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Home > Archives > Hi-Level baggage tag, 1970s.

Hi-Level baggage tag, 1970s.

Two color printed paper baggage tag with geometric border inspired by American Indian motifs; also includes a line drawing of a bi-level "Hi-Level" car. Tag dates to the early 1970s.

Hi-Level baggage tag, 1970s.

When Amtrak took over the nation’s intercity passenger rail service on May 1, 1971, part of the fleet of cars purchased from the predecessor railroads included stainless steel Hi-Levels from the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. The name denoted that the cars had two floors. Constructed in the mid-1950s, they were used on the Santa Fe’s El Capitan, an all-coach train that ran between Chicago and Los Angeles. While the cars were operated by Amtrak, the company printed baggage tags declaring “I traveled the Hi-Level Amtrak way” and featuring a drawing of a Hi-Level. Notice that the car still has “Santa Fe” written on its side.

Within a few years of its formation, Amtrak decided to renew and expand the bi-level fleet, and in 1975 it put in an order with the Pullman-Standard Company for more than 200 cars. The old Santa Fe Hi-Levels were used as a model for the new Superliners, which are slightly larger and first entered service in 1979.

From the Ann Owens Collection.