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

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

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

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

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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.

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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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