Another 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 Paint Schemes
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.
Introduced in 1972, Phase I was the first paint scheme to be implemented system-wide on Amtrak's trains. Except for a small number of locomotives that had been painted into experimental and promotional paint schemes, it was the first new paint for most equipment under Amtrak. The scheme was part of Amtrak's larger move to a visual identity featuring the national colors of red, white, and blue.
Locomotives were painted a light gray ("Platinum Mist") with a black roof, the Amtrak "Pointless Arrow" chevron logo on the side, and a red nose (which led to a "Bloody Nose" nickname). Passenger cars were silver (or left bare stainless steel), with a red and bright blue stripe (bracketed by thin white stripes) at window level and the chevron logo at one or both ends. A number of variants were made for non-revenue locomotives, GG1 locomotives, Turbotrain and Turboliner trainsets, and self-propelled RDC and Metroliner railcars.
Bowser F7A Phase 1 Early in Phase I Livery
Rapido Pullman Standard Diner in Phase I Livery
The Phase II paint scheme was introduced in late 1974 with the arrival of the new GE E60 locomotives. The red nose and chevron logo on locomotives were replaced with stripes similar to passenger cars. Most passenger cars were essentially unchanged from Phase I, except for the removal of the chevron logo; new Sightseer lounges had a higher stripe with an angled transition on each end.
Rapido EMD F40PH Phase 2 in Phase II Livery
Walthers Amfleet I AmCafe in Phase II Livery
Phase III, introduced in 1976, is still used on some equipment. On both passenger cars and locomotives, the outer white pinstripes were removed while the inner stripe was widened, resulting in red, white, and blue stripes of equal width. Turboliners and the LRC test train were painted in white, with the stripes at the bottom of the train. This scheme was introduced "for safety, graphic aid and saving money", as the white band was highly reflective and provided a place for car information, and the standard widths made better use of raw material.
Several types of locomotives that were acquired later were given variations on Phase III. AEM-7 locomotives had the blue stripe expanded to cover the entire lower part of the body. On Dash 8-32BWH locomotives, a deeper blue and red was used; the stripes had additional pinstripes and angled upward across the middle of the body. The similarity to the Pepsi logo led to the units being nicknamed "Pepsi Cans". Genesis locomotives had a lighter roof and narrower white stripe; the stripes angled downward on the sloped nose, and faded towards the rear. That variant was created by industrial designer Cesar Vergara, who also designed the angular bodies of the locomotives.
In October 2013, Amtrak introduced a new variant of Phase III with the production of the new Viewliner II cars, the first of which entered service in 2015. The Viewliner cars have some changes from previous Phase III passenger cars, including a red reflective stripe at the bottom and a newer ("Travelmark") logo. In January 2016, Amtrak revealed a P32AC-DM that was repainted into Phase III, similar to that of the heritage units Nos. 145 and 822, but featuring modern logos and "Empire Service" emblems on the sides. All P32AC-DMs will eventually be repainted into this scheme, with costs shared between Amtrak and the state of New York.
Rapido EMD F40PH Phase 2 in Phase III Livery
Rapido Horizon Fleet Coach in Phase III Livery
Con Cor Superliner Diner in Phase III Livery
Beginning in 1993, Phase IV was introduced as a striking departure from the traditional red, white, and blue style seen previously. Brought into service with the delivery of the newer Superliner II cars, Phase IV has two thin red stripes and a thick dark blue stripe. In 1997, Amtrak extended the scheme to locomotives, initially GE P42DC diesel locomotives on Northeast Corridor services.
Rapido Horizon Fleet Coach in Phase IV Livery
Phase V was introduced with the arrival of the Acela Express high-speed train sets in 2000 and is used on most locomotives. Locomotives are painted light gray, with a blue stripe (darker than Phases I–III, but lighter than IV) at the top and a thin red reflective stripe at the bottom. The blue stripe has a wavy bottom on Genesis locomotives and a flat bottom on other locomotives and ex-F40PH non-powered control units (NPCUs). The Amtrak "Travelmark" logo is painted near the front or rear of the unit. SC-44 locomotives used on Midwest routes have a variant of Phase V with a blue front and a halftone transition into the grey side. Non-passenger cars like Auto Train autoracks are all-gray except for the logo and red stripe; Express Box Cars had blue stripes on top and bottom.
Acela Express trainsets have grey and stainless steel bodies with the lower red stripe, with the wavy blue roof and Acela logo on the power cars only. The Acela passenger cars have no blue stripe; colored blobs called "mobiles" are used to indicate the type of car (Business Class, Cafe Bistro, or First Class). When the Acela Express was introduced, regional trains on the Northeast Corridor were briefly designated Acela Regional. Amfleet coaches for these trains received "Capstone" livery, which had a window stripe with various patterns of blue, light blue, and green to indicate the type of service. Rebuilt Turboliners had a similar variant of the Capstone livery.
Kato GE P42 Genesis in Phase Vb Livery
Bachmann Acela Business Class Coach in Phase V Livery
Phase VI, commonly referred to as Phase IVb, introduced in 2002, is used on most passenger cars. It retains the same stripe style as Phase IV: wide window stripes on single-level cars, and narrow stripes on Superliners. The red reflective sill stripe and mid-tone blue on Phase V are used. Single-level cars have white logos within the blue stripe, while Superliners have blue logos below the stripes.
Rapido Horizon Fleet Coach in Phase VI Livery
Kato Superliner I Lounge in Phase IVb [VI] Livery
Route-specific paint schemes
Five state-funded corridor routes—the Cascades, Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, and San Joaquin—are operated by Amtrak using equipment that is largely owned by the states in which they operate, and painted in custom schemes that deviate from the national Amtrak livery. Several other route-specific paint schemes have been used in the past.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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|
|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|
Amtrak 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.
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|
|Material Handling Cars (multiple)||Walthers|
|Roadrailers (multiple)||Bowser (?)|