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Trainspotter delight: Amtrak to unveil 6 special liveries for 50th anniversary

March 18, 2021
3 min read
Trainspotter delight: Amtrak to unveil 6 special liveries for 50th anniversary
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Amtrak is giving trainspotters something to seek out. The company announced on Wednesday that it's set to introduce a set of freshly painted locomotives with special liveries commemorating its 50 years in business.

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The anniversary logos have been — or will be — painted on six different locomotives. The first of which, P42 #46 in "Phase V 50th," has already entered service on Amtrak's national network.

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Among the six locomotives, you can expect to find the following paint jobs:

  • P42 #46 in "Phase V 50th" — Amtrak's standard livery for the past two decades, with a special slogan commemorating the company's 50 years in business;
  • P42 in "Midnight Blue" — A new paint scheme celebrating the dedication of employees;
  • P42 in "Phase VI" — The first adaption of the latest Amtrak livery phase on a P42;
  • P42 in "Phase I" – A rendition of Amtrak's first-ever livery phase, dating to 1972;
  • P42 in "Dash 8 Phase III" — The design made for the Dash 8 fleet in the early 1990s, adapted for the first time to a P42 locomotive; and
  • ALC-42 #301 in "Day 1" scheme — A recreation of the design used for the first day of Amtrak operations on May 1, 1971. Painted on Amtrak's newest locomotive.

"The locomotive designs uniquely honor our heritage and our vision of connecting communities, economies and families nationwide," Amtrak President Stephen Gardner said in a statement.

Related: 14 of the most scenic train rides on Earth

Amtrak said that each of the locomotives is being painted and overhauled at the Amtrak Beech Grove shops in Beech Grove, Indiana. Over the next few months, each of the remaining five locomotives will enter service across the national network.

"We chose locomotives already budgeted for new paint as part of our life cycle preventative maintenance program and used the opportunity to celebrate this significant milestone on the most iconic component of our business," Gardner said.

The ALC-42 #301 locomotive, which is set to be painted in the "Day 1" scheme, has yet to be delivered to Amtrak. As the newest locomotive in Amtrak's fleet, it will be painted in the oldest livery. It's set to be delivered to Amtrak in April from Siemens in Sacramento, California, and will undergo testing in the Northeast Corridor before entering service on the national network.

Amtrak was founded in 1971, established by the Congressional Rail Passenger Service Act, servicing 43 states on 21 routes. At the time, Amtrak used 492 single-level cars, known as Amfleet I, that could reach speeds of up to 125 miles per hour.

Today, the fleet and route network is much larger. Amtrak has more than 1,400 passenger cars and serves more than 500 destinations. Last month, Amtrak showed off the interiors of its brand-new Acela train cars, which will enter service at some point in 2021.

Related: Bullet trains in America? The new push for major high-speed rail project between Boston and New York

Amtrak's in the midst of returning to its services post-COVID pandemic. Last week, the passenger railroad service announced it was set to restore daily service on 12 long-distance routes in order to capitalize on the summer demand from travelers.

Related: The summer of train travel: Amtrak to restore daily service on 12 long-distance routes

Featured image by P46 #46 freshly decorated with Amtrak 50th Anniversary decals in Ivy City. Photo and original copyright by Matt Donnelly, with Amtrak having full publishing rights.
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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