ex Septa 447 in Middletown, Penn.

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ex Septa 447 in Middletown, Penn.

Postby train2 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:59 am

While visiting the Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad in Middletown Pennsylvania I noticed they have a two-unit Subway style car from SEPTA numbered 477. What type of car is this, who built it and which line did it run on when in service? And if you know about when was this style car retired?
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Re: ex Septa 447 in Middletown, Penn.

Postby mcgrath618 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:15 am

It is a Chicago 6000 Series. It was purchased from the CTA in the early 80s to supplement the fleet of aging bullet cars on the NHSL when the K cars were delivered behind schedule.
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Re: ex Septa 447 in Middletown, Penn.

Postby chuchubob » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:07 am

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Re: ex Septa 447 in Middletown, Penn.

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:22 am

T2: I will second MCG and mention that the CTA cars ran on what was Route 100 until they were
replaced by the N5 car fleet during the mid 1990s. If you look in the SEPTA Forum archives you
will find added information along with more photographs of these cars in NHSL service. MACTRAXX
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Re: ex Septa 447 in Middletown, Penn.

Postby chuchubob » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:59 am

CTA 482 inbound passing the now-abandoned Wyeth "new" lab building.
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Re: ex Septa 447 in Middletown, Penn.

Postby ekt8750 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:06 pm

chuchubob wrote:CTA 482 inbound passing the now-abandoned Wyeth "new" lab building.


Now demolished as well.
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Re: ex Septa 447 in Middletown, Penn.

Postby JeffK » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:27 am

SEPTA paid scrap prices for the CTAs, something like $500 each, and initially rehabbed them just enough to get them running on the P&W. They were so desperately needed that at first all SEPTA did was put a farebox in each car, make some necessary operational modifications, and slam them into service still in their CTA livery. Over time they were cleaned up and repainted in SEPTA colors, but other than that not much more was done because the N-5s were on order.

The CTAs were in permanently-married pairs so for tripper service SEPTA also took 6 (?) single-unit M-3 cars from the Market-Frankford line. Operational differences (track gauge, platform clearances, and under- versus over-running 3rd rails) meant the M-3s needed more-extensive mods including new trucks, shoes, and door extensions. The M-3s were mostly used for local service between 69th Street and Bryn Mawr but occasionally were sent to Norristown on low-demand runs. They didn't have destination signs, though, and someone came up with the clever idea of using "B" and "N" to replace the "A" and "B" lights that designated skip-stop service on the El. Also because they were used mostly in shuttle service they were labelled with names from the space shuttle fleet (REALLLL wannabe aspirations there!), AFAIK the only time any cars on the P&W carried individual names as well as numbers.

The CTAs were a mixed bag for commuters. They were poorly lit inside, noisy, slow to accelerate, hot in summer, drafty and cold in winter, and their motors had a tendency to flash over because they weren't designed to operate on rails subject to blowing leaves. On the other hand they almost certainly saved the P&W as a rail line by staving off talk of converting it to BRT. Bad as the CTAs were, we should be thankful for them and that a few have been preserved for history.
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Re: Former SEPTA 477 (NHSL) in Middletown, PA

Postby MACTRAXX » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:46 am

MACTRAXX wrote:T2: I will second MCG and mention that the CTA cars ran on what was Route 100 until they were
replaced by the N5 car fleet during the mid 1990s. If you look in the SEPTA Forum archives you
will find added information along with more photographs of these cars in NHSL service. MACTRAXX


Everyone: I decided to search the archives and found this relevant topic:
NHSL CTA and MFSE "SPACE SHUTTLE" cars in the 90s - March 15 to April 22, 2007
viewtopic.php?f=72&t=37329
CTA car 477 formerly CTA 6070 in NHSL service January 1988

There were five NHSL Space Shuttle cars:
601-COLUMBIA
602-DISCOVERY
605-ENTERPRISE
609-ATLANTIS
619-CONSTITUTION
All were placed into service in late 1990.

We can thank the now-closed NRHS National Library (since March 2008) ephemera for
having information about the history of the CTA and MFSE cars that were used on the NHSL.
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