R36 Combine Coach wrote:
The Metroliners remained on the Keystone service as "Capitoliners" until 1988, although toward the end, they were often towed by AEM7s or E60s.
The Silverliner at Fort Eustis might actually be an original 1958 Pioneer.
It's one of the 4 USDoT High Speed cars. All the Pioneers are accounted for between the RR Museum of PA, a fire and Pueblo.
R36 Combine Coach wrote:The Metroliner is basically a late 1960s PRR MP85 EMU (Silverliner, Jersey Arrow) doped up on steroids. But the Silverliner II and IIIs also ran high-speed service on the Keystone Main Line in the 1970s, but without the hype or technical flaws.
The Silverliner II's and III's never ran in a "high speed" service as each was equipped for 85mph operation. Only the 4 USDoT Budd Silverliners were used for high speed testing. I am not sure what sort of mods they got in terms of larger motors or gearing, but I'm sure if stock Silverliner II's were capable of such speeds a few people on this forum would have had tried it.
TomNelligan wrote:The Metroliners were mechanically shaky, but in the context of the mid-1960s they were revolutionary in that they (along with the United Aircraft TurboTrains) represented the first government investment in intercity passenger trains, and new state-of-the-art (for the mid-60s) high speed trains at a time when intercity passenger service in the US was quickly dying off. In those days good news in passenger railroading was hard to come by, and the Metroliners represented it in a big way.
Like the Silverliners the Metroliners might as well have been from another planet compared with the steam era rolling stock they were designed to replace. The problem with the Metroliners was that they were just a little too ambitious with unnecessary bells and whistles in the propulsion system that makes a stock Silverliner setup on steroids more attractive. For example the Metroliners were fitted with a "dial-a-speed" throttle which had the engineer set a dial to a desired speed and the train would do the rest. Sounds great until you try to implement it with 1960's technology. Ignitron tube rectifiers didn't help reliability any and finally Budd wasn't given the time or money to properly test and prototype the cars.
Someone on the Metroliner test team who gave a presentation I attended said that Budd considered each of the 61 cars to be a prototype with many "hand built" components. Remember Budd was handling the 700+ car Metropolitan order in addition to PATCO's 75 cars at the time. The Metroliners were considered to be a nuisance due to the small order size, technical complexity, a railroad that couldn't care less and government folks trying to pick up the ball. Phil Nasidowski has an original Budd owner's manual and he says it has such confidence inspiring instructions in it as "this will take a long time" and "this is highly complicated and should be done in a quiet area of the shop" in regards to performing diagnostics on the propulsion system.