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With the success of the recent Amfleet I and Viewliner II cars, Scott has said he plans to do a second run of Amfleet II and Viewliner Is. Would there be interest in some "heritage" cars to go with these? Some Budd lightweight diners, sleepers, and baggage cars would be great! Perhaps this could be part of the Crescent offerings to help pad those reservations.

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I would personally want cars in the Heritage Fleet.  To be clear, the Heritage fleet is a formal designation for select cars that were rebuilt with HEP starting in 1977 and completed by the mid 80's.  The last Heritage cars were retired in 2019. For me the interest would be the following in the order of importance to me:

  1. Baggage Dorm - A missing link car for me in Amtrak
  2. Diner - these were painted in Phase III, IV and VI paint.
  3. The Slumbercoach - already offered awaiting production for Phase III paint.
  4. 11 Bedroom Sleepers
  5. 10-6 Sleepers
  6. Baggage Cars - also painted in Phase III, IV and VI paint although the last ones to run were converted from coaches.
  7. Hi Level Transition Coach Dorm
  8. Hi Level Coach
  9. Hi Level Lounge
  10. Hi Level Diner
  11. Budd Lounge - I have a 2 rail one to rework on so not high on my list.


The Hi Level cars were former El Cap cars.  When I was riding the Southwest Chief the Coach Dorm ran in every consist with Superliners and the train pulled the occasional Coach, Lounge, or Diner prior to the delivery of Superliner II cars. 

Heritage cars would be great. A base already exists for some. SP 10-6 sleeper from the Sunset Limited project, dome coach from Empire Builder, GN Great Dome, Milwaukee Super Dome, (one or two used on the Auto Train) and of course, the Slumbercoach, just to name a few. Tooling would have to be modified to represent the changes the cars had under Amtrak, like the trucks, the addition of marker lights, and appropriate HEP detail.

I think a UP Pacific-Series 10-6 sleeper (built by Budd) would be best to start with. Lots of paint schemes that could be offered-UP of course, Amtrak Phase I-IV, VI, and the paint schemes of privately owned cars. Re-tooled SP Sunset 10-6 sleepers could be done alongside or after if the UP ones did well. That prototype was in Phase III only to my knowledge, but Birch Grove made it to private ownership. I believe it’s now in use on CSX’s business train. Another good 10-6 prototype would be the ATSF Pine-Series. Many of those cars served faithfully in Phase III, eventually being converted to crew dorms, serving into the Phase VI era in some cases.



Re-tooled Hi-Levels would be best done combined with Superliner Is imo. There’s Phase III of course, but select Hi-Level coaches were painted in Phase IV for the Heartland Flyer, and the Parlour cars made it to Phase VI.

The Sunset Limited Baggage Dorm is also a good candidate as would the PRR Congressional cars which have the same fluting as the Sunset Limited.

To be honest, I'd just be happy with cars painted in the various Amtrak Schemes.  Once we start getting into tooling variations for HEP equipped cars the chances of the project moving forward diminishes greatly.  Perhaps a generic underbody "HEP" attachment would be possible.

honestly when I first entered this hobby some time ago I was ambivalent about Amtrak.

Amtrak was everyday; my interest ran to SF, Milw Rd, and C&NW.  Sometimes NYC and UP.

After the Acela purchase, I was still unmoved. As an after-thought I starting obtaining 21" K-Line Bilevel passenger cars. Those included SF and Milw Rd but at times Amtrak.

It wasn't until GGD offered the Amtrak sets that I became interested in those cars and now have a number of Amtrak engines.



Is anyone running the K-line Bilevels with the GGD cars?

I have been trying to pull together a set of K-Line Superliner IIs.  They are well done cars even if they only were made in Phase IV paint.  I can look past that and put a VL II baggage on the point with P42s. 

My biggest challenge is I only have three of the Superliner II coaches.  For the price they are currently going for on the sleepers, transition cars, and diners, I would rather save for GGD ones.  They would be about the same cost. 

There are photos of Amfleet cars in consists of Superliner trains.  I have a photo of the Southwest Chief with two Amfleet cars behind the Materials Handling cars and ahead of the baggage car.  In this train location, they were doing a car move and likely the cars had been recently shopped at Beech Grove and were being sent to CA for service.  This is prior to the Amtrak California Bi-Levels.

By the time the Heritage Fleet was established, Amtrak trains had fairly consistent car consists.  Superliner equipped trains were all bi-level outside of the baggage car and any of the mail cars, Material Handling Cars, or Roadrailers.  Prior to that in the steam heated era, it was common to mix former El Capitan bi-level cars with single level cars as all the El Cap never had bi-level sleepers.  As with everything, photos help if one is interested in prototype practices. 

@GG1 4877 posted:

The Sunset Limited Baggage Dorm is also a good candidate as would the PRR Congressional cars which have the same fluting as the Sunset Limited.

To be honest, I'd just be happy with cars painted in the various Amtrak Schemes.  Once we start getting into tooling variations for HEP equipped cars the chances of the project moving forward diminishes greatly.  Perhaps a generic underbody "HEP" attachment would be possible.

I still think it could work. All that would change is the end caps of the cars, adding marker lights to them and small HEP details like on the Viewliners, plus the trucks would change. Core car remains the same.

Did Golden Gate Depot make an Amtrak Heritage baggage car in their Heritage runs?  I own 4 GGD Amtrak coaches and one GGD Amtrak sleeper (4-4-2)  . I also know they made slumber coaches and I have currently one on order.  What other Amtrak Heritage cars did they make?  Did they make any Amtrak heritage dome cars?   Was there only one run?  By the time I found out about them, they were long gone and sold. My collection has been hard to come by, one at a time wherever I can find one.  One thing for sure, They are awesome!   Rory

@HiramO posted:

I suspect we will not see GGD heritage cars in Amtrak livery without a pretty big wave of support. For heritage units I have a full train of Atlas California Zephyr cars in Amtrak livery, very attractive, one of my favorite trains.

Jan

Pretty much any product GGD makes needs a wave of support.  There is obvious interest in Amtrak rolling stock based on Amfleet and Viewliner production.   

The Atlas Zephyr cars in Amtrak are very nice. I own a lot of them.   But early Amtrak consists generally had a mix of equipment from various railroads.  The nostalgia of it is the mix.   A pure CZ consist was not the norm on the San Francisco Zephyr or any other long distance train.

Last edited by VistaDomeScott

Again to clarify, the Heritage Fleet is a specific set of Amtrak cars that were upgraded to head end power and had other rebuild work done to retire the remaining steam heated cars they had in the fleet from predecessor roads.  The Heritage Fleet was mostly painted in Phase III, IV and some in phase VI paint while some of the early rebuilds were in Phase II paint.

The only true Heritage Fleet car GGD has done was the Big Dome in Phase III Paint. 

GGD Amtrak cars done to date include the following:

  • Pullman Standard smooth side 4-4-2 & 10-6 Sleepers
  • Pullman Standard smooth side coaches
  • Various builders "finish sets" based on the cars from the B&O Columbian that included an observation, diner, baggage car, and baggage dorm (this is a really rare set I'm not sure how many were made or if it was even made - I just did the drawings for it)
  • Budd Slumbercoach
  • El Capitan with 72' baggage and 85' Budd hi-level / low-level transition baggage dorm.  The baggage was not made available as a separate sale car.
  • The just delivered Amfleet and Viewliner cars.


Upcoming GGD cars include:

  • Budd Heritage Fleet Slumbercoach - Phase III Paint
  • Former SP 3/4 dome in phase I paint.


Locomotives done in Amtrak include:

  • The FL9 in late Phase III paint
  • E8/E9s in Phase I (A units only)


While I wish I could say I have an example of all of these, I had to skip out on the dome cars as they were out of my budget, and I didn't get the "finish" set for the Pullman Standard cars as I honestly was looking for Budd cars at the time.  On a lighter note, I have been reorganizing my collection so that all my passenger cars end up in the same closet and can't find my Slumbercoach ... I know it is my house, but where is a really good question now!

Pretty much any product GGD makes needs a wave of support.  There is obvious interest in Amtrak rolling stock based on Amfleet and Viewliner production.   

The Atlas Zephyr cars in Amtrak are very nice. I own a lot of them.   But early Amtrak consists generally had a mix of equipment from various railroads.  The nostalgia of it is the mix.   A pure CZ consist was not the norm on the San Francisco Zephyr or any other long distance train.

I have three of the Atlas former Zephyr sleepers.  Nice cars, but I agree that it is all about the mix of cars.  What is interesting about looking at photos of the former CZ cars is that they retained their skirting into Amtrak.  Most cars had the skirting removed by then.  I am seeking a former CZ baggage.

I also have all but the observation dome from the scale K-Line offerings that included a 72' baggage, a diner, a 10-6 sleeper, a dome/lounge, and the observation dome.  Finally, while you have to get them as parts of two car sets, MTH outside of the colors did some really nice 72' baggage cars.  The later releases have really nice vesitubles.  I have a baggage / observation set.  I'd love to sell the non-scale 72' observation, but I suspect I won't get much for it.  Might just take it out into the desert and shoot it with a bunch of other low value cars I currently have taking up space.  These are all in Phase I paint.

I got a great price on Lionel's 21" dome car and they nailed the colors dead on for the exterior.  The interiors are blue which I think is not correct for Phase I Amtrak.  Unfortunately after doing a number search it is not a prototypical number either, but in my Amtrak world anything can go.  I wouldn't mind finding more of those cars. 

I also picked up 5 older aluminum 2 rail 85' scale Budd cars in Amtrak that need restoration.  I plan on three railing them.  One is set up to make a great Heritage Fleet lounge, while the others are all coaches that I will likely make two into Heritage Fleet phase III paint coaches and two in phase I paint to fill out my single level vintage Amtrak train.

Okay..the shooting my non-scale trains part was a joke .... seriously .... maybe ...

Back on topic, Scott has Amtrak's attention in doing scale cars so with our support I think we can expect to see some great announcements coming up.  I honestly can't say what, because I don't know exactly.

Jonathan, so what do we call Amtrak cars prior to the head end power rebuilds? These cars did wear Amtrak phase One paint. HEP rebuild started in 1977 and took several years to complete.  The 7+ year period of Amtrak  rebranded passenger cars from private railroads pre-HEP are called what?

That is a great question and I really don't have a good answer for it.  I have always referred to that era as Amtrak's transition era, or the steam heated era.  I will need to do more research on that topic.  I suppose technically they are all heritage cars, but the Heritage Fleet is a specific program of rebuilding. 

One resource for cars that ended up in the Heritage Fleet is this wiki page.

@GG1 4877 posted:

That is a great question and I really don't have a good answer for it.  I have always referred to that era as Amtrak's transition era, or the steam heated era.  I will need to do more research on that topic.  I suppose technically they are all heritage cars, but the Heritage Fleet is a specific program of rebuilding.

One resource for cars that ended up in the Heritage Fleet is this wiki page.

I second calling it steam heat era or transition era. Describes it perfectly

@GG1 4877 posted:

Again to clarify, the Heritage Fleet is a specific set of Amtrak cars that were upgraded to head end power and had other rebuild work done to retire the remaining steam heated cars they had in the fleet from predecessor roads.  The Heritage Fleet was mostly painted in Phase III, IV and some in phase VI paint while some of the early rebuilds were in Phase II paint.

The only true Heritage Fleet car GGD has done was the Big Dome in Phase III Paint.

GGD Amtrak cars done to date include the following:

  • Pullman Standard smooth side 4-4-2 & 10-6 Sleepers
  • Pullman Standard smooth side coaches
  • Various builders "finish sets" based on the cars from the B&O Columbian that included an observation, diner, baggage car, and baggage dorm (this is a really rare set I'm not sure how many were made or if it was even made - I just did the drawings for it)
  • Budd Slumbercoach
  • El Capitan with 72' baggage and 85' Budd hi-level / low-level transition baggage dorm.  The baggage was not made available as a separate sale car.
  • The just delivered Amfleet and Viewliner cars.


Upcoming GGD cars include:

  • Budd Heritage Fleet Slumbercoach - Phase III Paint
  • Former SP 3/4 dome in phase I paint.


Locomotives done in Amtrak include:

  • The FL9 in late Phase III paint
  • E8/E9s in Phase I (A units only)


While I wish I could say I have an example of all of these, I had to skip out on the dome cars as they were out of my budget, and I didn't get the "finish" set for the Pullman Standard cars as I honestly was looking for Budd cars at the time.  On a lighter note, I have been reorganizing my collection so that all my passenger cars end up in the same closet and can't find my Slumbercoach ... I know it is my house, but where is a really good question now!

You forgot the GGD full dome!

GGD-Full-Dome-Car01GGD-Full-Dome-Car04GGD-Full-Dome-Car10

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Last edited by prrhorseshoecurve

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