Modelling an Amtrak San Joaqoin/Capitol Without California Cars

Modeling tip for those who can't afford the brass California cars.

The Amtrak San Joaquins and Capitols have been apart of rail history from the 1990s today. Currently the prototype trains use bi-level "California" cars. Unfortunately, no HO manufacturer has made the cars in plastic, so the only way to model the current train is the Overland cars, which are expensive and very hard to find.

When the California cars were being delivered, Horizon cars were used on the train. This is good for a modeler who can't afford the expensive Overland California car.

Walthers and Rapido offer the Amtrak Horizon cars in HO scale. Walthers cars are out of production and are getting harder to find at this time, and Rapido cars are due to arrive at the end of 2020. The best place to get the Walthers cars is eBay or, and Facebook groups such as HOInterchange.

An HO model of a typical single level San Joaquin/Capitol is seen in this video:

©2012/2020, Patrick Baca,