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Home > Archives > Car No. 8510 receives an acid-foam wash, 1980.

Car No. 8510 receives an acid-foam wash, 1980.

Black and white photograph from the August 1980 issue of Amtrak NEWS.

Car No. 8510 receives an acid-foam wash, 1980.

On April 1, 1975, Amtrak purchased the Beech Grove, Ind., shops from the Penn Central Transportation Company. The need for a major repair facility that could accommodate all types of existing equipment—and the Amfleet and Superliner cars on order—was acute, and Amtrak immediately embarked on a five year, $22 million improvement plan to modernize the facility. In the late 1970s, Amtrak began a program to convert older cars purchased from the predecessor railroads from steam-power to electric head-end power (HEP).

Cars undergoing conversion were fumigated and completely stripped on the interior and exterior. In this image, carman R. A. Bennett completes one of the first steps in the process by cleaning car #8510 with an acid-foam wash. As can be seen in the photograph, the underside of the car had already been stripped, except for the air tanks.

Photographer: Unknown for Amtrak.