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Home > Archives > Passenger service representative and engineer with TurboTrain, 1972.

Passenger service representative and engineer with TurboTrain, 1972.

Color printed photograph from April 1972 used to promote Amtrak as the nation's new and modern intercity passenger rail carrier. In addition to showing off crew uniforms, the image features the experimental high-speed TurboTrain.

Passenger service representative and engineer with TurboTrain, 1972.

Most likely produced for promotional purposes, this photograph depicts a passenger service representative and engineer in new uniforms created by fashion designer Bill Atkinson. According to an article in the February 1972 issue of Penn Central Post (the Penn Central company magazine), "The new uniforms proposed for America's intercity rail network made their official debut at a fashion show in Pennsylvania Station, New York...[Amtrak] wanted [the uniforms] to be modern in spirit but yet to retain the colorful traditions of American railroading. 'Nostalgic newness' was the theme."

Employing vibrant colors and contemporary lines, the uniform worn by female passenger service representatives was meant to evoke the look of those used by counterparts in the airline industry. In this image, Virginia Lewis wears hot pants, white knee-high boots, cap and a red sweater that uses the first Amtrak "inverted arrow" logo as embellishment at the collar and front.

The TurboTrain in the background was an articulated, lightweight trainset with gas-turbine propulsion. Funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of a program to explore the future of high-speed rail service, the TurboTrains were designed by United Aircraft and built by Pullman-Standard. They entered service in 1969 for Penn Central and were later transferred to newly formed Amtrak where they were primarily used between New York and Boston until their retirement in 1976. In 1971, Amtrak took the TurboTrain on a national tour to show off the new high-speed technology.

Photographer: Unknown. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.