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Early Amtrak shopping is hard. Help?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Bethlehem, PA
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Early Amtrak shopping is hard. Help?
Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 3:35 PM

All:

I'm back with my third post in one week. I've been having difficulty finding a suitable locomotive and passenger cars online. I need something from 1976 or earlier, so no phase III paint. I'm looking for a short consist to pull as well. I model in HO scale. The loco should have DCC and sound. I would get the SDP40F front Athearn, but the first run never operated on the east coast. 

 

If anyone has suggestions that can be purchased online (not eBay) and are already released for rolling stock or a loco, please let me know.

Tags: advice , Amtrak , help

- HO Hobbyist

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971, and model railroad YouTuber. 

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

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"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 3:58 PM

Welcome to the world of model railroading. 

You will make many compromises trying to fulfill your dream trains with motive power and rolling stock.

If nobody made it,  than........nobody made it.

Your expectations are a little high  You want DCC and sound, and a specific release, or "run" as you put it, along with a specific color, and phase.

We all are, and have, gone through the same thing, as far as what our ideal locomotive and rolling stock should be, for our specific time period, and location.

Sometimes it involves stripping and repainting, different decals, different locomotive or road specific details, decoder and sound installations, and on and on, until you have what you want, or have gotten as close as you can get.

So, welcome to model railroading!

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bethlehem, PA
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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 4:45 PM

Mike,

It seems that something I say is misinterpreted in all of my posts. When I mentioned the "run" I meant the second release was not in my era so the SDP40F was out of the question. I don't care about the runs when I get a model but if it means I can't use the model that's a little different. 

I feel the best option is for me to get an E or F locomotive but I am unsure of one that I can get with Amtrak paint. I am wayyy to scared to repaint anything.

- HO Hobbyist

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971, and model railroad YouTuber. 

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 5:32 PM

Then look for an E or an F, more likely the E, that is in Amtrak paint.  If you can't find one, than you need to paint and decal one yourself, it's nothing to be scared of,  that's part of model railroading.

Refer to the replies you got in your first thread, and the thread in Prototype forum, they all pretty much ask the same question.

Proto 2000 E units run great.

Since you have decided to exclude Ebay, there goes probably 90%? of your chances of finding one.?  Just guessing here.

Check with all the on line stores you can think of, check with any sales site you can think of, but of course, if you don't like Ebay, than you probably won't like any of the swap/sales places on Facebook, or HOSwap in groups io, or any other sale site.

Like I said in my first post about all of us wanting to fill a specific train with a specific loco and cars, sometimes you have to make compromises, and that's also part of model railroading.

It's all about having fun creating what you can't find.

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bethlehem, PA
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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 6:06 PM

Mike, it's not that I don't like eBay. Most of my collection is from eBay.

My birthday is coming up and my family wants gift ideas. Due to eBay's ever changing nature it's not a viable option for gifts.

- HO Hobbyist

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971, and model railroad YouTuber. 

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

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  • From: Potomac Yard
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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 6:53 PM

HO Hobbyist

My birthday is coming up and my family wants gift ideas. Due to eBay's ever changing nature it's not a viable option for gifts.

 

That depends. My wife routinely tracks down things on eBay for gifts. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 7:17 PM

OK, I thought you were one of many don't like to buy on Ebay, never mind.

There is a place I go to, it's called HOSwap.

https://groups.io/

Once at the site, look for HOSwap.  You'll have to register, password and such, buts it's free, read how it works, and have at it.

It's another great option for finding stuff.

Mike.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 7:23 PM

I use evilbay all the time and I've never had a problem with it. (been a member since 2009) Smile

What part of the country are you in?  A local train show is also a great place to find what you're looking for and talk with other modelers.

I've always been a Warbonnet Fan, but after joining an HO Scale Modular Club in my state, I realized no one modeled any roads from Texas, so I added some Mopac and MKT, alongside SF. I really enjoy modeling both the transition era and present day era in railroading.

 

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Posted by nealknows on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 8:08 PM

Train shows are a good source for Amtrak Phase I passenger cars. Rapido came out with their 'Continental Line' many years ago. I picked up a number of coaches. Walthers had some as well. Athearn did some shorty cars. If the model is out there in a later paint scheme, chances are you can try to repaint it to a Phase I paint scheme. 

Ebay is a good source, just need to check it daily or a couple times a day. 

https://www.ebay.com/sch/122569/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=amtrak+phase+1&LH_TitleDesc=0&_sop=1

This is as of 9:11 PM EST

Good luck in your search! 

Neal

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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 8:24 PM

ATSFGuy

I use evilbay all the time and I've never had a problem with it. (been a member since 2009) Smile

What part of the country are you in?  A local train show is also a great place to find what you're looking for and talk with other modelers.

 

 

Evilbay. Well that's a new one.

I live in the Lehigh Valley (PA). There have been a few train shows here but I've never made one. I hate looking through old Model Railroader Magazines a relative passed onoto me and seeing ads for train shows from like 10 years ago.

 

- HO Hobbyist

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971, and model railroad YouTuber. 

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 10:01 PM

Ah, I remember canoeing down the Lehigh, nice white water.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 11:22 PM

If you can’t find any locomotives/cars directly from manufacturers, meaning no one is making anything you need currently, aside from eBay and train shows, I would say hobbyshops and online model train retailers are a good source.

Both online and local hobbyshops often retain older runs of stuff, so they are worth a look, and are easy for others to navigate.

Hope you find this helpful!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:14 AM

HO Hobbyist

 I would get the SDP40F front Athearn, but the first run never operated on the east coast.

The SDP40F I want hasn't been run either, but keep in mind Athearn is doing at least 4 runs of them, possibly more, so which ever particular version you need will probalby be made.  I think the San Francisco Zephyr would have been offered by now but it had the ice breakers and isn't in the first 3 runs.  Possibly run 4.

If anyone has suggestions that can be purchased online (not eBay) and are already released for rolling stock or a loco, please let me know.

If you rule out Ebay, then you are going to make it hard on yourself.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Water Level Route on Thursday, April 18, 2019 8:32 AM

You could always ask for an Ebay gift card.

Mike

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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Thursday, April 18, 2019 8:38 AM

Water Level Route,

 

Don't you need PayPal to use an eBay gift card? My dad hates PayPal for reasons I won't disclose. Won't let me sell either. (By the way I'm in high school hence the reason I have to listen to him).

- HO Hobbyist

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971, and model railroad YouTuber. 

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Grew up in Calif, left in 84, now in Virginia
  • 6,863 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, April 18, 2019 9:08 AM

You don't have to have your own Credit Card to use Paypal.  If you have an ordinary bank account (I did when I was in High School) you can link PayPal to that to pay for things.  If you buy with PayPal, you have some protections as well, so if there is an issue or scam, PayPal can get your money refunded.  I bought a cordless drill from what turned out to be a dodgy seller (no drill was ever shipped and they turned out to be a fake company).  I got my money back in about 10 days.

I understand sellers, especially commercial sellers can hate PayPal for the fee's they charge.  I knew one guy who used PP for a while and then upped his fee to 7% and at that point he dropped them like a hot potato.  But for buying, my experience has been very good.  Also for private selling, buyer pays 3% PP fee but can choose friends option (but buyer looses the protection features going that route). 

If you limit yourself to finding hard to find rolling stock from shops, it can be very hard to find stuff.  If you do a google search, much of the time the information is stale and the shop are sold out of that item.  At least with eBay, if it is advetised and you win it or it's a "buy it now", its usually a reliable purchase.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

  • Member since
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  • From: Bethlehem, PA
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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Thursday, April 18, 2019 11:45 AM

All: 

 

Here's where I stand. *Prepare for cinge*

So for a locomotive I think I will go with Athearn's SDP40F in either paint scheme. Still unsure.

For the consist I will go with Con-Cor. I know the detailing is...well...minimalistic. But they are cheap, offered in Phase II, and offered in a large variety of choices. If anyone has opinions on these cars please let me know. 

Since the consist is phase II completely, do you reccomend I go with Phase I or II for the locomotive?

-- H.O.

- HO Hobbyist

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971, and model railroad YouTuber. 

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

  • Member since
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  • From: Pacific Northwest
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Posted by SPSOT fan on Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:42 PM

First a little background on Amtrak paint schemes. Phase I (a large pointless arrow logo in the case of engines) was Amtrak’s first scheme to see wide spread use. In was introduced in 1972 and replaced with phase II in 1974. Phase II was first introduced on GE’s E60 electrics. It lasted until 1976 when phase III was introduced.

You previously mentioned you model 1971-1976, so a phase I would apply most likely to your era, but both are highly plausible. In the end it’s your choice, chose the paint scheme you like the look of most.

A note about your choice of cars, Con-Cors are only 72 scale feet long. Real cars are 80’. For this reason I recommend WalthersMainline cars, their correct length and are lower in price. Their also relatively accurate and easily to upgrade. Of course this is you’re choice.

Just my opinions, remember is your railroad, you chose what to run! 

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

  • Member since
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  • From: Bethlehem, PA
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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:56 PM

SPSOT fan

First a little background on Amtrak paint schemes. Phase I (a large pointless arrow logo in the case of engines) was Amtrak’s first scheme to see wide spread use. In was introduced in 1972 and replaced with phase II in 1974. Phase II was first introduced on GE’s E60 electrics. It lasted until 1976 when phase III was introduced.

You previously mentioned you model 1971-1976, so a phase I would apply most likely to your era, but both are highly plausible. In the end it’s your choice, chose the paint scheme you like the look of most.

 

 

Thanks for the reply.

I have already done some research about these paint schemes and I like the look of both.

SPSOT fan

A note about your choice of cars, Con-Cors are only 72 scale feet long. Real cars are 80’. For this reason I recommend WalthersMainline cars, their correct length and are lower in price. Their also relatively accurate and easily to upgrade. Of course this is you’re choice.

 

 

I do know the Con-Cors are shorties. However I only have 18-22 inch radius curves due to the constraints of a 4x8' track plan. They should perform more reliably/look better on the sharper curves.

About the Walthers, my original plan was to buy the Mainline cars, but I then realized they were phase III. Phase III won't fit in quite right since it was introduced in 1976 and it took Amtrak several years to bring everything up to speed. I remember when I was younger (early 2000s) associating the Phase III scheme with Amtrak and was rather surprised when I saw a phase V for the first time.

 

Thanks again!

- HO Hobbyist

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971, and model railroad YouTuber. 

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

  • Member since
    April, 2019
  • From: Pacific Northwest
  • 513 posts
Posted by SPSOT fan on Thursday, April 18, 2019 1:15 PM

HO Hobbyist
 

I do know the Con-Cors are shorties. However I only have 18-22 inch radius curves due to the constraints of a 4x8' track plan. They should perform more reliably/look better on the sharper curves.

About the Walthers, my original plan was to buy the Mainline cars, but I then realized they were phase III. Phase III won't fit in quite right since it was introduced in 1976 and it took Amtrak several years to bring everything up to speed. I remember when I was younger (early 2000s) associating the Phase III scheme with Amtrak and was rather surprised when I saw a phase V for the first time.

 

Thanks again!

 

You’ve made the right choice, you don’t want to experience full length cars on 18” radius track, they rarely stay on the rails on 24” radius (usually the published minimum for such cars). I‘ve even seen them come off on 30” radius.

Also you’ll be able to couple the shortys closer, making them look more prototypical than the long shank couplers you’d need to use on longer cars (if you can even get them on anything less than 24”).

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by Water Level Route on Thursday, April 18, 2019 2:16 PM

HO Hobbyist
Don't you need PayPal to use an eBay gift card?

Probably.  If that's a non-starter, how about a pre-paid mastercard?  No PayPal required.

Mike

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    May, 2010
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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, April 18, 2019 2:51 PM

HO Hobbyist
About the Walthers, my original plan was to buy the Mainline cars, but I then realized they were phase III. Phase III won't fit in quite right since it was introduced in 1976 and it took Amtrak several years to bring everything up to speed. I remember when I was younger (early 2000s) associating the Phase III scheme with Amtrak and was rather surprised when I saw a phase V for the first time.

More importantly than all of the above,  the Walthers cars won't work on your 18" and 22" radius,  been there, done that, unless your buying them just to look at.

Your going to need to stick with the 72' cars like Con Cor and Athearn, and just a heads up, not all Con Cor cars are 72',  they also made 80' and 85' cars, so make sure you know what your buying.

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bethlehem, PA
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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Thursday, April 18, 2019 3:26 PM

 

mbinsewi

 

 

More importantly than all of the above,  the Walthers cars won't work on your 18" and 22" radius,  been there, done that, unless your buying them just to look at.

Your going to need to stick with the 72' cars like Con Cor and Athearn, and just a heads up, not all Con Cor cars are 72',  they also made 80' and 85' cars, so make sure you know what your buying.

Mike.

 

 

I definitely do not have the money to buy cars just to look at. 

- HO Hobbyist

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971, and model railroad YouTuber. 

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

  • Member since
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  • 1,174 posts
Posted by ATSFGuy on Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:17 PM

Have you thought of a consist yet? Would love to see what cars you picked to run.

Athearn makes RTR streamline cars in the phase I paint, short body, metal wheels, no interior sell for reasonable prices and would be perfect to use on your 18-22 radius curves.

Is your layout a 4x10 oval with a few switches/sidings and maybe a station on one side?

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