Metroliner (train)

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Metroliner
Metroliner1968.jpg
Budd Pennsylvania Railroad
Metroliner electric multiple-unit car circa 1968
before acceptance. All Metroliners, including this
car, began revenue service with Penn
Central markings.
Overview
Service typeInter-city rail
StatusDiscontinued
LocaleNortheast Corridor
First service1969
Last service2006
SuccessorAcela Express
Former operator(s)Penn Central (1969-1971)
Amtrak (1971-2006)
Route
StartNew York City
EndWashington, DC
Distance travelled225 miles (362 km)
Average journey time2 hours 30 minutes (1969)[1]
Service frequency6 per day in each direction
On-board services
Class(es)Business and First
Technical
Rolling stock
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Operating speedup to 125 mph (201 km/h)
Track owner(s)PC, Amtrak
Route map
Unknown BSicon "exKBHFa"
0 New York
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
New York
New Jersey
Unknown BSicon "exTUNNEL1"
North River Tunnels
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
10 mi
16 km
 Newark
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
58 mi
93 km
 Trenton
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
91 mi
146 km
 Philadelphia
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
116 mi
187 km
 Wilmington
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
Delaware
Maryland
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
185 mi
298 km
 Baltimore
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
196 mi
315 km
 BWI Airport
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
Maryland
District of Columbia
Unknown BSicon "exKBHFe"
225 mi
362 km
 Washington
 
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Metroliner
Metroliner1968.jpg
Budd Pennsylvania Railroad
Metroliner electric multiple-unit car circa 1968
before acceptance. All Metroliners, including this
car, began revenue service with Penn
Central markings.
Overview
Service typeInter-city rail
StatusDiscontinued
LocaleNortheast Corridor
First service1969
Last service2006
SuccessorAcela Express
Former operator(s)Penn Central (1969-1971)
Amtrak (1971-2006)
Route
StartNew York City
EndWashington, DC
Distance travelled225 miles (362 km)
Average journey time2 hours 30 minutes (1969)[1]
Service frequency6 per day in each direction
On-board services
Class(es)Business and First
Technical
Rolling stock
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Operating speedup to 125 mph (201 km/h)
Track owner(s)PC, Amtrak
Route map
Unknown BSicon "exKBHFa"
0 New York
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
New York
New Jersey
Unknown BSicon "exTUNNEL1"
North River Tunnels
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
10 mi
16 km
 Newark
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
58 mi
93 km
 Trenton
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
91 mi
146 km
 Philadelphia
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
116 mi
187 km
 Wilmington
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
Delaware
Maryland
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
185 mi
298 km
 Baltimore
Unknown BSicon "exHST"
196 mi
315 km
 BWI Airport
Unknown BSicon "exGRENZE"
 
Maryland
District of Columbia
Unknown BSicon "exKBHFe"
225 mi
362 km
 Washington

The Metroliners were extra-fare express trains between Washington, D.C., and New York City from 1969 to 2006.[2][3] They were first operated by Penn Central Transportation, successor to the Pennsylvania Railroad, and later by Amtrak.

Originally operated with self-powered electric multiple unit cars (later replaced by locomotive-hauled cars due to decreasing reliability and other issues) the train had reserved business-class and first-class seating. A trip between New York's Pennsylvania Station and Washington, D.C.'s Union Station took 2.5 to 3.4 hours.[1]

Amtrak replaced Metroliner service with high-speed (150 mph or 240 km/h) Acela Express trainsets. Metroliner service ended on 27 October 2006.[4]

History

The High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965 started a U.S. Government effort to develop a high speed train for Northeast Corridor service. The U.S. Department of Transportation worked with the Pennsylvania Railroad, Budd Company, General Electric and Westinghouse to develop an electric multiple unit, high speed passenger train with initial service target for 1967.[5]

Metroliner service finally started on January 16, 1969,[6] operated by Penn Central Transportation, successor to the Pennsylvania Railroad after its merger with the rival New York Central Railroad, using newly-developed Budd Metroliner EMUs. The initial schedule was one daily train each way between Washington and New York, and a second train per day in each direction was soon added; a non-stop train between Washington and New York was added on April 2, 1969.[6] Successful from the beginning, the Metroliner was run by Penn Central until taken over by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) in 1971.[5]

In 1981 Amtrak finished replacing the Budd Metroliner cars, which had developed problems with their motors limiting their speed, with trains powered by the Swedish-developed AEM-7 locomotives pulling conventional Amfleet I and II coaches, whose design was based on the first-generation Metroliner design, at speeds up to 125 mph (201 km/h).

Expanded Metroliner service was initiated by Amtrak when problems developed with Acela Express trainset braking systems during 2002 and 2005. As trainsets were repaired, the number of Metroliner service trains declined to a single round trip each weekday and eventually was completely discontinued and the fleet transferred to other routes in the Amtrak system. The current Northeast Regional service is equivalent to the former Metroliner service in speed (at 125 mph or 201 km/h), but not in accommodations as Northeast Regional service does not offer first class accommodations.

Equipment

The first version of the Metroliner was an electric multiple unit train consisting of Budd Metroliner self-propelled cars. These cars resembles Amfleet railcars.

The second incarnation of the Metroliner, then owned by Amtrak, from 1981 to 2006 was roughly equivalent to today's current Northeast Regional service trains but with Amfleet cars hauled by AEM-7 locomotives at 125 MPH.

References

  1. ^ a b Metroliner Timetable, Penn Central, October 26, 1969, http://www.streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/metroliner197002.html
  2. ^ "Atlantic Coast Services timetable" (PDF). Amtrak. 2007-04-02. http://www.amtrak.com/timetable/apr07/T04.pdf. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  3. ^ "Metroliner". Amtrak. 2007. http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Route/Vertical_Route_Page&cid=1081355909410&c=am2Route&ssid=134. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  4. ^ "Amtrak to run last Metroliner". Trains.com. 2006-09-08. http://www.trains.com/trn/default.aspx?c=a&id=795. Retrieved 2006-09-08.
  5. ^ a b Goldberg, Bruce (2006-06-30). "Metroliner's Amazing Career". Railroad Travel (Waukesha, Wi: Kalmbach Publishing) (June 2006). http://www.trains.com/trn/default.aspx?c=a&id=381.
  6. ^ a b Morgan, David P. (May 1969). "Metroliners: better late than never?". Modern Railways XXV (248): p. 248.