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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.