Railway Preservation News

old Auto-Train Equipment
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Author:  tomgears [ Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:12 pm ]
Post subject:  old Auto-Train Equipment

These photo and others came through on railpictures.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 36&nseq=49

This looks to be an old tender converted to a steam genny. If you click on more photos by the same photographer there a number of other shots of the various equipment used by the old Auto-Train. I know a number of their former passenger cars went on to various other lives. I wonder what the story was on the steam genny.

Author:  Brian Norden [ Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: old Auto-Train Equipment

From the bookshelf: Railway Passenger Car Annual, Volume III 1976 compiled by W. David Randall and published by RPC Publications, Godfrey, Illinois

Autotrain 130 was ex-Northern Pacific H-1, rebuilt from a tender built by Alco 1938

Other steam generators listed:
131 ex-NP H-2, rebuilt from a tender built by Alco 1938
132 ex-GN Heater Car 3, built by St. Louis Car 1928
133 ex-NP H-4, rebuilt from a tender built by Alco 1938
134 ex-GN Heater Car 9, built by GN in 1949
135 ex-WP baggage car 801, Budd 1948
136 ex-Santa Fe baggage 3933, built by P-S 1965
137 ex-Santa Fe baggage 3932, built by P-S 1965
138 ex-Santa Fe baggage 3926, built by P-S 1965

Noted that cars 133 and 135 had not yet been rebuilt as of 12-23-1975.

Author:  tomgears [ Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: old Auto-Train Equipment

That's really interesting stuff. It's amazing how much old stuff was being used. They had several derailments due to cracked/broken wheels and axles. I wonder if it was due to age of the equipment.

Also I found they had built crew quarters built into auto-racks. That is pretty wild.

http://www.themetrains.com/html/auto-tr ... aboose.htm

Author:  SZuiderveen [ Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: old Auto-Train Equipment


This is somewhat informed speculation,but I do not think the wheel problems were due to the age of the equipment. Auto-Train went though some painful iterations of air brake design to find the right mix of passenger and freight train braking technologies for their long trains, and during that process they did have problems with overheating wheels. I believe that the NTSB found that the wheelset that caused the later Ringling Bros. accident had been overheated previous to its failure, and it was found to have been purchased second hand at the Auto-Train auction. Since then, all Ringling wheels have been direct from the wheelshops and completely certified.


Author:  davew833 [ Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: old Auto-Train Equipment

What a wild consist Auto-Train had during its heyday: A trio of new U36B's, a steam locomotive tender converted to a steam generator car, followed by a dog's breakfast of classic '50s streamlined passenger cars including short and full-length domes, flat-sided cars, fluted cars, and half-fluted cars, then auto racks followed by a caboose bringing up the rear! All wrapped up in garish white, purple, and red. I'm sorry I never saw it in action!

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: old Auto-Train Equipment

davew833 wrote:
What a wild consist Auto-Train had during its heyday:

Not always. During later periods, the trains were often operated as two separate trains, one passenger and one freight/auto. Let's not forget that they also had service from Louisville to Florida for a while.

If you have time to kill, here's this roster:


Even MORE time to waste this weekend? Here the AFT, the Freedom Train, the Rexall Train, the Golden Spike Centennial Limited, and more!


Author:  tomgears [ Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: old Auto-Train Equipment

Here is a really wild mix of Amtrak and Auto-Train equipment running with Auto-Train power and an Amtrak E-8 at the end of the passenger consist but ahead of the auto-racks and the last auto rack is a caboose combo. I think Auto-Train deserves a bit of credit for bridging a bunch of equipment from the pre-Amtrak era into preservation. I wonder if anything will ever be displayed to tell the story of Auto-Train? One of those auto-rack/caboose combo cars would be a really neat item.

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