N Scale North American Passenger Cars

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Amtrak "El Capitan" High-Level Cars

Prototype Information:

In 1971 Amtrak, “America’s Railroad”, was born, and with it was born the responsibility of maintaining America’s passenger services. Taking up among others the Santa Fe’s luxury “Super Chief” and coach class “El Capitan” trains, Amtrak quickly set about attempting to create its own image for these classic stainless trains, adorning them with bold red, white and blue stripes and the Chevron logo (known today as Phase I colors) which would be synonymous with Amtrak service for nearly three decades.

Amtrak continued to operate the “El Capitan” and “Super Chief” trains in combined consists for a number of years before retiring the historic “El Capitan” name, but the legacy of the train’s double decker cars would live on, both in the form of first-class “Pacific Parlour” lounge cars and in the design of the Superliners which would take form and inspiration from the Hi-level car’s revolutionary design.

Motive Power:

In the early years of Amtrak service, when the Santa Fe was transitioning to a freight-only business, Amtrak was reliant on leased motive power for pulling its trains. The Santa Fe, wanting to differentiate their equipment that was to be used on the new Amtrak trains, began repainting the F7’s destined for Amtrak use in a new “Yellow Bonnet” scheme. A number of locomotives received this scheme, and although their service on Amtrak was brief many of these Yellow bonnets were returned to the Santa Fe for freight use after 1973.

The return of the F7's also heralded the introduction of Amtrak's first official diesel, the SDP40F. The new EMD SDP40F locomotives, fitted with dual steam generators to provide the cars with hot water and heat and geared for high-speed operation, were perfectly suited to operating the Santa Fe heritage cars.

Rolling Stock:

Amtrak's original Hi-level cars were repainted Santa Fe Budd Hi-Levels; the below cars show the appearance of these cars wearing Amtrak Phase I paint:


Step Down Coach





Passenger Car Features:

  • Brand new paint and numbering for the Santa Fe Cars to represent their post-1971 appearance.
  • Tail-end coach has illuminated marker lights and illuminated Amtrak logo drumhead.
  • Each car is equipped with low flange wheels, KATO magnetic knuckle couplers and shock absorber construction for smooth and reliable operation.
  • Ideal for operating with either Yellowbonnet F7's or EMD SDP40F locomotives
  • Interior of cars can be lighted with optional installation of #11-211/212 Version 2 Interior Light Kit with White LED.

Set Information :

Stock # Description Road # MSRP
EMD F7A Santa Fe "Yellow Bonnet"
   *Comes with optional numberboards for renumbering from #304 to #315, for running multiple locomotives.
EMD F7B Santa Fe "Yellow Bonnet" --
April/May 2016
EMD SDP40F Type I, Amtrak Phase I 504
April/May 2016
EMD SDP40F Type I, Amtrak Phase I 505
May/June 2016
EMD SDP40F Type I, Amtrak Phase II 529
May/June 2016
EMD SDP40F Type I, Amtrak Phase II 535
Amtrak El Capitan
10 Car Set
Phase I Paint
Baggage-Dormitory 9991
Step Down Coach 9909
Coach 9928
Coach 9931
Diner 9985
Lounge 9972
Coach 9940
Coach 9964
Step Down Coach 9907
Baggage 1027
Kato USA, Inc. 100 Remington Road Schaumburg, IL 60173