You Can Buy a Train From the U.S. Government Right Now — and It's Surprisingly Cheap

Yes, you can be the conductor of your own train.

<p>Courtesy of Metrolink Trains</p>

Courtesy of Metrolink Trains

Do you love traveling by train? Like, a lot? As in, way more than the average train traveler? If the answer is yes, yes, yes, then we’ve got a really big surprise for you. The U.S. government is selling an entire train, and you can purchase it for a rather affordable price.

As first reported by The Autopian, GovDeals, a “liquidity service marketplace” selling surplus government inventory, currently has an EMD F59 PH Locomotive listed for sale, with a starting bid of $50,000 — or about the same cost as a Tesla Model 3.

According to its listing, the train, once owned by The Southern California Regional Rail Authority, is in Los Angeles. It was decommissioned as part of a government cost-cutting initiative. If the purchaser wishes to bring the train back online, the train must be “repowered to a Tier 4 or cleaner locomotive engine standard.” If you want to go that route, Autopian pointed to Sterling Rail, which offers all kinds of train parts for sale.

The train, Autopian noted, would take a great deal of work to get it chugging on the tracks again. But the website did offer one interesting alternative: turn it into a tiny house.

And that’s not an entirely wild idea when you look at vacation rental sites like Airbnb, which have a number of decommissioned train-turned-mini-house rentals. That includes the Renovated Train Car Tiny Home Near Smoky Mountains listing. This renovated troop train kitchen car sits in a family’s flower field and includes a small living space, kitchen, bathroom, and separate bedroom for guests to enjoy. There are also plenty of converted trains available for rent across Europe, including the Flying Yorkshireman in the United Kingdom, which comes with distinctly British flare. The decommissioned Pullman-style railway carriage has rich wood furnishings, tartan bedding, and a kitchen and bathroom, so guests have everything they need for a splendid stay in the countryside.

Of course, if you want to buy and renovate the train from Los Angeles, just remember that you need to pay to have it moved as well. But it could all very well be worth it so you can live in, or offer travelers an abode that is truly unique. 

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