DESIGNING TRAINS FOR CUSTOMER CONVENIENCE
Eight new bi-level train sets purchased by Amtrak will operate in the busy, state-supported Southern California and Central Coast corridor. The $125 million investment is the single largest investment Amtrak has made in any state. Each five-car train will include 422 seats. The components exceed Buy America requirements and Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Each train will consist of one Pacific Business Class Car, one Coach/Café Car, two Coach Cars, and one Coach/Baggage/Cab Car. The trains are being manufactured by ALSTOM in Hornell, New York. The new Pacific Surfliner equipment will be powered by new F59PHI locomotives manufactured by General Motors Electro-Motive Division. The first train set will debut in April 2000 with delivery continuing through spring 2001.
Coach Cars (2 per train set) provide seating for 90 guests (18 lower level, 72 upper level). Each car offers wide comfortable reclining seats; large panoramic windows; electrical outlets for laptop computers; ample overhead storage for carry-on luggage; a digital information display; and seating and accessible rest rooms on the lower level for mobility-impaired customers. In addition, the passenger cars are equipped with electric sliding doors controlled by the conductor from a single location. Exits are designed 10 inches above the station platform allowing passengers to step on or off the train with ease rather than wait for a conductor to lower and raise train steps, as is presently required.
Pacific Business Class Car is designed with reserved seating for up to 77 customers (17 lower, 60 upper). Seats are roomier than coach class seats and equipped with personal in-seat audio and video systems. Pacific Business Class guests also complimentary beverage and snack service and newspapers.
Coach/Café Car offer walk-up counter service and table seating for 11 customers, as well as seating and rest rooms for mobility impaired customers on the lower level. The upper level offers coach seating for 72 guests. Each Coach/Café Car is equipped with public cellular Railfone®.
Coach/Baggage/Cab Car provides seating for 82 customers (12 lower level, 70 upper level). The upper level also includes an enclosed control booth for the engineer so that the train can operate when the locomotive is pushing it. Called "push-pull" operation, this prevents the need to turn around the locomotive or train around at end terminals, allowing for expedited shifts of operating direction.
F59PHI Locomotives manufactured by General Motors Electro-Motive Division will provide power for each train set. The new locomotives feature computer-controlled fuel injection systems for maximum efficiency; specially designed cabs to protect crew members from noise and vibration; emissions well below California's stringent standards; and aerodynamic style for low drag.