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GG20B Rosters

Grande Luxe Rail
 

In the spring of 2006, Colorado Railcar owner Tom Rader purchased the assets of American Orient Express, and renamed it Grandluxe Rail Journeys. Unfortunately, the service shuttered its doors for good in August 2008, another victim of the flagging economy. A good portion of the equipment was sold to Xanterra for its new American Railway Explorer luxury train, while some other cars were scrapped.

I've been keeping track of AOE's cars for some time, now, so this is a golden opportunity to put those notes and photos to work. Below is a composte history from my notes, along with photos of the interior and exterior of each car. Dispositions, includng renamings by new owners, are included where applicable. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Exterior Photo

Name

Type
Notes
Interior Photo
bar harbor
Bar Harbor
Sleeper

AOEX 800753. Built by St. Louis Car in 1964 as Union Pacific 5539, a 44-seat leg-rest coach. To Amtrak 4579 in 1971, rebuilt with HEP as AMTK 4624. Rebuilt by Colorado Railcar as an 8 Grand Suites, 1 single bedroom sleeper in 2001. To Xanterra, renamed Great Smokey Mountains.

Bar Harbor
Berlin
Berlin
Sleeper

AOEX 800255. Built by Pullman in 1956 as Union Pacific 11 double bedroom sleeper "Placid Lake". To Amtrak 2263. Rebuilt for American-European Express. Car has two Presidential Suites and 7 Classic Pullman single sleeper bedrooms. Sold to Kevin Moore and undergoing restoration in Lancaster, PA as of early 2010.

Berlin
charleston
Charleston
Sleeper

AOEX 800754. Built by St. Louis Car in 1960 as Union Pacific 5494, a 44-seat leg-rest coach. To Amtrak 4557, then HEP AMTK 4606. Rebuilt by Colorado Railcar as an 8 Grand Suites, 1 single bedroom sleeper in 2001. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.

Charleston
Chicago
Chicago
Diner

AOEX 800308. Built in 1959 by St. Louis Car Co.. Originally Union Pacific 5014, a lunch counter-diner, later to the Alaksa Railroad before becoming American-European Express AE-8 "Chicago". Car seats 42 and has a small galley. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.

Chicago
Copper Canyon dome
Copper Canyon
Great Dome Lounge

AOEX 800743. Former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 1395 "River View", built by Budd in 1955. To BN 1395 at merger, then Amtrak 9365 in 1971. Rebuilt with HEP and reumbered 9302 in 1984, sold to AOE in 2001. Lounge and table top seating in the dome area, small bar, lounge seats, and office in lower level. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.

Copper Canyon
Denver
Denver
Sleeper
AOEX 800740. Built in 1960 by St. Louis Car as UP coach 5490. To Amtrak 4555 in 1971, HEP added as AMTK 4619. Rebuilt by Colorado Railcar as an 8 Grand Suites, 1 single bedroom sleeper in 2001. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.
Denver
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Crew Sleeper
AOEX 800668. Built in 1956 by Pullman as Union Pacific 11 double bedroom sleeper 1506 "Placid Scene". To Amtrak in 1971 as AMTK 2235 "Star View". Rebuilt with HEP as AMTK 2265, then to AOE. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. Grand Canyon
Istanbul
Istanbul
Sleeper
AOEX 800297. Built in 1950 by Pullman as Southern Pacific 4-2-2 sleeper 9119. To Amtrak 2831 in 1971. To American European Express "Istanbul". Car has 2 Presidential suites, 2 Parlor suites, and 2 Classic Pullman bedrooms. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.
Istanbul
Jasper
Jasper
Dining Car
AOEX 800765. Built in 1953 by ACF. Originally UP diner 5106, later UP 5113. To several tour operators before being refurbished for BC Rail's Whistler Northwind service as BCR 1741 "Strathnaver". Has been drawbar connected to galley car "Vancouver" below for its entire life. Purchased by AOE for their second set in 2003. Stored off trucks in Fort Lupton, CO. Reported sold by broker DF Barnhart. Current status unknown. Jasper
losangeles
Los Angeles
Service/Laundry

AOEX 800715. Built by Budd in 1950 for Southern Pacific as a baggage/dorm car 3103. Transferred to SP subsidiary T&NO 301, then back to SP before going to Amtrak 1531. HEP rebuild as AMTK 1622, then to AOE. To Xanterra, declared surplus, to be sold or scrapped.

Los Angeles
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Sleeper
AOEX 800731. Built by Pullman in 1950 as Baltimore &Ohio 10-6 sleeper 7054 "Opequon". To a private owner, then to AEE, rebuilt with 8 Classic Pullman bedrooms and 2 Presidential suites. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.
Monte Carlo
Monterey
Monterey
Crew Sleeper/Diner

AOEX 800256. Built in 1950 by Pullman for the Chessapeake & Ohio as 5-double bedroom-buffet-louge obs car 2507 "Wolverine Club". To the B&O as their "Wawasee". To Amtrak 3250, then to the Gennesee & Wyoming as a private car. Later to Rail Ventures, then to AOE. Blunt-end observation car set up to run mid-train. Has sleeping quarters on one end, and galley/lounge/dining area on the obs end. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.

Monterey
Montreal
Montreal
Sleeper
AOEX 800757. Built in 1956 by Pullman as 5-bedroom/lounge "North Platte". Rebuilt as 11-bedroom sleeper "Star Scene" in 1965. To Amtrak 2254 in 1971, rebuilt with HEP as AMTK 2234. To AOE. Has 9 Classic Pullman bedrooms. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. montreal
New Orleans
New Orleans
Great Dome Lounge
AOEX 800742. Buily by Budd in 1955 for the Great Northern's Empire Builder. GN 1392 "Mountain View" til 1970, then BN 1392 at merger. To Amtrak 9362, rebuilt with HEP as AMTK 9301 in 1985. Renumbered 10030 in 1998, sold to AOE in 2002 and rebuilt with lounge and table top seating upstairs. Floor plan is similar to Copper Canyon above. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. New Orleans
New York
New York
Lounge
AOEX 800321. Built 1948 by Pullman as a buffet/parlor/observation for New York Central's 20th Century Limited. NYC 10571 "Sandy Creek", renumbered 10634. Privately owned before being purchased by American-European Express and put into service as "New York". To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. New York
Pacific Star
Pacific Star
Crew Sleeper
AOEX 800742. Built 1956 by Pullman for UP, "La Grande", originally had 5 bedrooms, a lounge an Redwood Club. Rebuilt in 1965 as 11 bedroom sleeper "Star Range". To Amtrak 2253 in 1971, rebuilt with HEP as AMTK 2233, purchased by AOE in 2002. Stored in Fort Lupton, CO. Reported sold by broker DF Barnhart. Current status unknown.
Pacific Star
Paris
Paris
Sleeper
AOEX 800298. Built in 1950 by Pullman as Southern Pacific 9120 (4-4-2 sleeper) for the Cascade. To Amtrak 2382 in 1971. Purchased by AEE and rebuilt with 2 Presidential suites, 2 Parlor suites, and 4 Single sleeper bedrooms. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.
Paris
Portland
Portland
Sleeper
AOEX 800218. Built by Pullman in 1950 as C&O 11 bedroom sleeper no. 2800 "Homestead". Sold to Seaboard Coast Line, then to Amtrak 2242. To G&W, then sold to Rail Ventures as "Bella Vista" with 9 bedrooms and a lounge. To AOE. Has 9 Parlor suites. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. Portland
Rocky Mountain
Rocky Mountain
Club Car
AOEX 800311. Built in 1954 by ACF for UP as 14 section sleeper "Alpine View". Rebuilt as 44 seat coach 5556 in 1965, to Amtrak 4596 in 1973. Sold to AEE, rebuilt as club car AE-6 "St. Moritz", renamed by AOE. Was a piano club like Seattle, piano was removed prior to going into service on GLR. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. Rocky Mountain
San Antonio
San Antonio
Kitchen/Diner?
AOEX 800642. Interesting history. Built by St. Louis Car in 1953 as US Army hospital car 89523 (may have been 89558). To Amtrak as baggage/dorm 1408, HEP added as AMTK 1628, then to AOE. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. San Antonio
San Francisco
San Francisco
Crew Sleeper/Diner

AOEX 800050. Built in 1950 by Pullman as sleeper/lounge "City of Cleveland" 150 for the Nickel Plate. Sold to Norfolk & Western 150, then Amtrak 3253, 5 double bedroom sleeper, same name. Later named "Montecito" in private ownership. Sold to AOE. Has 2 Presidential suites, 2 Single bedrooms, a crew lounge and kitchen. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.

San Francisco
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Sleeper

AOEX 800768. Built 1956 by Pullman as UP "Cheyenne" with 5 bedrooms and a 34 foot lounge. Rebuilt in 1965 as 11 bedroom sleeper 1702 "Star Crest". To Amtrak 2251, then HEP'd as AMTK 2231. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.

Santa Fe
Savannah
Savannah
Sleeper
AOEX 800741. Built in 1960 by St. Louis Car as UP 5500 (44 seat coach). To Amtrak 4560 in 1971, then HEP rebuild as AMTK 4607. Rebuilt by Colorado Railcar as an 8 Grand Suites, 1 single bedroom sleeper in 2001. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. Savannah
Seattle
Seattle
Club Car
AOEX 800310. Built in 1954 by ACF for UP as 14 section sleeper "Alpine Meadow". Rebuilt as 44-seat coach UP 5548 in 1965, to Amtrak 4588. Rebuilt as club car AE-9 "Bay Point Club" by American-European Express. To AOE as piano club car, has a grand piano in the middle of the car. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. Seattle
Tallahassee
Tallahassee
Crew Sleeper

AOEX 800028. Built by Pullman in 1956 for Seaboard Air Line as 11 double bedroom sleeper 75. May have originally been named Tallahassee. To Seaboard Coast Line 6104 in 1965. To Amtrak 2234, then Starlight Rail Co. (private) "Bluebonnet". To AOE, 9 crew bedrooms, 1 maintenance room in place of the other 2 bedrooms. Was in regular GLR service. Reported sold by broker DF Barnhart. Current status unknown.

Tallahassee
Vancouver
Vancouver
Galley
AOEX 800764. Built in 1953 by ACF as UP 5106, later 5112. Half of drawbar-connected diner/galley combo, the other half is now GLR Jasper. Followed its other half through several tourist operations before going to BC Rail as it's "D'Arcy". Sold to AOE after BCR quit passenger service. Was stored off trucks at CRM Fort Lupton, CO. Reported sold by broker DF Barnhart. Current status unknown.
Vienna
Vienna
Sleeper

AOEX 800109. Built in 1956 by Pullman as UP 11 double bedroom sleeper "Placid Waters". To Amtrak 2269 in 1971, then Trans-Rocky Mountain Tours. Rebuilt by AEE with 2 Presidential suites and 7 Vintage Pulman bedrooms as AE-5 "Vienna". Retained its name through AOE. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer.

Vienna
Washington
Washington
Sleeper
AOEX 800258. Built by Pullman in 1950 for C&O as 10-6 sleeper "City of Staunton". Much of its history after is a mystery until it entered service as AEE's AE-2 "Washington". Has 2 Presidential suites and 8 Vintage Pullman bedrooms. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. Washington
yellowstone park
Yellowstone Park
Crew Sleeper

AOEX 800755. Built in 1956 by Budd as CB&Q 454 "Silver Pelican" 6-5 sleeper. Rebuilt by Amtrak as 11-bedroom sleeper 2204 in 1971. HEP as AMTK 2222, then to AOE. To Xanterra, declared surplus and resold.

Yellowstone Park
Zurich
Zurich
Diner
AOEX 800301. Built in 1949 by ACF as UP 5004, a lunch/cafe car. Served the UP til 1971, then the Alaska Railroad before going to American-European Express. Seats 46, and has a galley at one end. To Xanterra for their American Railway Explorer. zurich
UP 7000
Dome
AOEX 700001. Built by ACF in 1954 for as Union Pacific 7000 for the Challenger name train, then to Auto Train 700 in 1972. Was to be rebuilt by AOE, but the purchase of the full length domes made that unnecessary. Reported sold to private individual by DF Barnhart along with another car shell in CRM yard. Current status and location unknown. UP 7000

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