PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

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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.

Amtrak Rosters

A great source for full roster information is on Wikipedia.

Amtrak Paint Schemes

Amtrak Auto Train (see also, original Auto Train)

Amtrak Models

Rolling Stock

Amtrak Car Diagrams (external site)


Amtrak's Heritage Fleet consisted of the rolling stock provided to it when it assumed passenger service on commercial railroads. The name was applied to a program begun in 1977 to convert the older, mainly streamlined, cars from steam heating to head-end power. Head end power conversions were performed at Amtrak's Beech Grove Shops, outside of Indianapolis. The program was completed by the mid-1980s, and the fleet was fully retired by 2019. 

Heritage baggage and dining cars were used on the single-level trains serving the Eastern U.S. out of New York City through late 2017. The baggage cars from Amtrak's Viewliner II order, placed in 2010, fully replaced the Heritage versions: the last was delivered in December 2015. Twelve diners are also now in revenue service. In January 2018, due to high maintenance costs for the 60+ year old cars, Amtrak announced the retirement of the last five remaining "Pacific Parlour" Hi-Level lounge cars still in active service on the Coast Starlight, bringing an end to the era of Heritage Fleet equipment in regular revenue service. The last run using one of these cars was on February 4, 2018. The last remaining Great Dome car, Ocean View, was retired in 2019 by Amtrak, due to the age and expense of maintaining the Great Dome Car.

Amfleet I

Amtrak placed a $24 million order with Budd on October 12, 1973 for 57 "non-powered Metroliner cars." These, together with new GE E60 electric locomotives, were to provide additional Metroliner service on the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak expanded its plans in June 1974, ordering 200 more cars for $81 million. On October 25, it added another 35 cars. Finally, in April 1975, with the first deliveries imminent, Amtrak added 200 more cars to the order for $86 million. This brought the first order to 492 cars, with a total cost of $192 million. Amtrak intended to use 212 of the cars on Northeast Corridor service between Washington and New York; unlike the electric Metroliners, the Amfleet cars could continue through to Boston, Massachusetts. The first Amfleet cars began running on the Northeast Corridor on August 5, 1975.

Amfleet II

Amtrak ordered 150 more Amfleet cars from Budd on March 13, 1980, at a cost of $150 million.] These cars, dubbed Amfleet II, were intended to replace rolling stock on Amtrak long-distance trains, and featured larger windows, more legroom, and folding legrests. Budd delivered the first four cars on October 28, 1981; the unveiling took place on November 11. The final cars arrived on June 11, 1983. The Amfleet IIs were the last intercity cars Budd built. The continuing unreliability of the original Metroliners led to refurbished Amfleet I coaches displacing them in Metroliner service in 1981. New EMD AEM-7 electric locomotives pulled the trains.

Car types include both long- and short-distance coaches, cafes, club cars, and lounges. Since the construction of the cars, multiple rebuildings have eliminated the club cars and lounges in favor of business class cars, club-dinettes, and "diner-lite" dining cars. Amtrak experimented with sleeping car conversions in the 1970s, but did not pursue the idea. The Amfleet I has vestibules on both ends of the car for faster unloading, while the Amfleet II has a single vestibule. The Amfleet II also has slightly larger windows.


Introduced by Amtrak in April 1989, the Horizon fleet (also known as the Amfleet IIIs) were based on the Pullman-Standard Comet-series commuter cars built since 1970. The new Horizon fleet consisted predominantly of two basic car types - Coach and Dinette - with 86 and 18 cars respectively forming the 104-car order placed with Bombardier.

Over the years, the Horizon cars have remained largely unchanged from their as-built appearance, with the only predominant visual differences being the evolution of the Amtrak paint schemes from Phase III through Phase IVb. However, two key changes that have occurred include the replacement of the original power sliding doors with manually-operated parlor doors, and the replacement of the fold-down stairs with fixed steps.

Superliner I

Amtrak ordered 235 Superliner I cars from Pullman-Standard on April 2, 1975, with deliveries scheduled for between January 1977 and June 1978. The order then consisted of 120 coaches, 55 sleepers, 34 diners, and 26 lounges. Amtrak soon increased the order to 284 cars: it added 30 coaches, 15 sleepers, 5 diners, and deleted 1 lounge. The initial order cost $143.6 million; with the additional cars and other payments the cost rose to $250 million.

Superliner II

Amtrak ordered 140 Superliner II cars from Bombardier Transportation in 1991; Bombardier had acquired the Superliner patents after Pullman-Standard's closure. The order consisted of 55 sleeping cars, 38 coaches, 20 dining cars, 15 lounges, and 12 transition-dormitory cars. The initial order cost $340 million, and included an option for 39 additional cars. In late 1993 Amtrak exercised the option for 55 cars at a cost of $110 million, bringing the total order of Superliner II cars to 195. The option included ten dining cars, ten lounges, and 35 transdorms. 

Initially, the cars could not be worked east of Chicago because of limited overhead clearances, but by the 1980s many eastern railroads had raised clearances on their tracks to permit tri-level auto carriers and double-stack container trains, which also permitted the operation of the Superliners. To this day, low tunnel clearances around New York City and elsewhere prevent their use on the Northeast Corridor.

Viewliner I

The first production Viewliners were built in 1995–1996 by Amerail (now Alstom)/Morrison-Knudsen. Amtrak's original intention in the 1980s was to order 500–600 new cars, of which 100 would be sleepers and the rest coaches, diners, and lounges. This would have enabled Amtrak to replace its remaining Heritage Fleet equipment and run trains with solid Viewliner consists. Ultimately, Amtrak awarded a contract for 50 sleeping cars with an option for 227 cars of various types to Morrison-Knudsen, who were also building the new California Cars based on the Superliner design. Morrison-Knudsen unveiled the first Viewliner shell at its Chicago plant on October 26, 1994. After Morrison-Knudsen's bankruptcy, the outstanding orders were completed by Amerail with final delivery in 1996 alongside the California Car fleet. After the first 50 cars were delivered, none of the remaining 177 options were exercised. The 50 Viewliners arrived just in time to retire most of Amtrak's remaining Heritage sleeping cars, which were coming under increasing environmental pressure due to their use of non-retention toilets. Since the 1990s, Viewliner sleepers have operated on East Coast single-level trains in concert with Amfleet coaches and Heritage diners (and eventually Viewliner diners).

Viewliner II

On July 23, 2010, Amtrak ordered 130 Viewliner II cars – 55 baggage cars, 25 dining cars, 25 sleepers, and 25 baggage-dorms – with an option for up to 70 additional cars. The five-year order, worth $298.1 million, was placed with CAF USA in Elmira, New York, a fully owned subsidiary of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles. According to former Amtrak president Joseph Boardman, CAF was selected over Alstom, the only other bidder, due to CAF's lower bid and their being able to construct the entire car at their factory, rather than relying on subcontractors. In August 2014, the order was modified by swapping 15 baggage-dorms for 15 baggage cars, changing their totals to 10 and 70, respectively.

While all 130 cars were originally expected to be delivered by the end of 2015, by December 2016 only the baggage cars and one diner were in service. As of August 1, 2019, all 25 Viewliner II diners have been delivered, with 11 in service on the Silver Meteor, Crescent, and Lake Shore Limited routes. Five bag-dorms have been delivered, with four in service on the Crescent. One sleeper has been delivered.

Viewliner IIs are delivered in an updated version of Amtrak's older Phase III paint scheme. The baggage cars are numbered 61000–61069. The dining cars, numbered 68000–68024, are named alphabetically after the first 25 state capitals east of the Mississippi River, with Indianapolis being the name of the Viewliner I which was rebuilt as a prototype. The sleeping cars (62500–62524) are alphabetically named after major rivers east of the Mississippi, continued from the renaming of the Viewliner I sleepers. Unlike the original Viewliners, Roomettes do not include toilets; instead, passengers will share two restrooms at the expense of one Roomette. The bag-dorms are numbered 69000-69009.

Viewliner passenger cars are designed for use on Amtrak's long-distance routes in the Eastern US, due to clearance issues in and around both New York Pennsylvania Station and Baltimore Pennsylvania Station that prevent tall bi-level cars from clearing the tunnels (see loading gauge and structure gauge).

Viewliner baggage cars are used on all Superliner and single-level trains which use full baggage cars in the Amtrak system. The first Viewliner baggage cars went into service on March 23, 2015 on multiple Eastern routes, and the last started service in December 2016.

Walthers, Con Cor, Kato, and Rapido have produced a variety of Amtrak locomotives and rolling stock in HO scale.



On its inauguration the Pennsylvanian ran with then-new Amfleet equipment: two coaches and a cafe. Today the Pennsylvanian continues to use an all-Amfleet consist although the number of coaches has grown to six. The train consists of an Amfleet I business class car, an Amfleet I cafe car, an Amfleet I coach, and three Amfleet II long-distance coach cars. Motive power is usually a Genesis diesel-electric locomotive west of Philadelphia. East of Philadelphia, the motive power is a Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotive; an engine swap is made at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. A Viewliner II baggage car was added to the train in October 2019.

Typically observed at Lewistown 2015-Present:
GE P42 Genesis Kato or Athearn Genesis
Amfleet II Coachclass  
Amfleet II Coachclass  
Amfleet II Coachclass  
Amfleet I Coachclass Rapido Horizon Coach
Amfleet I Cafe "Northeast Regional"  
Amfleet I Business Class Rapido Horizon Club-Dinette


Broadway Limited

BroadwayLimited1993Amtrak singled out the Broadway Limited for special treatment and in 1972 completely refurbished its equipment, most of which was ex-PC, although former Union Pacific Railroad sleeping cars were also used. Amtrak also added a Slumbercoach to the consist. In 1974 Amtrak tried out rebuilt 6-bedroom, 8-roomette ex-Rock Island sleeping cars, but their limited capacity reduced revenue. The Broadway Limited began receiving rebuilt Heritage Fleet cars in 1980, and Amfleet coaches thereafter. 68 cars were rebuilt at a total cost of $9.8 million.

Amtrak ultimately discontinued the Broadway Limited on September 10, 1995, in the face of significant funding problems. The Broadway Limited then earned $6.6 million against costs of $24 million. Amtrak replaced it with the all-coach Three Rivers, which would in turn be discontinued in 2005.

Photo: The Broadway Limited at Lewistown, Pa., in 1993, in Phase 3 livery.

Three Rivers

The Three Rivers replaced the Broadway Limited in 1995. The route was cancelled, with the last train running on March 7, 2005, due to Amtrak's unilateral cancellation of a United States Postal Service contract on the line.

The Three Rivers used Amfleet coaches and either Amfleet or Horizon dinettes. Amtrak never assigned a full dining car owing to equipment shortages and an unfavorable schedule. Starting on April 1, 1999 Amtrak began assigning a Heritage Fleet sleeper to the Three Rivers. No Viewliners were available; Amtrak refurbished four stored Heritage sleepers for $250,000. These were the last standard 10-6 sleepers in Amtrak operation and required a Federal Railroad Administration waiver to operate because of their direct-dump toilets. When this waiver expired in October 2001 Amtrak retired the Heritage sleepers and replaced them with Viewliners, which were now available.

Recollection of earlier consists:
GE P42 Genesis (2) Kato or Athearn Genesis
Material Handling Cars (multiple) Walthers
Roadrailers (multiple) Bowser
Screen Shot 2020 03 19 at 8.36.01 PM


2004 Consist per
GE P40 or P42 (2)  
Heritage Baggage  
Viewliner Sleeper  
Horizon Lounge  
Horizon Coach  
Amfleet II Coach (2)  
Material Handling Cars (3)