Gas Turbine Trains

In France and the United States of America

RTG Turbotrains in France and RTG and RTL Turboliners in the Mid West and Empire Corridor in the USA.

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Our first view of an ANF Frangeco Turboliner is at Chicago. This is probably Train 353/325 arriving at Chicago at 16:05. After buying an initial pair of trains Amtrak subsequently purchased another four French sets for service in the Mid West. Monday 10th November 1975.
On now to Kalamazoo, Michigan and again we see Train 353/365 approaching Kalamazoo Station around 13:40, arriving from Detroit. Sunday 16th November 1975.
Still at Kalamazoo and a good view of how these French trains have been Americanised by the removal of the European style buffers and the addition of buckeye couplers and an array of warning horns. November 1975.
Americanisation of the French built Turboliners included the removal of the European style buffers and couplers and the installation of buckeye couplers. November 1975.
No question as to the classification of the Turboliners, RTG is clearly displayed. It may first appear that the windows are of a split pane format but that is not the case, what you see is a handrail. November 1975.
After a brief stop the train is off to Chicago. November 1975.
If you are a potential passenger this is a view you do not wish to see, the departing train. The next service to Chicago is not until 19:45. Sunday 16th November 1975.
Our next visit to the USA was in July 1982. Amtrak had purchased seven new Turboliners but this time they were built by Rohr Industries in California. They could also work off the third rail power system when running into New York City. Note the retired EMD E units.
Amtrak built a servicing facility at Rensselaer NY for the new trains that were operating on the Empire Corridor. A Rohr Turboliner is ready for its next turn of service. July 1982.
A Rohr Turboliner Empire Corridor service departs Rensselaer For New York City. July 1982.
One of the furthest destination reached by Turboliners was Niagara Falls NY. July 1982.
A change of continent now and we are in the country that built the RTG Turbotrains, France. This is Boulogne Hoverport and the train is ready to depart express for Paris Nord. April 1983.
Well, not quite. Due to some sort of dispute our journey was curtailed and we had to transfer onto a local electric stopping train to Paris Nord. April 1983.
After a journey from Paris by TGV we are at Lyon Perrache Station where a ANF Frangeco Turbotrain is arriving. April 1983.
On now to 1987 and we are onboard the eastbound Lake Shore on route to New York. This is Rensselaer and a Rohr Turboliner is ready to depart the servicing facility. September 1987
It may look like a Rohr Turboliner but this train originated in France. Some of the original ANF Frangeco Turboliners were rebuilt in a similar "Americanised" style to the Californian built trains, given third rail equipment, moved to Empire Corridor service allowing them to run into Grand Central and eventually Penn Station in New York. September 1991.
The French rebuilt Turboliner has now arrived at Rensselaer. The quickest way to tell the difference between a French rebuilt and a Rohr Turboliner is to check the food car. If French in origin, the serving area is at the end of the car and if Californian it is in the centre. September 1991.
The approach to Saratoga Springs station is through the Delaware and Hudson freight yard. Here the northbound Adirondack approaches the station. September 1991.
After a wait, the southbound Adirondack departs Saratoga Springs on route for Rensselaer and New York. September 1991.
Moving further down the Hudson River, we are at Croton Harmon and Train 259, the Empire State Express is arriving to pick up passengers at 16:28 for Rensselaer and Schenectady. This is not a Rohr set, it is a rebuilt French ANF Frangeco set as may be observed by the food service area at one end of the car. October 1991.
Later at 16:47, southbound Train 264 the Hendrick Hudson calls to discharge passengers. This view looking north was the original site of Croton Harmon station. October 1991.
Forward now three years and we are back in France. Having arrived off the overnight ferry from Southampton, a direct service to Paris is provided by ANF Frangeco Turbotrains. This is an arrival from Paris approaching Cherbourg Station. April 1994.
Also at Cherbourg, the journey from Paris is almost complete. A short walk from Cherbourg Station is the embarkation point for the returning afternoon ferry to Southampton. April 1994.
Journeys end at Cherbourg. April 1994.
The concourse of Cherbourg Station. To make it easy for the passenger a board displays the consists of most of the trains. April 1994.
Ready once again for the run to Paris. April 1994.
The interior of a 1st Class car of an ANF Frangeco RTG Turbotrain awaiting its Paris bound passengers. April 1994.
Back in the USA and deep in the depths of Penn Station, New York a rebuilt ANF Frangeco Turboliner awaits its next call. May 1994.
On another track a Rohr Turboliner awaits its call to duty. May 1994.
Once away from New York City the Turboliners could be seen at their best, speeding along beside the Hudson River. This northbound train is emerging from Storm King Tunnel. September 1994.
This is Breakneck Ridge at possibly one of the smallest station ever. That wooden plinth is actually a scheduled stop but not for Amtrak. This station is served by Metro North. September 1994.
On now to 1997. Arrive just in time at a grade crossing at Chelsea to see the last remaining Turboliner head north for Syracuse (Friday only) with Train 269, the Oneida. May 1997.
Going looking for Mohawk Yard we were stopped at a grade crossing on Alplaus Avenue. A green signal may signify an approaching train. It sure did and it is Amtrak with Train 294, the Ethan Allen express. Look carefully and count the number of cars. The time is 14:50 and the date is 14th May 1997.
The Ethan Allen express only consists of four cars today. The rear power car is missing. The time is 14:50 and the date is 14th May 1997.
Arriving early at Rensselaer we are in time to see Train 246, the Hudson Valley Express ready to depart at 07:05 on its non stop run to New York. May 1997.
Fortunately Amtrak have reinstated a full compliment of vehicles for their last Turbo. This is the Cafe Car of the Hudson Valley Express. May 1997.
The one Turboliner that was rebuilt survived in service into the 21st Century. This northbound is passing Breakneck Ridge station with Train 257. September 2001.
On another day just south of Storm King Tunnel the last surviving Turboliner heads north. September 2001.
Our final view of a Turboliner in revenue service shows the last surviving train about to enter Storm King Tunnel. The time is 16:50 and Train 257 purrs north, next stop Poughkeepsie at 17:07. The date is Thursday the 6th of September 2001.
H0 Scale Models.

Models of the ANF Frangeco Turbotrains were made by Jouef of France. They produced a motorised power car, an unmotorised power car, a 1st class car, a 1st/2nd class car and a cafe car in SNCF colours. After Amtrak purchased their first two Turboliners in the early 1970's, Jouef produced a limited run of an un "Americanised" five car train in Amtrak colours. Mass produced models of the rebuilt ANF Frangeco and Rohr Turboliners have not yet been available. The model of the Rohr rebuilt Turboliner is a much modified Jouef SNCF French set. No doubt ready to run models in both H0 and N scale of these popular trains would be very welcome today.

From the back, a standard Jouef Turbotrain in SNCF colours, a slightly modified Jouef RTG Turboliner in Amtrak colours and a much rebuilt RTG2 Turboliner in the later Amtrak colours.
Converting a Jouef model into a Rohr rebuilt Turboliner is quite an involved task as it requires much fabrication in plastic card to produce the new ends and cabs. The passenger cars also require the removal of the toilet windows.