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20 Amtrak locomotives featured in Model Railroader

By Cody Grivno | August 21, 2022

Enjoy this look back at models produced during the past two decades

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Photo of HO scale A-B set of cab units on scenicked base

20 Amtrak locomotives featured in Model Railroader

As we celebrate Amtrak week at Trains.com, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at 20 Amtrak locomotives featured in Model Railroader magazine over the past two decades.

As I was compiling this list, I was surprised just how many Amtrak models were produced between 2002 and 2022. An Electro-Motive Division (EMD) SW1? Check. The workhorse EMD F40PH? Bunches of ’em. Same for the General Electric P42. Even the short-lived SDP40F has been offered in HO and N. It’s certainly a great time to be an Amtrak modeler.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of Amtrak models produced from 2002 through 2022. If you have a favorite Amtrak model that we didn’t show, leave the manufacturer name, scale, and model in the comments field below.

Photo of modern HO scale locomotive on scenicked base
Bachmann’s HO scale Siemens ALC-42 locomotive is decorated in the Amtrak Day One paint scheme. You can read a review of this model in the May 2022 issue.
Photo of modern HO scale locomotive on scenicked base
Photo of HO scale passenger locomotive on scenicked base

Rapido Trains has offered its well-detailed HO scale Electro-Motive Division F40PH based on the Phase I, IIa, and IIb prototypes. Amtrak no. 289 is based on the latter.  

Photo of HO scale passenger locomotive on scenicked base
Photo of HO scale A-B set of cab units on scenicked base

Walthers produced this Proto-series Electro-Motive Division FP7 and F7B set decorated in Amtrak’s phase 1 scheme. The models are based on prototype’s Amtrak inherited from Southern Pacific.

Photo of HO scale A-B set of cab units on scenicked base
Photo of HO scale locomotive on white background

Bachmann offered the HO scale Siemens SC-44 Charger decorated in Amtrak’s Midwest, Cascades, and Pacific Surfliner schemes. Read Editor Eric White’s review of the passenger hauler in the April 2021 issue.

Photo of HO scale locomotive on white background
Photo of HO scale electric locomotive on scenicked base with cityscape background

Another model based on a Siemens prototype was the ACS-64. This HO scale model, produced by Bachmann, was reviewed in the January 2019 issue.

Photo of HO scale electric locomotive on scenicked base with cityscape background
Photo of HO scale electric locomotive with rear pantograph raised
Atlas Model Railroad Co. brought the AEM-7 to HO scale, complete with a dual-mode ESU LokSound Select sound decoder. The model was reviewed in the July 2018 issue.
Photo of HO scale electric locomotive with rear pantograph raised
Photo of HO scale six-axle cowl body passenger unit on scenic base
The full-size Electro-Motive Division SDP40F was Amtrak’s first new locomotive. This HO scale model, reviewed in the March 2018 issue, was produced by Athearn for its Genesis line.
Photo of HO scale six-axle cowl body passenger unit on scenic base
Photo of N scale locomotive and baggage car on scenicked base

Kato USA Inc. released its N scale Electro-Motive Division SDP40F at the same time as its eight-car Southwest Chief passenger train. The six-axle passenger locomotive and cars were reviewed in the September 2016 issue.

Photo of N scale locomotive and baggage car on scenicked base
Photo of N scale electric locomotive and passenger cars on scenicked base

This N scale Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotive was produced by Kato USA Inc. in 2016. The locomotive was released concurrent with the company’s Amfleet I coaches and cafe cars. Read about all of the models in the April 2016 issue.

Photo of N scale electric locomotive and passenger cars on scenicked base
Photo of HO scale four-axle cowl-bodied diesel locomotive on scenicked base

Walthers released its HO scale Mainline series Electro-Motive Division F40PH in Amtrak’s phase 3 and 4 paint schemes. The sound-equipped model was reviewed in the November 2015 issue.

Photo of HO scale four-axle cowl-bodied diesel locomotive on scenicked base
Photo of two HO scale end-cab switchers on white background

Though most companies focus on Amtrak road locomotives, Walthers produced an Electro-Motive Division SW1 in its HO scale Mainline series. The 737, shown here with a Great Northern model, is decorated in Amtrak’s phase 5 paint scheme. The prototype No. 737 has served as both the Wilmington (Del.) Shops and Washington (D.C.) Union Station yard switcher.

Photo of two HO scale end-cab switchers on white background
Photo of modern HO scale passenger locomotive on scenicked base
One of the more innovative Amtrak units produced during the past two decades was the Kato HO scale General Electric P42. The four-axle passenger unit was fitted with truck-mounted coreless motors. Read about the locomotive in the September 2013 issue.
Photo of modern HO scale passenger locomotive on scenicked base
Photo of HO scale modern electric locomotive with city backdrop

Bachmann’s HO scale Alstom/Bombardier HHP8 electric locomotive was reviewed in the December 2005 issue. The Spectrum line model is based on prototypes delivered to Amtrak between 1998 and 2001.

Photo of HO scale modern electric locomotive with city backdrop
Large scale passenger locomotive on white background

LGB’s 1:29-proportion General Electric P42 diesel locomotive wins the award for the largest Amtrak model to pass through our offices between 2002 and 2022. The unit was reviewed in the July 2006 issue.

Large scale passenger locomotive on white background
Photo of N scale passenger locomotive on scenicked base

In 2005 Kato released models of the Electro-Motive Division F40PH diesel locomotive in N and HO scales. The N scale model shown here was reviewed in the December 2005 issue.

Photo of N scale passenger locomotive on scenicked base
Photo of cowl-bodied locomotive in front of city backdrop

Former senior editor Jim Hediger sang high praises of Kato’s HO scale Electro-Motive Division F40PH in the September 2005 issue. The full-size units were the backbone of Amtrak’s fleet for more than two decades.

Photo of cowl-bodied locomotive in front of city backdrop
Photo of modern N scale passenger unit on scenicked base

Athearn’s first N scale locomotive model was the Electro-Motive Division F59PHI, shown here in the Pacific Surfliner scheme. Check out the review and additional photos in the April 2003 issue.

Photo of modern N scale passenger unit on scenicked base
Photo of N scale wide-nose locomotive on scenicked base

Atlas brought the N scale General Electric Dash 8-32BWH locomotive to N scale in late 2002. The full-size locomotives were dubbed “Pepsi cans” by railfans because the scheme looked similar to graphics on the beverage manufacturer’s cans. To the railroad, the scheme is a variant of phase 3.

Photo of N scale wide-nose locomotive on scenicked base
Photo of N scale passenger locomotive on scenicked base

Kato’s N scale General Electric P42 diesel locomotive was described as “elegant and powerful” in the July 2002 issue. The model is painted in the passenger carrier’s phase 4 paint scheme.

Photo of N scale passenger locomotive on scenicked base
Photo of HO scale wide-cab Amtrak locomotive

Atlas offered its 2002 release of the HO scale General Electric Dash 8-32BWH with a dual-mode Digital Command Control decoder. You can see a prototype photo of two of these units on the point of the Southwest Chief in the March 2002 issue.

Photo of HO scale wide-cab Amtrak locomotive

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