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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 - 07/16/2006

Amtrak Northeast Corridor Frankford Junction Philadelphia PA August 1993

Last month came the announcement of the new Atlantic City Casino Express train from New York City down to the shore resort. A total of 18 trains are expected to make the 2.5 hour trip each weekend using leased Amtrak dual-mode locomotives and new bilevel cars, with an estimated ridership of about 1,100 per weekend.

The thing about getting westbound trains off the Northeast Corridor to Atlantic City is that the trains will have to make a reverse move at Frankford Junction. During era of Amtrak's short-lived Gamblers Express trains of the early 1990's, a combination mail train and passenger train would make its way from Springfield MA to Shore Interlocking. The usual consist would be an AEM-7, a few Material Handling Cars (MHC's) loaded with mail, a few Amfleet coaches and a cab car converted from a Metroliner. The missing ingredient was a diesel needed for the trip on the non-electrified Atlantic City Line. The standard procedure was for a lone F40PH, dispatched out of Race Street Yard at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, to run up to Frankford Junction on Track 1, where it would reverse across all tracks to what was called the "pocket track" off of Track 5 west of Shore Interlocking. The Gambler's Express would arrive on Track 4 and switch over to Track 5, cutting off the coaches and cab control car just east of the pocket track switch. The AEM-7 with the MHC's would then pull west of the switch, allowing the F40PH to couple up to the passenger cars before it reversed east back across the NEC to continue its run to the shore. After the diesel departed, the mail train portion would reverse off of Track 5 to Track 4 and head west to complete the trip to 30th Street Station.

The new trains will have dual mode locomotives (for propulsion they use third rail for the tunnels and station area in New York City where use of the diesel engine is prohibited, and once clear of CP Portal, running on diesel the rest of the way), and only one destination, so the move should be as simple as stopping south of Shore Interlocking and the engineer changing ends.

From this photo taken from the overpass at G Street looking north (railroad east), the pocket track is to the left, followed by Track 5, then the four main tracks of the NEC (Tracks 4, 3, 2 and 1), and to the far right the 0 Track, which at this time was still part of the NEC and used for freight only.

The mail train portion ....
AEM-7 913 for power pulling MHC 1507 ....
MHC 1444 and MHC 1550 bringing up the red-flagged rear.


All pictures August 1993 Copyright © 2006 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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Last Updated July 16, 2006

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