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.
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.
Original Bethlehem Steel trucks with friction bearings.
Blind end of SEPTA Silverliner IV married unit #286.
SEPTA wire inspection vehicle.
Shiny new wire....oooo..shiny.
The old Am General trackless trolleys were still laid up in Midvale yard. Does anyone know what happened to those things?
Silverliner II's, III's and IV's meeting face to face at Roberts yard. Included are #9009 and #212
More reading II's, this time #9012 and #9010, which would be the last Silverliner II in operation.
Silverliners #9002 and #227 outside the HVAC repair shoppe.
Silverliner III #223 with a brand new Faiveley pantograph.
Brand new pantograph shoes. Old shoe carbon strips were laying around all over the place.
The Roberts yard HVAC shoppes have a bay that allows for cars to be run
live under 12Kv power. A special key system allows for the overhead to
be energized only when the overhead maintenance catwalk is securely
locked. Here former Reading car #409 is in for repair. Note the
SIII #237 next to SII #252.
Silverliner II #212 is undergoing some impromptu repair with a worker
climbing up onto the roof. Yes, the overhead wire was energized at the
time as they started doing pan tests which resulted in the customary
arcing when contact was made.
SEPTA #300 up on the jack lift where trucks can be removed for work.
General Steel Castings GSI 70 truck with a brand new gearbox and motor installed.
General Electric DC traction motor for a Silverliner IV with the cover over the commutator and brushes removed.
Gearbox assemblies either going in or coming out.
This was a superb tour that while somewhat supplanted by the availability of the yearly Rodeo at Fern Rock nevertheless did offer much unique insight into how the RRD fleet is maintained. While any modern day tour will still interesting, it will include a lot more computerization with the SL-V's.