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Saturday, August 9, 2014

/14-08-09 PHOTOS: Norristown

Over the last 10 years SEPTA has been systematically re-signaling its entire Reading side which up through 2005 was still using hardware that was effectivly unaltered from the days of the Reading. Today the project is almost finished with the last line still waiting to get upgraded being SEPTA's black sheep, the lowly old Norristown Line. Once known for being the slowest commuter rail line in the country the Norristown Line has been seeing a bit more investment in recent years with new rail, slightly faster speeds and station upgrades. The re-signaling project will bring bi-directional operation, a new midpoint CTC crossover and cab signals. Because the Norristown area has a number of Reading era interlockings in easy walking distance from at least three SEPTA stations I decided to head out there to document them. Don't worry, there was a lot of non-signaling things out there as well so keep reading :-P You can find the full set of photos here. Heading out onto the Reading viaduct we encounter the Phase Break indicators where Amtrak supplied power is replaced by SEPTA supplied power.

Dropping down off the viaduct to duck under the Philadelphia Connecting Railroad we pass through the North Broad station. In case you couldn't tell I was riding out to Norristown on a Silverliner V.

Video of our train crossing the three other Main Line tracks to reach the Norristown Line at 16Th ST JCT.

 SEPTA East Falls station.

Former SEPTA Shawmont station. This is one of the oldest surviving railroad stations in the United States, dating from 1834.

The new crossover interlocking is named RIVER and is located just east of the Miquon Station.

FORD interlocking, where freight trains off the NS Morrisville Line head through to the Harrisburg Line, has also been upgraded with the addition of crossovers.

New SEPTA KALB interlocking relay hut with the renovated Norristown substation behind it.

Entering the Elm St terminal, the old Reading era mast signal had been replaced with a dwarf.

SEPTA Silverliner V's #717 and #881 at Elm Street.

SEPTA Main Street station. Norristown has surprisingly good commuter rail service.

SEPTA BRIDGE interlocking is named after the concrete arc bridge carrying the PRR Schuylkill Branch over the Stony Creek. Today the PRR RoW carries a bike trail.

Remains of the old FORD interlocking.

The trainset I rode out on returning to Philadelphia with SL-V #882 in the lead.

Overflow parking for the Norristown Station located between the PRR and Reading rights of way.

It appears that the PRR had better build quality.

The now disused extended platforms of the Norristown Station.

From Norristown I caught a Route 100 car to 69th Street before transferring to the MFL. Unfortunately I attracted a "community activist" who insisted on providing a commentary to my RFW video.

Shot down the PATCO tunnel towards Franklin Square from 8th and Market.

I'll end with a video of a southbound 5-car Atlantic City Line train with C-V cab car #6071 and GP40PH-2 #4147 racing my PATCO train from a standing start at the Haddonfield Station. To be fair the ACL train is limited to 30mph, but towards the end you can see the engineer open the taps as it clears the restriction.

Not sure what is on the agenda fo

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