Where are Amtrak’s “Material Handling Cars?”

Stored in the weeds and on the rusty rails of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, east of Guadalupe. A PHOTO report by Russ Jackson including views of the Guadalupe Amtrak station. 9/1 UPDATE Steve Grande of Trainweb sent us the following information: “Don’t forget that there are a couple of Amtrak ex-MHCs out in La Plata, MO. (Serving as the rail museum!) They had USPS Decals on them when we purchased them so I assumed theywere used for transporting mail.” See: http://trainweb.org/carl/LaPlataFeb2008/AmtrakHistory.html

This is the yard once used by the “beet trains” when the Betteravia sugar beet processing plant was open.

Hundreds of empty cars sit idle, not earning Amtrak any revenue. And, they’ve been there for years!

On the SMVRR “main line” to Santa Maria these 20 “ExpressTrak” cars sit idle on a side track.

This is the Guadalupe Amtrak station, built in 1998. This view is looking north, up the Coast Line. Pacific Surfliner trains 798/799 and 774/775 stop here daily.

The open-air unstaffed building has an arrival sign and a QuikTrak ticket machine for Amtrak and Metrolink. One Amtrak thruway bus stops here daily.

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