• Best looking trains

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by John_Perkowski
This comes from a set of posts at Amtrak that Gil Norman asked be killed.

No objectivity in this thread!!

What are, for you, the best looking trains ever?

For me ...

1) UP City of Saint Louis, as a representative of all UP postwar streamliners.

2) UP M-10000, the City of Salina. Only in pictures and my Mom's/late Uncle's memories!

3) Just about anything behind a matched set of Santa Fe Warbonnet F units.

4) Deutsche Bundesbahn Trans Europ Express RHEINGOLD

5) Deutsche Bundesbahn Munich - Hamburg overnight all couchette/TEN Schlafwagen D-zug.
  by John Laubenheimer
To me, the best looking train must have matching equipment. Very few US trains ever met this criteria. Included are PRRs Congressional and Senator (most other PRR trains, the diner doesn't match the rest of the train), some NH trains (like the Merchants Limited), most Zephyrs (California, Denver and Twin Cities standard equipment), the pre-war 20th Century Limited, the initial New England States (especially when powered by PAs) and the SP post-war initial Sunset Limited (before the 4-4-2s were added), Cascade and original Coast Daylight. Also included should be the Canadian, the DB Rheingold (and a few other German TEEs), and most of the SNCF TEEs (especially, the Capitoles, L'Etandard and Aquitane). A secondary criteria would be symmetrical vestibules; when this is included, just about everything but the California Zephyr (and, perhaps, the Coast Daylight) is eliminated! And, I'm sure that I forgot some.

  by David Benton
my vote would go for the British HST train . Simple design , sleek lines , it looks the part . for comuter equipment , id go for sydneys tangara trainsets , grea windows for a good view .
  by John Laubenheimer
I forgot to include the Italian (standard equipment) TEEs. However, these were a bit quirky ... in 1984, I rode the morning TEE from Rome to Milan (I forget the name now, but it was standard equipment by then). It was a 12-car train; diner, 5 coaches, baggage car, 5 coaches. My seat was in the last coach ... an 11-car walk to the diner! And, the baggage car was mid-train! But, all of the FIAT equipment matched perfectly, and rode wonderfully. But that mid-train baggage car just made the whole thing look rather strange.

  by AmtrakFan
Top 3
1. Super Chief
2. Empire Buider
3. Anything High Speed.
  by bill haithcoat
Addressing John L's point about exactly matching trains---I cannot match them down to the symmetrical vestibule as he can. But some which were closely matched, at least at first, would be The Georgian , Humming Bird, Silver Meteor, Champion, Dixie Flagler, Southerner, South Wind, City of Miami, to name a few. In some cases, their power was not very well matched, of course.

Of course none of the above remained matched, but I think they were more at less matched when first put into service.

You also mentioned the Canadian. I know at some point in its career the Canadian had some budget sleepers, "touralex" I think they were called. These were heavyweight cars painted silver to attempt to resemble the other cars. Whether it had them from day one, I do not know. Of course it has not had them in years, now.

  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Haithcoat; the CP simply called their heavyweight platinum mist painted sleepers Tourist Sleepers. Touralux was a Milwaukee Road trademark of dubious value considering how the MILW acquired such cars new to operate a service which was withdrawn within ten years of introduction and likely had flopped before it was inaugurated.

But alas any forther comments regarding the Touralux is off topic at this thread.

Regarding the on topic "perfect streamliners' lest we forget the Chi-St Louis Wabash Blue Bird which for the first two years of life was a perfectly matched six car Budd train. Its "perfect' status had been compromised with a PSCM built Dome Parlor by 1953; by 1958, after augmentation with second hand cars acquired from the Boston & Maine, as well as discontinuance of another "possibly perfect' City of Kansas City, the equipment was "spread' over the Banner Blue and the St L-Detroit Cannon Ball.

  by njtmnrrbuff
I wish transit would run more uniformly sets. Here is my rule when riding a NJT train out of NYP; chances of getting everything in your consist is high.

  by EastCleveland
Although it's probably due to my childhood love for America's once gloriously colorful freight trains (whose variety has been replaced by the bleak, Soviet-style uniformity of today's freights), I find standardization of any kind visually bland, unimaginative, and uninteresting -- a curse of Modern American Life, rather than a blessing.

To me, mismatched variety is more beautiful than sterile consistency. That's why I have a soft spot for the crazy-quilt trains of Amtrak's long-gone "Rainbow Era."

So when it comes to the best looking consist? I'll travel back in time to 1971 and vote for something like this: A battered old Burlington E-8, coupled to a rusted-out Union Pacific B-Unit, Santa Fe baggage car, and a multi-colored string of Northern Pacific, Penn Central, Illinois Central, Seaboard, and Southern Pacific coaches, sleepers, diners, and dome cars.

All still rollling (if barely). All in various stages of decay.

  by Scoring Guy
How 'bout that, post '54, pre-slumbercoach, Lowey designed, four dome, North Coast Limited. It carried the paint scheme from the front "F" locomotive right through to the observation car.

Save for the dukes mixture of baggage cars, the summer edition of today's Amtrak, Superliner, four sleeper, "Empire Builder", on those days when the decaling all matches up, is pretty darn impressive parked here at the La Crosse station or while tooling along the shores of the Mississippi.

And who can't be mesmerized by today's all stainless steel (save for the yellow, gray, blue and black locomotives), 24+ unit consists of the VIA Rail Canadian? Watching from the dome of the tail end "Park Car" as the train snakes its way through the rocky Canadian Shield is breath taking.

I rode the "Indian - Pacific" train in Australia which has 20+ matching stainless steel cars - a mighty alluring site parked at a service stop in the middle of the outback.