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 Post subject: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:49 am 
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In preparation of the 5/1/1971 startup date, Amtrak sent two teams to inspect the different fleets of lightweight cars to select those that met the predetermined mechanical specifications for acquisition. Among the cars that were selected, a number were sent to Pullman (and other contracted companies, such as the Autoliner Corporation and the AT&SF Topeka Shops) for refurbishment and reconfiguration.

In his "Streamliner Cars" series, W. David Randall gives a full listing of the Pullman lightweight car Lots, including the "R" Lots assigned to the Amtrak refurbishments. However, other than the total number of cars included in each Lot, no details as to which cars were refurbished are given. Does anyone here know which cars were included in each Lot, or from where such records can be obtained? Would the records be at the IRM Pullman Library, or part of the Pullman Collection at the Newberry Library?

According to Randall, Pullman refurbished a total of 173 cars for Amtrak in eighteen "R" Lots:

Lot #R7059: 50 cars total

Lot #R7065: 11 cars total

Lots #R7067 to #R7081: 111 cars total (the subtotals are not listed)

Lot #R7084: one car, sleeper #2764 Orlando (SAL #33/SCL #6618) (this was the only Lot for which Randall listed the included car)

Also, does anyone know what other companies besides Pullman, Autoliner, and AT&SF were contracted by Amtrak to refurbish cars? Was Budd involved in the Amtrak refurbishments? Which cars did Autoliner refurbish? Did the Topeka Shops only refurbish AT&SF cars for Amtrak, or were cars from other railroads also refurbished there?

Source:

1. "Streamliner Cars Volume One: Pullman Standard" by W. David Randall (RPC Publications, 1981)

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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:34 pm 
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Bump

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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:43 pm 

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Sounds like you may need to find a copy of "Zephyrs, Chiefs, and Other Orphans" by Fred Frailey. This book is considered mandatory reading by us students of the American RR passenger car, as it covers the first 5 years of Amtrak trains in great detail, and is filled with much outstanding info. While this book won't answer your questions specifically, it will go a long way to piecing together some pieces of the puzzle that you have asked about and you will see where most of the Amtrak fleet was given it's initial Amtrak refurbishment/shopping. I have not seen a list per se of the cars refurbished by PS as you have asked, but such a list may exist and perhaps Dave Randall has a copy.

There were a handful of contract shops used by Amtrak in the early to mid '70's, such as the BN Como Shops in St. Paul, Hamburg Industries in Jacksonville, Mechtron in Wilmington, DE, Rail Systems in Mira Loma, CA, and the IC Woodcrest Shops in suburban Chicago.

For whatever reason, to my knowledge the Budd Co did not refurbish any cars for Amtrak.

Autoliner primarily refurbished "feature cars" for Amtrak, such as the former TCZ dome obs parlor cars. I have not seen a complete list of what any of the other shops refurbished but you can get a pretty good idea by studying Zephyrs, Chiefs. Also, most of these shops saw cars more than once. Many cars were sent to be given just intermediate overhauls initially, and given their heavy overhaul, including paint and upholstery, some years later.

Topeka shops did refurb many former AT&SF cars, but they did non-AT&SF cars as well.

It sounds like you may be familiar with a very good article in Trains magazine from I believe 1975 titled "All That Glitters is Not Stainless Steel", a very well written article that a young Topfuel devoured many times over, and I credit with helping to plant a seed of interest in these cars that continues to germinate to this day. This article talks about one of the 2 inspections teams you reference that scoured the country looking at every lightweight passenger car that could be found in order to determine which cars Amtrak should buy. I recommend it highly.


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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:51 pm 
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Thanks, Topfuel, for the info!

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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:01 am 
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Topfuel wrote:
Such a list may exist and perhaps Dave Randall has a copy.


How would I go about contacting Dave Randall to inquire about said list?

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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:24 am 

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As far as I know Dave is still around, and I think he still has the same PO Box in Godfrey, IL that he's had for years. It should be listed in your Streamliner Cars series books. Try that first. If not, I may have contact info for him laying around somewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:08 am 
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Thanks, Topfuel!

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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:45 pm 

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I just watched this 1969 footage of mostly AT&SF passenger trains in Oklahoma City:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNyh5u9gCi8

I really like those ATSF full domes. Did any of those go to Amtrak?

I believe some (or many?) of the ATSF high-level cars went to Amtrak, correct?


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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:12 am 
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Rock Island--

Although AT&SF sold a large number of cars to Amtrak (446 total cars, including a few for parts), the Santa Fe's asking price for their fourteen Budd-built full domes was too high for Amtrak, which declined, and Santa Fe instead sold all but one to the Auto Train Corporation. However, Amtrak did purchase Santa Fe's six P-S built "Turquoise Room" short dome lounges.

Amtrak did acquire all 73 of the Hi Level cars, 70 of which were converted to Head End Power (HEP for short, known in Amtrak parlance as the Heritage Fleet) at the AT&SF Topeka Shops in 1980-1981. The last of the Hi Level coaches (Santa Fe referred to these as "chairs") were retired in 2007, having been modified for use on the Heartland Flyer. Five of the Hi Level lounges are still on the active roster, serving as the Pacific Parlours for First Class (sleeper) passengers on the Coast Starlight.

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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:39 am 

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Rainier Rails wrote:
The last of the Hi Level coaches (Santa Fe referred to these as "chairs") were retired in 2007, having been modified for use on the Heartland Flyer.
Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and other western roads differentiated for years between chair cars -- with reclining seats -- and coaches -- with straight back, often walk-over seats.

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 Post subject: TAN: Chair Cars
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:43 am 

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Thanks for the explanation of "Chair Car". The 1st time I rode a Pennsylvania - New York, New Haven & Hartford Hell Gate Bridge Route train from Philadelphia, Pa to New Haven, Conn. in the summer of 1968, one of the coaches had "Chair Car" on the end door.
But the innards weren't different from what I was used to on New York - Washington trains. The term even made it to Hollywood: A Warner Bros. cartoon with spies on a French train had "Le Electric Chair Car", and the artists expected the audience to get the parody. There was also a "Club Car", with baseball bats that would hit anyone who ventured inside it.


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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:19 pm 

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The western roads were buying cars that were listed as chair cars while also buying coaches back in the late, wood-car era.

The a few years ago I researched and presented a program about railroad passenger service south of the 20th-century mining camps of Tonopah and Goldfield. There was once (late 19-oughts) through sleeping cars and chair cars between Tonopah and Los Angeles operating on the Tonopah & Goldfield, the Bullfrog-Goldfield, the Tonopah & Tidewater, and the Santa Fe. The T&G, B-G and T&T had Pullman built chair cars equal to those in use on the SP and the Santa Fe; their letterboards had end lettering proudly proclaiming that these were chair cars.

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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:07 am 

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I was reading in one of the original BN employee magazines that the Como Shops were refurbishing the slumber coaches for Amtrak.

Dan Quiat


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 Post subject: Re: Pullman Amtrak Lots
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:50 am 
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Thanks, Dan, for the info!

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