TS18: Coast-to-Coast Racehorse
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
The Electro-Motive E8, coming soon to Train Simulator, was Amtrak’s original racehorse – and workhorse!
When Amtrak was formed as the United States’ intercity passenger carrier in May 1971, the fledgling company was faced with the daunting task of patching together a fleet of second-hand locomotives and passenger equipment for its national system. When it came to diesel locomotives, Amtrak first turned to Electro-Motive’s E8 and its younger sister, the E9. Amtrak would call upon nearly 200 E-units and the stylish EMD passenger diesel became both the racehorse and workhorse of the early Amtrak era. And now, the Electro-Motive E8 is soon coming to Train Simulator in two classic Amtrak liveries!
In our earlier Dovetail Live article “Electro-Motive’s Elegant E”, we introduced the Train Simulator Amtrak E8 and recounted the history of this truly notable American passenger locomotive. A product of the dynamic postwar streamliner era in the U. S., the E8 was constructed by Electro-Motive from 1949 through 1954, and nearly 500 of the locomotives went to work for 29 original buyers. The E8 derived its 2,250-horsepower per unit from a pair of EMD 567-series V-12 power plants, rode on an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement for quality tracking ability, and could be geared to operate at up to 117 miles per hour. During its years of duty for Amtrak, the E8 operated throughout the country, from Florida to California, serving on both the railroad’s premier long-distance trains as well as short-haul services. Amtrak operated its last E-units into the early 1980s and even today, a number of the classic EMD locomotives are extant in museums and serving in excursion operations.
The Electro-Motive E8 is coming soon to Train Simulator in two Amtrak liveries and in multiple variants. The Amtrak E8 will be featured in both cab and booster configurations and provided in Amtrak’s classic red-nosed “Phase I” livery and the stylish striped “Phase II” scheme. The Amtrak E8 will also be provided in single- and double-headlight versions and with and without carbody portholes (representing the locomotive’s “as built” and rebuilt appearances).
Accompanying the Amtrak E8 will be a set of five era-appropriate Amtrak passenger cars that will be ideal for re-creating the long- and short-haul Amtrak intercity trains of the 1970s and early 1980s. Included with the E8 will be an Amtrak baggage car, 48-seat coach, dome-coach, 10-6 sleeper, and diner - all in distinctive Amtrak Phase I passenger car livery.
The Amtrak E8 DLC will feature career scenarios on the Miami-West Palm Beach route (route available separately) and will include Train Simulator’s Seaboard Coast Line General Electric U36B and SCL freight equipment to provide era-authentic freight traffic on the route. To be sure, though, scenario creators at Steam Workshop will be busy putting the landmark E8 and its accompanying passenger equipment to work on Train Simulator routes throughout America! Indeed, the E8 and its accompanying passenger equipment will be suitable for use on Train Simulator routes including Horseshoe Curve, Marias Pass, Sherman Hill, Donner Pass, the Pacific Surfliner route, and many others!
The racehorse, and coast-to-coast workhorse, of Amtrak’s formative years – the classic Electro-Motive E8 - is coming soon to Train Simulator! – Gary Dolzall ■
Amtrak’s original racehorse and workhorse, the classic Electro-Motive E8, is coming soon to Train Simulator in two Amtrak liveries. On the Train Simulator Miami – West Palm Beach route, the famed “silver sisters” – the Silver Meteor and Silver Star -- stand side-by-side at Amtrak’s Miami station (above). In addition to the E8, this upcoming pack will include passenger equipment in Amtrak Phase I livery (below) and scenarios for the Miami – West Palm Beach route. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall. The upcoming Amtrak EMD E8 and passenger equipment will be highly suitable for re-creating a variety of Amtrak early-era long-distance and short-haul passenger operations on many Train Simulator routes. On the popular Horseshoe Curve route, a mixed-livery set of Amtrak E8s draw the eastbound Broadway Limited around the famed curve (above), then slide below a traditional Pennsylvania Railroad signal mast (below) en route to Altoona. Note: Screenshots depict content in development. It’s summertime in the Montana Rockies as a set of Amtrak E8s in Phase I livery lead the Empire Builder up the west slope of Marias Pass (above), and no doubt the view from the dome-coach (below) is superb. The dome-coach is joined by an Amtrak baggage car, 48-seat coach, 10-6 sleeper, and dining car in this upcoming pack. During Amtrak’s formative years it was the San Francisco Zephyr that provided long-distance service between Chicago and California’s Bay Area. On the Train Simulator Sherman Hill route, the westbound San Francisco Zephyr makes its station stop at Cheyenne, Wyoming (above). On a wintry day, a matched trio of Amtrak E8s in Phase II livery are lifting the stylish San Francisco Zephyr up the east slope of Train Simulator’s Southern Pacific Donner Pass route (below). Amtrak’s fleet of Electro-Motive E-units, which initially numbered nearly 200 strong, could be found on both long- and short-haul services, and the latter is the case as an A-B set of E8s power an Amtrak San Diegan train southbound through San Clemente, California (above and below) on Train Simulator’s Pacific Surfliner route. Whether in California, Florida, or anywhere in between, Amtrak’s early-era racehorse and workhorse – the landmark Electro-Motive E8 – is coming soon and will be ready to handle coast-to-coast Train Simulator duties!