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Saturday, July 20, 2002

02-07-20 CLASSIC PHOTOS: SEPTA Wayne Shoppes

In the summer of 2002 the West Jersey Chapter NRHS organized a former visit to SEPTA's Wayne Junction electric car shops and Roberts yard. This was the primary maintenance facility for the Reading's electric MU fleet and served in that capacity until the center city tunnel was completed at which point cars had their choice of repair facility. Today the Wayne Junction complex consists of the Wayne Electric shops, the Roberts Yard storage yard and the Roberts Yard shop facilities which deals with truck, motor and HVAC systems.

What makes this set of photos so wonderful are the plethora of Silverliner II's and III's that were hanging around both the shoppes and yards. Even in 2002 nobody could even think that the old girls might "only" have another 10 years left in them.

You can browse the entire set of photos right here.

We begin in the Wayne Shoppes backlot where SEPTA BL15 pup switchers #51 and #50 are hanging out.

They are joined by ugly ducking RL-1 #61.

This former LIRR(?) Alco FA cab unit #615 was and is still in service as part of SEPTA's fall leaf busting gel trains.

Also in the Reading backlot were appropriately former Reading Silverliner II's #9017 and 9008. For anyone who likes the Budd "pin and cup" coupler here is a closeup.

Silverliner II 9004 is still shiny with only a few bullet holes.

One of the bays in the 1930's vintage carhouse.

Air brake parts on racks.

Ah SEPTA....

Here is an odd truck that appears to be from some sort of mechanically driven rail vehicle. Can anyone help identify this?

In 2002 you could still catch vintage Reading Blueliner #9125 as the wire train cab car.

Cab of #9125.

Friday, July 19, 2002

02-07-19 CLASSIC PHOTOS: Boonton Line

Notice I didn't title this "Montclair-Boonton Line". Back in the summer of 2002, the word came down that the old Erie RR portion of the NJT Boonton Line would be abandoned in favor of a new routing via the old DL&W Montclair Branch with electrification extended to Great Notch. As a result I set up with once and future Subchatter Spider Pig
to ride the entire "classic" Boonton Line before it passed into history. This was made a bit challenging due to the fact that there was no weekend Boonton Line service and very limited reverse peak service. Pigs and I met in Hoboken for the first afternoon Hackettstown train departing around 2pm, then caught a return train via the M&E.

There were a lot of storms out this day and they overtook us just after we got to Hackettstown so that's why there aren't any pix from the way back. You can view the set of pixs we did get here

To get to Hoboken on a weekday I had to catch a train from Meriden, CT, where I was attending school at the time. The Meriden siding was a scheduled meet and the northbound shuttle arrived on the scene first. Much like today, the Amtrak Springfield Shuttle trains were running with one Metroliner Cab Car, one Amfleet coach and one Genesis. Unlike today the Genesis was a P40 (#820) and still dressed in Phase IV paint.

The northbound shuttle train was also running sandwich style with three Material Handling Cars on the end because unlike the other shuttle trains, this was one #490, connecting to early morning "mail" train #190. Before Amtrak exited the mail and express business in 2005, mail cars would traverse the corridor en route to the USPS sorting facility in Springfield, MA.

Here are my old buddies at the Meriden, CT Station. When Amtrak re-signaled the Springfield Line ~1990 they installed New Haven style small target US&S H-5 searchlight signals on new style aluminum masts. In 2005 the H-5's were re-headed with target type LED color light signals. These are now currently being removed to support Rule 562 operation without fixed automatic signals in conjunction with the double track project and CDOT commuter service.

The unpopular GE B39-8 was predecessor to the equally unpopular B40-8. High horsepower 4-axle road power just never caught on with the major railroads so most of the B39-8's ended up being sold to GE's leading arm. #8565 here ran with the Connecticut Southern short line who had the contract for Springfield Line freight service. It pulled into the Meriden siding with #8579 to wait for the arrival of southbound Shuttle train.

That soon appeared with Metroliner Cab Car #9640 on the end.

Arriving at New Haven Station I encountered some of the FL-9's that were still in service back in 2002. Still, by that time they were being assigned to lesser tasks like shuttle service and, in the case of #2014 and #2024, hauling the wire train.

AEM-7 #920 is one of another class of locomotives that have since vanished from the NEC.

Well at least this hasn't changed...recent accidents aside.

Comet V? What's a Comet V?? In this pic the V's were still some years distant. The first Comet cab car I of the entire class, #5100, sits at Hoboken next to Arrow III #1321 ready to follow up a train.

There was still a strong commitment to MU operations on the Hoboken Division before everything was converted to push-pull and funneled into Penn Station behind. Arrow III's #1528 and #1330.

Comet I Cab Car #5130 had had grade crossing protection stripes applied, while #5133 was unmodified.