Concept 2000 Amtrak San Diegan Custom Class
Photographs and descriptions of the
Amtrak San Diegans Concept 2000 Custom Class Cars.
The Concept 2000 Car is a remodeled Amfleet I Car. I think it is a vast improvement over the regular Amfleet I Cars. The interior is all new. The color scheme is in grey, blue and purple, somewhat similar to the Superliner II color scheme. My first impression of the interior of the car was that it was identical to the old Amfleet I except for the colors. However, I soon found the differences were very significant.
The only trains that I don't enjoy riding are those with Amfleet I or Horizon passenger cars. The major reason for that is because the view from those trains is really bad. There are two major reasons for the bad view: (1) most of the cars of that type that I have been on have dirty or heavily scratched plastic windows, and (2) the seats are so low relative to the windows that you feel like you are looking out an airplane window! When I lean back my chair, all I can see is the tops of houses and trees! Both of these problems have been eliminated on the Concept 2000 Car, even though this car is just a remodeled Amfleet I. Problem One has been fixed by replacing the windows with a type of plastic that does not scratch as easy and the windows are clean, so far. Problem Two has been fixed by replacing the Amfleet seats with the same seats that are used in the Superliner Coach Cars! When sitting upright, my eye level is just above the centerline of the window. When I lean back, I can now see horizontally out the window.
Although the decor is similar to the Metroliner Club Cars used on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), these are not quite up to that level of luxury. The Metroliner Club Cars have pairs of seats on one side of the aisle and single seats on the other. These Concept 2000 cars have pairs of seats on both sides of the aisle. The Club Cars have drink holders and trays that fold open into larger trays. These do not. However, like the Club Cars, these Concept 2000 cars do have grounded electric outlets at EVERY seat in the car!
The distance between seats in the Concept 2000 Custom Class car is greater than in the regular Amfleet I Coach Car, but about the same as that in the Amfleet I Custom Class Car. The fold down trays in the backs of the seats are about the same size, but they are newer and thus seem more solid.
The phone, toilet, and refreshment areas in the Concept 2000 Car appear to be identical to those in the Amfleet I Custom Class Car, but with a new clean color scheme. There are also electronic message signs at each end of the car. At the moment, they just seem to be indicating that there are exits at each end of the car and a toilet at one end. I imagine they can be programed to tell what the next station is.
Overall, the interior does look more modern and brighter than the old decor of the Amfleet I cars. The center strip of lighting and speakers above the center of the aisle looks sleek and modern. My bottom line conclusion is that the most significant difference between the Concept 2000 Custom Class Car and the old Amfleet I Custom Class Car is that you can easily see out the window and you feel you are in a car with a more modern interior.
The following photos were added on February 23, 1998 along with a counter on the bottom of this page. These new photos show examples of the new "Pacific Class Service" that is offered in the Concept 2000 Custom Class Car and in other Amtrak San Diegan Custom Class Cars.
Pacific Class Service features at-seat service of complimentary champagne and/or wine and other beverages along with a fruit plate, cheese and crackers plus coffee and a daily local or national newspaper.