Friday, October 24, 2014

Average number of seats per Amtrak train

For all my complaints and suggestions that particular routes really need an extra car or two (such as the Carolinian), I've never really had a good way of estimating the length of said trains except counting cars on Youtube videos, a task which is, quite frankly, somewhat less than appealing. However, the other day it hit me that since, courtesy of the FRA, we have the number of passenger-miles per train-mile, and from Amtrak's own monthly performance reports we can derive the occupancy of each train route, we can simply divide the passenger-miles per train-miles by the occupancy in order to figure out how long each train is, to an approximate average. It's not exact (the Acela does not have 304 seats for instance), but it should be within the right ballpark figure. If there's anything that jumps out as particularly weird or off, please let me know.

Train Average seats per train
Acela
312


Keystone
335
Northeast Regional
442
—Richmond/Newport News
437
—Lynchburg
506
—Norfolk
510
—New Haven/Springfield
242


Capitol Corridor
314
Carolinian
331
Cascades
261
Downeaster
290
Adirondack
270
Empire Service
388
Ethan Allen Express
387
Maple Leaf
203
Heartland Flyer
224
Hiawatha
406
Hoosier State
153
Carl Sandburg/Illinois Zephyr
266
Illini/Saluki
332
Lincoln Service
311
Blue Water
361
Pere Marquette
221
Wolverine
396
Kansas City-St. Louis
178
Pacific Surfliner
474
Pennsylvanian
303
Piedmont
159
San Joaquins
315
Vermonter
298


Auto Train
512
California Zephyr
294
Capitol Limited
289
Cardinal
225
City of New Orleans
262
Coast Starlight
356
Crescent
303
Empire Builder
352
Lake Shore Limited
384
Palmetto
319
Silver Meteor
357
Silver Star
307
Southwest Chief
290
Sunset Limited
264
Texas Eagle
259

3 comments:

  1. At one point I made a table showing which trains operate with which type, and how many of each car. The data might be a little out of date, but for the most part, it's close to correct: 3.thelirrtoday.com/.../amtk_car_usage.pdf.

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  2. The one thing that makes the numbers slightly weird is the routes where there's different kinds of equipment. For example, NH-Springfield has the standard 8-car Northeast Regional sets for the through service, but the shuttles are only 2 cars. Likewise, the Empire Service has the 4-car NYP-ALB services with no cafe, and the 5-car services to Niagara Falls with a cafe. Looking at those numbers some more, the Ethan Allen also seems pretty high, as that's typically only 4 coaches and a cafe/business class car, unless that's changed significantly since I last had a chance to ride it.

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  3. The Maple Leaf looks off. This is probably an artifact of the weird accounting used on that line (I can think of at least two possible causes).

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