bernard auto train 4002 and train 1972 03 25 ashland va 01 1000x

Nope, no Pennsy content here! I've always been a closet Auto Train fan, ever since it was first featured in Model Railroader in December 1972 and January 1973. I had the privilege of riding the train later in 1973.

Auto-Train Corporation (reporting mark AUT) was a privately owned railroad which used its own rolling stock, and traveled on rails leased from major railroads along the route of its trains, serving central Florida from points in the Mid-Atlantic region near Washington, DC, and the Midwest near Louisville, Kentucky, during the 1970s. Despite the popularity of the service on its primary route, which parallels busy Interstate 95 along much of the eastern coast of the United States in five states, the company failed financially after operating for almost 10 years. After a hiatus, a similarly named and operated service (Auto Train) was begun under the government-financed Amtrak in 1983, which became one of the railroad's most popular services.

The following are the most prevalent Norfolk Southern diesel locomotives in use as of 2022, summarized from Chris Toth's excellent Norfolk Southern Diesel Locomotive Roster.

Road numbers in bold are in the author's collection.

Road Numbers Notes HO Model






The GE Dash 9-44CW is a 4,400 hp road switcher diesel-electric locomotive. Keeping in tradition with GE's locomotive series nicknames beginning with the "Dash 7" of the 1970s, the C44-9W was dubbed the "Dash 9" upon its debut in 1993.

Originally rated at 4,000 hp re-rated to 4,400 hp in 2013–2014.

The railroad plans to upgrade all of its Dash 9–40CW units to AC44C6M. 
(9739 on order)

Athearn Genesis






The GE AC44C6M is a 4,400-horsepower diesel locomotive that was built by GE Transportation Systems, and rebuilt by GE, American Motive Power, Inc., and Norfolk Southern's Juniata and Roanoke Shops, starting in September 2015. The AC44C6M retains the 16-cylinder 7FDL-16 prime mover used in the core locomotive prior to rebuilding, but features GE's alternating current 5GEB13B7 traction motors. Externally, the rebuilds have received new wide-nosed cabs and a new front hood section of the same design as on the ES44AC, while retaining the underframe and engine and radiator compartments of the original Dash 9 units. Internally, AC44C6M features a new under-floor air conditioner, cab signals, LSL, DPU systems, PTC, and ECP braking ability, a significant technological improvement from the GE Dash 9-40C units.

Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) is a significant operator of this model. All 124 of their remaining Dash 9-40C units, numbered 8764–8888 (excluding 8798, which was wrecked in 2018) were rebuilt from 2015 to 2018 and numbered 4000-4124.

The railroad plans to also upgrade all of its Dash 9–40CW units to the same standard.

4000-4005 painted in special DC to AC traction paint schemes (see Norfolk Southern).

Spotting vs. Dash 9-44CW: Nose door on engineers side; ladder on other. Two vent panels below engineer's window (vs. solid wall).

Athearn Genesis (including DC to AC scheme) 

Likely to come from



EMD SD40 2

The EMD SD40-2 is a 3,000-horsepower (2,200 kW) C-C diesel-electric locomotive built by EMD from 1972 to 1989.



246 varied

GP38 2

The EMD GP38-2 is an American four-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors, Electro-Motive Division. Part of the EMD Dash 2 line, the GP38-2 was an upgraded version of the earlier GP38. Power is provided by an EMD 645E 16-cylinder engine, which generates 2,000 horsepower (1.5 MW).

220 7500-7719


The GE ES44DC (Evolution Series, 4400 HP, DC traction) replaced the Dash 9-44CW model in the General Electric catalogue.

Athearn Genesis


185 8000-8184


The GE ES44AC GEVO (Evolution Series, 4400 HP, AC traction) replaced the AC4400CW model in the General Electric catalogue.

Units 8025, 8098-8105, and 8114 painted in special heritage schemes (see Norfolk Southern Heritage Locomotives). (including Heritage schemes) 
(8102 on order)

Broadway Limited

Bachmann (including Heritage schemes)

InterMountain (including Heritage schemes)





The EMD SD70ACe is the successor to the SD70MAC with design changes to comply with emission standards. The engine fires with 15% lower internal pressure to improve emissions and features fewer internal components in the inverter.

Units 1065-1074 are painted in special heritage schemes (see Norfolk Southern Heritage Locomotives).

Athearn Genesis (including Heritage schemes)


MTH tooling was acquired by





The EMD/NS SD60E are rebuilt SD60 units with NS-designed widenose and cab.

Athearn Genesis (including "Honor Our Veterans" and "First Responders")
84 3001-3102

imagesGP40 2

The EMD GP40-2 is a 4-axle diesel road switcher locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division as part of its Dash 2 line between April 1972 and December 1986. The locomotive's power is provided by an EMD 645E3 16-cylinder engine which generates 3,000 horsepower (2.24 MW).






The GE ET44AC Tier 4 GEVO (Evolution Series Tier 4, 4400 HP, AC traction) replaces the ES44AC model.






The EMD SD70ACU was first built by EMD and later rebuilt by Norfolk Southern. It is originally an SD90MAC (or better known as a SD9043MAC) that has been rebuilt to renew its electrical components and replace the cab with the new EMD Phase-II cab to comply with the most recent safety requirements.

Many units pending retirement/sale/disposition.

Athearn Genesis
58 6300-6357 EMD/NS SD40E. Rebuilt SD50S and SD50 units. Athearn
52 1800-1851 EMD/Progress Rail SD70ACC. Rebuilt former NS SD70 units with AC traction and EMD widenose and cab  
50 700-754 EMD/NS RP-E4C Slug  
48 7100-7150 EMD GP60 Fox Valley Models 



EMD/NS RP-M4C Slug  
31 5801-5836 EMD/NS GP38-3. Rebuilt GP50 units.  





30 4700-4729 EMD/NS GP33ECO. Rebuilt GP50 and GP38-2 units.  
15 6210-6224 EMD/NS SD33ECO. Rebuilt from SD40-2 units.  
12 4650-4661 EMD/NS GP59E. Rebuilt GP59 units.  
12 915-937 RP-E4D Slug  
7 889-895 EMD/NS RPU6D Slug  
6 4662-4667 EMD/NS GP59ECO. Rebuilt GP50 and GP59 units.  
6 1700-1705 EMD SD45-2. Unit 1700 repainted Erie Lackawanna heritage scheme. Athearn Genesis
4 6400-6419 EMD/NS SD40-3. Rebuilt SD40-2 units. (16 additional units currently undergoing rebuilding.)  
3 2100-2103 EMD SW1001  
2 5900-5901 EMD/NS GP22ECO. Rebuilt from GP38AC units.  
2 97-98 EMD/NS RCP4  
2 600-601 EMD/NS GPTEB Slug  
1 4800 EMD/NS GP34ECO. Tier 4 compliant unit rebuilt from GP59.  
1 2120 Rail Power/NS RP14BD. Cabless four-axle, 2-engine genset locomotive.  


  • All EMD SD80MAC were sold in February 2020.
  • All EMD SD90MAC have been rebuilt as SD70ACU.


Rainbow Era

When Amtrak took over intercity passenger rail service on May 1, 1971, it inherited a collection of rolling stock from twenty different railroads, each with its own distinct colors and logos. Needing only to operate 184 of the 366 trains that had been run nationwide by the private railroads, Amtrak was able to pick the 1,200 best passenger cars to lease from the 3,000 that the private railroads had owned. This equipment was haphazardly mixed to form consists, resulting in trains with the mismatched colors of several predecessor railroads. This "Rainbow Era" was short-lived; Amtrak began purchasing some of the leased equipment in mid-1971, setting the stage for wholesale repainting from 1972 to 1974.

Screen Shot 2020 03 19 at 1.38.00 PM

The table below serves only to document select available HO scale models.

Quantity Prototype Model HO Scale Manufacturer Ph
Diesel Locomotives
182 GE Genesis P42DC

Athearn Genesis

75 on order Siemens Charger ALC-42 Bachmann            
18 GE Genesis P32AC-DM              
17 GE Dash 8-32BWH Atlas            
13 GE Genesis P40DC              
  EMD F40PH Kato     X      
Passenger Cars
  Budd Manor Sleeper Rapido X   X      
  Budd Slumbercoach Rapido X          
  Budd Baggage-Dorm Rapido X          

Budd Amfleet I

Coach, Business, Cafe, and split Business/Cafe configurations.



Pullman Superliner I

Bi-level cars. Coach, Coach/Baggage, Sleeper, Diner and Lounge/Cafe configurations.

Kato (coach)

    X X  
Kato (lounge)     X X   X
Kato (sleeper)     X X   X
Kato (diner)       X   X

Con Cor


Bombardier Superliner II

Bi-level cars. Coach, Sleeper, Deluxe Sleeper, Diner, Lounge/Cafe, and Transition Sleeper configurations.

Kato (transition sleeper)

       X   X

Budd Amfleet II

Coach and Lounge ("Diner Lite") configurations.

Walthers      X  X    


130 ordered

CAF Viewliner II

Cars will be configured as 25 sleepers, 25 diners, 10 baggage/dormitory and 70 baggage cars

 Kato (baggage)      X    

Bombardier Horizon

Coach, Cafe, and split Business/Cafe configurations.

Rapido (coach)

     X  X    X
Rapido (dinette)     X X   X

Walthers (coach)


Johnstown America 75' Auto Carrier

Used exclusively on the Amtrak Auto Train.


Morrison-Knudsen Viewliner II

Single-level cars, all configured as sleepers.


Budd Metroliner Cab Control Car

Former Metroliner electric multiple unit coaches converted to be used as cab control coaches for push-pull operation. Typically used on Keystone Service, Hartford Line and Valley Flyer services.

  Thrall 60' Material Handling Car


Kato     X      
  RoadRailer Bowser            
Train Sets
28 on order

Alstom Avelia Liberty

Not yet in service. Scheduled to begin service in 2021. 56 power cars on order.

Not yet in service. 252 unpowered trailer cars; nine (seven business class, one first class and one cafe) per trainset. 28 trainsets in total.


Bombardier/Alstom​ Acela Express

40 power cars; each one is semi-permanently coupled to each end of a trainset.

120 unpowered trailer cars; six (four business class, one first class and one cafe) per trainset. 20 trainsets in total.


emd fp7 f7b loksound 5 sound and dcc 920 42512 big

Amtrak logo 2Another collection of notes unrelated to the Pennsy... but hey, it's my web site!

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak (reporting marks AMTK, AMTZ), is a passenger railroad service that provides medium and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.

Founded in 1971 as a quasi-public corporation to operate many U.S. passenger rail services, it receives a combination of state and federal subsidies but is managed as a for-profit organization. Amtrak's headquarters is located one block west of Union Station in Washington, D.C.

RIght Side View GE DASH9 Right      GE ET44AC Right    
Left Side View GE DASH9 Left      GE ET44AC Left    
Top View GE DASH9 Top      GE ET44AC Top     
Front Quarter View GE DASH9 Front      GE ET44AC Front    
Rear Quarter View GE DASH9 Rear      GE ET44AC Rear    


49712a left side wl

500px Nsheadlogo.svgThe system began in 1982 with the creation of the Norfolk Southern Corporation, a holding company for the Southern Railway (SOU, formed in 1894) and Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W, formed in 1881). In 1990, the two systems merged and formed the Norfolk Southern Railway.

The system grew with the acquisition of over half of Conrail. In 1996, CSX bid to buy Conrail; Norfolk Southern, fearing that CSX would come to dominate rail traffic in the eastern U.S., responded with a bid of its own. On June 23, 1997, NS and CSX filed a joint application with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for authority to purchase, divide, and operate the assets of Conrail. On June 6, 1998, the STB approved the NS-CSX application, effective August 22, 1998. NS acquired 58% of Conrail assets, while CSX got the remaining 42%, including about 7,200 miles (11,600 km) of track, most of which was part of the former Pennsylvania Railroad. NS began operating its trains on its portion of the former Conrail network on June 1, 1999, closing out the 1990s merger era. The Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) was a 11,000-mile (18,000 km) system formed in 1976 from the Penn Central Railroad (1968–1976), by bringing together several ailing northeastern railway systems into a government-owned corporation. Conrail was perhaps the most controversial conglomerate in corporate history. Penn Central itself was created by merging three venerable rivals — the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR, 1846), the New York Central Railroad (NYC, 1831), and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H, 1872) — as well as some smaller competitors. In 1980, Conrail had become profitable after the Staggers Act largely deregulated the U.S. railroad industry.

Amtrak Auto Train

After a period of 22 months without service, the service was revived by Amtrak, which operates most intercity passenger trains in the United States. Amtrak acquired the terminals in Lorton and Sanford and some of the Auto Train equipment. On October 30, 1983, it introduced its new version of the service (under the slightly modified name "Auto Train") on a triweekly basis. Daily service was introduced a year later.

tofc greer shutterstock1113286211 1

If I wasn't modeling the Pennsy, I'd be modeling modern intermodal...

440px TTX Company 2008 LogoTTX was founded in 1955 by the Norfolk & Western Railway, Pennsylvania Railroad and Rail-Trailer Corporation. Pennsylvania Railroad employees - 6,000 in total - entered possible names in a drawing for the new company, and the name "Trailer Train" won. TrailerTrain's original goals were to standardize TOFC railcar practices, foster the growth of transportation, provide its members with the best available equipment at the lowest cost, and keep its members abreast of new developments. In 1991, the company changed its company name from TrailerTrain to TTX.

H BT Huntingdon Broad Top Railraod Locomotive Coal Car in Saxton Bedford County in 1953jpg

Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad (H&BTM) (reporting mark HBTM) is a former short line railroad company operating passenger and freight service on standard gauge track in south central Pennsylvania.

Operational headquarters were in Huntingdon, and Saxton, with financial and business offices located in Philadelphia. The primary shop facilities were located in Saxton; auxiliary car shop facilities were at Huntington. Turntables were located at Huntingdon, Saxton, and Mount Dallas, Pennsylvania.

75BD6READFGUDDS44J43BBCRPYThe Freedom Train and the Friendship train sit side-by-side in Harrisburg on Nov. 17, 1947.
The Friendship Train has a sign that says, "Food for friends" in English, French and Italian.

‘Two of the greatest post-war symbols of democracy in action’ in Harrisburg in 1947