Surfliner (railcar)

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Surfliner
Cab car 6905 at Lake Forest.jpg
"Surfliner" coach/baggage/cab car leading the Pacific Surfliner in Lake Forest, California.
Amtrak Pacific Surfliner - Pacific Business Class.JPG
Lower level accessible seating area of a Surfliner car.
Manufacturer Alstom
Built at Hornell, New York
Family name Superliner derived bi-level intercity railcar
Constructed 2000-2001, 2002
Number built 62
Formation single car
Fleet numbers 6000 series
Capacity 90 passengers (coach cars)
Operator Amtrak & Caltrans as Amtrak California
Depot(s) Los Angeles, Oakland
Line(s) served Pacific Surfliner, Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin
Specifications
Car length 85 ft 0 in (25.91 m)
Width 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
Height 16 ft 2 in (4.93 m)
Entry Step
Doors 2 sets of bi-parting automatic doors per side
Maximum speed 125 mph (201 km/h)
Power supply 480v AC 60Hz Head end power
Bogies GSI 70
Braking system(s) Air
Coupling system AAR
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Surfliner is the second generation of Superliner derived bi-level intercity railcars[1] owned by both Amtrak and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and operated under the Amtrak California brand of intercity corridor routes in Northern, Central and Southern California. Alstom delivered the first order of cars for Amtrak between 2000 and 2001. A second order for the Caltrans Division of Rail was delivered in 2002. Amtrak's Superliner was used as the design baseline for the Surfliner, but several changes were made to the design to make the car more suitable for corridor services with frequent stops.

History[edit]

After the problematic delivery of the California Car in 1996, Amtrak set out to create a more advanced and reliable second generation intercity car for use on the busy San Diegan route (which was re-branded as the Pacific Surfliner when these cars were delivered). Several design changes were made to the cars including moving one of the restrooms to the upper level, adding a power outlet at every seat pair, moving the checked baggage compartment into the lower level of the cab car and creating a smaller galley on the lower level of the café car, enabling the upper level to be used for revenue seating.[1]

In February 1998, Amtrak ordered 40 Surfliner cars that were delivered by Alstom between 2000 and 2001[2] (all numbered in the 6xxx series). The first cars started operating on the Pacific Surfliner in April 2000.

In September 1999, Caltrans placed a smaller order for 22 cars.[2] 10 cars (numbered in the 6x5x series) are used to supplement the Amtrak-owned cars on the Pacific Surfliner and the other 12 (numbered in the 6x6x series) are used to expand the fleet used on the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin.[3] These were the final Surfliner cars to be built and delivery was completed in 2002.

Description[edit]

A Surfliner coach/baggage/cab car leading the San Joaquin in Bakersfield.

Surfliner cars were delivered in several types: coach cars, café/coach cars equipped for food sales on the lower level, business-class cars which have two small galleys to allow an attendant to offer complimentary beverage service, and coach/baggage/cab cars equipped with coach seating, a checked baggage space on the lower level, and engineer's operating cab and headlights on one end, allowing the train to be operated in push-pull mode.[4][5] All Surfliner cars are equipped with overhead luggage racks, reclining seats with tray tables and footrests, reading lights, restrooms, AmtrakConnect WiFi, 120v power outlets, and a wheelchair ramp.[6]

Future developments[edit]

Rendering of the third generation intercity car currently being built by Sumitomo and Nippon Sharyo.

California and a coalition of Midwest states (Illinois, Michigan and Missouri) placed an order for 130 third generation bi-level intercity cars with Sumitomo on November 6, 2012. The cars will be built by Nippon Sharyo at a new factory at Rochelle, Illinois. Eighty-eight cars will be going to the Midwest states and 42 will go to California. The first cars are expected to be delivered by late 2015.[7]

This third generation car will have a few differences from the design of the Surfliner and California Car. The most major change is that cab cars will feature crash energy management technology. Major changes will also be made to the café car with the galley and lounge seating taking up two-thirds of the upper level with the other third used for revenue seating; the lower level will have a storage compartment for the café, a workstation table for crew and more revenue seating.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Bi-Level Passenger Rail Cars Standardized Technical Specification" (PDF). PRIIA 305 Next-Generation Equipment Committee. pp. 30–33. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Alstom. "The Pacific Surfliner, Riding the California Coast". Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ "California Surfliners". On Track On Line. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Pacific Surfliner Names". On Track On Line. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Amtrak - Pacific Surfliner". Retrieved June 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Amtrak Pacific Surfliners". Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ Nippon Sharyo and Sumitomo Corporation receive the Contract Award for 130 Bi-Level Passenger Cars from Caltrans and IDOT