Amtrak Training to Mobile operates a special consist.
The national passenger railroad runs a two-locomotive, two-car training consist between New Orleans and Mobile. Crews prepare for the resumption of passenger service between the two cities. The train’s been running daily, in spite of the lack of a passenger stop/station in Mobile at this time.
Amtrak service to Mobile operated as an extension of the Sunset Limited between New Orleans and Jacksonville. That service stopped after Hurricane Katrina. This “training train” has the following consist
- AMTK 33, P42DC “Genesis”
- Bag-Dorm car
- Horizon coach
- AMTK 38, P42DC “Genesis”
The Genesis locos operate from New Orleans on all three of the city’s trains, Crescent, City of New Orleans, and sunset Limited. the Crescent uses a bag-dorm car on its daily service to New York (NYP).
The coach on this consist is AMTK 54534. Here’s the update section on the Horzon’s Wikipedia entry:
As of November 2020, the Horizon coach cars primarily are used on trains based out of Amtrak’s Chicago division including the Illinois Service (Carl Sandburg, Illini, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service & Saluki), Michigan Services (Blue Water & Wolverine), Hiawatha and Missouri River Runner.
So, Amtrak brought Horizons down from the Chicago area to New Orleans via the City of New Orleans.
Amtrak took over the L&N station in Mobile in 1971. Prior to that, the Southern Crescent ran through Mobile, on its way to Atlanta. The L&N operated the Gulf Wind, Pan-American, and the Hummingbird through Mobile. Amtrak discontinued service through the city in 1971. They resumed service in 1984. Also from Wikipedia:
Amtrak service began with the Gulf Coast Limited, which operated between 1984 and 1985 and called at the station. Mobile then served as the southern terminus of the Gulf Breeze train starting in 1989. The Sunset Limited began stopping here in 1993, and the Gulf Breeze was discontinued in 1995. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded the station and Amtrak discontinued the Sunset Limited east of New Orleans.
The railroad is now poised to resume service to the Florida Panhandle. Mobile is the only city lacking a station/stop at this time. Construction of a new station is in progress as training crews work the line. The Amtrak training consist is “double-ended.” So, it travels to Mobile, then the crew mans the loco on the other end for the return.