Historical Discussion

Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.

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Re: Reading Trunk history

Postby JimBoylan » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:52 pm

MikeBPRR wrote:I noticed that there seemed to be enough land for a third track from between Fern Rock and Wayne Junction. Did a third track actually exist until either SEPTA, Conrail, or the Reading tore it out, or did the RDG engineer the line so that there was room for a third track if needed?
There was a 3rd freight track on the East side between Tabor Jct. and Newtown Jct. S.E.P.T.A. later electrified it and realigned it to be the 3rd platform track at the new Fern Rock station.
Reading did have plans for a line from Fishers on the Chestnut Hill East branch along Ogontz Ave. and Limekiln Pk. to Edgehill (between Glenside and North Hills) on the North Penn branch to bypass some of the hills. That might have been instead of adding more tracks to the existing line.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby JimBoylan » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:56 pm

dlandw wrote: I noticed a number of PCC trolley car shells piled up in a junkyard on the west side of the tracks someplace between the Zoo and North Philadelphia station (although it may have been between North Philadelphia and Bridesburg, don't recall exactly).
They're close to "G" St., so your 2nd guess is correct. Despite the looks, they're only being stored. The owner hopes to rebuild or sell them someday.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby tgolanos » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:27 am

I'm in San Francisco for a few days while on my way back to Philly for a few weeks. My girlfriend and I were on the trolley on our way to Fisherman's Wharf when I looked up and saw this:
WP_20131209_004 (3).jpg
WP_20131209_004 (3).jpg (444.46 KiB) Viewed 6068 times


Good to see they're still alive and running.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby Tadman » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:57 am

http://railpictures.net/photo/465009

I saw this amazing pic yesterday. It's a string of 12 MP54's on a viaduct near Franklin Field. To a Philly novice like me, that looks like the High Line that bypasses 30th street and certainly won't get a train to Suburban Station.

Am I correct, and does that make this some type of equipment move?

I love old MU cars, I grew up on the South Shore. That's got to be one noisy train given 40 traction motors of 1930-ish vintage with straight cut gears.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby Patrick Boylan » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:13 pm

Why yes indeed anytime equipment moves is some type of equipment move :)
But unless it was an Army-Navy game special, or a fantrip, I doubt it was a revenue move.

I forget which year, but I was on a fantrip using ex-Reading blueliners that was supposed to have taken the highline, but a freight derailment fouling the now removed zoo junction to Amtrak's northeast corridor connection gave us the thrill of going through 30th St lower level.

Sometime between 1996-1998 I rode a promotional special that some Reading area chamber of commerce ran to the Vanity Fair outlet mall in Wyomissing, at which time that zoo connection was gone, so in order to get onto the railroad to Reading we went south out of 30th St lower level to Arsenal, changed ends, and went north over the highline. Alternatively they could have gone through the center city tunnel and out the Norristown line, but I bet they figured that'd be more complicated: I think we had at least 10 Amfleet; diesel locomotive; would have needed to involve another agency, SEPTA as well as Amtrak and the freight railroad; probably would have needed another pilot crew for SEPTA territory.

On board that trip someone mentioned there had been a Metroliner scheduled to skip Philly that used the highline. It's hard to figure how the schedulers figured that was faster than going through 30th St, I always imagined the highline was supposed to keep slow freight trains from getting in passenger trains' way.

Circa 1979-1982 NRHS convention in Toronto fantrip used their Union Station freight bypass, which trip personnel called 'high line', even though its grade was below Union Station's.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby chuchubob » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:39 pm

Patrick Boylan wrote:Why yes indeed anytime equipment moves is some type of equipment move :)
But unless it was an Army-Navy game special, or a fantrip, I doubt it was a revenue move...

It was a revenue move to the Army-Navy Game.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:07 pm

Patrick, I think you're right about the High Line; I'd be very surprised to find that a Metroliner used it to avoid 30th Street. Much quicker just to route it through the lower level, using tracks 3 northbound and 5 southbound. (Actually, it would have been a rare experience to ride a passenger train through the lower level without stopping.)
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby Franklin Gowen » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:35 am

Patrick Boylan wrote:Sometime between 1996-1998 I rode a promotional special that some Reading area chamber of commerce ran to the Vanity Fair outlet mall in Wyomissing

December, 1997. I was aboard that excursion trip as well -- the occasion was the 25th anniversary of DVARP's founding. It was wonderful to have one more chance over the decades to ride the (ex-) Reading in order to get to Reading. :wink:
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby Patrick Boylan » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:03 am

Captain Nitpick, defender of the downtrodden, asks me to remind you that the trip went THROUGH Reading and went TO Wyomissing, a separate municipality across the Schuylkill from Reading. It did not stop in Reading.
I didn't remember any DVARP 25th anniversary commemoration. Next time you and I are sitting in our side by side rocking chairs at the home we should discuss who sponsored the trip and why :)
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:31 pm

Patrick Boylan wrote:On board that trip someone mentioned there had been a Metroliner scheduled to skip Philly that used the highline. It's hard to figure how the schedulers figured that was faster than going through 30th St, I always imagined the highline was supposed to keep slow freight trains from getting in passenger trains' way.


Early on -- I believe it was in Penn Central days, pre-Amtrak -- there was a short-lived nonstop Metroliner run in each direction that skipped Philly and every other stop between Penn Station and Washington Union Terminal. But it ran through the lower level of 30th Street like everything else, unless perhaps it was diverted to the High Line one day due to some issue downstairs.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby HGN2001 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:14 pm

Recently I spotted this slide selling on eBay and bought it. It shows St. Louis car #13 at the intersection of South Cedar Lane and West Chester Pike, just a block away from my old house on North Cedar Lane. The slide was dated March of 1965, and by the lack of any vegetation on the trees, it was surely taken around that time. I would have been a ninth grader in Beverly Hills Junior High, about to make the transition to Upper Darby High School later that fall. So it's entirely possible that I crossed West Chester Pike on the way to school that day.

13CedarSm.jpg


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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby philipmartin » Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:01 pm

Wash me. Good looking PCC (I guess it is.) Nothing wrong with it that a little soap and water wouldn't fix. That and one tail light on the front of the car off and the other on. Anyhow, as a rail fan, I love it.
Car 20 isn't much better, with its two-tone door. From Philadelphia Trolley Tracks, which says that Septa has gotten rid of its historic cars. Good old Septa; shat's wrong with those people?
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby glennk419 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:11 pm

philipmartin wrote:Wash me. Good looking PCC (I guess it is.) Nothing wrong with it that a little soap and water wouldn't fix. That and one tail light on the front of the car off and the other on. Anyhow, as a rail fan, I love it.
Car 20 isn't much better, with its two-tone door. From Philadelphia Trolley Tracks, which says that Septa has gotten rid of its historic cars. Good old Septa; shat's wrong with those people?


The orange door was obviously taken off of one of the SEPTA "Gulf Oil" pained cars from that era.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby walt » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:25 pm

philipmartin wrote:Wash me. Good looking PCC (I guess it is.) Nothing wrong with it that a little soap and water wouldn't fix. That and one tail light on the front of the car off and the other on. Anyhow, as a rail fan, I love it.
Car 20 isn't much better, with its two-tone door. From Philadelphia Trolley Tracks, which says that Septa has gotten rid of its historic cars. Good old Septa; shat's wrong with those people?

The Red Arrow cars were ( are) not true PCC Cars. They are actually interurban cars built using the double ended PCC body but with Commonwealth Trucks ( Rather than the Clark B-2 trucks which were standard on PCC Cars), a non- PCC control system, and 75 HP ( rather than 55 HP) motors. Thus they were much faster than the standard ( true) PCC cars.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby glennk419 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:12 pm

walt wrote:
philipmartin wrote:Wash me. Good looking PCC (I guess it is.) Nothing wrong with it that a little soap and water wouldn't fix. That and one tail light on the front of the car off and the other on. Anyhow, as a rail fan, I love it.
Car 20 isn't much better, with its two-tone door. From Philadelphia Trolley Tracks, which says that Septa has gotten rid of its historic cars. Good old Septa; shat's wrong with those people?

The Red Arrow cars were ( are) not true PCC Cars. They are actually interurban cars built using the double ended PCC body but with Commonwealth Trucks ( Rather than the Clark B-2 trucks which were standard on PCC Cars), a non- PCC control system, and 75 HP ( rather than 55 HP) motors. Thus they were much faster than the standard ( true) PCC cars.


Until you mentioned it, I never noticed the difference in the trucks but they are clearly visible in the picture above. Thanks.
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