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Philly NRHS - Railfan Pictures of the Week


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The Philadelphia Chapter of the

National Railway Historical Society

Established in 1936


Railfan Pictures of the Week - 06/12/2005

SEPTA Lansdale Station Lansdale PA June 1993

A dozen years ago this month, commuters could ride a SEPTA diesel train into Center City (well, 30th Street-Suburban at least). The Railworks Project, the major rebuilding of the Reading Side from Wayne Junction to the Center City Commuter Tunnel, ran for the summers of 1992 and 1993. During this time SEPTA commuter trains on the Warminster, Lansdale/Doylestown and West Trenton Lines terminated at Fern Rock station, where commuters transferred to the Broad Street Subway to connect to Center City. All regular service on the Fox Chase, Norristown and Chestnut Hill East lines, which all connected with the main line below Fern Rock, was suspended.

As an experiment for the first shutdown period, SEPTA used its Republic Locomotive RL-1's and some Bombardier cars to run two trains each morning out of Fox Chase with a couple return trips each night. These trains were not very successful due to the already low ridership of the Fox Chase line and the ample alternative modes of transportation in the area.

The second summer SEPTA decided to try similar trains on the Lansdale/Doylestown Line and the West Trenton Line. These trains ran with a combination of a single RL-1, the pair of RL-1's or one of the two New Jersey Transit U34CH's that SEPTA had borrowed for the purpose in exchange for a couple SEPTA AEM-7's. A third U34CH was used on the Norristown Line for work trains. The morning trains originated at Doylestown and West Trenton and ran down through Wayne Junction to the Blue Line where they entered Conrail's Trenton Line and continued through River and Belmont to Zoo Interlocking where they connected to Amtrak's Northeast Corridor for the rest of the trip to 30th Street. The evening return trips ran the reverse route, terminating at West Trenton and Lansdale.

SEPTA RL-1 has just arrived at Lansdale PA.
The RL-1's looked so EMD-like, many people mistook them for rebuilds.
Here are a few pictures of every Republic Locomotive RL-1 ever built, all two of them.
The doors are open on 61 due to overheating.
It is dawn as the daily deadhead move passes the Lansdale MU storage yard as it rolls east on the Doylestown Branch. This picture was taken from the rear entrance of the former home of the North Penn Model Railroad Club. The club, after two decades there, would be evicted just 15 months later. The local Conrail switchers, a pair of GP15-1's, can be seen just above No. 60.


All pictures June 1993 Copyright © 2005 John P. Almeida

Photographs for personal use only. All rights reserved by original owner of image. Reproduction or redistribution in any form without express written permission is prohibited.

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Website created June 12, 2002

Last Updated June 12, 2005