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besides Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, which stations often have private train cars parked there?

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dogbert617

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I always like looking at those cars, and for whatever reason I've often noticed private railcars parked to the side of the main platform. Thanks, to anyone who can respond. As I enjoy looking at those private railcars when going by, whenever I notice one parked at some Amtrak station.

Also when passing through Minneapolis just west of Saint Paul, the Empire Builder passed by a side track where private cars are stored at. Going west on the EB in darkness you don't notice this so much, but going east after the sunrise has occurred, one will notice those parked railcars on a side track. So if you want for this thread besides side platforms of stations, you can mention side tracks between Amtrak stations, where one often has seen private railcars parked at. IIRC that side track was just west of the former Midway Depot that Amtrak stopped using a few years ago in St. Paul, when they moved to the now restored Union Depot.
 

Twin Star Rocket

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Texas
I've seen private cars parked by the depots at New Orleans, Houston, and San Antonio. Also Ft. Worth and Dallas though it's been some years to see one at Dallas.
 

Seaboard92

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Dec 31, 2014
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South Carolina
I can majorly contribute to this one.

-Chicago, IL (River Track the PV set out track. Visible overhead from Roosevelt Road) usual occupants Moonlight Dome, Birch Grove, Skykomish River, Promontory Point.
-Chicago, IL (Chicago Terminal Railroad) Ed Ellis cars and locomotives.
-Albany, NY. Usual occupants Babbling Brook, Pacific Union, Wisconsin, (JP Henderson should be moving here), Chapel Hill, (one of the former orange park cars).
-Philadelphia, PA. Usual occupants Lambert’s Point, Salisbury Beach, Colonial Crafts.
-Savannah, GA. Usual occupant. The Dearing (till they find an off Amtrak home)
-Pittsburgh, PA usual occupant. Sugar Creek
-Huntington, WV (former set off point). Usual south yard occupants Braddock Inn, NYC 38, JP Henderson till it moves.
-Saint Paul, MN. Usual occupants Friends of 261 fleet. Other cars rotate in and out for maintenance at 261 shop.
-Miami, FL. Usual occupant. Oliver Hazard Perry.
-Milwaukee, WI. Usual occupants. Charter Wire cars, and Caritas
-Los Angeles, CA. “The Garden”. Usual occupants Tioga Pass, Pacific Sands.
-Oakland, CA. Usual occupants Silver Iris?
-Portland, OR. Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. Doyle McCormick’s cars/4449 excursion cars.
-Kansas City, MO. Usual occupants Swift Stream and a few others I forget.
-St Louis, MO (Union Station). Usual occupants Southern Hospitality, Silver Chalet, Hollywood Beach, Cimarron River, and several others.

And that’s the list best I can remember. Very few owners want to be on Amtrak property because it costs and arm and a leg. My list is probably outdated even now because it’s an industry in flux.

The ones you can definitely see from public access areas, Portland, OR, Milwaukee, WI, Huntington, WV (call me I might be able to arrange tours here), Pittsburgh, PA, Savannah, GA, Albany, NY, Chicago, IL (from bridge only do not go down the ramp), and St Louis, MO.

Now off Amtrak routes places that have a collection of cars.
-Strasburg, PA. Usual occupant Francis L Suter
-Saginaw, MI. Usual occupants Frank Thomas, Stampede Pass.
-Morristown, NJ. Usual occupants Berlin, Kitchie Gammi Club, and Morristown Cars. And a few more.
-URHS in NJ. Usual occupants Hickory Creek, NYC 43
-Belton, SC. Usual occupant River Falls

Shops that routinely have cars.
-Crossroads Rail Stearns, KY
-New Orleans Public Belt New Orleans, LA
-Friends of 261 Minneapolis Junction, MN
-Bob Willits Spencer, NC
-Aberdeen Carolina & Western Candor, NC
-Mid America Railcar, Kansas City, MO
-East Tennessee Railcar Oak Ridge, TN (off limits on DOE site).

And for more fun here are where the respective office car fleets for the Class Ones are based.
-Norfolk Southern Altoona, PA
-CSX Jacksonville, FL
-Union Pacific Council Bluffs, IA
-BNSF Topeka, KS
-Kansas City Southern Kansas City, MO
-Canadian Pacific Calgary, AB
-Canadian National. I want to say Montreal, QC. But I don’t know for a fact.

Areas you might see a large amount of private cars. Chicago, IL, Altoona, PA (exec train runs a few times a year), MSP-CHI on the Builder.

Was this of any help?
 
Last edited:

Palmland

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Carolinas
Great list, Seaboard, thanks. I didn't see Georgia 300. Is that still in Orange Park? Also do you know where Ohio River is. Last I saw it, a few years ago, it was painted for L&N. I heard Royal Street has been sold or is being sold. Is it at Ozark? That's my favorite car, as a former L&N rider. Maybe if the Gulf Coast Service ever starts, that would be on one of the two sets. Wishful thinking, it'll probably be the ubiquitous and boring Am I.
 

Siegmund

Service Attendant
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Nov 19, 2018
Messages
204
Location
northwestern Montana
Further to the business-car-fleet query, Montana Rail Link's silver-and-blue fleet lives on a spur with covered platform, attached to their headquarters building in Missoula, MT, next to the Reserve Street overpass (a few miles west of the ex-NP station.) Last I checked, you could drive into the employee parking lot and get right up next to them for photos.

Private cars at Whitefish, MT, are presumably a casualty of the recent policy change - the track to hold them is still there just east of the depot, but I haven't seen it used the past couple years. It was occupied quite frequently once upon a time.
 

Seaboard92

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Messages
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Great list, Seaboard, thanks. I didn't see Georgia 300. Is that still in Orange Park? Also do you know where Ohio River is. Last I saw it, a few years ago, it was painted for L&N. I heard Royal Street has been sold or is being sold. Is it at Ozark? That's my favorite car, as a former L&N rider. Maybe if the Gulf Coast Service ever starts, that would be on one of the two sets. Wishful thinking, it'll probably be the ubiquitous and boring Am I.
Royal Street I want to say is at New Orleans shop. It’s currently for sale on Ozark Mountain Railcar for 406k. Georgia 300 might still be in Orange Park, FL but I honestly don’t know what’s left there.

I’m not sure on the Ohio River. I haven’t seen it in a long time. I will have to research that for you. For the most part I know where most cars are stored, the owner, and who normally works on the cars.
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
839
Location
Chicago, IL
I can majorly contribute to this one.

-Chicago, IL (River Track the PV set out track. Visible overhead from Roosevelt Road) usual occupants Moonlight Dome, Birch Grove, Skykomish River, Promontory Point.
-Chicago, IL (Chicago Terminal Railroad) Ed Ellis cars and locomotives.
-Albany, NY. Usual occupants Babbling Brook, Pacific Union, Wisconsin, (JP Henderson should be moving here), Chapel Hill, (one of the former orange park cars).
-Philadelphia, PA. Usual occupants Lambert’s Point, Salisbury Beach, Colonial Crafts.
-Savannah, GA. Usual occupant. The Dearing (till they find an off Amtrak home)
-Pittsburgh, PA usual occupant. Sugar Creek
-Huntington, WV (former set off point). Usual south yard occupants Braddock Inn, NYC 38, JP Henderson till it moves.
-Saint Paul, MN. Usual occupants Friends of 261 fleet. Other cars rotate in and out for maintenance at 261 shop.
-Miami, FL. Usual occupant. Oliver Hazard Perry.
-Milwaukee, WI. Usual occupants. Charter Wire cars, and Caritas
-Los Angeles, CA. “The Garden”. Usual occupants Tioga Pass, Pacific Sands.
-Oakland, CA. Usual occupants Silver Iris?
-Portland, OR. Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. Doyle McCormick’s cars/4449 excursion cars.
-Kansas City, MO. Usual occupants Swift Stream and a few others I forget.
-St Louis, MO (Union Station). Usual occupants Southern Hospitality, Silver Chalet, Hollywood Beach, Cimarron River, and several others.

And that’s the list best I can remember. Very few owners want to be on Amtrak property because it costs and arm and a leg. My list is probably outdated even now because it’s an industry in flux.

The ones you can definitely see from public access areas, Portland, OR, Milwaukee, WI, Huntington, WV (call me I might be able to arrange tours here), Pittsburgh, PA, Savannah, GA, Albany, NY, Chicago, IL (from bridge only do not go down the ramp), and St Louis, MO.

Now off Amtrak routes places that have a collection of cars.
-Strasburg, PA. Usual occupant Francis L Suter
-Saginaw, MI. Usual occupants Frank Thomas, Stampede Pass.
-Morristown, NJ. Usual occupants Berlin, Kitchie Gammi Club, and Morristown Cars. And a few more.
-URHS in NJ. Usual occupants Hickory Creek, NYC 43
-Belton, SC. Usual occupant River Falls

Shops that routinely have cars.
-Crossroads Rail Stearns, KY
-New Orleans Public Belt New Orleans, LA
-Friends of 261 Minneapolis Junction, MN
-Bob Willits Spencer, NC
-Aberdeen Carolina & Western Candor, NC
-Mid America Railcar, Kansas City, MO
-East Tennessee Railcar Oak Ridge, TN (off limits on DOE site).

And for more fun here are where the respective office car fleets for the Class Ones are based.
-Norfolk Southern Altoona, PA
-CSX Jacksonville, FL
-Union Pacific Council Bluffs, IA
-BNSF Topeka, KS
-Kansas City Southern Kansas City, MO
-Canadian Pacific Calgary, AB
-Canadian National. I want to say Montreal, QC. But I don’t know for a fact.

Areas you might see a large amount of private cars. Chicago, IL, Altoona, PA (exec train runs a few times a year), MSP-CHI on the Builder.

Was this of any help?
This list was really helpful, so thanks for responding! I wonder if Friends of 261, were the private cars that I saw on a side track not far from the former location of the Midway Depot in St. Paul? Which I want to say, was over in Minneapolis proper, a little west of the old Midway Depot that Amtrak stopped using(when they switched to Union Depot) in the mid-2010s.

Further to the business-car-fleet query, Montana Rail Link's silver-and-blue fleet lives on a spur with covered platform, attached to their headquarters building in Missoula, MT, next to the Reserve Street overpass (a few miles west of the ex-NP station.) Last I checked, you could drive into the employee parking lot and get right up next to them for photos.

Private cars at Whitefish, MT, are presumably a casualty of the recent policy change - the track to hold them is still there just east of the depot, but I haven't seen it used the past couple years. It was occupied quite frequently once upon a time.
Was that link a Montana Rail Link change? That's too bad that private cars, are no longer held in Whitefish. That would've been cool to see, on a future Whitefish trip.

I guess if someday I ever get to Missoula, seeing those private cars there would be cool to see. Do you know the approximate address and/or could provide a street view link, where in Missoula those railcars are stored?
 

Seaboard92

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Messages
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Location
South Carolina
If it’s around Minneapolis you are guaranteed to see some of the Friends of 261 cars. However their premium cars generally live inside a warehouse nearby and only ever come out to go somewhere. The coaches, sleepers, and baggage cars are left outside. While the domes, and sky top lounge are inside a building. They have some cars at their shop left side going westbound, and some by midway right side going westbound. Along with several other owners cars circling in for work at the shop left side.

Montana Rail Link does not service Whitefish that was strictly Amtrak’s doing.

This shouldn’t effect the usual fishing special for two of America’s richest men however. As those cars will be set off in Spokane and go to MRL.
 

Seaboard92

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Messages
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Location
South Carolina
She only owns one. She sold the Ringling Inn when we started work on the car and discovered it had severe Side Sill damage to the car. It was sold to a stationary museum in Ohio.
 

Siegmund

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
204
Location
northwestern Montana
Was that link a Montana Rail Link change? That's too bad that private cars, are no longer held in Whitefish. That would've been cool to see, on a future Whitefish trip.

I guess if someday I ever get to Missoula, seeing those private cars there would be cool to see. Do you know the approximate address and/or could provide a street view link, where in Missoula those railcars are stored?
As Seaboard92 already noted, the Builder is all BNSF trackage, not MRL. BNSF's facilities to park private cars are still intact in Libby, Whitefish, East Glacier, and elsewhere - of these Whitefish was most often used - but the change in Amtrak policy shut that down.

The MRL business cars are on North Reserve Street (aka US93 aka I90 business loop) where it crosses the tracks. See attached street view showing the cars from the highway, and satellite view showing the parking lot and covered platform. It covers the whole track, to protect the cars while stored as well as the boarding VIPs, unlike the covers at most stations that only cover where the people stand.
mso_satellite.png mso_streetview.png
 

dogbert617

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
839
Location
Chicago, IL
If it’s around Minneapolis you are guaranteed to see some of the Friends of 261 cars. However their premium cars generally live inside a warehouse nearby and only ever come out to go somewhere. The coaches, sleepers, and baggage cars are left outside. While the domes, and sky top lounge are inside a building. They have some cars at their shop left side going westbound, and some by midway right side going westbound. Along with several other owners cars circling in for work at the shop left side.

Montana Rail Link does not service Whitefish that was strictly Amtrak’s doing.

This shouldn’t effect the usual fishing special for two of America’s richest men however. As those cars will be set off in Spokane and go to MRL.
I now wonder if the private cars I saw on a side track while on the Empire Builder passing through Minneapolis, were for Friends of 261? Wouldn't be surprised, if that was the case.

As Seaboard92 already noted, the Builder is all BNSF trackage, not MRL. BNSF's facilities to park private cars are still intact in Libby, Whitefish, East Glacier, and elsewhere - of these Whitefish was most often used - but the change in Amtrak policy shut that down.

The MRL business cars are on North Reserve Street (aka US93 aka I90 business loop) where it crosses the tracks. See attached street view showing the cars from the highway, and satellite view showing the parking lot and covered platform. It covers the whole track, to protect the cars while stored as well as the boarding VIPs, unlike the covers at most stations that only cover where the people stand.
View attachment 14514 View attachment 14515
That's too bad Amtrak's new rules on transporting private railcars, made that group stop storing those private railcars in Whitefish. Ugh! Also, thanks for mentioning that location in Missoula, where MRL stores their cars. I remember when I was in East Glacier and boarding the train back to Chicago(took the EB west to West Glacier, but spent nights in different hotels in and around Glacier and worked my way east), that I saw those side tracks to the south and east of the East Glacier Park station building.
 
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