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Friday, August 16, 2013

13-08-16 PHOTOS: Bryn Mawr Morning

The SEPTA Bryn Mawr station on the old PRR Main Line is an interesting location. As built by the PRR was the location of a full 4-track crossover that allowed it to be the location of various short turn "Bryn Mawr Locals". It is also the location of one of the original 4 44kV to 11kV substations built for the 1915 electrification project. Located at milepost 10 it is exactly halfway between the original end of the electrification at Paoli and the logical spot for a crossover.

Today the station still serves as a terminal for R5 Paoli/Thorndale Line short turn locals during peak periods, although the 1890's vintage interlocking tower was closed in 1994 after a fire with control being transferred to PAOLI. Another advantage of the in-station interlocking is that it is impossible to install track fences and thus provides to open sight lines for photography.

There are some runblings about relocating the interlocking to the Villanova area to better balance traffic between the Paoli express trains and the Bryn Mawr locals, so I figured it would be a good idea to head out there early one summer morning with Chuchubob in tow to document both the station complex and the inbound rush.

You can find the full album of photos right here.

As with many of my trips we begin in Baltimore waiting for my Amtrak train to the north where I captured the meet between northbound Amtrak Regional Train 180 and overnight Regional Train 67 at Baltimore Penn Station. Train 180 was powered by AEM-7 #949.

Arriving late in the morning rush I caught an inbound train of Silverliner V's on track #3

The "R4" Bryn Mawr locals lay up on track #3 west of the station. This can change depending on the presence of Keystone trains running express.

View of the station with original 1915 PRR catenary work. It's a real work of art.

Rear view of the old BRYN MAWR tower which now serves as a C&S base. The new tower isn't as pretty.

Due to the way the interlocking is configured inbound Bryn Mawr locals pull forward onto track #2 and then platform across track #1 before crossing to track #1 as they proceed east.

Bryn Mawr interlocking is one of the few places where one can still find 155 pound "Pennsylvania Special" rail in service on a main line railroad. 

The 1915 substation was shut down in the 1960's when freight traffic on this part of the main line decreased to the point that the 44kV feeders were no longer necessary. However the complex remains for use as a section switching station.

Somewhat new 12kV catenary section breakers and the ties to the wires running along the tracks. The nearest full substations are located at ZOO and PAOLI. Voltage is maintained through the presence of four main line track catenary lines acting as feeders for one another. 

An ancient bracket mast still governs trains on track #4. BRYN MAWR has a pocket on track #4 to allow one train to "leapfrog" another that is already waiting in the station. This allowed the center tracks to run freight while preserving the ability to run express services.

 Another inbound train of SL-V's on track #1 with #859 in the lead.

The next Bryn Mawr local consisted of an SL-IV set with #141 in the lead, seen here platforming on track #3.

This outbound SL-V train platformed with the rear car hanging off the end of the platform, discharging some of the passengers onto the ballast.

 Departing SL-IV #141 passing SL-V #815.

The Great Valley Flyer with Bomber Cab Car #2410 and AEM-7 #2307.

BRYN MAWR tower from the front with a couple of track workers.

Now if you were wondering if there shouldn't be more photos of trains its because I was also taking video and I assembled this little montage of the morning action, including an Amtrak Keystone train.

Well, tune in next time for a trip down to Amtrak's Bush River viaduct and anyone looking to attend the Mid-Winter trip can expect a similar visit to Bryn Mawy only to catch the evening rush.

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