Need Advice for an Ho Amtrak Passenger Line.


New Member
I am beginning the laying of track tonight on my 5 x 8 HO layout. With regard to the locomotive, I am interested in a Kato EMD F40PH , but the Athern AMD 103 looks like a great loco at half the price. With regard to the passenger cars, I was looking at the Walther's Phase IV Sleeper, Diner, Superliner Sleeper, Superliner Lounge and the Budd Tavern Observation car. The layout will be powered via DCC(NCE Powerhouse Pro).

I called a LHS to check on availability of the Walther's passenger cars; the owner told me that she could barely give them away-junk.

My questions: What's wrong with Walther's passenger cars? What else is everyone using? What about my choice of Locos? Is one loco better than the other for DCC and on-board sound? I welcome all suggestions and advice.

Thank you for your time.
I work at a hobby store, all I can say about the Walther passenger cars is the price is low, the detail is okay, but I guess you could spend double the price and buy some Broadway Limiteds, not sure if they make an Amtrak version, but we have had quite a few guys buy the Walthers cars and not complain. If she can't give them away, ask her to give them to you ;)

I have heard good things about the Kato's, if they run like their N scale you should be fine, I think Kato also makes the Amtrak cars that go with the F40PH.

Again, call her back and have her give you the "junk" or maybe she will cut a deal as she can't move them.
BLI doesn't make any Amtrak stuff.

The Walthers stuff is OK, but I think the real reason is that not many folks model Amtrak. If they do passenger at all, it's the older RR-specific 'name' trains. I don't know too many folks doing today's Amtrak; I have a pile of Superliner II cars for my Empire Builder, but I've seen a lot of Superliner I cars mostly on eBay.

Amtrak is one of those weird roads that doesn't really fit a layout. The cars are long, and the paint schemes are mismatched to the locos. And, I hear Walthers is sold out of their P42 Shamu scheme locos already.