One of the class of September, 1993 at Erie, here is Amtrak #816. This was the second ("George Warrington") paint scheme.
As a result of the George W. Bush financial collapse (as distinguished from the savings and loan collapse under his Dad), economic stimulus funding was earmarked in 2008 to rebuild 15 of Amtrak's original 43 P40's. The rebuild took three-four years, and #816 was released from Beech Grove during 2011. They were upgraded to P42 standards as well. One of those chosen was #816, which continues to operate in regular service as of August 2020. The only lower numbered ones to survive at Amtrak are 814 and 815, both maintained at Sanford for the AutoTrain. Since the overhaul, 4 of the floaters have been involved in wrecks and are not in service as of August 2020 (including heritage painted 822).
As noted in the photo below, from 2011, a revised "Humvee" windshield surround was installed on 816, as much of the original structure had to be replaced due to rust. Other bad areas in the body that had to be replaced due to rust were the doors, and some of the interior flooring where employees had used ice-melter chemicals over the years.
816 is coming up on thirty years of age, and is one of eleven P40 survivors that still operates nationwide for Amtrak (only 5 or 6 outside of the Autotrain). It's builder, General Electric, no longer manufactures locomotives, having sold off its transportation division.
The majority of the surviving Amtrak P40's from Erie are still dedicated to the Auto Train ( 814 815 830 831 832 835 and 837 particularly). These are based and maintained at Sanford, Florida. During 2020 Amtrak was adversely affected by political winds, as well as by a viral breakout known as Covid 19. It was anticipated that, absent a wreck, 816 would either soon be replaced or retired in the near future.
The serial number is 47284 from GE, although the stickers have been replaced several times to reflect the P42 upgrade and later emissions enhancements.
Connecticut DOT (CT Rail) also has eight former Amtrak P40's that it purchased directly in 2008. Forur others came indirectly from Amtrak through New Jersey Transit. Some if not all of these were due to be refurbished in 2020, evidently at Amtrak's Beech Grove facility in Indiana. The original road numbers from Amtrak are being changed. One that reportedly was near completion in September has CT Rail road number 6711. We don't know how the old numbers translate to the new, but reportedly Connecticut owns former Amtrak 833 834 836 838 840 841 842 and 843. The NJT ex-Amtrak units are 808 810 812 and 820 (they received 48-- series numbers while at NJT).
As of August 23/24, 816 was still maintained out of Chicago, and was operating on assignments south of Washington DC on the Palmetto, trains 89/90, and Silver Service. On September 2 it went west on the Cardinal to Chicago. Typically units operating out of Washington DC travel throughout Virginia solo on regional trains, and take turns paired with another unit on the Crescent, Silver Service, Cardinal, and Capitol Limited. Eventually it will rotate back to Chicago for major work, most likely on the Capitol, or out of New Orleans off the Crescent and onto the City of New Orleans. We don't know for how much longer we will see 816 in daily service, being it is one of the oldest road diesels still operating. As of August, 2020, only 821 (Starlight) and 824 (Zephyr) were operating out west...the other actives were in Washington DC or on the Autotrain.
|UPDATED: AUGUST 2020|