The cars were used on the Washington—Cincinnati Shenandoah. Regular sleepers returned to the Shenandoah in 1979 and the two coaches were returned to a standard configuration. These conversions were termed "Ampad."
Amfleet I cars are the only Amtrak rolling stock to have carried all five normal paint schemes. These paint schemes are referred to as "Phases". Phase I-painted Amfleet cars had large red and blue stripes around the windows with thin white stripes on each end of the pattern, and featured the original Amtrak logo on one end of the car.
Amtrak's Phase II paint scheme eliminated the arrow logo. The Amtrak logo and coach number were printed in white.
Phase III paint featured stripes that border the windows, and had equal-width red, white, and blue stripes. The Phase III paint scheme marked a switch to black Amtrak logos and coach numbers.
Phase IV (aka "NortheastDirect") paint departed more noticeably from the previous designs. This scheme consists of a large blue stripe outlining the windows, and smaller red and white stripes above the blue stripe. On more recently painted cars, a red reflective stripe runs along the bottom of the car.
For a short period of time in the early 2000s, some Amfleet cars were painted in the Phase V style, also known as the Acela Phase. The Acela paint scheme varied depending upon the type of car, with the different types having different colored "splotches" on them. The Coach class cars were decorated by a turquoise window stripe and a darker-shaded turquoise splotch, and the Business class cars were decorated by a navy blue window stripe with a light-turquoise splotch. Cafe cars were decorated with light-turquoise splotches and navy blue window stripes, and instead of a window where the snack bar was, there was a splotch of spring green.
All active Amfleet cars are currently painted in the Phase IVb scheme, which is Phase IV with the newer Amtrak logo.
Specifications and build
Amfleet cars are largely based upon the 1966 Metroliner design and were originally designed to operate at speeds up to 120 mph. Both the Amfleet I and Amfleet II are now rated for 125 mph.
An Amfleet car is 12 feet 8 inches (relative to the railhead), 10 feet 6 inches wide, and 85 feet 4 inches in length over the vestibule diaphragm faceplates. The carbody itself is built up from spot-welded stainless steel sections, resulting in an exceptionally strong structure that is resistant to corrosion. Due to the length of the car, a noticeable arch is built into the carbody to prevent sagging when carrying a full passenger load.
A cafe car weighs about 110,000 pounds, while a coach weighs approximately 106,000 pounds. Amfleet seats have swing-down tray-tables for at-seat food service, overhead and under-seat luggage storage (similar to that on a commercial airliner), and all cars (including cafes) are equipped with at least one restroom. Electric heating and air conditioning, operated by head-end power from the locomotive, are used to maintain passenger comfort.
A feature inherited from older Budd-built cars is the use of dual disc brakes on each axle, with electronic anti-slide controls to prevent wheel lockup during full service or emergency brake applications. Although this braking system is more costly than the traditional wheel tread shoe braking design, experience has shown it to be a better-performing and lower maintenance alternative.
One major difference between the Amfleet I and II is the toilet type. The Amfleet I has chemical flush toilets; while the Amfleet II has retention toilets.
In service: 1975–present (Amfleet I), 1981–present (Amfleet II)
Manufacturer: Budd Company
Built at: Philadelphia, PA
Family name: Budd Metroliner
Number built: 492 (Amfleet I), 150 (Amfleet II)
Formation: single car
Fleet numbers: 25000-25124, 28000-28024, 43344-43397, 48140-48197, 81500-81551, 82500-82999, 85999
Capacity: Maximum 84 seats
Car body construction: Stainless steel
Car length: 85 ft
Width: 9 ft 11.5 in
Height: 12 ft 8 in
Floor height: 4 ft 3.5 in
Platform height: 4 ft 3.5 in
Doors: Amfleet I: 2 pairs end doors, automatic operation, Amfleet II: 1 pair end door, manual operation
Maximum speed: 125 miles per hour
Weight: 106,000 pounds (coach), 110,000 pounds (cafe)
Power supply: 480 V AC
Train heating: Electric heat and air conditioning
Trucks: Budd Pioneer
Braking system: Pneumatic, 2 tread and 2 disc per axle.
Coupling system: AAR type H
Track gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge
Text: wikipedia.org. Images: Public Domain; http://www.commons.wikimedia.org (unless otherwise specified) and 17 U.S. Code § 107 fair use. References: Lewis, Robert G. The Handbook of American Railroads. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1951, 2nd Edition 1956. Site Map Contact webmaster HERE.
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