PRSL car #6763 in the 2011 PRR calender

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PRSL car #6763 in the 2011 PRR calender

Postby BuddCarToBethlehem » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:27 pm

Okay… I am hoping that somebody out there can help me with a puzzling question. I was visiting my dad the other day when I noticed something peculiar about the November 2011 photograph in his Pennsylvania Railroad calendar. He buys one every year so I rarely pay too much attention to it; however, the November photo is of PRSL car #6763 which was taken at the Westville station in November of 1948. What is perplexing is that the car has two trolley polls instead of pantographs. I have seen pictures of the PRSL electric cars before but never with a trolley poll in place of a pantograph.

Can anyone shine some light onto this? My Dad said he never saw that when the trains were running during the 40’s. Was that car or other cars ordered like that, or did the PRSL make the switch after receiving the cars?
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Re: PRSL car #6763 in the 2011 PRR calender

Postby edbear » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:16 pm

Are you sure about the pantographs. I checked By Rail to the Boardwalk and all the PRSL electrics have trolley poles and 34d rail shoes. The poles were for operation through Gloucester, NJ.
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Re: PRSL car #6763 in the 2011 PRR calender

Postby BuddCarToBethlehem » Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:02 am

It's possible that the pictures that I've seen were actually Pennsylvania RR cars that were incorrectly identified as PRSL cars. Could it be possible that the PRR somtimes substituted it's own equipment on the PRSL thus causing my confusion? I remember the old "Owl Eyed" MU's that SEPTA/PC operated and this car had the same front windows.

However, after I posted this question, I was informed of the following page:

http://bobbalew.blogspot.com/2011/11/mo ... ember.html

You have to scroll about half-way down the page, but the photo is there in approximately 1/4 scale.
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Re: PRSL car #6763 in the 2011 PRR calender

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:14 am

The PRSL electrification in New Jersey was DC and not the Pennsylvania AC. Trolley poles and third rail were both used on this operation and the cars were PRSL cars. The PRR did have AC electrification to Camden/Pavonia but that was a horse of a different color and was for PRR freight operations only.
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Re: PRSL car #6763 in the 2011 PRR calender

Postby BuddCarToBethlehem » Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:01 am

Noel Weaver wrote:The PRSL electrification in New Jersey was DC and not the Pennsylvania AC...

The PRR did have AC electrification to Camden/Pavonia but that was a horse of a different color and was for PRR freight operations only.


Thanks for the clarifcation on that. Do you know exactly why electrified service ceased? BobbaLew didn't really explain why on his blog. I never realized it was electrified. When I spoke to my dad last week he said didn't know much about the PRSL electrified lines because he didn't travel through New Jersey too often until at least a decade after electrified service ended. The calender caption said it ceased in 1949.

BobbaLew did mention that the cars were burned; makes me curious as to where the cars were burned. I know that Bethlehem Steel used to scrap cars. I have seen pics & video of the Steel burning old Lehigh Valley Transit cars at the Bethlehem Plant near the old PB&NE building at Daly Ave. & Minsi Trail Bridge. I remember Chessie System sending a bunch of switchers to the Bethlehem plant for scrapping in the late '80's although burning was out of practice by then. If Bethlehem Steel didn't scrap the cars, maybe the U.S. Steel plant in Fairless Hills scrapped them. I'm not aware of any place in New Jersey that would have done such an operation in the 50's or 60's.
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Re: PRSL car #6763 in the 2011 PRR calender

Postby edbear » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:22 pm

The electrification ended for several reasons. Of course, business had been on the decline since the first bridge across the Delaware to Philadelphia had been completed in the latter half of the 1920s. However, the major reason was that the New Jersey Public Utilities Commission outlawed the use of wooden passenger carrying cars. At that time, 1949, there were 26 usable wooden cars and 17 steel. The electric service was cut back to Glassboro with either diesel or steam handling trains to destinations beyond Glassboro. The Glassboro electric service only lasted a few months and then the schedules to Glassboro, Millville, Vineland were reduced to rush hours only.
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