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We have several interesting developments for 2019 and these include a DJI Phantom 4 Pro that we just got.  With a better camera than the P3P we've been using, we're stepping up our game!  Also, we've purchased a DJI Osmo to use for our intros and perhaps some different shots as the trains pass.  We also have a GoPro Hero 4 Black that shoots 4K that we will use from time to time.  It's going to be another exciting year!


Amtrak has five locomotives that commemorate the 40th anniversary of Amtrak service and these are painted to resemble past phases of Amtrak paint schemes.
Amtrak 156 Phase I P42DC
Amtrak 130 Phase II P42DC
Amtrak 145 Phase III P42DC
Amtrak 184 Phase IV P42DC
Amtrak 822 Phase III P40DC
Amtrak currently has 396 locomotives, so seeing one of these Heritage units is interesting, especially if itís leading the train. When one of these locomotives gets assigned to a route like the Southwest Chief, it often comes and goes several times before it gets assigned to another route. That gives train photographs several chances to catch it in different locations.
In previous videos, weíve caught Amtrak 156 and Amtrak 822 on the route through New Mexico. Now itís Amtrak 184ís turn pay us a visit.
Well over a year in advance of Amtrakís 40th Anniversary, a core team of employees was formed to develop plans for celebrating 40 years of being Americaís Railroad. One of the ideas was to paint current locomotives into each of the previous paint schemes Amtrak has used over the years. Blair Slaughter of Industrial Design and Matt Donnelly of the Marketing and Product Development Department collaborated to adapt the paint schemes to the current P42 locomotive car body.
There are four previous paint schemes, known as phases, and only one had ever been applied to the P42 car body previously. The goal was to keep the schemes as true to their original form, while fitting the physical design of the current locomotives so that they looked rightóa task that resulted in as many as seven unique options per scheme! The favorite 2D concept for each scheme was chosen, and Matt painted scale models of the Phase I and II schemes to test the plans. More fine tuning was done after seeing the scale models before a finalized plan was made for each scheme.
Blair drew paint diagrams of the finalized plans to scale using CAD, specifying every last detail so that the employees at the Beech Grove Maintenance Facility could make the plans a reality. The paint and decal team at Beech Grove did a beautiful job of applying these schemes to locomotives already scheduled to receive paint jobs.

 


December 6, 2018. When Amtrak 4, the eastbound Southwest Chief developed running gear problems on the second unit P42DC, BNSF 1770, an SD40-2 was put on in Albuquerque. After hearing that it would lead the train, we went trackside to Bernalillo to catch the action.
This engine was built in 1978 as ATSF 5210 and has been a workhorse in the Belen-Albuquerque for some time.
 


The American Railway Explorer, based in Los Angeles, owns a group of three private rail cars, each named after a U.S. state: Kansas, Utah and California. They were originally part of the Ski Train, a 14-car train that transported Denver residents 56 miles to the Winter Park Resort. The Ski Train ran from the 1940s until 2009, when the Canadian National Railway bought most of its cars, except these three. Now, each is available for charter at a rate of $5000 a day, not including Amtrak charges, liquor and food.
For nearly 70 years, Colorado's Ski Train would make a regular four-hour round-trip journey through 29 tunnels, including the country's highest -- the 6.2 mile-long Moffat Tunnel, beneath the Continental Divide. James Park, the same man behind the Eastern Oriental Express Luxury Train, redesigned the cars, which are now specially rigged to connect to the Amtrak trains.
The California, built in 1954 by the Budd Company for service on the Northern Pacificís North Coast Limited, became Amtrak 9211 in 1971. Acquired by Philip Anschutzís Ansco Investment Company in 1988, it was used on the Ski Train until 2009. It sleeps 16 and has a gorgeous upstairs area with a patented skylight-type dome. Together, the Kansas, Utah and California sleep 22 people, with a day-use capacity of 64. Of the three, the California is definitely the most stunning.
On November 21, 2018, we were fortunate enough to see it arrive in Albuquerque on the eastbound Southwest Chief and be set out. After discharging its passengers, it was later attached to the westbound Southwest Chief for return to Los Angeles.
 

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