I rode the "Wall Street" (the later train) from Newark to Reading Terminal twice in 1979 and 1980, while I was working at USRA. I made frequent business trips from WAS to PHL to visit Conrail, and twice I left Conrail's Six Penn Center office, caught Amtrak to Newark, and came back on the "Wall Street". I remember three RDCs, and I remember well the small dining area with stools and tables and, yes, cocktails in the afternnon. I also remember the train did quite a bit of business at Jenkintown. There seemed to be a lot of Bucks County to New York commuters on those trains.
I remember the ride being quite fast through New Jersey. The New York Branch was still double track at that point, and the diamonds at Bound Brook were still intact, and the move from CNJ to RDG was fairly fast as well.
In 1988, I rode one of the trips run for the infamous Tri-State NRHS convention, and everything had changed. We departed the NJT Bound Brook station by backing up and then inching through a new connection to the Port Reading Secondary, from which we turned onto the (now single track) New York Branch at Manville. The only new mileage on that trip (to Reading and return over the LV) was the New York Short Line from CP "Nesh" to Wayne Junction. It was fun to use the "low grade" line rather than the Blue Line Connector (which was still shown with that name on the Conrail track chart).
Randy Resor, aka "NellieBly" passed away on November 1, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion to railroading at railroad.net.