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 Post subject: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:34 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Santa Maria, CA
Can anyone provide specific techniques and/or products that worked to remove Amtrak's touch? Specifically, I need to remove adhesive stripes from the window band and platinum mist paint from roof/ ends of a Budd stainless steel car.


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:16 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Posts: 22
NPaul wrote:
Can anyone provide specific techniques and/or products that worked to remove Amtrak's touch? Specifically, I need to remove adhesive stripes from the window band and platinum mist paint from roof/ ends of a Budd stainless steel car.



Goop off, WD40, and finger nail polish remover all works good. If you are talking adhesive that is 30 years old baked on in the hot sun. Then scotch bright or a hard bristle brush. The stainless I would use paint thinner and a rag. It should come right off. Scotch bright or steel wool would also quickly remove it. You can also use a small wire wheel in a drill to test areas to save some elbow grease.


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:03 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:29 am
Posts: 57
Heat gun


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:10 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 830
Location: NJ
With care, polycarbonate pads from Harbor Freight, in an angle grinder, should get right down to bare metal.


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:44 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:22 pm
Posts: 69
No no NO!

Disregard everything else suggested here unless you want to severely damage the windowband and letterboards of the the car!

Jasco gel Paint Stripper, or "aircraft stripper" as it's known in larger quantities will do the job you desire - and with much less effort than outlined above. I think you can get up to 5 gallon cans at Lowe's.

Just roll or brush on, and pressure wash off (be sure to stay away from or mask off the windows on the car) once it has bubbled the paint or decals. Re-apply as necessary to remove everything you desire. Clean up with lacquer thinner or 91% isoprophyl alcohol, then give the entire car a bath with your cleaner of choice.

This method will also cut through the platinum mist on the endsheets, and will start into the bondo and self etching primer Amtrak used as well. Just apply and rinse as needed to get to the bare stainless.

I've removed Amtrak markings from over a dozen Budd cars using this method - work smarter, not harder!


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:17 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:34 pm
Posts: 113
MRLX1020 wrote:
No no NO!

Disregard everything else suggested here unless you want to severely damage the windowband and letterboards of the the car!

Jasco gel Paint Stripper, or "aircraft stripper" as it's known in larger quantities will do the job you desire - and with much less effort than outlined above.

I've removed Amtrak markings from over a dozen Budd cars using this method - work smarter, not harder!


I agree with MRLX1020's method. We did this to remove all of the NJTransit markings off of a Budd RDC, including those safety stripes on each end. The aircraft stripper caused all of the decals and adhesives to just bubble, curl up, and in some cases literally fall off. We joked that after doing that the car looked like the Athearan undecorated HO model!


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:49 am 

Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 434
Location: Switching the Coach Yard
I would also second MRLX 1020's comment. We have used "Dad's" as well. If memory serves the active ingredient in all of those products is Methylene Chloride. We used to buy it in a concentrated form from the local Chemical Supply house.


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 4:49 pm
Posts: 373
I agree with using Jasco water-soluble paint stripper to remove the Amtrak paint as well as the Amtrak decals. This stuff has gotten expensive, but you get what you pay for.

But some more detail is in order:

1) Always use this stripper on a cloudy day or on the shady side of the car on a sunny day. It will evaporate quickly in the direct sun on a warm or hot day.

2) Goop it on thick and let it do the work. Don't agitate it because that just thins it out and causes it to take much longer to work.

3) NEVER use a metal putty knife to help remove the paint. This scratches the metal surfaces under the paint. I have seen way too many stainless steel pier panels scarred by people who used a metal putty knife during paint removal. Always use a plastic one to help remove the loose paint and excess stripper. I also always use a small plastic brush with short, stiff bristles to remove the old paint as well. This will not scratch the stainless and it is great for getting in the "nooks and crannies". I do not use high pressure water - just regular water pressure with a trigger handle like I use for car washing works fine.

4) After hosing off the bulk of the old paint and excess stripper, I always use SOS pads to do the final cleaning. SOS works great, removes all remaining residue, and will not scratch the stainless unless you are real aggressive with it. No need for lacquer thinner.

5) It will typically take several coats of stripper to remove all the old paint, depending on how many layers of paint there are.

6) Observe all the usual safety precautions when using this stuff. Never use paint stripper without eye protection. You will also most likely want to use rubber gloves as well. They kill your manual dexterity, but this stuff will burn your skin like a bad sunburn if it gets on your skin for more than a few seconds.


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:44 am
Posts: 643
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Just a reminder that "Aircraft Remover" or other strippers with Methylene Chloride can be very toxic.

From Wikipedia:

DCM (Methylene Chloride)... is not without health risks, as its high volatility makes it an acute inhalation hazard. It can also be absorbed through the skin.

Symptoms of acute overexposure to dichloromethane via inhalation include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, numbness, weakness, and irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes. More severe consequences can include suffocation, loss of consciousness, coma, and death.

DCM is also metabolized by the body to carbon monoxide potentially leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. Acute exposure by inhalation has resulted in optic neuropathy and hepatitis. Prolonged skin contact can result in DCM dissolving some of the fatty tissues in skin, resulting in skin irritation or chemical burns.

It may be carcinogenic, as it has been linked to cancer of the lungs, liver, and pancreas in laboratory animals. Other animal studies showed breast cancer and salivary gland cancer. Research is not yet clear as to what levels may be carcinogenic. DCM crosses the placenta. Fetal toxicity in women who are exposed to it during pregnancy, however, has not been proven. In animal experiments, it was fetotoxic at doses that were maternally toxic but no teratogenic effects were seen.

In people with pre-existing heart problems, exposure to DCM can cause abnormal heart rhythms and/or heart attacks, sometimes without any other symptoms of overexposure. People with existing liver, nervous system, or skin problems may worsen after exposure to methylene chloride.

Use appropriate safety equipment when using it!

(As an aside, I had a difficult time finding a small can of it for an automotive project. Apparently its sale is restricted in Utah. After finding and purchasing one from a local jobber and reading about its toxicity, I returned it and found another option.)

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KSL TV, Salt Lake City, UT


Last edited by davew833 on Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 693
Location: Philadelphia Pa
We used something nicknamed "Snot" (it was slimy and had a green tinge to it) to remove the paint from the stainless steel window frames on Wilmington & Western's DL&W combine back in the 1990's.....if this is by any chance the same stuff folks are suggesting, USE IT - it works ridiculously well and is very easy.....we took 50+ years of paint off, often in in one shot.


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 395
The Circa 1850 brand of strippers are also dichloromethane based and so they should also be appropriate for this application.


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Amtrak's mark
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 780
Location: Tucson, Arizona
davew833 wrote:
Just a reminder that "Aircraft Remover" or other strippers with Methylene Chloride can be very toxic.

From Wikipedia:

DCM (Methylene Chloride)... is not without health risks, as its high volatility makes it an acute inhalation hazard. It can also be absorbed through the skin.

Symptoms of acute overexposure to dichloromethane via inhalation include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, numbness, weakness, and irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes. More severe consequences can include suffocation, loss of consciousness, coma, and death.

DCM is also metabolized by the body to carbon monoxide potentially leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. Acute exposure by inhalation has resulted in optic neuropathy and hepatitis. Prolonged skin contact can result in DCM dissolving some of the fatty tissues in skin, resulting in skin irritation or chemical burns.

It may be carcinogenic, as it has been linked to cancer of the lungs, liver, and pancreas in laboratory animals. Other animal studies showed breast cancer and salivary gland cancer. Research is not yet clear as to what levels may be carcinogenic. DCM crosses the placenta. Fetal toxicity in women who are exposed to it during pregnancy, however, has not been proven. In animal experiments, it was fetotoxic at doses that were maternally toxic but no teratogenic effects were seen.

In people with pre-existing heart problems, exposure to DCM can cause abnormal heart rhythms and/or heart attacks, sometimes without any other symptoms of overexposure. People with existing liver, nervous system, or skin problems may worsen after exposure to methylene chloride.

Use appropriate safety equipment when using it!

(As an aside, I had a difficult time finding a small can of it for an automotive project. Apparently its sale is restricted in Utah. After finding and purchasing one from a local jobber and reading about its toxicity, I returned it and found another option.)


DCM is nothing to take lightly. Generally, use should be avoided if at all possible due to the toxicity. CDC has recorded (IIRC) 13 deaths directly caused by using aircraft grade paint strippers for non-approved purposes. All of those cases involved inadequate ventilation. DCM is absorbed through the skin and is an extreme inhalation hazard. OSHA has very specific requirements for safe use of this material. Gloves and masks are not suitable PPE, due to the fact that the substance is absorbed by the body through the skin. Full body protection (body suit with gloves and respirator) is required.

You also have to consider that using this substance produces toxic waste that must be properly disposed of.

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"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896


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