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What phase Amtrak cars for end of Rainbow Era?

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What phase Amtrak cars for end of Rainbow Era?
Posted by Brammy on Monday, August 19, 2019 11:12 AM

I am thinking of putting together a train that would be about the end of the Amtrak rainbow era. The appeal to this for me is the E8s (and other power) in their original paint schemes and the mix of cars.

I would like to put a couple of appropriate Amtrak cars in the mix. Are these Phase 1 and Phase 2 cars, or just Phase 1?

I get the phases for Amtrak mixed up.

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, August 19, 2019 11:39 AM

Well, the "rainbow era" was the period Amtrak ran cars in a variety of original pre-Amtrak paint schemes, ending when all those cars were either repainted into Amtrak paint scheme or retired. I think all (or virually all) Amtrak equipment was repainted into the Amtrak I scheme before the Amtrak II scheme was introduced. Just going by memory, I believe the second Amtrak scheme came in with either the F-40PHs in 1977 or the Superliners in 1979.

Stix
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Posted by Brammy on Monday, August 19, 2019 12:23 PM
perfect, thanks.
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Posted by Wolf359 on Monday, August 19, 2019 3:07 PM

Here's a Wikipedia page on the history of Amtrak paint schemes if you want more information. It also has some useful photos as well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amtrak_paint_schemes

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Posted by Brammy on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:09 AM
Thank you. I find researching this stuff almost as much fun as running the train.
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  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:51 AM

Oddly enough, I picked up the August issue of Model Railroad News at the LHS last night; it featured a discussion of early Amtrak phases. It said that phase II paint scheme was introduced with the first order of  F40PHs in 1976.

Stix
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Posted by Brammy on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:47 PM

I will check it out, thanks. It is also interesting researching the cars Amtrak took over. I have some of the Walthers UP Budd cars (non-sleeper), but it looks like UP didn’t have any non-sleeper Budd cars.

 

Edit: I was informed I am incorrect on the UP Budd cars.

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Posted by Autonerd on Saturday, August 24, 2019 8:34 PM

I have been working on-and-off on a rainbow train, and in all my research I've never seen a photo of a Phase II car mixed with unpainted equipment. 

Generally rainbow-era trains were specific to their home area--you were unlikely to see UP yellow, GN blue and Santa Fe silver on the same train, though it could happen. You could do an all-UP train and legitimately call it an Amtrak train. (This has not stopped me from making my train as rainbow-y as possible.)

Quick spotting guide: Phase 1 is equal red and blue (narrow white) with the pointless arrow on the ends. Phase II has the same stripes, no arrow. Phase III has three equal-width stripes. 

Phase IV and VI have a wide blue stripe beneath four narrow stripes (red-white-red-white), and I believe Phase V is locomotive- and baggage-car only, silver and blue with the new logo. You know, the really ugly one.

Phase III remains my favorite. Something about those equal-width stripes and the modern (to me) sans-serif "Amtrak" and "Sleeper" script on classic mid-century cars just looks great to me.

For my Rainbow train, I've got cars from all over the country mixed with a couple of Phase I cars and a pair of Proto 2000 E8s in Amtrak Phase I. On my get-around-to-it list is an all-black E with the windows plated over, which will represent an ex-Penn Central unit. 

Aaron

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