• Walthers Amtrak Amfleet Is "Retired"

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

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  by ApproachMedium
It must be a misprint. I dont see how they are going to make Amfleets with removable roofs with the way their bodies are contoured. Thats the only item there thats not something that already exists about these cars. Didnt the viewliners have removable roofs though?
  by Mirai Zikasu
ApproachMedium wrote:Dont you get it? Walthers doesnt care. That stuff will sell just because it is what it is. They dont care about us people who really care about modeling and having things that run they care about all of the people who will buy anything that says Amtrak or NJ Transit for their kids to shut them up.
If this was any Amtrak equipment, I'd agree with you. However, it's a specific failure with the Amfleets and Budd cars. People have fussed about increased accuracy with model railroading for years. The result was retooled Superliners in the new phase with interiors and the plated finish--however appeciated or maligned. The result was the shift from generic models painted in every prototype to the highly specialized name trains. If Walthers didn't care, a revised Amtrak dorm lounge wouldn't have been released with the Super Chief and the post-HEP Great Domes wouldn't exist. Also, if their only concern was making money on old tooling, their entire Comet/Horizon line would still be available so a guy wouldn't have to scour eBay for a few Comet IIs at MSRP and up for any one of the northeast transit agencies. Why Walthers wasted so much time with the Amfleets, produced them sporadically and then discontinued them, and then turned around to pull the old tooling out of the grave to release Phase VI/IVb single-level equipment--which they've had the rights to produce for years now--when Amtrak makes a special purchase, I still don't understand.
Cadet57 wrote:You know, ive been reading this thread for awhile now. And I have to say. I don't undertand the big deal. Yes I do realize people want the most realistic trains for a good value- don't we all. But I'm happy with the Walthers model. Is it the best? Nope. But its better than not having them. I think back to when I was trying to find MBTA horizon/comet cars before I knew about the resin makers. Same thing, are they the best running/looking cars? Maybe not but they do the job, and I'm happy with them. Then again, for an Amfleet, id prefer the new Bachmann model. I like it much more.
The point that I'm making is that this move for cheap business orchestrated by Amtrak's special commission is short-sighted and bad for getting a decent product. The Amfleets had been retired and showed all signs of being ready for some big announcement--ideally a new model. Then, this happens. If looking at the potential market, since these are the first decent Phase VI/IVb single-level models being released (Not counting Bachmann's piss poor excuse for the new phase on their Amfleet botch-up.), there will be people who will buy the models for that reason. This will give Walthers quick money from the same ancient American GK Amfleet tooling that should have disappeared alongside the broken E60CH molds and been replaced years ago. Either it will discourage the release of an accurate Amfleet because "The old stuff sells just fine!" or there will be no business sense in developing a new Amfleet because the market will have already been saturated with the old one. Or, if Walthers does make a new one, it will piss off its customer base by having released a new model after most jumped for the expensive Amtrak-commissioned souvenir. No results are good for finally getting an Amfleet model on par with everything else.
  by Cadet57
ApproachMedium wrote: Didnt the viewliners have removable roofs though?
Not that I am aware, my Viewliner is a one piece shell.
  by Amtrak207
I have to agree, am much as I love the Phase IVb equipment, I feel that I'd rather take the chance and hold out wih fingers crossed for a re-tooling or hopefully totally re-worked Amfleet I and II model, re-tooled Viewliners, etc, then purchase these cars. They pale in comparison to their recently released and future passenger car releases (i.e. Walthers PRR Broadway Limited and Santa Fe El Capitan cars.)

Also is it just me, or does it seem like KATO has stepped up to the plate and have taken over Walthers' "model Amtrak equipment" status? Granted it's in N Scale, but their single level equipment looks absolutely fantastic (Amfleet II's and Viewliners.)

I almost want to go "Hey Walthers, if you are not going to do anything with the exclusive Amtrak Phase IVb scheme, then release it so other manufacturers can produce high quality accurate models we want."

I sure would LOVE to see an HO Scale Atlas Amfleet II car, or a Rapido Viewliner :P

Everyone seems to know my take on this; so here is a e-mail sent off to Walthers from a fellow modeler I have met and became friends with in Pennsylvania. He shared this with me, and it is posted here with his permission:

Dear Walthers,

I have read on Railroad.net that Walthers and Amtrak have teamed up to produce Amfleet I, II, Viewliner, Heritage Diner, various baggage cars in the new Phase IVb scheme.

While this initially sparked GREAT excitement, I eventually learned that these will be just repaints, and not re-tooled versions.

This comes as quite a shock, as many modelers who model HO scale Amtrak operations (or feature an Amtrak train on their layout) were expecting re-tooled versions with the metal-plated finish, window gaskets, tinted windows, correct diaphrams, interiors, etc. This seems like a step in the back direction.

Your metal plated finish is a fantastic hit, I myself have quite a fleet of Superliners, and would have single level equipment to compliment it. It seems that on your Facebook page, there are numerous requests for updated Amfleet models.

The metal plating, re-tooling and especially the current Amtrak Phase IVb scheme is in HIGH demand, and would greatly justify the price increase.
A new Amfleet I and II model is badly needed, as these cars have been the backbone of Amtrak's fleet for over 30 years now, a completely new model with an accurate carbody and cross section, better diaphrams and rolling inside-bearing trucks with metal plating and interiors would be most welcome.

Your commitment to passenger trains is amazing. I am extremely excited to see that the Santa Fe El Capitan train will be your next name train. Glad to see window gaskets will be finally modeled! You guys and girls have done extremely well, and I look forward to more passenger equipment that is highly detailed from Walthers....you did great!

Please pass this along to your New Products team, we modern Amtrak modelers feel left in the dark for a number of years now (especially us East Coast modelers, where Superliner-equipped trains do not run, such as...

The Silver Meteor
The Silver Star
The Crescent
The Lake Shore Limited
Northeast Corridor and Regional trains
Anywhere Amfleet cars run (which are many places.)

This is a win-win situation for Walthers, updated and re-tooled versions of Amfleet I, Amfleet II, Viewliner, Heritage Baggage and Dining cars with all your bells and whistles with interiors and metal plated finish would certainly justify paying $60+ per car, MANY modelers feel the same way. There is also considerable "buzz" on other forums such as Atlas HO Scale forum, Trainorders, Model Railroader, ModelRailroadForums, etc.

Please don't forget about us modern Amtrak modelers Walthers, give us single-level Amtrak modelers a treat.

Thank you so much for all your products in the past as far as passenger equipment, your Broadway Limited models are truly breathtaking for a famed streamliner. I look forward to more passenger equipment in the future, and hopefully these re-tooled metal plated Amtrak Phase IVb models with interiors!

Thank you for taking the time to read this, please keep up the good work in Milwaukee!

{Name Omitted}
Pittsburgh, PA"

So I am glad to see other modelers are e-mailing Walthers about this as well.

  by ApproachMedium
Id hate to see Rapido make any more passenger cars that I might actually want to buy, because the problem with them is you cant actually play with them. Might as well be brass!
  by green_elite_cab
Patience people!

Even if they decide to retool these things it doesn't take overnight. They might just be waiting to get people hyped up. the longer they stay mum, the more you guys get crazy about it. before you know it, you're watching walthers all the time waiting for an Amfleet I / II announcement. Some of you will probably place orders on the spot, because suddenly, the ubiquitous model that ALL Amtrak modelers need appears to be only fleetingly available.

Notice they did this sort of thing with the Horizon/Comet II cars. there have been atleast three runs of NJ transit coaches/Cabs, along with whatever commuter line is in vogue. They seem to offer a new run every 3-4 years. I remember people going ballastic the last time they offered NJ transit coaches. Even I ordered a batch.

Though no one is making super threads about NJT cars, i don't think its the last we've seen of them. They know you NJT people out there are quietly frothing out the mouth and will descend upon whatever small quantity they make as if you were starving.

They're playing the amtrak community the same way, and they KNOW there is a demand.

So just be patient, they will be out soon. Besides, i wouldn't expect them to begin offering them now anyway. I'll bet as we approach the fall and the christmas season (if not this year then next), we'll start seeing them announcing new amfleets.
  by mlrr
The Amtrak/Walthers offerings followed by the fact that Walthers has listed the originally tooled Amfleets available for back-order, to me seems like Walthers figures it would be worth taking advantage of the production quantity and tack on their previous offerings available with this run since its just a re-paint. This explains why they've been moved from retired to back order status. If anyone is interested, they'll fill the orders that generate the sufficient quantities.

If you've noticed, the last batch of Amfleets they ran were only for the NED and Phase IV. They probably ran those based on demand but that was 2 years ago. It would have made perfect sense to re-tool and re-paint on Amtrak's 40th but perhaps Amtrak wasn't confident that it would be able to sell enough Amfleets, Heritage Diners or Viewliners for $60+ to museum train visitors. Notice how they don't have the superliners listed. There were plenty on display in the retail car of the museum train but I didn't notice any on their website.

Who knows, perhaps this is a parallel effort and if Amtrak is really driving this production run more so than Walthers, then perhaps this has little to no affect on Walthers' (as some of us hopeful are speculating) progress on the re-tooling of the Amfleet.

My only respnse to Green_elite_cab is that if Walthers waits too long to re-tool the Amfleets, it's possible they could loose out on sales numbers. I say this because as I'm sure everyone is aware of, Amtrak has put out bids for Amfleet replacements. These cars resemble the Acela Express cars with some modifications for conventional regional service. If the prototypes roll out before the re-tooled Amfleets, I would probably dramatically reduce the number of Amfleets I would have purchased had Walthers released them sooner.

I do recognize however that not everyone keeps up to date as much as I do that my purchasing habits may have little to no affect on Walthers' sales numbers :).
  by Amtrak207
According to the Walthers' Facebook page, another modeler asked about new re-tooled Amfleets like the Superliners, and their response was that they wee aware there IS demand for the Amfleet models. It seems that it is better than "We will pass this along to our New Products Team" etc.

Keep writing the letters, this is a BIG topic on the Yahoo group AmtrakModeler right now.

I am surprised with their Super Chief metal plated Baggage cars, they have not produced them in Amtrak Ph I, II, II, IV, IVb yet, perhaps after the El Capitan run with (hopefully) Phase IV and IVb Pacific Parlour Cars. It would be nice to have a matching plated baggage car to fully complete a western long distance train (or the Capitol Limited in the East.)

  by Amtrak207
Well, we've asked for it, and Walthers delivered!

http://www.5701-9101.com/additional/WAL ... ements.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

All phases done now (yes to IVb), for Amfleet I and II models! Also if you go to the Walthers site and type in "amfleet" under the Advanced Search tab, there are pictures of the Ph II and III cars, they look amazing!

I do believe they were worth the wait. Hopefully Viewliners and Horizons will be next!

Please take the time to send Walthers a thank you letter, they really came through for us. Kyle started this thread 3 years ago and from the features we all listed that we wanted on a new Amfleet model, Walthers included, so it does seem they read this thread.

Even though this thread is 3 years old, many of us wished for new Amfleets for 10-15 years now, a sincere thank you to Walthers. Now time to drain my wallet with Amfleets!!

  by LIRR272
I used to feel I didn't have to upgrade equipment when new releases came out. I'm starting to re-think that. 2014 may be the year for Amtrak modelers and Walthers. The release of the Metroliners followed by the Amfleets will make all of us happy. Recently, Athearn re-released the F59PHI locomotive in Amtrak West colors and now this. I maybe upgrading after all. Actually I upgraded some of the Superliners, so Amfleets may not be that bad. I agree the next model should be either a Horizon or a Viewliner car and then maybe a new SDP40F locomotive.
  by Amtrak207

From the Walthers rep @ the Atlanta show not too long ago...

"We haven't forgotten about Amtrak modelers, some things are in the works, and that doesn't include the Metroliner and Amfleet projects."

So take that for what you will. Honestly it doesn't even seem like retooled Amfleets, as these were brand new models from the ground up, even the research all seemed fresh as nothing was based on their (and American GK) Amfleet design. Walthers exceeded my expectations with these cars.

I am thinking Horizon cars are next to be "retooled." Even the prototype cars have had changes to them such as new doors, certain end windows blocked out, and the biggest change was a wash, repaint and clearcoat seal, as the brushed aluminum captured dust and dirt particles and made even a freshly washed car seem brownish.

One thing is for sure, Walthers has REALLY stepped up their game with research in regards to passenger car models.
The Viewliners.... Walthers may be waiting until the prototype Viewliner II's debut. Then again they could always release the Viewliner I Sleeper and 8400 Diner models in Phase IV and IVb (and maybe orig Ph III.). Then do a Viewliner II run down the road.
2014 may be a good year for Amtrak modelers. Walthers if you're listening, a big thank you for the Amfleets, and look forward to retooled Amtrak models in the future.
  by Amtrak207
Speaking of Superliners.... a REVISED retooled Superliner I and II will be coming out, with a more realistic plated finish, correctly tinted windows, and window gaskets. I asked them about a 37000-series Diner-Lounge car, for people that model the City of New Orleans and Texas Eagle. The rep just smiled and said it was an oversight that the 37000's weren't produced as it would basically only be a lettering and interior change as it uses a SI Diner carbody. So we shall see...

  by Backshophoss
Were the S-I Diner/Lounge(37000's) created for Auto Train at first,then expanded on for "Diner Light"
congress critter mandate?? (aka the"Cross Country Diner Concept"?)
  by ApproachMedium
They look great now that we can finally see photos. The only thing I am not crazy about, and the old ones and the bachmmans both have this problem, is they look like they sit way too high off the track. Maybe its just the angle of the photo. I may just have to get one now to go on my mail 13 train and replace the old american GK kit car I have on the end.
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