Passenger train ?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by COMBAT, Dec 24, 2006.


    COMBAT Member

  2. CaNadiaN

    CaNadiaN New Member

    Your car needs are likely based on 2 criteria: location and distance. Namely, are you representing a large city (NY/DC/LA/Chicago) with a lot of long-haul and regional services, or are you in a locale with only regional or long-distance service? As to paint schemes, since you're doing this in a somewhat modern timeframe, you'll have a mix of phase IV and V cars, possibly with one or two Phase III that haven't been scrapped or repainted.
  3. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    May I suggest going to and checking out the various Amtrak train pictures they have there. I did just about the same thing when I picked up a new Amtrak diesel, checked out some pictures of prototypical operations, and built a passenger consist around the pictures showing how that diesel was used.

    But hey - it's your layout - run what you like. For me, I like having a picture of my actual consist for future reference, so when I add weathering or will add some distinct diesel/car accessory - I've got a photo reference.

    COMBAT Member

    GREAT IDEA!! Thanks I will look at that :)

    COMBAT Member

  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    If you want to put together a Surfliner train, you will have to build the cars out of kits and paint them yourself:

    Far as I know, there are no RTR Surfliners available.. Con-Cor is supposed to have some in the works but it looks like nothing came of it.

    If you just want to have a token passenger train, personally I think a generic Amtrak passenger train with one P42DC locomotive and a string of Bachmann Amfleets would be good enough. :D
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Those Surfliner cars are only run on the Surfline Between Los Angeles and San Diego. It doesn't mean you can't run them elsewhere, but I think that is one reason why the decals aren't available, yet. They are out of place anywhere in So Cal except along the Surfline, let alone the rest of the country. If you are running a generic AmTrak train, you would want AmTrak cars. If you are running East Coast operations, I think they just run the Budd cars, but I may be mistaken. I am under the impression that the highlevel Superliner cars are too tall for some of the clearances in the Northeast. The folks from the Northeast or Eastern Canada can probably correct me if I have the wrong info.
  8. The first 2 F59PHI's are the Amtraks Surfliner trains, also found elsewhere though. The 2nd two are the Amtrak Cascades loco's. Very rarly found anywhere else but the Eugene, OR-Vancouver BC run. The only Talgo cars in HO are painted in the wrong color's so one must paint, like I am doing. If you want, you could buy the Surfliner F59 (one of the first 2) and stick 3 or 4 (depending on the size of your layout) Walthers Superliner cars behind it.

    One thing to consider is your location. One thing I am doing is researching all the current passenger trains that run through my town. As of now, Amtrak has the Cascades, the Coast Starlight, and the Empire Builder, which I am also replicating the classic Great Northern edition too. So what I've done is just focus on the passenger trains I see, and narrowing it WAY down to those. I've gotten consist information on each of those trains, so now I'll have a very real prototype look to my layout. Something to think about I guess.

    Have a Merry Christmas!
  9. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Yep, I can confirm for Russ that overhead clearance on the Northeast Corridor means no tall cars like Superliners on Amtrak trains here. They can't fit through the former PRR Hudson and East River tunnels to get to Penn Station here in New York City (halfway on the NEC between Boston and Washington DC).

    Most frequently the trains I see here in NYC are Amfleets hauled by toasters (AEM-7s and ALP44s) on the NEC catenary route.. There is also the Acela train sets, plus Amfleets hauled by HHP8's. On the non-catenary lines around here, it's usually Amfleets being hauled by P42DCs, or if it's the Hudson River line, dual-mode P32AC-DMs.
  10. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    OK, So if I am in the Pacific Northwest and I want a modern style passenger train I want a what? As you can tell I dont know so your help is GREATLY appreciated! :thumb:
  11. Pacific Northwest is easy (thats where I am:wave:) the Amtraks I listed are the only ones that run here. Depending on your layout size, you could have the Empire Builder Seattle which is 7-10 Superliner cars, a baggage car, and 2 AMD103's, or the Empire Builder Portland, which is 4 Superliner cars, and 1 AMD103. Both Empire Builder's come from Chicago, but split off at Spokane. The Coast Starlight running to and from Los Angeles, has 8 Superliner cars normally. And the Eugene-Vancouver Amtrak Cascades has 11 Talgo cars, and 2 F59PHI's. Thats all the passenger trains in the Northwest, if you want to find out where to find Superliner cars, go to and search Superliner.
  12. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

  13. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    If you want to model a recent or current version of the Empire Builder or Coastal Starlight, I think they would be those Superliners in Phase IV paint (not sure if they got Phase V paint on Superliners yet?).

    The locomotive would be P42DCs (aka AMD103) as Wildcatfootball says.. In Phase V paint:

    Attached Files:

  14. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

  15. The Dash-8's aren't used so much anymore. Mainly for backup if one of the P42's break down. Also, the first and third one's are older color schemes, not used anymore. You can still see the middle one, but the repainting of the dash-8 fleet has begun to make them all Phase V. On the subject of phase V, there is no phase V paint for them yet, but we don't know what the future will hold.
  16. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Problem is, those Pepsi-Can and Phase IV Amtrak B32-8WH are harder to find than hen's teeth.

    Seems all the stores on-line only carries the one with the black-and-silver Amtrak California paint scheme. You might be able to fine one on Evil Bay though (personally I'd avoid that as much as possible, but that's just me).
  17. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    So, what your telling me is that if I want it right I will have to paint it myself or wait? Since I am not a painter I guess I will wait. :curse:

    Thanks for the help! :wave:

    Back to the drawing board.:rolleyes:
  18. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    YOU SAID IT BROTHER :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  19. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    THe P42DCs are easy to get.. Just grab one from any of the on-line stores if you don't mind shelling out $80 for one.

    If you want to go cheap, you can grab an Athearn Blue Box AMD103 from Toy Train Heaven for $25, tune it up, and paint it yourself. :thumb:
  20. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    If you want to go cheap, :thumb:

    and paint it yourself :oops: not a good idea....

    out $80 for one :curse: :rolleyes:

    Bummer :)

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