View Full Version : What is this thing?

02-21-2005, 07:06 AM

What is that Amtrak unit on the right with the bright red nose? I've never seen anything like it.

02-21-2005, 09:37 AM
It's a United Aircraft Turbotrain, built in the late 60's ('67 or '68 ). There were only 14 of these built for Amtrak and VIA (CN). Amtrak had 6 and VIA had 8 (originally 10, but 2 were sold to Amtrak) These were extremely unreliable, only having an availability rate of about 60%. Amtrak scrapped theirs in 1980. VIA's were retired in 1983, and I'm guessing they were scrapped not too long after that.

02-21-2005, 10:37 AM
It sure is strange looking. It reminds me a bit of the Aerotrain, though I'm not sure that's a good thing.

David Telesha
02-21-2005, 06:01 PM
Sorry Caleb, that info on who they were built for is bogus.

The DOT UAC Turbo Train also known as FLYING BLUE BEER CANS were originally tested on the track of the NEW HAVEN RAILROAD but did not enter REVENUE service until 1969 after the New Haven was part of Penn Central. The DOT had them built and owned them before Amtrak but high speed rail between NY and Boston was a New Haven railroad plan since the 1950's and these were yet another attempt to have it.

BTW, the New Haven Railroad Historical and Tech Assoc. had part 1 of a two-part article on these in the last SHORELINER issue. The next part will be in the next issue. Note on the front cover is a picture from 1967, when the Shore line was owned by the New Haven (NYNH&HRR 1872-1968)


02-21-2005, 09:58 PM
You're right David. Thanks for correcting that little mixup about who they were built for. It was right there in the book and I quoted it wrong.