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reaperexpress

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In the reviews of Amtrak's new Venture sets, a common complaint has been that the Economy seats are much narrower than older trains. This is due to the wider aisles to accommodate wheelchairs, which is obviously necessary.

But I'm wondering if the cab car (4A below) could be a sort of "premium economy" where the seats are still in a 2+2 configuration, but have more lateral separation, including a second armrest between the seats. This would narrow the aisle to no longer accommodate wheelchairs, but there's no reason for a wheelchair to go down that aisle anyway. There's nothing down there other than non-accessible seats. There is no passageway through the cab which would let someone continue through to another trainset.
capture-jpg.294870
 

cplchanb

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In the reviews of Amtrak's new Venture sets, a common complaint has been that the Economy seats are much narrower than older trains. This is due to the wider aisles to accommodate wheelchairs, which is obviously necessary.

But I'm wondering if the cab car (4A below) could be a sort of "premium economy" where the seats are still in a 2+2 configuration, but have more lateral separation, including a second armrest between the seats. This would narrow the aisle to no longer accommodate wheelchairs, but there's no reason for a wheelchair to go down that aisle anyway. There's nothing down there other than non-accessible seats. There is no passageway through the cab which would let someone continue through to another trainset.
capture-jpg.294870
probably not. they would want to have parts and service commonality as much as possible, so they would keep everything the same.
 

reaperexpress

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probably not. they would want to have parts and service commonality as much as possible, so they would keep everything the same.
All of the parts would still be the same. It's just that you would install armrests on both seats in a pair instead of just one. The seats themselves would be identical.
 

Urban Sky

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In the reviews of Amtrak's new Venture sets, a common complaint has been that the Economy seats are much narrower than older trains. This is due to the wider aisles to accommodate wheelchairs, which is obviously necessary.

But I'm wondering if the cab car (4A below) could be a sort of "premium economy" where the seats are still in a 2+2 configuration, but have more lateral separation, including a second armrest between the seats. This would narrow the aisle to no longer accommodate wheelchairs, but there's no reason for a wheelchair to go down that aisle anyway. There's nothing down there other than non-accessible seats. There is no passageway through the cab which would let someone continue through to another trainset.
capture-jpg.294870
Nobody at this point is going to change the configuration of these trainsets, especially not to create 3 different classes on a five-car train. However, a good opportunity to consider Premium Economy or First Class, Bar cars, compartments/boardrooms and whatever else we railfans might dream about would be if VIA decided to order extra cars to lengthen the trains…
 
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Northern Light

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Nobody at this point is going to change the configuration of the trains, especially not to create 3 different classes on a four-car train. However, a good opportunity to consider Premium Economy or First Class, Bar cars, compartments/boardrooms and whatever else we railfans might dream about would be if VIA decided to order extra cars to lengthen the trains…

Funny, this discussion. In a different capacity, I've engaged in the discussion over customer differentiation and brand differentiation and the cumulative cost to deliver this, vs simply upgrading the standard.

Its an animated conversation, as some are convinced of the inherent merit of differentiation and its value to certain consumers.

To which I ask, how many Michelin restos have the same revenue or profit as McDs?

To be clear, I don't want to lower everything to the rail transport equivalent thereof; my point being..........lots of different banners or classes of service, at best, muddy a brand and its experience.

At worst, they massively drive up costs.

I argue strongly, if mostly ineffectively, against typical consumer rewards programs (they favour people who were buying and will buy from you anyway, instead of inducing people to try your product/service for the first time)

I prefer a streamlined model.

Not one that is rigidly uniform, but basic (to whatever level) and then offering buy-ups.

To me, this is more cost efficient, and, at the same time, gives a higher chance of impressing someone newly trying your product/service.

An uncomfortably small seat, will forever damn you as a provider in the eyes of a customer, to little advantage.

Better to focus buy-ups on options that are easily added (meals, pre-paid drink options, etc )
 
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reaperexpress

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Nobody at this point is going to change the configuration of these trainsets, especially not to create 3 different classes on a five-car train. However, a good opportunity to consider Premium Economy or First Class, Bar cars, compartments/boardrooms and whatever else we railfans might dream about would be if VIA decided to order extra cars to lengthen the trains…
I recognize that this is not the moment to adjust the seating positions, but that in itself does not discredit the concept.

The reason for the suggestion is not to add a third class, it is to identify any possible methods to address the biggest problem with the Venture coaches, which is the narrow seats in Economy. Ideally there would only be two classes and all seats in Economy would be wider but that's not possible due to wheelchair accessibility needs.

When these coaches enter service, passengers will complain that the seats are narrower, and this will have a negative effect on Via's competitiveness. After a couple years of service it may be a wise idea to shift the aisle seats as I described, to limit this potential loss in revenue, and also appear to be listening to feedback from customers.
 
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crs1026

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Just for the record, how wide will the VIA seats be? Brightline offers 19 inch in coach. Is Amtrak’s version comparable?

Here’s an interesting article dwelling in changes in the Brightline offering over time. Sounds a lot like the changes in Porter amenities since their startup.

My take: Don’t offer anything unless you really, really intend to maintain that standard for the long term.

- Paul
 

Railrunner

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Just for the record, how wide will the VIA seats be? Brightline offers 19 inch in coach. Is Amtrak’s version comparable?

Here’s an interesting article dwelling in changes in the Brightline offering over time. Sounds a lot like the changes in Porter amenities since their startup.

My take: Don’t offer anything unless you really, really intend to maintain that standard for the long term.

- Paul
Are any of the new Via trains taking passengers yet?
 

reaperexpress

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Funny, this discussion. In a different capacity, I've engaged in the discussion over customer differentiation and brand differentiation and the cumulative cost to deliver this, vs simply upgrading the standard.

Its an animated conversation, as some are convinced of the inherent merit of differentiation and its value to certain consumers.

To which I ask, how many Michelin restos have the same revenue or profit as McDs?

To be clear, I don't want to lower everything to the rail transport equivalent thereof; my point being..........lots of different banners or classes of service, at best, muddy a brand and its experience.

At worst, they massively drive up costs.

I argue strongly, if mostly ineffectively, against typical consumer rewards programs (they favour people who were buying and will buy from you anyway, instead of inducing people to try your product/service for the first time)

I prefer a streamlined model.

Not one that is rigidly uniform, but basic (to whatever level) and then offering buy-ups.

To me, this is more cost efficient, and, at the same time, gives a higher chance of impressing someone newly trying your product/service.

An uncomfortably small seat, will forever damn you as a provider in the eyes of a customer, to little advantage.

Better to focus buy-ups on options that are easily added (meals, pre-paid drink options, etc )
I don't think shifting the aisle seats in the cab car a bit toward the centre of the car makes VIA's offerings any less streamlined. In fact, it provides value to the customer with no operational cost to VIA itself, which can only be good for VIA's bottom line.

Product differentiation also doesn't seem like it should be an issue, considering VIA already offers 5 types of train ticket.
Capture.JPG


It could be as simple as including 2" more shoulder room as a perk for Economy Plus.
 

Northern Light

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I don't think shifting the aisle seats in the cab car a bit toward the centre of the car makes VIA's offerings any less streamlined. In fact, it provides value to the customer with no operational cost to VIA itself, which can only be good for VIA's bottom line.

Product differentiation also doesn't seem like it should be an issue, considering VIA already offers 5 types of train ticket.
View attachment 429440

It could be as simple as including 2" more shoulder room as a perk for Economy Plus.

I wasn't arguing against your idea.

Rather I was arguing for a standard, larger, seat size. And against economizing in a way that can't be easily upgraded by the passenger.

****

Put another way, fixed infrastructure in a retailer, (or transportation company's fleet) should be set to the standard that will please the greatest number of customers, at a price point that is workable.

What can be shifted from one customer to the next to influence price point, are things like refund/exchange policies, advance booking, inclusive meal/drinks etc.

If a customer boards a train and is unhappy w/seat size, where we now have optimization pricing to fill trains, there is a high probability that they can't upgrade once en route.

****

That said, I would argue that VIA's range of price points, as you've outlined above is excessive. I would prefer fewer.

I think having what are arguably 5 different brand experiences under the Via umbrella on the same route/train is a net negative. Now, I don't have VIA's internal numbers on costs, uptake rates, customer satisfaction surveys. But haven't looked as similar for other brands/conglomerates, its just not my preference for how to organize things.
 

reaperexpress

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I wasn't arguing against your idea.

Rather I was arguing for a standard, larger, seat size. And against economizing in a way that can't be easily upgraded by the passenger.

If it were possible to have a standard larger seat size in Economy, then that would be ideal. But it is not, because the aisle in the non-cab cars needs to be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Hence the (less than ideal) suggestion of spacing out the seats laterally in the cab car only, at the expense of aisle width.

I also would have preferred a more simplified ticket structure, with upgrades unbundled from it. Perhaps add $xx for a seat the that faces forward, $xx for a seat in the cab car where there's a bit more shoulder room. For example, some people have a strong preference for seats facing forward, while others aren't really bothered one way or the other. Assigning seats based on the strength of people's preference (i.e. whether they're willing to pay a few bucks extra based on that preference) would result in overall higher customer satisfaction.
 
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Northern Light

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Looking at the Wikipedia entry for the Siemans Venture, it suggests all seats on the VIA sets are 19 inch wide, including Business class, is this correct?

I think that's too narrow.

The standard on much of the last generation of Amtrak rolling stock was 23 inches.

The standard in Executive Class for TrenItalia is 27 inches.

1664389255995.png


 

cplchanb

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Looking at the Wikipedia entry for the Siemans Venture, it suggests all seats on the VIA sets are 19 inch wide, including Business class, is this correct?

I think that's too narrow.

The standard on much of the last generation of Amtrak rolling stock was 23 inches.

The standard in Executive Class for TrenItalia is 27 inches.

View attachment 429452

agreed for bus class. via cheaped out and just put a spacer between 2 economy seats and called it their business product. truthfully i wont care about the space between seats if the seats were
wider and more comfortable. Are the floors carpetted for bus class btw?
 

Bordercollie

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I know that these are being retired because they don't meet crash standards, but they must be safer and more modern than what VIA has now?

Plus they could be used until the Siemens trains are in service.

Would this be a realistic option?
 

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