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Saturday, October 15, 2011

11-10-15 PHOTOS: SEPTA Rodeo 2011

One again SEPTA was nice enough to invite a number of rail enthusiasts to its annual employee picnic and skillz rodeo located at the Fern Rock Transportation Complex. Like last year the Fern Rock shoppes held a number of technical displays, while outside joy rides and skills tests were being offered on the BSS cars. Over at the Fern Rock Regional Rail station a selection of SEPTA Regional Rail EMUs were displayed on the infrequently used third track.

As I had already attended the year before, I didn't feel the need to take a second set of photos of the same subjects. Also more parts of the shoppes were closed off than the year before which reduced the variety of photographic subjects in general. However I did make an effort to get some better quality photos of some of the technical displays. You can see all of the 2011 Rodeo Photos here.

First up is a Silverliner IV gearbox and drive assembly fresh from being rebuilt. The electric motor would be mounted to the exposed gear on the left and each truck would have two of these gearbox assemblies, one for each axle. Oh, don't let that small hole fool you as that is not actually one of those "unsafe" hollow axles.

Here we see a variety of Silverliner gearboxes returning from being rebuilt. The ones with the flat tops are for Silverliner II's and III's.

Exploded view of an SL-IV gearbox.

MFL M-4 car drive assembly with the wheels mounted. The Fern Rock shoppes handles the heavy gearbox overhaul work for all of SEPTA's rail fleets with the axle sets being trucked to the line specific maintenance areas.

M-4 gearbox exploded.

MFL M-4 car disc brake units both refurbished and unrefurbished.

BSS B-4 car tread brake unit that attaches to the units' GSI-70 trucks.

No this is not one of those suitcases used to arm nuclear missiles for launch. It is a test unit for the old GE supplied cam motor controllers for the BSS B-IV cars as they were originally delivered in 1980. Since the last Rodeo SEPTA completed its $11 million upgrade from cam DC controllers to IGBT chopper controllers, but the old test equipment was kept on for display purposes. 

View of the cam controller showing the high voltage contactors and their associated arc chutes.

The smaller cam unit for the control circuitry. 

Here is an explanation of how the cam controller worked, or of course you can just RTFM here, here, and here.

Control circuitry cam in action.

Here are the high voltage contactors working as the controller cycles through the various positions.

Hey, remember when we made railcar technology in America? Fun Fact, some parts from the B-IV cam controllers were salvaged to keep the S-IV's running.

Better view of the arc chutes.

For those of you who are interested, a B-IV car control stand.

SEPTA B-4 car #554 on the competition track painted in the new "ghost" scheme.

Another view of a rebuilt SL-IV gearbox. Looks like they did a pretty good job there.

Heading over to Fern Rock Regional Rail station one example from each Silverliner series was on display, but unlike last year there were no SEPTA locomotives. Here we see SEPTA SL-IV single #279.

Also on display was Lazarus Airport III #235.

That sure looks comfortable.

Aw yes, everybody's favourite Silverliner II, the late great #269.

Ever since the 50th Anniversary NRHS convention in the mid-1990's 269 had its letterboards restored to their original PRR appearance.

Unfortunately 269 was suffering from a bit of a sick horn.

For a special treat a 4 pack of Budd showed up on an outbound train to D-town with Silverliners 9011, 9001, 262 and 252.

As the Rodeo came to a close the Silverliners on the third track were readied for their trip back to the yard. Unfortunately the automatic coupler on #235 was being a bit temperamental.

Video of 269 coupling up to 235.

And another video of #235 coupling to #279.

As I got into position the train of 269, 235 and 279 coupled up to the pair of new Silverliner V's and got ready to tow them back to the yard.

Silverliner II #269 is in the lead as it takes charge of a Silverliner II, III, IV, V lashup.

Here's something you won't ever see again. Shame the V's weren't represented by a single unit to make the ultimate SEPTA single parade.

Of course the day wasn't over as a two car set of II's showed up on its way to West Trenton. Phil N, 16mm Bolex in hand, decided to board in order to get some needed film shots of a SL-II train on that line.

Reading car #9013 was running behind #211 as they pass through Tabor Jct.

Returning from the station I caught a train of B-IV cars pulling into the Fern Rock island platform.

And while departing from PATCO I managed to catch a Philly bound ACL train with GP40PH-2 #4208 in the lead.

Well that's it for the Silverliner II binge. Next week we hit the rails with Amtrak for another trip down to Georgia.

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