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News photos: Rare private Amtrak move in the upper Midwest

By | July 29, 2022

Eight-car train of legacy equipment makes trip from Twin Cities to Chicago

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Passenger train on curve
Passenger train on curve
A private Amtrak move passes through Elm Grove, Wis., on Thursday. (Four photos, Trains: David Lassen)

ELM GROVE, Wis. — In an unusual and unheralded move, Amtrak moved an eight-car train of privately owned legacy equipment from the Twin Cities to Chicago on Thursday, July 28. The train, scheduled to originate at Midway in the Twin Cities at 11:45 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 8:30 p.m., was photographed in the Milwaukee suburb of Elm Grove at 6:10 p.m. The train was reportedly organized by the group Friends of the 261 for an investment firm.

The consist behind Amtrak P42 No. 55 included several cars with no lettering or other visible markings. Those that have been identified are:

Oliver Hazard Perry, wearing Louisville & Nashville paint. According to the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners website, the car was built in 1954 by Pullman-Standard for Canadian National’s Super Continental and has rebuilt to include three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, and lounge with observation windows;

— Three former baggage cars now known as “passenger support cars,” the third is PPCX 800751;

— Pullman business PPCX 800034, formerly Southern Railway business car No. 1, still wearing that number;

— Heavyweight car Missouri-Kansas-Texas No. 403, built in 1913 and rebuilt to a business car in 1948.

— At the rear dome-sleeper, formerly the Rail Ventures car Belle Vista but now privately owned. That car is a former Union Pacific dome-lounge remodeled to include a rear platform.

The complete consist is shown below.

— Updated at 7:20 a.m. CDT to include additional information on consist.

Locomotive and passenger cars
Three current or former baggage cars
Two heavyweight observation cars and a dome-observation

5 thoughts on “News photos: Rare private Amtrak move in the upper Midwest

  1. Photos show the easterly ended of the separated tracks that we discussed on these pages a number of months ago. From Elm Grove on the east, to Brookfield Road on the west, the two tracks are out of sight from each other, with subdivsions, business, a mosque, and a large City of Brookfield park in between.

  2. Mr. Landey is correct. Also of interest is the history of why there exist two separate lines and the Milwaukee Road’s operating procedures due to the different grades east and westbound.

  3. In the mid teens, some of these cars including the former Bella Vista were used on an annual fishing trip from the midwest to Montana for some investment “mogul”. I expect that this equipment will make its way west. In 2015 it was ferried west to Emeryville on the Zephyr. No idea which route will be used this year.

  4. This is one way Amtrak can make itself useful outside the Northeast Corridor if the privitisation of passenger train services continues on the international level in North America in ernest.

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