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Private railcars looking for a home

By June 26, 2018HeritageRail News


By Bill Hatrick

Now available … two mid-century passenger cars right out of regular “Amtrak service”.

With the recent restrictions from Amtrak making private car operations more difficult, Bill and Debbie Hatrick have decided to pursue their dream of “retiring” to a short line operation. They have operated their cars on Amtrak for over 30 years maintaining them to high standards.  But the “90 mile an hour club” does wear on a person … it’s time to slow down!

We are looking for a property that might just need additional equipment, or maybe an upgrade from 2ndclass only to include a 1stclass section,  maybe there is no public face to your freight operation and you would like to start one, or your situation entails ….?

Our preference would include involvement in the operation personally.  We have run a very successful and unique operation for nearly 10 years behind regularly scheduled Amtrak trains, traveling between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara multiple times a month.  We did not advertise, yet our trains always ran sold out by “word of mouth” referrals (check out the reviews at YELP – Santa Barbara Vino Train).  If desirable, we could bring a “turnkey” passenger operation to your property … you supply the ROW, the train crew and the loco, we’ll do the rest!

Our two cars are well maintained and are prime examples of post war passenger equipment, a 1949 built (ex SP) club lounge featuring a stunning main salon, a classic quarter circle bar and a very rare barbershop.

The lounge car.

The barbershop in the lounge car.

Lounge set up with a dance floor.

The other car, a 1950 built (ex UP) chair car with 40-44 seats (two benches currently removed for food service), a kitchen has been built into the former large men’s room at one end, while the other end still has the large ladies room.

The chair car with all seats in place.

The chair car with some seats removed for a dance floor.

Typical coach seats.

The chair car has a generator and can feed the lounge as well. Both cars painted two tone gray.  Both cars have just been signed off for their respective Amtrak “10 year truck roll outs”.

Both cars have excellent windows, holding tanks, functional toilets, food service capability, public address, 4 emergency escape windows, good upholstery, good paint and more … nothing to be ashamed of here!  Last year both cars racked up nearly 30K “uneventful” Amtrak miles. For certain clients, both cars have been temporarily converted to “dance cars” with seats removed and dance flooring installed.

A little about myself … a lifelong railroader, I have continually enjoyed my chosen profession. My grandfather was a section foreman for the AT&SF and instilled his interest in railroading in me. I’ve worked at the Naval Weapons Station at Seal Beach for 14 years as (mostly) an engineer, running 80 ton GEs … “we haul bombs!”  Spent some time with Transportation Certification Services as both a conductor and engineer, engineer for Coast Rail Services and mixed in for the past 35 years, private car owner/operator.  I’ve completed the “Amtrak upgrade” on both cars (HEP/truck rebuild) almost singlehandedly.  A decent welder and I can handle a torch … mechanically inclined.

I am very interested in moving with our cars to the potential property.  I have lots of experience operating trains for the public.  I have lots of experience as train crew and even with track maintenance.  I love history and am eager to share with the public any time I can.

Should be within an hour’s drive of a metropolitan area

Financial arrangements would be negotiated to benefit all parties.

Please pass along to any railroad property that may not be a part of the HRA.

Cars are ready for your 2018 Christmas Events.

Please contact me at conductorbill@larail.com or call me at 714-546-6923 or 714-309-3925.

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