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Rolling Stock

Rolling Stock

Amtrak has an extensive fleet of rolling stock, with certain types of equipment for certain regions of the country. In the Northeast, primarily single-level cars are used, including Amfleets, Viewliners, and Heritage Fleet cars. The tried-and-true Amfleet Is were built around 1980 by Budd, and have dual vestibules for short-haul trips with high passenger capacity. The Amfleet IIs, built several years later, have only one vestibule and seat less passengers, thereby allowing for more comfort space.

In 1996, Amtrak began delivery of the Viewliners, which had originally been designed in the late 1980s. These modern sleeping cars are intended to be spacious, yet not exceed height clearances on the East Coast. Also, they are supplementing and replacing sleepers from the Heritage Fleet. These older cars, mostly built by Budd, originally belonged to other railroads, but Amtrak inherited them when it took over operations. They have been rebuilt to use modern electrical systems.

Some of these cars can also be found in the Midwest, but there are also other groups of equipment. The Horizon Fleet, built by Bombardier, are single-level cars based on a Pullman commuter coach design. They are used for short-haul trips, and are similar in principle to the Amfleet Is. Also in the Midwest, one begins to see the bilevel Superliners, with the Superliner Is having been built by Pullman around 1980 and the similar Superliner IIs built in the mid-1990s by Bombardier.

On the West Coast, Superliners and their newer cousins are dominant. Using the basic Superliner body shape, Amtrak ordered the California Cars for service around the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, and later received the Surfliners for service in the southern part of the state. Both fleets were built by Amerail.

Amtrak also has several groups of non-passenger-carrying cars. The baggage cars, all from the Heritage Fleet, carry passengers' baggage. The Material Handling Cars (MHCs) can carry freight that is being shipped by rail, and likewise so can the Express Box Cars. The Express Reefers can carry perishable items, and the Roadrailers can carry freight by rail or by road.

Click photos to enlarge
Heritage Fleet coach no. 7004, named "Ticonderoga," is specially assigned to New York's Adirondack service. 7/96 Saratoga Springs, NY
Cab car no. 9643, formerly a Metroliner MU car, brings up the rear end of the northbound Vermonter as it arrives in White River Junction. 4/98 White River Jct., VT
The ex-Metroliner cab cars resemble Amfleet coaches, but with a driving cab on one end. They can control a locomotive from the opposite end of the train through push-pull wiring. 4/98 White River Jct., VT
The 9645 passes through Palmer, MA, where the Vermonter must reverse directions as it switches from one mainline to another. Photo by Mike Thidemann. - Palmer, MA
In its original form, 9645 sped up and down the Northeast Corridor as a Metroliner multiple-unit car. Now, it no longer has power of its own, having been rebuilt as cab car. Photo by Mike Thidemann. - Palmer, MA
When viewed side by side, the subtle differences between the cab cars and the Amfleets become more noticeable. Photo by Mike Thidemann. - Palmer, MA
Amfleet Cafe no. 20047, still wearing Phase III paint, trails a departing Lake Shore Limited. 6/20/02 Boston, MA
20047 carries the markers for the Lake Shore Limited as it winds its way through the switches leaving Boston. 6/20/02 Boston, MA
The most recent paint scheme worn by Amfleet cars is a better match to the AEM-7AC livery. 4/25/03 Philadelphia Zoo, PA
Amfleet II coach no. 25005 is part of an all-Phase IV Lake Shore Limited. 4/16/02 Rensselaer, NY
Originally delivered in Phase III, Amfleet II coach no. 25048 is now looking sharp in Phase IV. 4/16/02 Rensselaer, NY
In an unsual consist configuration, two Amfleet Cafes in the new scheme trail an AEM-7AC. 4/25/03 Philadelphia Zoo, PA
Many Amfleet cars are being repainted into the latest colors, making trains look sleeker. 4/25/03 Philadelphia Zoo, PA
Featuring the new Amtrak logo, the new scheme is reminiscent of Phase IV and stark in comparison to the Acela Regional "lava lamp" colors. 4/25/03 Philadelphia Zoo, PA
An all-Phase IV, all-Amfleet Maple Leaf departs from Rochester. 6/25/02 Rochester, NY
Detail view of an Amfleet car's inside-bearing truck. Note the brake rigging and the large coil spring. 6/25/02 Rochester, NY
Close-up of an Amfleet underbody electrical box, with the centersill and conduits visible in the background. 6/25/02 Rochester, NY
The engine and cars are connected by far more than just couplers! Seen in this shot are the HEP electrical wiring and air piping. 6/25/02 Rochester, NY
Each Amfleet car carries a pair of air-conditioning compressors like the one shown here. Other Amtrak cars have similar AC units. 6/25/02 Rochester, NY
An Amtrak employee seems to be resetting a circuit breaker on Amfleet Dinette #20222, seen here in Empire Corridor service. 6/25/02 Rochester, NY
While some Amfleet cars were being repainted into the Phase IV paint scheme, others simply received "Northeast Direct" logos to indicate their new assignments. 7/96 Saratoga Springs, NY
Stopped at Union Station is a train of Amfleet coaches, some painted in the short-lived Acela Regional colors. 6/29/01 New London, CT
This northbound train to Boston features a matched set of refurbished Amfleet cars, known as the Capstone fleet. 4/16/01 New London, CT
Pennsylvania's Keystone Service features a wide variety of equipment types, including these Horizon Fleet cars. 6/30/02 Horseshoe Curve, PA
Much like the Amfleet series, the Horizon Fleet contains dinettes as well as coaches. 6/30/02 Horseshoe Curve, PA
Heritage baggage no. 1241, whose ancestry can be traced to the Santa Fe's passenger fleet, carries the luggage for a westbound Lake Shore Limited. 6/20/02 Boston, MA
The 1253 serves as the baggage car for this day's westbound Lake Shore Limited. 7/23/00 Boston, MA
Baggage no. 1257, an ex-ATSF car, is part of train 448 eastbound to Boston. This train would not depart until ten hours later, when 48 finally arrived to from Chicago to make the connection. 12/21/04 Rensselaer, NY
Many long-distance trains, such as the Lake Shore Limited, carry material-handling cars like 1524, in Phase IV, and 1410 shown here. 7/23/00 Boston, MA
Express Baggage no. 1762, rebuilt from a surplus Heritage Fleet coach, brings up the rear of the Boston-bound Lake Shore Limited. 4/16/02 Rensselaer, NY
Baggage no. 1800, specially painted with the Vermonter mural, sits during a stop in White River Junction. 4/98 White River Jct., VT
Former Vermonter baggage #1802 sits in South Station after arriving with a northbound train. After these cars were removed from service, they could be seen anywhere on the Amtrak system. 4/23/03 Boston, MA
Express Reefer no. 74049, sporting the Acela paint scheme, sits in Amtrak's Albany-Rensselaer yard. 4/16/02 Rensselaer, NY
Albany-Rensselaer is a major terminal for Amtrak freight service. Express Reefers and Roadrailers are frequently seen here. 4/16/02 Rensselaer, NY
Express Reefer no. 74077 sits next to an Amfleet I coach and another reefer. But note at its right, there is an out-of-place bilevel coach from the Silicon Valley's Caltrain commuter service! 4/16/02 Rensselaer, NY
Shown here are several different variants of Amtrak's Express Boxcars, which handle small amounts of freight on certain trains. 6/30/02 Horseshoe Curve, PA
Amtrak's Pennsylvanian carries several Express Boxcars on this day, making the train rather long. 6/30/02 Horseshoe Curve, PA
Several RoadRailers round the curve on the end of an Amtrak Keystone train. When they reach their terminal, they will be driven away as if they were ordinary highway trailers. 6/30/02 Horseshoe Curve, PA