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Modelling late 1990s San Diegans/early Surfliners

Some good advice to model a good San Diegan consist. Or if you model the 2000s a great way to model early Pacific Surfliners when the Surfliner cars were still being delivered. It also has tips on what locos to use to pull a 1990s San Diegan train.

The 1990s was an interesting era in Amtrak's history. The San Diegan was powered both by the F40PH and the F59s. The F40PHs were the main locos for a majority of the 1990s. Amtrak P40s and Dash 8s were seen, but were used for a brief time due to those GE units being unreliable on keeping up with the schedule. If you chose to have P40s or Dash 8s then you can get the Dash 8 from Atlas and Athearn makes the P40 in HO. Kato is a good option to get the F40PH, but Walthers makes an F40PH they're both good though.

The Surfliner F59PHI first appeared in 1998 so it's appropriate in the late 1990s time frame. The best HO F59PHI in the market is Athearn's, but are hard to find.

A couple of videos of some HO San Diegans on my layout a couple years ago:

For cars in 1990s San Diegans, most of the cars were Amfleets and Horizon cars. Though, one of the Amtrak Great Dome cars would be in the consist of a San Diegan. There were times where California cars from Caltrans were seen on the San Diegan. Walthers have made the Amfleet, Horizon, and Great Dome cars. However, the only way to get California cars in HO is brass cars from Overland which are pretty expensive. The Horizon cars are out of productions as well of the Amfleet. The Great Dome cars are still available on the Walthers site.

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