Vintage private cars available


Now available … two mid-century passenger cars right out of regular “Amtrak service”.

With the recent restrictions from Amtrak making private car operations more difficult, Bill and Debbie Hatrick have decided to pursue their dream of “retiring” to a short line operation. They have operated their cars on Amtrak for over 30 years maintaining them to high standards.  But the “90 mile an hour club” does wear on a person … it’s time to slow down!

We are looking for a property that might just need additional equipment, or maybe an upgrade from 2ndclass only to include a 1stclass section,  maybe there is no public face to your freight operation and you would like to start one, or your situation entails ….?

Both cars Amtrak certified (annual inspection completed late Dec).

Cars are generator equipped and feature A/C, heat, excellent windows, escape windows, refrigeration, food prep area, nice restrooms with holding tanks. Currently stored in Southern California with BNSF access to Amtrak, LA.

Both have some freeze protection (cars served on the Reno Fun Train in the winter months running over Donner Pass), but could be upgraded if cars were to serve in very cold northern climes. Cars are PA equipped.

Overland Trail is ’49 built by Pullman as a Southern Pacific barbershop lounge car. Features 39 seats with a combination of club chairs and dinettes. Stunning quarter circle bar. Fully functional barbershop still exists.

Overland Trail interior.

Overland Trail bar.

Overland Trail barber shop.

Pacific Trail is ’50 built by Pullman as a 44 seat Union Pacific Chair car. Currently has 40 seats (expandable to 42 or 44). Our strong desire is to convert the car to a “table car” with food service provided out of its kitchen. We are only waiting for a lease to determine what the customer wants. The men’s room lounge has been converted to a kitchen leaving the ladies room functional.

Pacific Trail interior.

If food service is of value or desired, these cars might fit the bill. The former men’s room of the chair car has been gently converted into a kitchen. During our decade on Amtrak, we served up to 100 people (when running with an additional 3rd car) out of the kitchen with freshly prepared meals … always including a salad starter, main entree, plus a dessert finish. The lounge also has a small galley that supplements the kitchen in the chair car. We have many “accessories” that come with the cars; linens, china, silverware, glassware, PA w/music and so much more … even experienced crew if desired!

If authentic vintage cars are a plus, these cars will not disappoint, many cars have been super modified, but these cars, so far, are pretty much “as built”. Additionally, you’ll never be “ashamed” of fogged windows or crappy restrooms … all in excellent condition. To start, we are hoping for $300-$400 a day for each car with a six day a month minimum, but we are open to negotiation.

For more information or photos, or to discuss ideas, please do not hesitate to contact. Please feel free to pass this info along to any railroad property that may not be a part of the HRA. Cars are ready for immediate shipment, are located on BNSF in Southern California.

Our preference would include involvement in the operation personally.  We have run a very successful and unique operation for nearly 10 years behind regularly scheduled Amtrak trains, traveling between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara multiple times a month.  We did not advertise, yet our trains always ran sold out by “word of mouth” referrals (check out the reviews at YELP – Santa Barbara Vino Train).  If desirable, we could bring a “turnkey” passenger operation to your property … you supply the ROW, the train crew and the loco, we’ll do the rest!

The chair car has a generator and can feed the lounge as well. Both cars painted two tone gray.  Both cars have just been signed off for their respective Amtrak “10 year truck roll outs”.

Both cars have excellent windows, holding tanks, functional toilets, food service capability, public address, 4 emergency escape windows, good upholstery, good paint and more … nothing to be ashamed of here!  Last year both cars racked up nearly 30K “uneventful” Amtrak miles. For certain clients, both cars have been temporarily converted to “dance cars” with seats removed and dance flooring installed.

A little about myself … a lifelong railroader, I have continually enjoyed my chosen profession. My grandfather was a section foreman for the AT&SF and instilled his interest in railroading in me. I’ve worked at the Naval Weapons Station at Seal Beach for 14 years as (mostly) an engineer, running 80 ton GEs … “we haul bombs!”  Spent some time with Transportation Certification Services as both a conductor and engineer, engineer for Coast Rail Services and mixed in for the past 35 years, private car owner/operator.  I’ve completed the “Amtrak upgrade” on both cars (HEP/truck rebuild) almost singlehandedly.  A decent welder and I can handle a torch … mechanically inclined.

I am very interested in moving with our cars to the potential property.  I have lots of experience operating trains for the public.  I have lots of experience as train crew and even with track maintenance.  I love history and am eager to share with the public any time I can.

Should be within an hour’s drive of a metropolitan area

Financial arrangements would be negotiated to benefit all parties.

Bill and Debbie Hatrick at 714 309 3925 or email at