Otto, we should smack you for not following your own advice involving search engines...but you get a pass because I like the Valpo Dummy.
Most of the good photos I've ever found are in this pool:
You'll find some interesting commentary in the photos as you read through, and I suspect if you contact the contributors, you'll get great info.
This is one of my favorites, and has to be the rarest of the rare--CR power with the N&W commuter coaches on the Dummy:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dwdavidson ... [email protected]
it was axed as part of Amtrak's "If you're in the Midwest fund it yourself or we cut it" policy. During the 90's, every time a budget crunch came up Amtrak would push the Midwest and West to pay for their own trains at the expense of subsidizing the NEC. Unfortunately, being completely a commuter service, by law the Dummy was outside Amtrak's charter, so that was arguably a reasonable decision. At the same time, it makes your question of why Amtrak took over a good one. It might have just been a slippery slope, because at some point Conrail started pulling leased Amtrak equipment (including motive power) with Conrail power. The variety of equipment alone makes this a noteworthy, if unloved, train.