Amtrak Offering 99 Cars for Sale or Donation

Amtrak plans to offer another 99 passenger and baggage cars for sale, although some might end up being donated to museums or preservation groups.

The cars have been deemed surplus by the passenger carrier include 19 heritage dining cars, which Amtrak began retiring in 2015.

Also up for sale or donation are 51 baggage cars, seven refrigerated express cars, four Hi-level coaches and 18 crew dormitory cars.

The baggage cars were built between 1946 and 1962 while the Hi-level coaches date to 1956 when they were built by Budd for use on Santa Fe’s El Capitan.

The crew dorms are former Union Pacific 10-roomette, six bedrooms sleepers while the express cars were used by ExpressTrak in the late 1990s during a time when Amtrak was actively seeking to boost its mail and express business.

Amtrak said it will consider donating some of the cars to museums or preservation groups that submit a letter “stating the reason for the donation request and the intended use of the equipment should the donation be granted.”

Trains magazine reported that Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the “donation requests will be evaluated within the finance department.”

Magliari would not say what criteria will be used to decide what donation proposals will be accepted or rejected, particularly when there are competing proposals.

The cars will be available for inspection starting next week at the Beech Grove Heavy Maintenance Facility near Indianapolis.

However, the refrigerated express cars and one crew dormitory are being stored elsewhere.

All cars are being sold or donated in an “as is-where is” basis with Amtrak saying it will off no performance guarantees nor will it agree to  perform any work required to make the cars acceptable for interchange by a freight carrier.

Amtrak also said the equipment may not leave the property in Amtrak service and must be removed or scrapped on site within 90 days of the transfer of ownership.

The closing date for bids or requests for donations is Jan. 4, 2019.

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