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The first few years of Amtrak proved to be a rainbow of color with locomotives and passenger cars being placed anywhere and everywhere on the system.  The big change was not really 1 May 1971 but 7 November, 1971 when equipment was shuffled around and the individual trains received their Amtrak numbers.  Most of those numbers are still in use today.  By 1974, however, more and more engines and cars were being repainted into Amtrak colors.   That did not mean that leased cars were used from time to time from the Burlington Northern on the "Empire Builder" or "North Coast Limited".  But as the older standard streamlined cars were replaced by Amfleet and later Superliners only a handful were refurbished into what was known as the "Heritage" fleet. At the bottom are 12 new pictures of the current Amtrak trains including the Empire Builder at the old and new Sturtevant stations.

 

Unit 338, one of the original BN repainted E units ended up having the front repainted after an altercation.   AM7 - Deerfield, IL 

 

In May, '73 the San Francisco Zephyr had ex-UP B units as part of the head end power.  The train is shown leaving Union Station. 

 

Eastbound San Francisco Zephyr with a repaint E unit, 2 UP B units and a rainbow of cars following west of Chicago in this Jan., 73 picture
The "Empire Builder" was the "mutt" of assorted power and cars.  Former Great Northern "F" units lead the westbound Builder in this July, 73 picture at Glenview, IL

 

A real rainbow of power and cars on this July, 1973 westbound Builder north of Chicago.  Even a former Southern Pacific coach!

 

An ex-California Zephyr dome observation car graces the rear or the new North Coast Hiawatha near Forest Glen.  November, 1971.

 

 

As late as July, 1972 the former GMO E units were still running on the "Abe" shown near 18th Street, Chicago.

By January, 1973 the "Abe" still had an ex-KC Zephyr dome obs, UP diner and coaches, some now in Amtrak colors.  Chicago Union Station.  

 

Penn Central's E unit leads the CHI-DET train with an assortment of former L&N and other carrier's stainless steel cars.   Changes were in the wind!
May, 1971 finds the westbound San Francisco Zephyr at Mendota, Illinois picking up passengers.

 

The Panama Ltd. backs into its new home in April, 1972 with IC power, UP Pullmans, an Amtrak baggage cars and an assortment of equipement.  

 

The eastbound Riley waits for a signal to enter IC tracks.  Two B&O E units lead this four car train with an assortment of colors.

 

 

A front view of the same train showing the power and train.  March, 1972.

 

One of two Santa Fe F units painted with the blue war bonnet for passenger service on the outbound Texas Chief, 1971.

 

The eastbound Super Chief with the conventional Santa Fe F units approaching Chicago's Union Station - Feb., 1972. 
An assortment of cars on the July 4th edition of the SFZ at Plano, IL including a former SP dome lounge car.  That train is kicking up a lot of dust!

 

Westbound CHI-MKE evening train with 2 GMO E units, two former GN observation cars sandwiching a former L&N coach at Tower A-5 May, 1971.

 

Westbound CHI-MKE train with former GN and UP cars in Deerfield, IL in 1973.   Nothing Amtrak looking here.

 

A rare appearance of a SP&S lounge car on the back of AM9 near Western Ave. as part of a real rainbow train of assorted colors.  May, 1972

 

Amtrak, Burlington Northern, Great Northern blue: part of a westbound Empire Builder leaving Chicago.  

 

A former KCZ dome observation brings up the rear of the North Coast Hiawatha.  Amtrak tail signs but still stainless steel.   Glenview: April, 1972

 

Amtrak put some former Southern Paciifc cars in service during an early summer and just left off the stripes.  This is the WB Empire Builder.

 

A former Northern Pacific diner painted in BN colors as part of the westbound Empire Builder in April, 1972 at Glenview, IL

 

Former "Blue Bird" dome observation on the westbound Hiawatha at Deerfield in 1974.  By now the rainbow era was coming to an end.

 


The westbound Zephyr passes the Hillside station in Hinsdale - 4 May 2007

 

Amtrak westbound empire builder speeds by the new Sturtevant, Wisconsin station on 6 May 2007

 

Running 25 minutes late an eastbound "Hiawatha Service" train crosses over Highway 20 as it approaches the new Sturtevant station on 6 May 2007.

 

The eastbound Hiawatha approaches the new Sturtevant station as it passes Hiawatha 335 just leaving the station.

 

Still in its original tri-colors the coach is part of the eastbound Hiawatha service leaving Sturtevant, Wisconsin.

 

The Genesis unit pushes the eastbound Hiawatha service train leaving Sturtevant station on this May afternoon.

 


The eastbound Hiawatha service approaches the platforms of the old Sturtevant station on Labor Day, 2005 with a modified former F40 as its lead unit.

 

Passengers boarding the eastbound Hiawatha at Sturetvant's old station on Labor Day,, 2005.

 

It is Labor Day, 2005 and the eastbound Hiawatha service train is leaving the old Sturtevant station.

 

The westbound Empire Builder approaches the old Sturtevant, Wisconsin station on Labor Day, 2005.

Superliner cars of the westbound Empire Builder passing Sturtevant on Labor Day, 2005.

 

TA former UP dome car rebuilt for private service brings up the rear of the westbound Empire Builder at Sturtevant Labor Day 2005.

 

 

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revised on 25 September, 2012 0:11

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