French Lick Scenic Acquires DMUs

Indiana tourist railroad said it acquired Colorado Railcar DMUs to handle increased Polar Express traffic. Photo Courtesy of French Lick Scenic. 

French Lick Scenic Acquires DMUs

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

Indiana’s French Lick Scenic Railway has acquired a Colorado Railcar-powered diesel multiple car and two unpowered cars for use on its popular Polar Express excursions. The three cars previously worked for Tri-Rail in Florida, one of the few railroads to purchase the American-built DMUs. 

In the 1990s, Colorado Railcar manufactured single-level dome cars for the Alaska Railroad, Rocky Mountaineer and others. Then in the 2000s, it developed new single-level and double-level DMUs for commuter and intercity service, akin to the Budd RDCs of the 20th century. Tri-Rail, WES Commuter Rail in Oregon and the Alaska all purchased the cars, but they were never as successful as Colorado Railcar had hoped. The company closed in 2008. Today, the only DMUs in regular service are on WES and Alaska. 

The French Lick Scenic received Tri-Met power car 704 and two trailer cars, which had been in storage in Florida. 

The French Lick Scenic Railway was founded in 1961 as the Indiana Railway Museum and has been operating out of French Lick since 1978. It operates excursions on ex-Southern Railway track. 

This article was posted on: March 18, 2024