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I'm a Postwar guy through and through and my permanent layout is a 50s style toy train 5x9. I also have a good handful of Lion Chief Plus and 2.0 engines.

BUT...The Amtrak Genesis diesels in the latest catalog have really caught my eye. A couple of the Anniversary liveries are very attractive. I'm thinking about preordering.

Problem...passenger cars. Those in the catalog will barely manage their way around my tight curves and I know they'll look totally silly.

Question...are there suitable, smaller Amtrak cars out there? Manufacturer doesn't matter. I own zero Amtrak and am not picky.

Give me  some suggestions and advice. Thanks.

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Your best bet is to go with the Amfleet cars by Williams:

43501 Amtrak phase III Amfleet set, The Western Depot

Or the MTH Railking Amfleet cars:

Product Search | MTH ELECTRIC TRAINS

They are both 15" in length and can do O-31 curves. The MTH ones might look better aesthetically with Lionel's new Genesis locomotive (it was former MTH tooling anyway), but the simpler detailing from the Williams ones might go better with your Postwar stuff, if you decide to run it all together.

I wouldn’t give up on those 18” Amfleets in the set, but before I get into that I’ll Provide some alternatives. Prior to some major changes on mylayout about a year or so ago, I predominantly ran 15” & 16” Passenger cars. I’ll list the options and score their: (Q)general quality(I.e. aesthetics, durability, reliability)

(P)the current prices for them in the market

(F)frequency/ability to find a

One=bad, Five=Very good . A score of all 1’s would mean: poor Quality, high/ unreasonable prices, rarely available to buy. If you decide you want MTH 16” Amfleets, I have some phases 3 & 4  in VG to LN condition from which I’m willing to part.

Without further adieu!

MTH Railking Amfleets: 16”, made in a variety of phases Q=4, P=3, F=5

MTH Railking “Misc.” Amtrak Passenger cars: 16”, MTH made a number of Passenger cars that weren’t prototypical Amtrak but decent Q=4, P=4, F=4

K-line Amtrak Horizons: 15”, phase III paint, aluminum body, pop up on eBay every now and then. My favorite 15-16” Amtraks  hands down Q=5, P=3, F=2

Lionel Amtrak baggage car- recent make , possibly 2018? 13.5” long, good baggage for 15-16” coaches Q=5,  P=2, F=3

MTH Railking Superliners-16 11/16” long, made in Ph III & Ph IV Q=5, P=3, F=4

Lionel Aluminum Amtrak Passenger cars: from early 90s, easiest to find. Don’t really care for them mainly b/c I don’t like “people strips”/undecorated interiors Q=3, P=3, F=5

Williams Amtrak Amfleets- nice, durable and corrugated aluminum. Interiors undecorated Q=4, P=4, F=4



What is the max. curve diameter on your layout? I have the hhp-8 set(2009)and cab control car, the tolling of those set passenger cars is the same as the various Amtrak paint livery phases of 18” Amfleets being offered in the 2022 vol. 1 catalog.

When my max curve diameter was o-42, I ran these Amfleets on it with little issue and I liked how they looked on my layout.  I think they can run on o-36. They matched well with a variety of Amtrak power- the HHP-8 obviously, MTH AEM-7 and any of my F-40PH Amtrak locos(K-line, MTH & Lionel). However, I have a either a low ability to notice overhang, high tolerance for overhang, or a combo ha.

Hope this helps!

@carnerd3000 posted:

Your best bet is to go with the Amfleet cars by Williams:

43501 Amtrak phase III Amfleet set, The Western Depot

Or the MTH Railking Amfleet cars:

Product Search | MTH ELECTRIC TRAINS

They are both 15" in length and can do O-31 curves. The MTH ones might look better aesthetically with Lionel's new Genesis locomotive (it was former MTH tooling anyway), but the simpler detailing from the Williams ones might go better with your Postwar stuff, if you decide to run it all together.

Thanks! Much appreciated.

I found the Williams versions. Pretty nice. A 3-car set with extruded aluminum bodies. These have been out for a while but several online dealers have them in stock.

Couldn't find those specific MTH cars but did come up with a handful of other Amtrak sets. Any idea on the SKU# for these?

Thanks again!

@StevefromPA posted:

I wouldn’t give up on those 18” Amfleets in the set, but before I get into that I’ll Provide some alternatives. Prior to some major changes on mylayout about a year or so ago, I predominantly ran 15” & 16” Passenger cars. I’ll list the options and score their: (Q)general quality(I.e. aesthetics, durability, reliability)

(P)the current prices for them in the market

(F)frequency/ability to find a

One=bad, Five=Very good . A score of all 1’s would mean: poor Quality, high/ unreasonable prices, rarely available to buy. If you decide you want MTH 16” Amfleets, I have some phases 3 & 4  in VG to LN condition from which I’m willing to part.

Without further adieu!

MTH Railking Amfleets: 16”, made in a variety of phases Q=4, P=3, F=5

MTH Railking “Misc.” Amtrak Passenger cars: 16”, MTH made a number of Passenger cars that weren’t prototypical Amtrak but decent Q=4, P=4, F=4

K-line Amtrak Horizons: 15”, phase III paint, aluminum body, pop up on eBay every now and then. My favorite 15-16” Amtraks  hands down Q=5, P=3, F=2

Lionel Amtrak baggage car- recent make , possibly 2018? 13.5” long, good baggage for 15-16” coaches Q=5,  P=2, F=3

MTH Railking Superliners-16 11/16” long, made in Ph III & Ph IV Q=5, P=3, F=4

Lionel Aluminum Amtrak Passenger cars: from early 90s, easiest to find. Don’t really care for them mainly b/c I don’t like “people strips”/undecorated interiors Q=3, P=3, F=5

Williams Amtrak Amfleets- nice, durable and corrugated aluminum. Interiors undecorated Q=4, P=4, F=4



What is the max. curve diameter on your layout? I have the hhp-8 set(2009)and cab control car, the tolling of those set passenger cars is the same as the various Amtrak paint livery phases of 18” Amfleets being offered in the 2022 vol. 1 catalog.

When my max curve diameter was o-42, I ran these Amfleets on it with little issue and I liked how they looked on my layout.  I think they can run on o-36. They matched well with a variety of Amtrak power- the HHP-8 obviously, MTH AEM-7 and any of my F-40PH Amtrak locos(K-line, MTH & Lionel). However, I have a either a low ability to notice overhang, high tolerance for overhang, or a combo ha.

Hope this helps!

Wow! Great info, Steve. Many thanks for your detailed response. Really appreciate it.

My layout has Lionel traditional tin track, O-31. So you can see that I'm limited. Those 18 inch cars in the new catalog are a no go. Even 16 inch cars are questionable. They'll make it around the curves but the overhang is nuts. But not totally ruling them out.

Anyway, you've given me a lot to chew on. Will give your post a couple of re-reads while I'm looking around online.  Thanks again for the great information!

Last edited by johnstrains
@Greg Kwolek posted:

I am very tempted to order the LC+2.0 Genesis Set. Catalog orders usually ship toward the end of the year right?

Greg,

Yes, your best bet is to plan on an end of the year arrival. And then some items bump over to early the next year.

There are always exceptions but safe to shoot for a ton of Lionel stuff to get delivered in the December timeframe.

@johnstrains posted:

Couldn't find those specific MTH cars but did come up with a handful of other Amtrak sets. Any idea on the SKU# for these?

Thanks again!

If I am not mistaken, the 2-car set is Product Number: 30-6550

What phase of Amtrak's paint schemes are you looking for? MTH has done a few different ones over the years: MTH Amtrak Amfleets Railking
RE: Williams cars, I just looked on the popular auction site and saw a listing for a 6-car Amfleet set in Phase I for $300 w/ shipping included

Bryce

Last edited by Oscale_Trains_Lover_

If I am not mistaken, the 2-car set is Product Number: 30-6550

What phase of Amtrak's paint schemes are you looking for? MTH has done a few different ones over the years: MTH Amtrak Amfleets Railking
RE: Williams cars, I just looked on the popular auction site and saw a listing for a 6-car Amfleet set in Phase I for $300 w/ shipping included

Bryce

Thanks, Bryce!

Yes, that's the item number for those MTH cars. And appreciate the steer to that long list of additional sets. There are plenty to choose from.

Frankly, not real picky about Phase. I suppose the answer is something that will look decent with one of the new Lionel  Genesis locos mentioned above. I own exactly zero Amtrak so am an open book on this. Only real limitation is they need to run relatively well on my tight O31 curves.

Thanks again.

Last edited by johnstrains

John,

I have a couple return loops with O-31 track on them. I just tried one of my Williams Amfleet cars around it with no problem. For a Genesis engine, timeline wise Phase 3 paint (3 equal width red, white and blue strips) or Phase 4 (narrow red and white stripes over wide blue stripe) paint would work.

AMTK 356 F40PH Savannah NY Jun 1988AMTK 156 [2)AMTK 156 [2)

Attachments

Images (2)
  • AMTK 356 F40PH Savannah NY Jun 1988: Phase 3
  • AMTK 156 (2): Phase 4 on cars
Last edited by Ross
@johnstrains posted:

I'm a Postwar guy through and through and my permanent layout is a 50s style toy train 5x9. I also have a good handful of Lion Chief Plus and 2.0 engines.

BUT...The Amtrak Genesis diesels in the latest catalog have really caught my eye. A couple of the Anniversary liveries are very attractive. I'm thinking about preordering.

Problem...passenger cars. Those in the catalog will barely manage their way around my tight curves and I know they'll look totally silly.

Question...are there suitable, smaller Amtrak cars out there? Manufacturer doesn't matter. I own zero Amtrak and am not picky.

Give me  some suggestions and advice. Thanks.

Williams are a good choice and you can find them at a good price on the secondary market. Lionel made them as well for O27 curves not as nice but would fit in with the theme of your layout, also can be had at a great price and very easy to custom paint or anything else you may want to do.

@Ross posted:

John,

I have a couple return loops with O-31 track on them. I just tried one of my Williams Amfleet cars around it with no problem. For a Genesis engine, timeline wise Phase 3 paint (3 equal width red, white and blue strips) or Phase 4 (narrow red and white stripes over wide blue stripe) paint would work.

AMTK 356 F40PH Savannah NY Jun 1988AMTK 156 [2)AMTK 156 [2)

Thanks, Ross.

Found some Williams Phase III passenger cars at Western Depot. Look pretty decent.

Item #43501.

Not pulling the trigger yet, but will put them on my list of possibilities.

Last edited by johnstrains

For what you are looking for the Williams cars are a nice choice. 

I can't add much to this conversation that hasn't been stated other than the Eliot Welz Amfleet cars are an option too from a collector's standpoint.  They are proportionately smaller than the Williams cars and may be more in scale with the LC Genesis.  I have a Welz Metroliner set and like it a lot more than my Williams one.

@Sean007 posted:

Most of our forum sponsors do not bill you until the trains are shipped!

I think that I will buy one of the Amtrak Genesis Engines and work on the passenger cars next year.

Yeah I have to think about it a bit. I like the idea of the set and the discounting seems decent. Ro is as low as 839 and my local shop is 899 (plus tax…). But some of those anniversary paint schemes are pretty nice on the individual engines.

@GG1 4877 posted:

For what you are looking for the Williams cars are a nice choice.

I can't add much to this conversation that hasn't been stated other than the Eliot Welz Amfleet cars are an option too from a collector's standpoint.  They are proportionately smaller than the Williams cars and may be more in scale with the LC Genesis.  I have a Welz Metroliner set and like it a lot more than my Williams one.

Thank you, Jonathan.

More food for thought!

@johnstrains No problem! Happy to help! I’m also ehappy you mentioned that you’re unsure of the overhang of 16” cars in your reply- brought to mind 4 more options!  Just a heads up regarding these items- For MTH the blue doesn’t resemble any shades of blue Amtrak has used, as is common for too many MTH Amtrak items but Phase III specifically. Also, none of these are necessarily prototypical- if any of that matter to you

1.) MTH Railking 30-6000, 30-6001, 30-6002, 30-6003 Amtrak Set. 13 3/4” over the couplers. Paint Livery appears to attempt to mimic Phase II.  I have the dome car and it’s pretty nice. IMO, the reasonable price for a single car should be $25-$35. LInk to item with pics from Graham’s trains: https://www.grahamstrains.com/...r-Passenger-Set.html

2.) MTH Rugged Rails set 33-6047. More modern paint scheme that I think is supposed to look like phase IV. 13 9/16” in length(over couplers). Link: https://mthtrains.com/33-6047

3.) Lionel(MPC era) Amtrak Passenger cars 6-6410, 6-6411(coaches) & 6-6412(dome). Happen to have one of these as well, Phase I like paint scheme, Passenger silhouettes. Going rate for a reasonably priced one should be $20 or less. Not hard to find. pic below from worthpoint:

10B9000C-CB5F-48AC-943E-8EBC43BAA293

4.) Lionel(LTI) Amtrak 6-15100, 6-16098, 6-16100, 6-16099. Car names are Danbury, Temple, Vista Dome & High Dome, respectively. Only 11 3/4” long. Decently looks like Phase III, has Passenger silhouettes.  The first 3 I listed are my first Amtrak Passenger cars, given to me about when I was 5 years old. Going rate for reasonably priced $20-30, also pretty easy to find. Pic below from worthpoint:

6495C308-D486-4FFF-BE93-61527664EB1D

Attachments

Images (2)
  • 10B9000C-CB5F-48AC-943E-8EBC43BAA293
  • 6495C308-D486-4FFF-BE93-61527664EB1D
@StevefromPA posted:

@johnstrains No problem! Happy to help! I’m also ehappy you mentioned that you’re unsure of the overhang of 16” cars in your reply- brought to mind 4 more options!  Just a heads up regarding these items- For MTH the blue doesn’t resemble any shades of blue Amtrak has used, as is common for too many MTH Amtrak items but Phase III specifically. Also, none of these are necessarily prototypical- if any of that matter to you

1.) MTH Railking 30-6000, 30-6001, 30-6002, 30-6003 Amtrak Set. 13 3/4” over the couplers. Paint Livery appears to attempt to mimic Phase II.  I have the dome car and it’s pretty nice. IMO, the reasonable price for a single car should be $25-$35. LInk to item with pics from Graham’s trains: https://www.grahamstrains.com/...r-Passenger-Set.html

2.) MTH Rugged Rails set 33-6047. More modern paint scheme that I think is supposed to look like phase IV. 13 9/16” in length(over couplers). Link: https://mthtrains.com/33-6047

3.) Lionel(MPC era) Amtrak Passenger cars 6-6410, 6-6411(coaches) & 6-6412(dome). Happen to have one of these as well, Phase I like paint scheme, Passenger silhouettes. Going rate for a reasonably priced one should be $20 or less. Not hard to find. pic below from worthpoint:

10B9000C-CB5F-48AC-943E-8EBC43BAA293

4.) Lionel(LTI) Amtrak 6-15100, 6-16098, 6-16100, 6-16099. Car names are Danbury, Temple, Vista Dome & High Dome, respectively. Only 11 3/4” long. Decently looks like Phase III, has Passenger silhouettes.  The first 3 I listed are my first Amtrak Passenger cars, given to me about when I was 5 years old. Going rate for reasonably priced $20-30, also pretty easy to find. Pic below from worthpoint:

6495C308-D486-4FFF-BE93-61527664EB1D

Thanks again, Steve. So many choices!

Will spend some time sorting through all the information above. The good thing is I have  plenty of time as my Genesis pre-order won't be arriving for months.

John,

I had the same concern as you with those 18 inch cars making it around my layout.  I do have the Amtrak Silver Spike set, which has served me well. But I'm glad that Lionel is offering these Genesis locos because it gave me an excuse to find Amfleet cars that will fit the layout. I found a nice 4+2 set of Railking Amfleet Phase III cars, which I have admired for sometime, and pushed the buy button before I could talk myself out of it. Now I can place my order for Genesis and hope the paint from Lionel matches MTH, or at least, is close enough. I am banking on the cars arriving before I have to make the loco purchase so I can decide if I want the Phase III Genesis or the Midnight Blue. That Midnight Blue looks sharper enough to go with just about any of the Amtrak cars. Or I could buy both......

@IC Gulf posted:

John,

I had the same concern as you with those 18 inch cars making it around my layout.  I do have the Amtrak Silver Spike set, which has served me well. But I'm glad that Lionel is offering these Genesis locos because it gave me an excuse to find Amfleet cars that will fit the layout. I found a nice 4+2 set of Railking Amfleet Phase III cars, which I have admired for sometime, and pushed the buy button before I could talk myself out of it. Now I can place my order for Genesis and hope the paint from Lionel matches MTH, or at least, is close enough. I am banking on the cars arriving before I have to make the loco purchase so I can decide if I want the Phase III Genesis or the Midnight Blue. That Midnight Blue looks sharper enough to go with just about any of the Amtrak cars. Or I could buy both......

Eddie,

Absolutely. In fact the Midnight Blue is the one I'm getting. Actually hit the buy button with Charles Ro this morning!

To close the loop on this...

Picked up a Williams Amtrak 3-car passenger set. These are extruded aluminum cars and look great. Have a real heft to them. Not as detailed as some of the MTH versions but should go well with my new Genesis now on pre-order. And...they will run on my layout's curves with no issues.

20220131_103551

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Images (1)
  • 20220131_103551
Last edited by johnstrains

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