Digging out my old Amtrak Trainset

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Lead Service Attendant
Apr 12, 2010
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Just had to share this. I'm not a model railroader, Santa brought this to me as a toy when I was a kid sometime around 1977 or 1978.

After over 25 years and countless moves, I finally pulled out my old Amtrak HO scale Tyco trainset to use as a display on my desk. I was amazed that I found in nearly mint condition (price from the Tyco catalog along with it, copyright 1977):

- Amtrak "Combine" car (looks like half baggage, half coach), $8.00 (was that a real car from back then?)

- Amtrak Coach car, $8.00

- Amtrak Observation car (single level rounded off tail-end car), $8.00

And most surprising of all was the engine. I was expecting an F40 or similar but what I found was:

- Amtrak Electric GG-1, $28.00

I'm guessing that these cars were from the "Rainbow" era of Amtrak, they are definately not Amfleet or Horizon cars, but look like something from the 40s or 50s (if I were to guess). There weren't even any F40 type locomotives even listed in the catalog (too early for F40s perhaps?).

I have no clue what they are worth now, but that was my little bundle of joy for today.


OBS Chief
Jan 3, 2011
You probably have the 1st tyco set in this list

I still have my Chattanooga set from 1987
Thanks again for the links.

After doing some poking around, it looks like my cars are not actual replicas of Amtrak rolling stock, but standard Tyco product branded as Amtrak. At least the GG-1 is a replica.
well.... not really. If it is the Tyco GG-1, it's missing all of the 12 drive wheels in the center! The tyco version only has two, 6 wheel trucks at each end.

The steam engine included with my set was a terrible runner even out of the box. The motor was actually in the tender and the boiler and actual drive wheels were just along for the ride. It also used fixed drive wheels in the tender that had rubber tires on them. They were faked out trucks where only the end axles actually moved. The rubber tires would fall off constantly and it's traction got so bad it couldn't pull a 4 car train down hill.