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Home > Archives > Carman and carman-welder at Beech Grove, 1980.

Carman and carman-welder at Beech Grove, 1980.

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

Carman and carman-welder at Beech Grove, 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 Tom Leathers and carman-welder John Skaggs assemble a foam-lined jacket for covering and insulating a car's water tank.

Photographer: Unknown for Amtrak.