Breaking Down the Amtrak Long-Distance Consist

Amtrak’s long-distance trains between New York and southern destinations more or less look like a compilation of the first dozen or so cars the railroad could find.

But, the consists are usually the same from trip to trip.

Between New York and Washington, the train is pulled by an AEM-7 or an HHP-8, both electric locomotives. South of Washington, a pair of P40DC or P42DC diesel-electric engines handle the duty.

Amtrak relies on heritage fleet baggage and diner cars, which are set to be replaced with the new long-distance cars currently in production. Newer cars — in the form of Viewliners for sleepers and Amfleet for lunge and coaches — make up the rest of the consist.

metuchen0071The Crescent typically uses:

  • Heritage Fleet Baggage Car
  • 2 Viewliner Sleepers
  • 1 Heritage Fleet Diner
  • 1 Amfleet II Lounge
  • 4 Amfleet II Coaches

The Silver Meteor is similar, but typically adds a third Viewliner Sleeping car:

  • Baggage car
  • 3 Viewliner Sleeping cars
  • Heritage Diner
  • Amfleet II Cafe
  • 4-5 Amfleet II Coaches

The Silver Star typically uses:

  • Baggage car
  • 2 Viewliner sleepers
  • Heritage Fleet diner
  • Amfleet II lounge
  • 4 Amfleet II coaches

Long-distance trains used to also carry mail.

Todd DeFeo
About Todd DeFeo 233 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and The Travel Trolley.