Placid series

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Placid series
20130420 Chicago (11367858156).jpg
At left is the former Placid Lake, now the private sleeping car Berlin, still in American Orient Express colors.
In service 1956–1984
Manufacturer Pullman-Standard
Constructed 1956
Number built 10
Diagram Plan 4198
Fleet numbers 1501–1510 (UP)
2260–2269 (Amtrak)
Capacity 11 double bedrooms
Operator(s) Union Pacific Railroad
American Orient Express
Car length 85 feet (26 m)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Placid series was a fleet of ten lightweight streamlined sleeping cars built by Pullman-Standard for the Union Pacific Railroad in 1956. Each car contained eleven double bedrooms. Amtrak acquired all ten from the Union Pacific and operated them into the 1980s; it retired the last in 1996. Several cars remain in private use.


As with all cars built for the Union Pacific, save the Pacific series sleeping cars, the Placid series cars were smooth-sided, not corrugated.[3]

Service history[edit]

The Union Pacific took delivery of all ten cars in 1956 and they saw service on a variety of trains, including the City of Portland and City of Los Angeles.[4]

Amtrak acquired all ten cars from the Union Pacific in 1971 and operated them through the 1970s; all but one were retired by 1981. The remainder, Placid Scene, it converted from steam heating to head end power (HEP) in 1984 as part of its Heritage Fleet program, part of a pool of nine 11-bedroom sleeping cars.[2] Amtrak assigned Placid Scene to the revived Auto Train.[5] In 1996 Amtrak sold it to American Orient Express, who renamed it Grand Canyon.[2] There it was reunited with three other of the Placid series: Berlin (ex-Placid Lake), Vienna (ex-Placid Waters), and Placid Bay.[6]


  1. ^ Strack, Don (March 1, 2014). "Union Pacific Named Lightweight Sleeper Cars". UtahRails.Net. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Simon, Elbert; Warner, David C. (2011). Amtrak by the numbers: a comprehensive passenger car and motive power roster, 1971-2011. Kansas City, Missouri: White River Productions. ISBN 978-1-932804-12-6. 
  3. ^ Orth, Steven (August 2002). "Modeling Corrugated Passenger Cars, Part 2". Railmodel Journal. 
  4. ^ Welsh, Joe (2008). Union Pacific's Streamliners. Minneapolis, MN: Voyageur Press. ISBN 978-0-7603-2534-6. 
  5. ^ Ely, Wally (2009). Auto-Train. Images of Rail. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-7385-6785-3. OCLC 606897616. 
  6. ^ Zimmermann, Karl R. (2007). The GrandLuxe Express: Traveling in High Style. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-34947-7. OCLC 123136805. 

External links[edit]