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 Post subject: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:26 pm
Posts: 38
Good day

i have been in fascination of the American Orient Express.

i see in multiple websites that people are saying the AOE has been discontinued for over a decade. however, when i go over to rr picture archives, it has pics of it that were took from 2012 still in operation.

is it still in operation? and if not, what on earth happened to the beautiful rail cars?


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:54 pm
Posts: 141
152696 wrote:
Good day

i have been in fascination of the American Orient Express.

i see in multiple websites that people are saying the AOE has been discontinued for over a decade. however, when i go over to rr picture archives, it has pics of it that were took from 2012 still in operation.

is it still in operation? and if not, what on earth happened to the beautiful rail cars?

I know for sure that one of the diners is at New Hope, and another car is on the GCRY.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:06 pm
Posts: 63
152696 wrote:
Good day

i have been in fascination of the American Orient Express.

i see in multiple websites that people are saying the AOE has been discontinued for over a decade. however, when i go over to rr picture archives, it has pics of it that were took from 2012 still in operation.

is it still in operation? and if not, what on earth happened to the beautiful rail cars?


Dates on a picture website are only as accurate as the information entered by the photographer and should be taken with a grain of salt. I believe the last run of the AOE was in 2008. This train and its predecessor American European Express (same cars) were basically luxury land cruises costing as much as $11,000 per couple. The profit margins on any operation like that are slim even on a good year and the great recession basically did them in. Most of the cars languished until purchased for the Greenbrier Presedential Express. In the midst of gutting/rebuilding, plans for that train fell through and the cars were sold off to numerous purchasers.

Note that the cars were run of the mill streamlined equipment that had been gutted and rebuilt. While they may have been beautiful and great excursion equipment they had very little historic value in their AOE configuration.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:36 pm
Posts: 53
mcgrath618 wrote:
152696 wrote:
Good day

i have been in fascination of the American Orient Express.

i see in multiple websites that people are saying the AOE has been discontinued for over a decade. however, when i go over to rr picture archives, it has pics of it that were took from 2012 still in operation.

is it still in operation? and if not, what on earth happened to the beautiful rail cars?

I know for sure that one of the diners is at New Hope, and another car is on the GCRY.


GCRY got six cars, although my roster is MIA so I can't tell you which numbers, save for full length dome #800742. I was on duty the night they got delivered in either March or May of 2011 and took them straight off the back of the BNSF local that delivered them to the interchange at 7th Street. I seem to recall it was two full length domes, a diner, and three sleepers. Mr. Hadder, can you chime in and give us the correct info?


Last edited by Zach Lybrand on Sat Oct 23, 2021 3:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 8:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 296
I overhauled many of those cars in the mid 90's while working at Denver Railway Services. They were the nicest and finest railway passenger cars I have ever seen. I remember the interiors were lined with African Mahogany which was extremely expensive. Our boss said to never walk with anything sticking out of our pockets while walking through the cars as it could scratch a panel. I have some photos I took during our overhauling which was done in a old foundry.

It would seem really senseless to gut any of those cars as it cost a large fortune to overhaul them. We even magna fluxed the frame from end to end as well as the trucks to leave nothing to chance. I remember the last car which was a round end observation car was the crown jewel of the train.

The last revenue runs were I believe around 2007 in Tacoma, Washington. Here is a video I found from 2008 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn900YbvHco


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 1:31 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 728
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
The round end observation car was ex-New York Central "Sandy Creek", built for the 20th Century Limited. It was named "New York" when in AEE/AOE operation. It is now owned by former Norfolk Southern president Wick Moorman, numbered RPCX 800321 with its "Sandy Creek" name restored but in Norfolk Southern maroon and gold colors. I'm not sure what the interior looks like now but I'm sure it's just as luxurious as it was in its AOE days if not more so.

The history of this car is interesting in that it was owned and used by Ringling Bros. B&B Circus for a number of years after its initial career with New York Central. Ringling extensively remodeled the interior, so that there was nothing original left to preserve by the time AEE/AOE got it. Sister car "Hickory Creek" also survives, and has been restored to its original New York Central appearance.

http://www.altoonaworks.info/pics/l-myers/140416_3.jpg

_________________
David Wilkinson
Salt Lake City, UT


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 7:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:18 am
Posts: 18
You can still ride ex-AOE sleeper BERLIN 800255 as it has been in active charter service since 2012. Lots of information and photos can be viewed at the BERLIN SLEEPING CAR website at www.SleepOnATrain.com. Our 2022 excursion schedule is currently being formulated. Stay tuned for some great trips in 2022 !

As far as historic value is concerned, the BERLIN (ex-UP Placid Lake 2263, ex-Amtrak 2263) has now become more unique as one of the last remaining, if not THE last, examples of the American Orient Express fleet still operating in AOE livery.

-Kevin Moore, owner BERLIN


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 9:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:19 pm
Posts: 22
Diner Zurich is in regular excursion service as a First Class car on the New Hope Railroad (NHRR) in Pennsylvania. It is currently painted up for the American Railway Explorer and carries the name Crater Lake.

Sleeper Grand Canyon is currently stored on the Morristown & Erie Railway, also in American Railway Explorer livery and named Sequoia.

Sleeper Istanbul should be up in Scranton, either stored around Steamtown or along the Delaware Lackawanna Railroad, lettered DLW 103.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:31 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:29 pm
Posts: 394
Going on memory...the train did not operate like a typical long distance train. The train traveled during the day and meals were served...but was parked at night in major cities, passengers spending the night in dark railyards and not allowed off the train. This was not popular with passengers who felt "trapped" on the train while parked in a city they would like to have explored. But this was all deemed essential for operaations. During the last trip the train struck a piece of heavy equipment at a grade-crossing and made a real mess.

Termite 7


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:52 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:38 am
Posts: 978
Location: Philadelphia
Perhaps a good resource if not consulted yet:

https://www.themetrains.com/american-or ... s-main.htm

Joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:31 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:21 pm
Posts: 144
When the AOE shut down in 2007?, Anschutz Corp (owner of Xanterra) purchased I think 26 cars. These were moved to Denver to the old Burnham Shops (where the ski train had been previously maintained) with the intent of rehabilitating the cars and creating a new train excursion, called the 'American Railway Explorer'. After budget overuns, the project was cancelled and 20 of the cars sold off (I think most of them went to the Greenbriar at this time).

6 of the cars were retained and transferred to Xanterra and moved to the Grand Canyon Railway. This included the 2 full length domes, which were placed in service on GCR in I think 2012 and 2016. The other 4 cars are the diner 'Chicago', 2 sleepers, and I think a crew car. There is discussion of putting the diner in service in a few years, but the sleepers are basically just sitting for now.

Eric


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:41 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:54 pm
Posts: 141
hadder wrote:
When the AOE shut down in 2007?, Anschutz Corp (owner of Xanterra) purchased I think 26 cars. These were moved to Denver to the old Burnham Shops (where the ski train had been previously maintained) with the intent of rehabilitating the cars and creating a new train excursion, called the 'American Railway Explorer'. After budget overuns, the project was cancelled and 20 of the cars sold off (I think most of them went to the Greenbriar at this time).

6 of the cars were retained and transferred to Xanterra and moved to the Grand Canyon Railway. This included the 2 full length domes, which were placed in service on GCR in I think 2012 and 2016. The other 4 cars are the diner 'Chicago', 2 sleepers, and I think a crew car. There is discussion of putting the diner in service in a few years, but the sleepers are basically just sitting for now.

Eric

I always wondered what “American Railway Explorer” was. The car at New Hope is still in this scheme.

As others have said, they’re gorgeous cars. The one at New Hope is a diner/lounge. Always had the best heating of any of the cars.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:29 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1530
Location: Back in NE Ohio
I had a chance to take my first video camera through the equipment as the AEE at Washington Union Station when it was newly rebuilt (1988?) for a public display before it went into service on the rear of the Capitol Ltd. Several years ago I took a lot of my early video and had Ron McElrath of Revelation Video transfer it to digital for a program for the Akron Railroad Club. He also used some of it for one of his Railroad Video Quarterlys, including the AEE equipment tour, if you know someone who has a copy of it. It's like 5 minutes long, includes interiors of diner Chicago, one of the mid-train lounges, and I believe sleeper Berlin.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:19 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:26 pm
Posts: 38
thx for the info. but does anyone know what happened to the Lounge cars:
Seattle & Rocky Mountain?


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 Post subject: Re: Questions regarding the AOE
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:06 pm
Posts: 63
152696 wrote:
thx for the info. but does anyone know what happened to the Lounge cars:
Seattle & Rocky Mountain?


Both Seattle & Rocky Mountain eventually made their way to the Greenbrier Presidential express and at the time of the equipment auction were listed as "tunneled." meaning these were among the cars that had been totally gutted for rebuilding. I'm not sure of their final disposition but wherever they are they would literally just be a shell of what they were for AOE.


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