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I;d like the forum's advice on a somewhat prototypically compatible engine with a new Amtrak consist I recently purchased and an older Amtrak consist I have. I'd like the engine t have proto 3 or proto 2.:

5 K-line Horizons-Phase III- 15".  Photo of the K-line  Horizon's below. The stripe is LIGHT BLUE, not the deep blue.

Amtrak Horizon by K-line 15 in Aluminum

MTH Railking Phase IV 16" Amfleets

MTH RK Amfleet Example

 My current Amtrak motive power  is a TMCC Dash-9 Phase III with deep blue(6-18252) and the set version of the HHP-8(Phase 6). The HHP-8 works with the Lionel Amfleets, and the Dash-9 can work with both of the above pictures but its not optimal.  

Ive gone to a website that shows realistic Amtrak consists. F40PH jumps to mind right away, however, I had my eye on a Railking Imperial F59PHI  which goes with Horizons being in the midwest. Your feedback and opinions are greatly appreciated!


Images (2)
  • Amtrak Horizon by K-line 15 in Aluminum
  • MTH RK Amfleet Example
Original Post

@GG1 4877 Thanks! My Dash-9 is in the Pepsi Can Scheme, but, as I unfortunately learned after buying it, Amtrak didn't use a Dash 9. I've always wanted an F40PH and almost got one this past December, however, the offerings at the store I was at all had special paint schemes(Dells Hiawatha, anniversary editions,etc....) when I want the standard phase III or IV. @Maxrailroad thanks! The only thing holding me back from the Amtrak Genesis is that I already have the Nicholas Smith Exclusive Premier NJ Transit Genesis- at the same time it's a great engine and proven to work well. AEM-7 would be awesome, I have one that's a proto 1 and a phase IV dummy. 

Definite "no" to the F59PHi? I know they're primarily associated with surfliners but I've seen them with Amfleets and I think Horizons. Really, all of your suggestions are great and there's enough paint schemes out there for each that they'd fit any2 of the 3 Amtrak consists I have. Also, Ido combine the MTH Amfleets in with the Horizons occasionally. 


Thanks again for the feedback!


The F59PHi could work during the transition period between the Phase III and the Phase IV paint schemes.  It is your railroad so run it how you want to! 

I hear you on the Dash-9.  6 wheel trucks and a really long chassis for the 15" cars.  The RK Genesis might work really well for you as it is sized more proportionately to the cars you have.  Also the RK F40PH is just a little smaller than the Premier version.  I somehow ended up with both RK and Premier F40s over the years.  Another possibility is the K-Line F40PH. Outside of the sound system, I actually like them a little better then my MTH ones.  There was one on the buy sell board today for a reasonable price. 

The Atlas Dash-8 is correct but finding one is hard.  An AEM7 is a great suggestion and I might I also offer that the Williams E60 is "right sized" for your 15" cars.  They can be found often around $100.  Nothing fancy, but not bad engines.  I also have the Williams SD90 in the Pepsi Can scheme.  Not correct in any sense of the word, but again a solid puller in a pinch when I'm running all day for the public.

While the Horizon Fleet did not run out of Boston, HEP equipped FL9s did pull Amfleet cars on contract commuter trains.  Granted the Amtrak 3rd Rail FL9 is not an easy find as they only made 20 and I have 2 ... :-),  However, a Phase III painted F7 might look good too as a stand in.

As for paint schemes for your cars locos in Phase III or Phase IV paint work just fine. There was quite a bit of overlap during that transition.  I found a neat photo online of an E60 pulling phase III Amfleet cars, some Heritage cars in Phase III, and the original Viewliners in Phase IV.  A small window of overlap for that to happen, but it just shows that anything is possible. 



I thought these reconditioned F40FH units were from Amtrak??  My photos.  Taken two different times/trips to the Grand Canyon. Train runs from Williams, AZ to the South Rim. and back, once a day.    

Pictures taken with a small point and shoot camera.  Either a very old Cannon A520, or  Cannon SD630, both use the same 2.0 GB card.  SD630 uses a Lithium Ion Battery, A520 traditional  AA batteries (2).  Both good enough for internet pictures.  Both are backpack friendly. Surprisingly both can be tripod mounted and have a timed shot, that allows a self-ee. IMO, Mike CT.  

Last edited by Mike CT

 @M. Mitchell Marmel  haha what a coincidence! Unfortunately it’s Norfolk Southern and not Amtrak in Pepsi can colors.  It’s a really nice engine for being 21 years old(6-18252) it’s scale size and works really well. That said, somewhere down the line I do want to get either a Norfolk Southern or CSX engine. Thank you . for sharing that, I've also seen a video of a BNSF Dash09 pulling an Amtrak Cascade. 

@GG1 4877 It’s not so much that it’s a scale engine leading 15” cars, which, at least to me- doesn’t look terrible. It’s the fact that I can’t find anything showing that Amtrak ever had a Dash 9. Regardless- I really like your suggestions! Nice to have met a fellow Amtrak fan who has a great knowledge base of Amtrak model trains AND historical, prototypical Amtrak info! You’re suggestions have really helped narrow my search- here goes me thinking out loud:  If I go the Railking route, I’d want to go RK scale or Imperial- the later is why I kept bringing up the F59PHi. There’s an RK imperial version that can be had for a nice price. As much as I like the Dash 8s, I already have a Dash 9, which, while not prototypical, fulfills my Dash itch. In terms of an RK Genesis- I checked that out previously. It’s really nice looking but if I’d run it next to my premier Genesis they wouldn’t look right. Your suggestions with the Williams engines, specifically the E60, are good too but I really want that command you get with Proto 3. It'd be awesome if I could get my hands on an MTH E60 in Amtrak and/or NJT livery like they made back in the early 2000s! If only! I was lucky enough to find the Horizons still in original packaging and never opened, maybe lightening will strike twice.

Thus- I’ve narrowed it down to(in order of least to most appealing/desired): MTH premier P42, MTH RK Imperial F59PHi, K-Line F40PH(TMCC, RS, Cruise), MTH premier AEM-7, and- something I just came across today- the MTH RK Scale Heritage F40PH.  

P42- already talked about

Imperial F59PHi- nice details, great price, has the speed control that I want. However, limited to a small time period and features not too impressive. Also, it’s very associated with the west coast- at least to me- and I mainly try to stick to the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic region, and west to Chicago.

k-line F40PH- would definitely be ideal as the K-line set of Horizons came with a similar conventional F40PH. That said, K-line’s cruise control worries me. Further, I’d like something that has more than 32 speed steps. While I could upgrade the K-line version to err, if it has cruise I know that process is harder. Admittedly, I’m not Familiar with cruise or odyssey- despite my research- but I’m pretty sure they don’t give that speed control you get with a Proto 2/3 or an ERR cruise commander M equipped. Please correct me here if I’m wrong.

MTH Premier AEM-7: I love electrics and I love the AEM-7. I think I already stated how I have the proto 1 in phase III livery(Amtrak deep blue) and a non-powered Phase IV. If I could upgrade that Proto 1 to Proto 2 or 3 that'd be awesome but I don't think it's possible. There’s a lot on the market right now and they all look great. However, I’m not sure if I’d want to Spring the extra $100+ for it. On the other hand, when I buy a brand new, recently released engine, it's something I want to get right and I have no doubts I'd like an AEM-7.

MTH RK Scale F40PH Heritage: I think it’s product number 30-2026-1. The biggest minus is the “1971” and “2011”- not a fan of that. However, that’s not as noticeable as the Dells Hiawatha logo on the nose. Also, the fact that it's an NPCU doesn't bother me as it was once working and retains its original designation. The engine also has a bunch of neat features in terms of lights, which is something I want. If a similar F40PH pops up that doesn't have the heritage marking- it'd be a no-brainer.

Last edited by StevefromPA

Glad to help out!  I've been riding Amtrak off and on since 1976.  Harder to do now that I live in the west, but as child of Amtrak I really enjoy the variety in their trains.  My favorite train is still the final version of the Broadway Limited that I rode consistently from 1987-1992.  Fun train and made even more fun by a mere $70 charge for a Slumbercoach berth.  I also rode the Southwest Chief during that time period and it was as close to a first class train Amtrak ever got at that time. 

I am also a NJT fan as well as I grew up on the NY&LB.  My first ride to NYC was in 1975 on a CNJ train to Newark and PC into NYC behind a GG1.  I watched the transition from CNJ/PC into Conrail, NJDOT, and finally NJT.  Caught the first F40PHs in test service the summer after 8th grade not understanding the they would replace the final E8s.  Rode the last ride of the GG1 with my dad and best friend at the time in 1983.  Watched electrification come south to Long Branch by 1986 when E60's were pulling the peak hour trains.  Great memories all around. 

More about your trains when I get home from work this evening, but I don't think you can go wrong with any of your choices.  You are certainly on the right track!

@StevefromPA posted:

 It'd be awesome if I could get my hands on an MTH E60 in Amtrak and/or NJT livery like they made back in the early 2000s! If only! I was lucky enough to find the Horizons still in original packaging and never opened, maybe lightening will strike twice.“

MTH never made the E60 - it was catalogued and then cancelled. They don’t exist, they have ceased to be, they are and were no more!!  

If you want a scale E60 Then now is the time to reserve one from Sunset Models - they are offering Amtrak and NJ Transit roadnames. I have longed and prayed for scott to make this locomotive so lets get our reservations in to make it happen!!  


If you want PS3 in lieu of TMCC I’m sure you can get a PS3 upgrade installed once the engine is produced.  

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