Union Pacific Cars Sold To Amtrak

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This page was last updated on October 28, 2015.

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Amtrak purchased a total of 163 former Union Pacific passenger cars. Of those 163 cars, 144 were purchased directly from UP (120 in the initial purchase in November 1971). Of the other 19 cars, which Union Pacific had sold in the 1968-1971 time period, Amtrak purchased seven from Auto Liner Corporation, six came from Penn Central, four came by way of Great Northern, and one each came from Alaska Railroad and Overland Rail Travel Corporation.

After the startup of Amtrak operations on May 1, 1971, Amtrak had until August 1, 1971 to notify the member railroads which equipment (cars and locomotives) the company required, and whether the equipment would be leased or purchased. (Trains magazine, August 1971, page 10)

By August 1, Amtrak must tell the railroads which pieces of equipment the agency requires. After that, Amtrak can either buy or lease them. Amtrak officials say the agency probably will get the best of the E8's and E9's, plus possibly some of the well-maintained Santa Fe F units. The last remaining Alco PA's, Delaware & Hudson's four, possibly will power an expected resumption of Albany-Montreal service. There is sentiment on the D&H to use the PA's as drawing cards for excursions if Montreal service is not resumed. Amtrak remains mum on its expected sources of passenger equipment, but the best guess is that most cars will come from Santa Fe, Seaboard Coast Line, Union Pacific, and Burlington Northern. Everything will receive extensive shopping and rebuilding. Amtrak then will begin buying its own locomotives and cars. New concepts will be explored in passenger cars and self-propelled units. The policy for locomotives will be high horsepower to cut down on the number of units needed. PC's GG1's may be in trouble. Amtrak originally decided to completely rebuild GG1's rather than go for a new electric locomotive, but General Electric has proposed a passenger version of its E60C electric, which will be in service on the Black Mesa & Lake Powell mining road in Arizona. GE says it can deliver the passenger version within a year after order, and Amtrak, which expects to run Northeast Corridor locomotive-hauled trains for some years, may feel the expense of new electrics would be less than long-term maintenance of GG1's. (Trains magazine, August 1971, page 10)

Operations began on May 1, 1971, with a bare-bones timetable. A second, but still minimal timetable was issued on July 12, 1971. These two early timetables were based almost entirely on existing schedules for Amtrak's member railroads. Amtrak's first "real" timetable was issued on November 14, 1971. (Trains magazine, January 1972, page 12)

A total of 23 Union Pacific 900-series E-units were assigned to Amtrak service in May 1971. (Extra 2200 South, May-June 1971, page 13, reported by Don Strack)

The following comes from "Amtrak By The Numbers" page 108:

Amtrak had to make do with the cars that were available at the time of its creation. A "wish list" was developed, based on anticipated requirements and desired types of construction and accommodation. All cars initially acquired by Amtrak (the "original purchase") were steam-heated. Out of approximately 3,000 passenger cars inspected, some 1,190 were selected. These did not include any Penn Central cars, since that company was going through bankruptcy proceedings at that time. As a result, its contributions would come later.

It should come as little surprise that over 90 per cent of Amtrak's initial rolling-stock selection came from five railroads: Santa Fe, Burlington Northern, Seaboard Coast Line, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific. With the exception of SR these were the pillars of the remaining passenger carriers.

Additional cars were obtained from various sources as needs changed, especially purchases driven by the Arab oil embargo of the mid-1970s.

The cars that came from the freight railroads were assigned numbers following these broad demarcations:

Baggage (1000, including combine and express cars)
Sleepers (2000)
Lounges (3000, including snack cars)
Coaches (4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000)
Diners (8000)
Domes (9000-9500, 9800)
Hi-Level cars (9600 and 9900)

Under this original numbering scheme, the first two digits of the coach numbers denoted seating capacity.

November 1971
Amtrak purchased 1,190 cars from its member railroads. (Trains magazine, December 1971, page 16)

August 1972
Amtrak purchased 262 locomotives from its member railroads, including 232 diesels (E's and F's) and 30 GG-1's. An additional 10 GG-1's were to be leased from Penn Central, and 13 E8's were to be leased from Union Pacific. (Trains magazine, August 1972, page 13)

July 1973
Amtrak took delivery of the first of 40 new SDP40F locomotives from Electro-Motive, meant to replace 74 ex AT&SF F-units on various former AT&SF trains. The new locomotives were equipped with two steam generators, with the capability for later installation of two 375-kilowatt auxiliary diesel generators to furnish the planned 480-volt three-phase A.C. electrical system.

May 1977
After a severe winter in 1976-1977, which caused problems with its fleet of steam-heated passenger cars, Amtrak began the conversion of many of its steam-heated cars to be equipped for head end power, or HEP. The conversion included the installation of wiring and control circuitry for a 480-volt three-phase A.C. electrical system throughout each train, with power being furnished by auxiliary diesel generators and engine-driven alternators in locomotives at the head end of each train.

Head-End Power

Amtrak rebuilt most of the former UP cars with electrical power, replacing their original steam heat features.

(Read more about head end power, HEP)

The last Amtrak steam heated train left Washington on March 8, 1982. (Passenger Car List, message no. 74173, dated May 24, 2011)


Many UP cars were sold to Auto-Train Corporation, which started service on December 6, 1971. Auto-Train operations ended in 1981. The service was re-started by Amtrak as Auto Train on October 30, 1983. (Wikipedia article)

Pacific Series

For the "Pacific" series, initially numbered as AMTK 2600-2642, after being converted to HEP, Amtrak gave them new numbers in the 2430-2441 series (12 cars); the 2880-2894 series (15 cars); and the 2900 series (13 cars). The 2880 and 2900 series cars had unaltered interiors, but the 2430 series cars had roomette 10 remodeled into a handicap accommodation by extending it into the area next to the vestibule that was previously occupied by the luggage racks. Fourteen cars in the 2880 series and the 2900 series were assigned as Amtrak Crew Dormitory cars and renumbered into the 2500 series. (part from Mike Palmieri, email dated November 12, 2011)


Coming to this number of 163 cars took an effort that required the help of many other people with a similar interest. Published sources include David Randall's six-volume series "Railway Passenger Car Annual," published in 1973 through 1984, and Fred Frailey's "Zephyrs, Chiefs, and Other Orphans" published in 1977.

This information was added to what had already been obtained from David Seidel, the source for the initial UP passenger car roster in 2004.

(There is some confusion about ex UP Baggage cars 6328 and 6331. This roster uses information from David Randall's "Railway Passenger Car Annual" volumes I through VI, published in 1973 through 1984. These are considered to be closer to primary, comtemporary sources than information presented in "Amtrak By The Numbers," published in 2011.)

More Information

Amtrak Cars at Railroad Picture Archives

Amtrak Heritage Fleet page at Wikipedia

Amtrak -- A separate index page about Amtrak, with information about its use of Head End Power (HEP)

Car Number Cross Reference

(163 cars)

First Amtrak
UP Car
Car Type
AMTK 1075 UP 5711 Baggage (UP Postal Storage)
AMTK 1076 UP 5728 Baggage (UP Postal Storage)
AMTK 1077 UP 6328 Baggage
AMTK 1126 (3rd) UP 6331 Baggage
AMTK 1297 UP 5351 Chair (rebuilt to Power/Heater Car)
AMTK 1298 UP 5364 Chair (rebuilt to Power/Heater Car)
AMTK 1299 UP 5332 Chair (rebuilt to Power/Heater Car)
AMTK 1570 UP 6002 Baggage Dormitory
AMTK 1571 UP 6003 Baggage Dormitory
AMTK 1572 UP 6005 Baggage Dormitory
AMTK 1573 UP 6007 Baggage Dormitory
AMTK 2250 UP "Star Bay" Sleeper
AMTK 2251 UP "Star Crest" Sleeper
AMTK 2252 UP "Star Leaf" Sleeper
AMTK 2253 UP "Star Range" Sleeper
AMTK 2254 UP "Star Scene" Sleeper
AMTK 2255 UP "Star Vale" Sleeper
AMTK 2256 UP "Star View" Sleeper
AMTK 2260 UP "Placid Bay" Sleeper
AMTK 2261 UP "Placid Harbor" Sleeper
AMTK 2262 UP "Placid Haven" Sleeper
AMTK 2263 UP "Placid Lake" Sleeper
AMTK 2264 UP "Placid Meadow" Sleeper
AMTK 2265 UP "Placid Scene" Sleeper
AMTK 2266 UP "Placid Sea" Sleeper
AMTK 2267 UP "Placid Vale" Sleeper
AMTK 2268 UP "Placid Valley" Sleeper
AMTK 2269 UP "Placid Waters" Sleeper
AMTK 2600 UP "Pacific Bay" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2601 UP "Pacific Beach" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2602 UP "Pacific Beauty" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2603 UP "Pacific Bend" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2604 UP "Pacific Cape" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2605 UP "Pacific Castle" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2606 UP "Pacific Command" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2607 UP "Pacific Cove" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2608 UP "Pacific Crest" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2609 UP "Pacific Emblem" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2610 UP "Pacific Falls" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2611 UP "Pacific Forest" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2612 UP "Pacific Forum" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2613 UP "Pacific Gardens" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2614 UP "Pacific Heights" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2615 UP "Pacific Hills" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2616 UP "Pacific Home" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2617 UP "Pacific Island" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2618 UP "Pacific Lodge" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2619 UP "Pacific Meadow" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2620 UP "Pacific Mist" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2621 UP "Pacific Northwest" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2622 UP "Pacific Ocean" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2623 UP "Pacific Park" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2624 UP "Pacific Patrol" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2625 UP "Pacific Peak" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2626 UP "Pacific Plateau" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2627 UP "Pacific Range" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2628 UP "Pacific Rest" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2629 UP "Pacific Ridge" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2630 UP "Pacific Sands" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2631 UP "Pacific Scene" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2632 UP "Pacific Shore" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2633 UP "Pacific Skies" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2634 UP "Pacific Slope" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2635 UP "Pacific Spray" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2636 UP "Pacific Sunset" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2637 UP "Pacific Terrace" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2638 UP "Pacific Trail" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2639 UP "Pacific Union" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2640 UP "Pacific View" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2641 UP "Pacific Waters" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 2642 UP "Pacific Waves" Sleeper (Budd, 1949)
AMTK 3370 UP 6201 Lounge
AMTK 3371 UP 6202 Lounge
AMTK 3372 UP 6200 Lounge
AMTK 4400 UP 5423 Chair
AMTK 4401 UP 5426 Chair
AMTK 4402 UP 5429 Chair
AMTK 4403 UP 5430 Chair
AMTK 4404 UP 5436 Chair
AMTK 4405 UP 5445 Chair
AMTK 4406 UP 5406 Chair
AMTK 4407 UP 5407 Chair
AMTK 4408 UP 5410 Chair
AMTK 4409 UP 5422 Chair
AMTK 4440 UP 5508 Chair
AMTK 4441 UP 5509 Chair
AMTK 4442 UP 5510 Chair
AMTK 4443 UP 5511 Chair
AMTK 4444 UP 5512 Chair
AMTK 4445 UP 5513 Chair
AMTK 4446 UP 5514 Chair
AMTK 4447 UP 5515 Chair
AMTK 4448 UP 5516 Chair
AMTK 4449 UP 5517 Chair
AMTK 4450 UP 5518 Chair
AMTK 4451 UP 5519 Chair
AMTK 4452 UP 5520 Chair
AMTK 4453 UP 5521 Chair
AMTK 4454 UP 5522 Chair
AMTK 4455 UP 5523 Chair
AMTK 4456 UP 5524 Chair
AMTK 4457 UP 5525 Chair
AMTK 4458 UP 5526 Chair
AMTK 4459 UP 5527 Chair
AMTK 4549 UP 5476 Chair
AMTK 4550 UP 5488 Chair
AMTK 4551 UP 5491 Chair
AMTK 4552 UP 5492 Chair
AMTK 4553 UP 5479 Chair
AMTK 4554 UP 5489 Chair
AMTK 4555 UP 5490 Chair
AMTK 4556 UP 5493 Chair
AMTK 4557 UP 5494 Chair
AMTK 4558 UP 5498 Chair
AMTK 4559 UP 5499 Chair
AMTK 4560 UP 5500 Chair
AMTK 4561 UP 5501 Chair
AMTK 4562 UP 5502 Chair
AMTK 4563 UP 5503 Chair
AMTK 4564 UP 5504 Chair
AMTK 4565 UP 5505 Chair
AMTK 4566 UP 5506 Chair
AMTK 4567 UP 5507 Chair
AMTK 4568 UP 5528 Coach
AMTK 4569 UP 5529 Coach
AMTK 4570 UP 5530 Coach
AMTK 4571 UP 5531 Coach
AMTK 4572 UP 5532 Coach
AMTK 4573 UP 5533 Coach
AMTK 4574 UP 5534 Coach
AMTK 4575 UP 5535 Coach
AMTK 4576 UP 5536 Coach
AMTK 4577 UP 5537 Coach
AMTK 4578 UP 5538 Coach
AMTK 4579 UP 5539 Coach
AMTK 4580 UP 5540 Coach
AMTK 4581 UP 5541 Coach
AMTK 4582 UP 5542 Coach
AMTK 4583 UP 5543 Coach
AMTK 4584 UP 5544 Coach
AMTK 4585 UP 5545 Coach
AMTK 4586 UP 5546 Coach
AMTK 4587 UP 5547 Coach
AMTK 4588 UP 5548 Coach
AMTK 4589 UP 5549 Coach
AMTK 4590 UP 5550 Coach
AMTK 4591 UP 5551 Coach
AMTK 4592 UP 5552 Coach
AMTK 4593 UP 5553 Coach
AMTK 4594 UP 5554 Coach
AMTK 4595 UP 5555 Coach
AMTK 4596 UP 5556 Coach
AMTK 8092 UP 4803 Diner
AMTK 8093 UP 4804 Diner
AMTK 8094 UP 4809 Diner
AMTK 8095 UP 4811 Diner
AMTK 8096 UP 4812 Diner
AMTK 8097 UP 4816 Diner
AMTK 8340 UP 5008 Cafe Lounge
AMTK 8341 UP 5010 Cafe Lounge
AMTK 8342 UP 5009 Cafe Lounge
AMTK 8396 UP 4001 Cafeteria Lounge
AMTK 8399 UP 4003 Cafeteria Lounge