The Superliner is a bilevel intercity railroad passenger car used by Amtrak. Car types include coaches, dining cars, lounges, and sleeping cars. The design was based on the Budd Hi-Level vehicles, employed by the Santa Fe Railway on its El Capitan trains. The first Superliner cars entered service in February 1979, with deliveries continuing through 1981.
About Superliner (railcar) in brief
The Superliner is a bilevel intercity railroad passenger car used by Amtrak. Car types include coaches, dining cars, lounges, and sleeping cars. The design was based on the Budd Hi-Level vehicles, employed by the Santa Fe Railway on its El Capitan trains. Pullman-Standard built 284 cars, known as Superliner I, from 1975 to 1981; Bombardier Transportation built 195, called Superliner II, from 1991 to 1996. The first Superliner cars entered service in February 1979, with deliveries continuing through 1981. Tunnel clearances prevent their use on the Northeast Corridor. The Superliner had the dubious distinction of the first choice for the financially troubled Floridian train, which claimed the lives of 2 crew members after a collision with an Illinois Central Railroad freight train at Harvey, IL, on October 11, 1979. The cars were the last passenger cars built by Pullman. They are now used on short-haul routes radiating from Chicago and on the New York-New York corridor. The last Superliners were delivered in December 1996, and they were retired in September 1998. The trains are no longer in service on the East Coast, but they are still used on the West Coast and the New England coast. They have been retired from the Eastern U.S. Northeast Corridor since the mid-1990s, but remain in service in the West and the Pacific Northwest. They were originally designed to replace older single-level cars on long-distance trains in the Western United States.
Most passenger spaces are on the upper level, which features a row of windows on both sides. The Sightseer Lounge observation cars have distinctive floor-to-ceiling windows on the Upper level. The car was named after the Vista-Domes of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, but the name was already under copyright by another company, and so the cars would be dubbed “Superliners” The cars are still in use today on some short-distance routes in the United States, including the New Jersey and New York City areas and the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles area, and in the Canadian province of Quebec. They will be retired at the end of the decade, but not in the Northeast or the Pacific Ocean. It is not known if they will be used in the future on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, where tunnel clearances are still a problem. The name Superliner was created by Needham, Harper & Steers, then Amtrak’s advertising agency, to refer to the company’s new fleet of locomotives and passenger cars. It was also the name chosen by Amtrak’s employees to name the new cars, and announced the winning entry in its internal newsletter of June 1, 1977: \”Vistaliner\”, harkening back to the Vista -Domes. The order then consisted of 120 coaches, 55 sleepers, 34 diners, and 26 loungs. The initial order cost USD 143. 6 million; with the additional cars and other payments the cost rose to USD 250 million.