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Home > Archives > Head-end power conversion at Beech Grove, 1980.

Head-end power conversion at Beech Grove, 1980.

Black and white photograph showing cars undergoing conversion to head-end power at the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility; image dates to 1980.

Head-end power conversion 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). According to the 1980 Amtrak Annual Report, a converted 12-car set saved the company approximately $250,000 a year in fuel, maintenance and yard support costs. Amtrak completed the head-end power conversion program in 1982.

The image above appeared in the August 1980 issue of Amtrak NEWS.

Photographer: Unknown for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.