Posts Tagged ‘Amfleet equipment’

Two Section Cardinal

June 4, 2021

Amtrak’s Cardinal typically operates with one P42DC locomotive, three Amfleet II coaches, an Amfleet food service car, a Viewliner sleeper and Viewliner baggage-dorm.

But at least once a week it is used to ferry equipment from the Beech Grove shops to Chicago. The equipment being ferried is placed on the head end of No. 51 at Indianapolis Union Station and provides the appearance of two trains having been combined into one.

That was the case on Memorial Day this week when No. 51 passed through Brownsburg, an Indianapolis suburb, with one section consisting of two P42DC locomotives, two Viewliner baggage cars and a Superliner coach. The second section had the consist that No. 51 operated with from Washington to Indianapolis.

The train on this day was operating one hour, 50 minutes late out of Indianapolis.

Equipment bound for Beech Grove is ferried to Indianapolis in combination with Train 50 in the same manner.

2 for Amtrak’s 50th Anniversary

May 3, 2021

I wanted to get out and photograph Amtrak on its 50th anniversary day last Saturday. I began my quest by setting next to the CSX Monon Subdivision south of Linden, Indiana, to capture the westbound Cardinal.

No. 51 was right on the money about 10 minutes past 5, having made a station stop, in Crawfordsville about 12 minutes earlier. It was about a half-hour after sunrise.

Next I motored over to east central Illinois to get the northbound Saluki, a corridor train funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation that originates in Carbondale and travels to Chicago.

No. 390 is shown above taking a signal at Humboldt, Illinois. It, too, was running on time.

None of the equipment seen in these photographs existed in 1971 and most of it had not been created yet as a concept.

The Amfleet coaches and food service car of the Cardinal come closest because Amfleet equipment was based on the design of the Budd Metroliners of the 1960s. Superliner equipment was inspired by the Hi-Level cars of the Santa Fe.

In 1971 EMD E and F units with a handful of passenger equipped geeps, U boats and SDs were the common motive power. It all wore the markings and liveries of its owners.

The Saluki does not normally operate with Superliner equipment, but has since Amtrak reduced the frequency of most long-distance trains last year to tri-weekly.

Starting May 24 Amtrak plans to begin to restore daily service to most long-distance trains — the Cardinal and Sunset Limited are exceptions — so the Superliners now on the Saluki probably will be replaced with Horizon and Amfleet equipment.

But not for long as Amtrak has begun taking delivery of and testing the new Siemens Venture cars and they are expected to begin revenue service later this year.

The long distance trains are also slated to begin receiving Charger locomotives similar to the SC-44 seen above pullking the Saluki albeit with a difference livery.

With Amtrak things are always changing even if it doesn’t always appear that way at first glance.

Train Time In Trenton

February 26, 2021

A southbound Amtrak Northeast Regional train pauses in Trenton, New Jersey, to pick up and drop off passengers. In the meantime, passengers for a northbound train are getting into position on the opposite platform as their train to New York will be arriving soon. The image was made on May 14, 2016.

Charging Through Arcola, Illinois

July 29, 2020

The massive grain elevator complex in Arcola, Illinois, has been a favorite backdrop that I’ve used over the years when photographing Amtrak trains on the Chicago-Carbondale-New Orleans corridor.

The way the schedule works out, the complex best works as a backdrop for the northbound Saluki.

The southbound City of New Orleans would have to be really, really late to catch in daylight and the window for getting its northbound counterpart is very small.

The Illini in both directions passes through Arcola in daylight but by then the sun is behind the grain complex.

So that leaves the Saluki, which I’ve photographed here a few times.

My motivation for getting No. 390 this year has been to recreate an image I did years ago but with different motive power.

The P42DC units that were mainstays on the Chicago-Carbondale trains have given was to Siemens SC-44 Chargers.

Last Sunday No. 390 was about 10 to 15 minutes off its published schedule as it blasted through Arcola.

There is a restored Illinois Central depot here, but Arcola has never been a scheduled Amtrak stop.

This is the second time I’ve photographed No. 390 in Arcola this summer. Back in mid June the Saluki carried a Heritage baggage car.

That has since been replaced by a Viewliner baggage car. In both cases, the baggage car was in the consist to enable the train to meet a minimum axle count required by host railroad Canadian National.

Maple Leaf at Niagara Falls

July 9, 2020

The date is June 26, 1997. Amtrak’s New York-bound Maple Leaf is stopped at the Niagara Falls, Ontario, station of VIA Rail Canada.

When it arrived here a few minutes earlier, it was a VIA train from Toronto. But now an Amtrak crew has boarded and will take the train across the border to points in New York State.

A large crowd is ready to board in the distance. I’m not sure why a lone passenger is walking toward the head end. Perhaps he holds a business class ticket.

I see that a vestibule a short distance in front of him is open.

It Made it to Amfleet

June 30, 2020

Amtrak’s E and F units are not commonly associated with having pulled Amfleet equipment but a handful of them did.

Five Amtrak E8A units were converted by Penn Central shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, to be compatible with passenger cars operating with head end power.

No, 499, shown above in Springfield, Massachusetts, on May 3, 1977, was the first conversion to be undertaken and was completed in May 1974.

That was followed by three more conversions that year and one more conversion in August 1975.

Once the program was completed the five HEP compatible E unit were given roster numbers 495-499 but for some reason the sequence does not show the order in which the units were converted.

Like many of Amtrak’s early locomotives, No. 499 had a long history.

It was built in October 1952 for the Pennsylvania Railroad as No. 5711A. It subsequently became Penn Central No. 4311 and Amtrak renumbered it as 317.

It remained on the Amtrak roster until May 1983 when it and No. 498 were retired. The last three E8HEP locomotives, as Amtrak designated them, were retired in October 1985.

Photograph by Joe Snopek

 

3 Amfleet Cars Sold to Private Company

May 16, 2020

Three Amfleet cars have been purchased by excursion operator Rail Excursion Management Company.

The two coaches and a café car are the first Amfleet cars to be acquired by a private owner.

The Budd Company built 642 Amfleet cars between 1975 and 1983, using a design that was pioneered by the Metroliners.

The initial order of 492 cars was finished in 1977. Amfleet equipment continues to be widely used by corridor service trains in the East and Midwest.

Some second generation Amfleet cars designed to be used on long-distance trains and can be found on the Lake Shore Limited, Crescent, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star and Cardinal.

Railexco said its Amfleet cars will be used by a Midwest tourist railroad that it did not identify.

Waiting For Annie in Joliet

April 14, 2020

Passengers are lined up on the platform in Joliet, Illinois, as the southbound Ann Rutlege is about to arrive on Oct. 3, 1981.

Joliet is the first stop for Train No. 303, which is en route from Chicago to St. Louis and Kansas City.

If F40PHR No. 386 looks new, it is. EMD built it in August 1981 It was built as a trade in for an SDP40F, in this case No. 531.

I had disembarked not long before this photograph was made from the East Peoria, Illinois, to Chicago Prairie Marksman, a short-lived State of Illinois funded corridor service that would make its final trips the weekend that I traveled.

Train Time in Charlottesville

March 3, 2020

Amtrak’s eastbound Cardinal has arrived in Charlottesville and there is much going on here.

At the time this photograph was made in early June 2012, Charlottesville was a crew change point for the operating crews.

The station agent had baggage to load and unload and, of course, passengers boarded and disembarked.

Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia and college towns tend to generate a lot of business for Amtrak.

The Cardinal only lands here three times a week in each direction on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

Pennsylvanian, Capitol Limited Consists Shuffled

January 15, 2020

An online report indicates that Amfleet II coaches have been removed from the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian and replaced with Amfleet I cars.

The equipment change may have been motivated by a bid to increase capacity because Amfleet I coaches have 12 additional seats per car.

At times the Pennsylvanian has experienced standing room only conditions between Harrisburg and Philadelphia on weekends.

The typical Pennsylvanian consist until this week had been a business class car, Amfleet cafe car and lounge, three Amfleet II coaches and one Amfleet I coach. The train also has a Viewliner baggage car.

Reports also indicate that the Chicago-Washington Capitol Limited is operating with its winter consist of one crew car, one sleeper, Cross Country Cafe for sleeper class passengers, Sightseer Lounge, two coaches and a Viewliner baggage car.

The crew cars has sleeping accommodations available for sale to the public.

Motive power can be one P42DC, but some recent sightings have shown two locomotives assigned to Nos. 29 and 30.

One online report from a passenger who rode on No. 30 earlier this month said the train was oversold leaving Chicago.

The report quoted two Amtrak onboard employees as saying that overselling had happened before and that the train is often sold out between Chicago and Pittsburgh.

The normal consist for the Capitol includes another sleeper and coach.

The online reports indicated that a computer glitch had allowed some passengers to buy sleeper space in the car that was dropped for the winter.

Amtrak typically reduces the consist of Nos. 29 and 30 in January as well as those of other long-distance Superliner-equipped trains.