The Amtrak 40th Anniversary Train is crisscrossing the nation from May 2011 to April 2012 to celebrate the railroad's milestone and history. The exhibit is inside of 3 refurbished baggage cars, along with a reconfigured Amfleet cafe car #85999 for the anniversary store. The fleet also has a refurbished 10-6 Sleeper #10020, Pacific Bend. It is pulled by P40 Locomotive #822, which is attached to Non-Powered Control Unit #406, a former F40PH, facing the opposite direction so the train can be pulled in either direction without needing a second locomotive to reverse the train. The entire train is painted in Amtrak's old Red White and Blue striped livery, which is a nice change from the standard Phase V livery that all trains now have providing a bit more color to the sides of these trains compared to todays.
The displays document Amtrak's forty year old history from its founding in 1971 to the present using displays of posters, schedules and other memorabilia, old seats (for the roughly three generations of seats trains have had), and three different tables set for meals (no fake food) documenting how the table settings have changed over the years. There are also manikins warring vintage Amtrak clothing and uniforms. My favorite was one men's knit sweater with the pointless arrow embroidered in it. The exhibit cars go roughly chronologically by decade and also include model trains beginning with a train of many colors with cars from many different railroads in the 1970s to a model with Acela today including Superliners in between. The last few display cases even include some predictions of the future with one case having present day white tickets along with a fake iPhone showing the potential for e Tickets sent directly to your phone. Attendees (I am so used to writing passengers) enter through a door in the Sleeper before going straight through into the first exhibit car where an employee hands them a brochure before continuing through all three and ending in the gift shop leaving the train via the last door of the gift shop car. We were handed compliments of Amtrak pointless arrow stickers as we left.
My trip to see the exhibit train: Unfortunately New York City's Penn Station cannot accommodate a visit by the exhibition train due to the fact that track space is at such a premium and the rest of Penn Station has no extra space to put the Chuggington Depot kids area and other local exhibitors that accompany the train. Grand Central would have been an ideal stop for the exhibit train (although not for photographing the exterior since it is underground), it has an abundance of tracks and spaces for more railroad related exhibits but is entirely in the domain of Metro-North. I instead took Metro-North up to New Haven-Union Station where the train was spending the weekend on July 17, 2011 to see it. See the post on my blog, Leave No Station Unphotographed for details on my adventures getting there including my first ride on an M8! Inside Union Station in a little area beyond the main waiting room exhibit booths had been set up by Connecticut's branch of Operation Lifesaver (where I got a Cross Railroad tracks safely bumper sticker), the New Haven Railroad Historical Association, Amtrak and NARP, along with the Chuggington Depot kids exhibit. Police cars from both Amtrak and the MTA (which only covers Metro-North and the LIRR were parked outside. The photos have been divided up onto separate pages interior and exterior. The exteriors of the train parked at New Haven-Union Station are on this page below.
All photos taken on 17 July, 2011
Last Updated: 18 July, 2011