AMTRACK HISTORY AMFLEET CARS
At its inception in 1971, Amtrak cherry picked the railroads'
fleets of conventional passenger cars. While still serviceable,
most cars were decades old. Car builder Budd offered Amtrak
equipment based on the popular Metroliner tubular shell with
airliner-style interiors. The first all-new Amfleet I cars hit
the rails in 1975.
Nearly 500 coach and food service cars were delivered by 1978.
Amfleet I cars proved popular and as passengers flocked back to
the rails it turned out the 500 cars weren't enough to meet
demand. In 1981, 125 new Amfleet II coaches and 25 lounges were
placed in service. Targeted for eastern long-distance trains such
as the Lake Shore Limited and the Crescent, the 59-seat coaches
had larger windows and reclining leg-rest seats.
While Amfleet cars were intended for use on eastern lines where
overhead clearances are tight, they've operated in all corners of
the system and even on cross-border runs into Canada, in some
cases behind VIA power.
As the workhorses of Amtrak's fleet, Amfleet cars were, and still
are,freely mixed with single-level Bombardier Horizon Fleet cars,
Viewliners and Heritage Fleet cars (1977-81 refurbished former
* Amtrak Phase I single and double arrow logo versions are
available - they operated concurrently in these schemes.
* Phase I and Phase II (broad red/blue stripes, no logo) paint
schemes were not mixed with old pre-Amtrak equipment - their
heating/electrical systems were incompatible.
* 1977 and later Phase III (equal red/white/blue stripes) cars
can be mixed with Phase III and later Heritage Fleet cars (such
as Budd & P-S domes, diners, coaches and baggage cars).
Trains with Amfleet cars have varied in size from tiny one coach-
one Amdinette consists to 18+ car trains complete with Heritage
baggage/baggage-dorm cars, Viewliner sleepers and, before 2004,
RoadRailer trailers and mail/express boxcars.