Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak 40th anniversary exhibit train’

Been More Than a Decade Now

June 8, 2022

I recently ran across this image of the Amtrak 40th anniversary exhibit train in Jackson, Michigan. The exhibit train contained numerous artifacts regarding Amtrak history in those three baggage cars.

The Amfleet food service car contained a gift shop while the sleeping car on the rear provided quarters for the traveling exhibit train staff.

The image was made in October 2011. That was more than 10 years ago. Last year when Amtrak marked its 50th anniversary, it did not send an exhibit train out to tour the country.

Aside from a few historic photographs posted on its website and giving some locomotives a 50th anniversary herald Amtrak did little to celebrate its half century of service.

The lingering COVID-19 pandemic no doubt had something to do with that. So did Amtrak’s aversion to spending money on something management viewed as a “frill” during a time when the passenger carrier continued to struggle with less revenue due to pandemic-induced ridership losses.

On the point of the exhibit train is an F40 non-powered control unit painted in the Phase III livery. The same retro look has been applied to the trailing P42DC, which provided motive power and head-end power to the train.

This image also is noteworthy for having been scanned from a slide that came from one of the last rolls of slide film that I ever exposed. Three months earlier I had purchased a digital single lens reflex camera and I seldom made photographs with slide film after that.

On this day I had both cameras although most of the images I made were created with the digital camera. I finished off a roll of slide film with my other camera, which left just one roll of slide film left in my camera bag.

Later this summer will be the 10th anniversary of my having exposed my last frame of slide film. That image was of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 in Bucyrus pulling a Norfolk Southern employee appreciation special.

Those NS employee specials, like the Amtrak exhibit train, are both now things of the past and nothing similar has come along to take their place.

Photograph and Article by Craig Sanders

Inside Amtrak’s 40th Anniversary Train

May 14, 2012

Some Amtrak F40PH locomotives have had their prime movers removed and been converted to a control unit. No. 406 often faced west on the Amtrak 40th display train during its national tour.

The day started out overcast, but I made my way to Toledo all the same to attend the National Train Day event there on May 5.

After being distracted by a Wheeling & Lake Erie freight train around Norwalk, I arrived at the Toledo station shortly after 1 p.m. The Amtrak 40th Anniversary special was on display and there was a huge crowd.

Aside from the Amtrak display train, there was a train show inside the station where fellow Akron Railroad Club member Ron McElrath had a table.

The crowd was much larger than I had imagined, which is a good thing, I hope, for the next generation of railfans.

The train tour was free but involved about an hour’s wait. I wandered around taking pictures. The line went down some—still a 30 to 40 minute wait—but it was worth it.

Three baggage cars featured displays of the various eras of Amtrak. The displays started with the “rainbow era” then progressed to Amfleet, Superliners, Acela and some future concepts that were very interesting.

Upon leaving, I explored the former Pennsylvania Railroad Carrothers branch to Tiffin. Now a short line, it uses a couple of GP9s, one of which is still painted for Central Kansas Railway.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Large crowds congregated inside Toledo’s Central Union Terminal for a train show that was part of the National Train Day event there on May 5.