18.7.08

REHABILITATING AMFLEET. William Polley recommends the Kansas City, er, Illinois Zephyr, and the American Royal, or is it the Carl Sandburg? He's not alone in Everywhere West country. Senator Durbin has asked Amtrak president Alex Kummant for some more seats.
Durbin asked Kummant to bring five rail cars to Illinois to add capacity to those routes, as well as ones between Chicago and St. Louis and Chicago and Carbondale. Kummant has agreed to have five rail cars rehabilitated and ready for immediate use on the routes by the end of this year.
Five cars, to be pulled from the dead line at Wilmington, Delaware, or perhaps Beech Grove, Indiana, and put back in shape for probably seventy seats each on the Quincy and Carbondale trains and one St. Louis trip. We're a long way from spare commuter cars available for weekend excursions to Wisconsin Dells or that huge fleet of Pullman 12 & 1s that once hauled rich retirees to and from Florida each winter and rich kids to and from summah camp in Maine.

A related article notes intermodal developments at Galesburg.

Those Amfleet cars to be rehabilitated are thirtysomethings. Amtrak bought them to replace thirtysomething stainless steel cars built in that period of optimism about passenger trains immediately after World War II.

It's time for some new coaches for Amtrak. My vote is for those Alaskan latter-day American Flyer cars.

I hope to have pictures of some slightly smaller traditional American Flyers and 12 & 1s running by Christmas.

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