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Source: October 1996 Volume 34 Number 4, Pages 127–140

The Electrification of the Paoli Local

Robert M. Goshorn and Robert E. Geasey

Page 127

With the growth of the suburban population around Philadelphia and the increase in the number of suburban commuters and commuter trains in the early 1900's = there were more than 60 trains daily on the Main Line alone - the problem of handling the passenger traffic in and out of Broad Street Station became acute. Although the approaches to the station had been enlarged by widening the bridge across the Schuyikill River and the construction of additional tracks, by 1910 it was apparent that more drastic steps were needed to relieve the congestion.

Accordingly, the Pennsylvania Railroad appointed a Board of Engineers to study and review "plans and suggestions for the improvement of the passenger terminal facilities and all information bearing on the subject". Following this study, in which it was found that further enlargement of the terminal was not a practical solution, in March 1913 the Board of Directors of the railroad announced plans to electrify the Main Line service between Philadelphia and Paoli. The Company also let it be known that if this experience proved to be as successful, as economical and as efficient as it was hoped that it would be, the electrification of the Chestnut Hill division, and later of the New York division, would follow.

The improvements were expected to be completed in the following year, and it was estimated that they would involve an expenditure of about $4,000,000, a considerable investment and sum of money in 1913.

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At the same time, it was announced that the change would "in no way" affect the through trains, which would continue to be drawn by steam locomotives, and that the enginemen on the suburban line would be retrained and retained on their present runs regardless of the change in motive power. In addition, no changes in the bridges or stations, except at Broad Street, were anticipated.

The Pennsylvania Railroad was not without experience in the use of electric power on its lines; its first experiments had been conducted before the turn of the century. In 1895 the seven-mile long Burlington and Mount Holly line in New Jersey had been electrified, using a third rail system. The experiment, according to Burgess and Kennedy, was "successful enough", but when the power plant burned down in 1901 it was not rebuilt, and the line reverted to steam motive power. Four years later, in 1905, the Rockaway Beach line of the Long Island Railroad, and the lines to Belmont Park and Valley Stream in New York, were electrified.In the following year the Camden-Atlantic City line was also eLectrifed. A second track was added at the same time, and electric operation was begun on September 18, 1906. A third rail system was used to supply 600-volt direct current to the trains. At the time its 59-mile length made it the longest railroad line that had been changed from steam to electric motive power. [Note 1]

When the new Pennsylvania Station, the tunnels under the Hudson and East Rivers, and the classification yard at Sunnyside in New York were built in 1910, an electric motive power system was used. Upon leaving the Hudson River tunnel, electric locomotives were replaced by the traditional steam power at Manhatten Transfer, a few miles west of the tunnel exit. Trains going into New York were similarly changed from steam to electric at the same place.

Despite all this experience with the use of electric motive power, there were a number of questions which still needed to be answered. In June an unnamed official of the company was quoted in the Philadelphia Ledger as acknowledging, "We are [still] in the beginning of this [electrification] problem. We do not know whether we will use direct or alternating current, while so rapid are the developments in the field of electricity that plant equipment that will be modern today may be antiquated a year or so hence". He also observed, "We all must come to the use of electricity for operating trains, and therefore it is not a question of rivalry [with other railroad companies], but of what is best and at the same time most economical", also noting that "whatever system is adopted, the expenditures will be very great".

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He further noted that the change to electric power would also mean that suburban residents "living near [the Main Line of] the Pennsylvania Railroad will get considerable relief from the smoke of passing engines, with at least 60 trains ... electrically operated", and that "all of the new steel cars being made for the Pennsylvania Railroad are being constructed for easy adjustment of electric motors and are already fitted with dynamos for electric lighting". [Note 2]

In the meantime, after the proposed electrification of the Main Line had been announced, there were some who advocated simultaneous relocation of the western terminus from Paoli to Frazer. For example, in a letter to the West Chester Daily Local News on May 19,1913, John M. Lewis suggested the extension to Frazer, commenting that Frazer was the "natural terminus", and that the area beyond Frazer was [in 1913] "ripe for development"; that it was the point where both the Phoenixviile and West Chester branches of the railroad intersected the Main Line, and that traffic on these branches, especially the West Chester branch, would likely increase if Frazer were made the terminus; that Malvern was also increasing in importance in both freight and passenger servie; and that the Company already owned considerable ground in that area, suitable for sidings and large enough to hold 100 trains. He also pointed out that the policy of the Company had "always been to be in advance of the demands of the public" and that Malvern and Frazer were "really beyond the possibilities of daily automobile traffic with Philadelphia" at that time, and therefore the people living in these communities were dependent upon the railroad to get to and from the city. Despite these arguments, Paoii remained the terminus for the "accommodation" trains, and of the electrification project.

By late December of 1913, the railroad announced that an agreement had been reached with the Philadelphia Electric Company to furnish the electric power to operate the trains on the Main Line after the electrification work was completed, and also on the Chestnut Hill division when it too was changed over to electric operation. The contract with the electric company was for a five year period.

At the same time it was also reported in the West Chester Star, "At the offices of the railroad company nothing definite was to be learned of any decision which the company may have made between the third rail and overhead systems of current supply, though this is a point which has been widely discussed by the railroad men and the residents in the affected districts". It was, however, noted that the experience with the third rail operation on the Camden-Atlantic City division had been "unsatisfactory", and that it could be considered a "potential menace in the regions as thickly populated as those traversed by the Pennsy's suburban lines".

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Should the electric power be direct current or alternating current? How should the current be supplied to the trains? Should a third rail system or an overhead wire system be used? Should there be a motor in each car? To find answers to these and similar questions, the company used the services of Gibbs & Hill as consulting engineers. At its suggestion, a section of trackage over a mile long between St. Davids and Wayne was used to carry out a number of tests during the summer of 1913 "to determine not simply what was best for the immediate work to be undertaken in the matter of electrification, but what system would prove best for the longer and more comprehensive system of electrification ... in the future". [Note 3]

Joseph Jackson later reported in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, "The tests carried out showed [that] what is known as the single-phase alternating cur rent system would prove more efficient than any other. This system of operat ing consequently was adopted". He also noted, "While the new trains on the electrified lines to Paoli will be drawn by motors introduced in each car, the single-phase system also admits of the use of split-phase locomotives, or any of the types of single-phase motors, which is also something of an experiment, and will be used on the newly electrified lines for the first time". Concerning the supply of current to the cars he noted, "There are also other technical reasons for the adoption of the system which has been decided upon for the new line, the third rail system being rejected from the beginning of the consideration of the subject, owing to the danger to freight crews operating in the congested yards that might follow the adoption. [Note 4]

"The method of construction of the overhead lines is an entirely new one, in this country at least, and it has been adopted after a long test. The niceties of this form of construction may not be apparent to the layman ... employing [a] series of miniature 'wire bridges' which are supported from wire cables, which in turn are held in place from steel tubular poles .... On other electrified steam lines in other parts of the country it has been the rule to carry the power wires from structural steel bridges at regular intervals. In considering the subject for the Pennsylvania line, the engineers decided to abandon that form of construction because it was believed that the presence of bridges at close intervals would obscure the line and the signals for part of the distance to the motorman operating the train. But it required some time and a long period of tests to firmly determine what should take the place of this steel bridge. For a time there was tried on the experimental section beyond St. Davids a catenary bridge of lighter construction, but this, in turn, was abandoned for the present type of wire catenaries, which exposes the largest amount of the line in front of the train that can be devised." [Note 5]

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Each car was to be equipped with two 225-horsepower single-phase commutator-type motors, both mounted on one truck. The trains were also to be furnished with multiple-unit control, so that the load of the train would not fall upon the leading car; instead, the motors in each car would be in operation at the same time, each car propelling itself, all synchronously controlled by the motorman at the front of the train. The current was to be carried from the overhead wire to each car by a pantograph, having a broad contact surface that cannot "jump the track" as did the trolley pole on a trolley car.

In February 1915, while work on the project was still in progress, Lawrence Flick Jr. wrote in the Philadelphia Record, "It [the project] has kept hundreds of workmen busy for many months, it will be several weeks more, in all probability, before it is actually ready to carry passengers.... They [the workers] have been on a difficult and dangerous job for upwards of a year. They form the crews of five 'wire trains'.... The fact that in a year's time there have been only four fatal accidents speaks well for the skill and discipline of the men and the care taken of them by their bosses. One of the remarkable things about it is that they were all 'green' to this particular kind of job when they came. They are trolley linemen -- picked men, sturdy, stocky, nervy. When they are strung out in the network of cables, riding them as nonchalantly as an acrobat would tread a slack wire in a circus, they look like a swarm of human spiders spinning a web of metal. From the platform of their improvised 'tower cars', they start off on aerial excursions that would shatter the nerves of a deepwater sailor. They can shoot their platform of beams out over the adjoining track, and then they work unperturbed while express trains shriek beneath their feet. They are a jolly, hard-working, philosophic crew, who take the risks of the job as part of a day's work.

"In the months they have been engaged on the Main Line electrification job, they have strung several thousand miles of wires. Every mile has been put up at imminent risk to life and limb. Yet the accidents that have occurred have been on the ground instead of in the air. The dangers have increased, quite naturally, by the fact that the work had to be done while the tracks were constantly in use for steam traffic. The few men who have lost their lives stepped in front of passing trains. In the air, the men seem to bear charmed lives. Of course, they must take evry possible precaution. Every man wears a heavy leather belt, with a strap and swivel attached, by means of which he can hook himself to the wire on which he is working. But it isn't hard to slip when you are climbing about overhead from a platform high in the air to a slender wooden ladder hooked to a swaying, vibrating cable high above the tracks and passing trains. The men are wonders at finding handholds and footholds where the laymen see nothing but thin air." [Note 6]

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Wire train -- used in construction and service.

While some practice runs were made as early as in April of 1915, it was not until September 11th of that year that the service with electric motive power was opened for passengers from Broad Street Station to Paoii, a distance of 20 miles, some nine months later than the original expectation.

A by-product of the electrification was the installation of a series of electric block signals along the line. Instead of employing the semaphore arms formerly used for signaling, rows of electric lights indicate the presence of a train in the blocks ahead. [Note 7]

The improvements reduced the congestion at Broad Street Station by as much as sixteen percent. Formerly, there were a number of separate movements necessary in the handling of each train after unloading. Since Broad Street was a terminal, the empty cars would be removed by a yard engine, the road engine removed, the cars refurbished and returned to the station, and another road engine coupled to the head end. In contrast, the new multiple-unit trains could be controlled from either end, so preparations for re departure consisted of the engineman walking the length of the train. Addi tionally, the run time from Paoli was reduced by nearly 10 minutes. [Note 8] The new service was so well received by the public that electrification was extended to the Chestnut Hill branch in 1918.

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Although the official Company history, as well as newsprint at the time, assert that the objective of the Paoli project was to relieve congestion at Broad Street Station, other authoritative sources believe that the impetus for electrification lay further west. From the time of their founding, the principal interest of the eastern railroads, PRR, B&O and NYC, had been the movement of freight between tidewater and "the west". During the administration of Alexander J.Cassatt (1899-1906), many improvements were made to the freight routes from Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore to Harrisburg, where the gigantic Enola yard was built as a hub for this traffic. However, the Pennsy had always suffered from having to cross the Alleghenies. By 1900 it required a phalanx of H-class freight steamers, pulling and pushing, to crest Horseshoe Curve. It was hoped that electricity would provide more muscle. This was certainly a reasonable expectation; the H-class steamer of 1905 produced a tractive force of 46,000 pounds; the DD-1 direct current electric running on Long Island in 1910 produced 66,000 pounds; and the first electric locomotive to run on the Paoli line in 1917 had a starting force of 140,000 pounds, with 87,000 pounds continuous load. Indeed, this locomotive, class FF-1, was abandoned because of too much power; on one occasion it spun its wheels right out of their tires, leaving the behemoth sitting on the ties.

Evidence of this motivation for electrification is that the Paoli line was ideal for testing motive power, since it has a nearly continuous grade from Merion to Paoli which in many places matches the ruling grade to the west; that Pennsy was in the habit of testing proposed developments for as much as 10 years in an operational setting; that the FF-1 began operation only two years after the opening of the Paoli line; and that for many years after its opening the Paoli line was the "test bed" for the development of electric engines, all of which were for freight service. The contention is that the Paoli project was principally a test section for electrification to Pittsburgh. So what happened?

From the invention of the first motor there was rivalry between electric power and steam power proponents; and Pennsy was not above encouraging this rivalry. While the electric faction was hard at work at Philadelphia, the steam faction was designing new motive power; in 1916 the I -1 steamer went into operation with 90,000 pounds of tractive effort. It became the standard locomotive in the western divisions. Thoughts of electrification to Pittsburgh evaporated, but overhead was eventually extended to Harrisburg, where motive power could be exchanged at Enola.

There is little doubt that the electrification project reduced congestion at Broad Street, but that benefit was both marginal and short lived.

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The popularity of the service rapidly increased the number of trains using Broad Street, so the congestion quickly reappeared and continued to worsen. However, the legacy of the project was profound. The alternating current, high-voltage operation was completely successful. Electrification quickly spread; by 1928 the West Chester Branch was electrified, as was the Philadelphia to Wilmington run of the Washington Division [more properly, the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad], further increasing the traffic at Broad Street. However, the major problem was not congestion, per se; rather, it was that through trains, such as New York/Chicago and New York/Washington, had to back into Broad Street, adding nearly half an hour to schedules which had to be competitive. That is, Philadelphia, a through stop on two major arteries, had a terminal for its principal station. Planning, developed in the early 1920's, was brought to resolution with the Broad Street Station fire of 1923. The response was the construction of 30th Street Station to be the principal through-train facility, and an underground Suburban Station to serve local traffic; this approach possible only with an electrified line.



1. Burlington and Mount Holly reverted to steam power because of sparse revenue traffic, not because of failure of the experiment. The other projects mentioned directly fed PRR's experience as participants. The Camden and Atlantic, completed in 1854, was purchased by the PRR in 1883. Similarly, PRR acquired controlling interest in the Long Island Railroad in 1900. So the Company was not a passive observer, but an active participant in these projects. About the turn of the century PRR became interested in an entry to Manhattan. A Board of Engineers was formed to study the alternatives.In 1902 George Gibbs, an early student of electric traction, was added to the Board. The result was Pennsylvania Station, New York, from which the first electric powered passenger train ever to run on PRR departed in 1910. For this project, Gibbs was in charge of the Electric Traction and Station Construction Division; later Gibbs & Hill, consulting engineers, were advisers for the Paoli project, it is remarked that the venture into this modern era was made during the presidency of A. J. Cassatt, a familiar name on the Main Line.

2. The reference to dynamos, an archaic term for a direct current generator, is a bit of public relations fluff. They were there because of the lighting, not because of the traction. To this day a passenger car generates its own lighting power from a DC generator, belt-driven from a wheel set; batteries are used at idle The original cars for Paoii electric service were standard P-54 steel cars made for steam suburban operation. However, the more recently manufactured cars had been provided with end panels having the round owl's-eye windows for an engineman.

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Further modification for electric service included two traction motors, one on each axle of a single powered truck; a [diamond] pantograph, roof-mounted above the power truck; a transformer to step down the 11,000 volt overhead to about 600 volts at the motors; and accessory equipment, such as headlights, motor controls, air pumps, etc. All of the cars were built about 1910, with conversions to electric service continuing at Altoona and Wilmington. The first group of equipment numbered 93 cars; by 1947 the fleet encompassed 524 units with no change in design. In 1963, through the Philadelphia-sponsored Passenger Service Improvement Corporation, the Company acquired 38 Budd-built Silverliners, and these have gradually replaced the "red rovers" on the railroad we love to hate.

Early MP-54 Paoli Local electric car c. 1915.

3. The decisions relating to the choice of power supply are quite complex, but it helps to understand a few principles of electric transmission. The resistance is a property of the conducting material, and increases with the length of the line. The power received is the product of the current times the voltage at the load, and is equal to the power sent minus the line losses. The losses are proportional to the resistance times the square of the current. The voltage at the load is the sending voltage less the product of resistance and current. Thus, "good" characteristics of a transmission line are high voltage, low current, and low resistance; these lead to longer lines for a tolerable voltage loss, fewer power stations to make up losses, and higher efficiency. When DC is used for traction, there is a practical limit to the voltage that can be used [about 600 volts]; otherwise, the insulation requirements of the traction motors become excessive. A third rail is virtually a necessity, since lowering the resistance requires conductors of very large cross-section, and the material is usually iron, for strength, which has higher resistance than copper. Given the need for a third rail, the voltage must be kept relatively low for safety, and so as to employ single-insulator mountings. Higher voltages require strings of insulators which are fine in tension stress, but have no strength for the shear

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encountered in third rail operation. Then why consider DC? Mainly performance, A DC motor can be more effectively tailored to the load [see note 4]. Then there was tradition; city street railways had long used 600 volts DC. Of course the street railways had many power stations scattered over the city to boost voltages and replenish lost power. Finally, there was the politics of possible failure when abandoning the "tried and true". For example, as late as 1921, when Horace Liversidge wanted to convert the city of Philadelphia to alternating current, Samuel Insull, the utility financier, was outraged ... after all, Thomas Edison himself had declared alternating current to be "too dangerous". It was seldom mentioned that AC's principal advocate, George Westinghouse, was also Edison's principal competitor, a rivalry lasting into the 1960's.

Then what is the advantage of alternating current? A single device, the transformer, developed commercially by William Stanley about 1880, made long-distance transmission of electricity a practical reality. The device has an input and an output. Whatever the voltage and current on the input, the output voltage is raised (or lowered) by a constant factor and the output current is lowered (or raised) by the reciprocal of that factor, with negligible loss of power. This is exactly the operation needed for long-distance electrical transmission; at the sending end the voltage is raised to reduce the current, power loss, and voltage loss; at the load the reverse operation takes place. However, a transformer works only on alternating current. In PRR practice the trolley conductor carried 11,000 volts, stepped down to 600 volts on each powered unit. Since such high voltage clearly must be carried overhead, the supporting poles were extended above the catenary, permitting several 44,000 volt circuits to parallel the right-of-way. At distances where losses in the trolley wire(s) became excessive, a simple transformer station fed power from the high-voltage line; this, in contrast to the need for power stations to accomplish the same with direct current. This consideration becomes more significant when it is remembered that the expectation was for long-distance electrification through regions where power sources were scarce. The amount of construction involved was an obvious ] disadvantage, although partially mitigated by the use of supports to carry communications and signal power lines, and by the clearly improved safety.

One suspects that concern was given also to interchange with the New York, New Haven and Hartford. For years the New York Central had enjoyed a competitive advantage with respect to traffic from Boston to the west through their lease of the Boston and Albany. The Pennsylvania was forced to interchange traffic with the NY, NH & H by car float on the East River, 14 miles by water. In 1911 construction started on Hell Gate bridge, linking the NY, NH & H with the PRR-owned Long Island Railroad, providing through service to New England.

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The NY, NH & H was electrified from New Haven to New York early in the 1900's, among the earliest American railroads to electrify a steam line. It seems more than coincidence that the New Haven had been electrified with 25 cycle AC at 11,000 volts. In fact, the catenary system designed for Paoli very much resembles that of the New Haven.

Although the details of the AC/DC controversy are quite convoluted, the economic overview is a contest between low capital cost with low operating efficiency and high capital cost with high operating efficiency.

4. The selection of motors was one of the "minuses" against AC operation. The proliferation of alternating current utilities was enhanced by Nikola Tesla's invention of the induction motor, about 1883,  a true AC motor. Unfortunately, the single-phase induction motor has no starting torque whatever, a great disadvantage on a railroad. It is necessary to create a second phase with either resistance or capacitance, known as a split-phase motor. Alas, these also have poor starting characteristics; it is doubtful whether split-phase traction motors were ever used. In contrast, a DC motor can be designed with extremely high starting torque and excellent running characteristics. Why not run a DC motor on AC? This is exactly what is done. However, these motors require a switch to reverse the current in each coil as it moves from north to south magnetic poles. This switch, which rotates with the turning armature, is the commutator/brush assembly; the switching action causes considerable arcing at the brushes, known as "ring fire", seen even in small household motors. Even in a DC motor the ring fire tends to burn up the brushes and create a fire hazzard. When operated on AC, the alternating current produces a transformer action in the switched coils such as to reduce the starting torque and increase the ring fire. For this reason, AC traction motors cannot exceed 25 cycles, the frequency used on nearly all AC electrifications. Thus, the purchase of power from local utilities was not a "plug in" affair but rather a frequency change from 60 to 25 cycles was required, a further reason for eliminating power stations along the right-of-way.

5. A "catenary" is the name of the curve formed by a rope, or wire, of uniform weight when suspended from its two ends; linemen call it "sag". The amount of sag depends upon the stiffness of the wire, the tension on the wire, and the distance between supports. In order to keep the wire quite level, an admirable trait for trolley wire, it should be supported at closely spaced points, as in the PRR overhead system. In the longitudinal (i.e., along the track) direction, the principal support is a cable, called the "primary messenger", which is hung from supporting poles, and which forms the actual catenary curve.

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About every 15 feet there is a descending cable, or "hanger", which is fas tened to another cable, the "secondary messenger". The trolley wire is then fastened to the secondary messenger with metal clips evey few feet, providing a rather level contact surface. The primary messenger is supported above ground by twin poles evey 300 feet. Between the two poles is hung the "cross catenary", cable-work from which the longitudinal catenary is hung. The support poles extend considerably above the catenary, and carry cross-arms for the signal power circuits, cross-arms for the high-voltage power circuits and, at the top, a ground wire for lightning protection. Current is collected from the trolley wire by a pantograph mounted on the cars over each powered truck. The geometry of this structure derives from a device for copying drawings, whence its name. Although appearing otherwise, the catenary is not positioned over the center of the track; rather, it weaves from side to side to distribute the wear on the pantograph's collector shoe.

Typical catenary construction -- names of component parts.

6. The Paoli project certainly never involved "several thousand miles of wires". Authoritative sources estimate the total at 660 miles of wire and cable were hung from 760 poles over twenty miles of four-track line.

7. Electric operation of block signals and automatic train detection had been developing since 1879. What was new in 1915 was the light-position signal. The semaphore consisted of a metal blade, about 4 feet long, which was positioned by an electric motor to take on one of three aspects: horizontal for

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stop, next block occupied; diagonally upward for caution, one block free; vertical for proceed, at least two blocks free. For night operation colored lenses -- red, yellow, and green, respectively -- moved with the blade in front of a single lamp. The semaphore had several deficiencies. It was difficult to see in fog or rain, or against a low-contrast background, a pressing problem as train speeds rose; the single lamp was not very intense, and if failed, could not be seen at. night; the blade sometimes froze in winter; and some enginemen were "color-challenged". The light-position signal consisted only of high-intensity lamps, each with a collimating lens, and each colored amber for fog penetration. Rows of lamps, mounted on a black background, emu lated the positions of the semaphore arm, vertical, diagonal, or horizontal. Originally there were 5 lamps in a row, then 4, then 3 which is current practice. Often two signal heads were stacked to give more indications. On a 4-track line a signal bridge would easily require 20 or more lamps; lots of power. And lots of power was available with the electrification project; it was transmitted at 6600 volts on the same poles as the catenary, then stepped down at each block. Commercial power at 60 cycles was probably used, since 25 cycles produces excessive "flicker" in an incandescent lamp.

8. The reduction in run time probably had little to do with congestion at Broad Street. More likely it was simply the superiority of electric propulsion, prime mover or multiple unit, over steam power in commuter service; there never was a steamer adequate for this load profile. In short-haul commuter service one would like to accelerate very rapidly, run a short distance at high speed, then decelerate rapidly. This is anathema to the steam locomotive. Here the reciprocating motion of the pistons is transferred to the drivers by a heavy linkage of side rods. There is a limit to the force that can be put through the linkage, else it becomes excessively heavy. Where high force is required, such as in rapid acceleration, small wheels are used, because they give increased leverage; typically a freight locomotive had drivers about 50 inches in diameter, but a top speed of about 35 mph. For speed, typical passenger locomotives had 80 inch drivers, and speeds of 75 mph or more. However, the passenger locomotive took considerable distance to accelerate; and the torturous pounding of the side rods at high speed raised cain with the track. The prevalent passenger steamer at the turn of the century was the D-class with four drivers of 80 inch diameter, having a recorded straightaway speed of 102 mph, but a long acceleration time and distance. Enter the electric motor, particularly in the multiple unit configuration, which could accelerate very rapidly and maintain a high running speed with no track pounding. No wonder they shaved 10 minutes from the run time.

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Aiexander.E.P. The Pennsylvania Railroad, A Pictorial History, W.W.Norton and Company, Inc., New York, 1947

Burgess,G.H. and Kennedy.M.C. Centennial History of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company: 1846-1946, The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Philadelphia, 1949

Chester County Historical Society, Newspaper clipping file - Transportation

Harlow,A.F. Steelways of New England, Creative Age Press, New York, 1946

Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society, Philadelphia Chapter, The High Line, Vol.15, No,1, March 1996

Staufer,A.F. and Pennypacker.B. Pennsy Power II, Steam, Diesel, and Electric Locomotives of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Alvin F.Staufer, 1968

Volkmer,W.D. Pennsy Electric Years, Morning Sun Books, Edison, NJ.1991

Paoli Local timetable of May 1,1971, a chaotic era for the railroad. PRR and NYC had combined operations on February 1, 1968. The merged Penn Central filed for bankruptcy on June 21, 1970, leading to the takeover of inter-city passenger trains by AMTRAK in 1971 and the Philadelphia commuter lines by SEPTA in 1972.


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