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PC: Re: electrics

From: Thomas K. Trower <tktrower -AT- earthlink.net>
To: 'penn-central -AT- smellycat.com'
Subject: PC: electrics
Date: Friday, June 19, 1998 12:31 PM

What happened to the PRR P5's and P5a's?? Did they survive into the PC
years? What was it like riding the MP54's in the PC years? Were they
starting to show their age? Also, what was PC's relationship with Amtrak?
Josh Trower
I commuted to Drexel Uniiversity on the PC in '79-81 and frequently rode
MP54's (known to the college commuters as the "cattle cars" or the "red
roaches").  You really knew were on a railroad car.  The bathrooms were
closed off and stenciled "Electric Locker".  
When a consist would start up, the first car would surge ahead until it
reached the limits of the slack.  The second unit would then be jerked
ahead until it ran into the first and so on and son on.  After a minute or
so the whole consist would even out and go grinding down the railroad. 
When the cars would stop there was a cloud of iron brake shoes dust.  The
cars were not air conditioned and were hot in the summer and drafty in the
A gentleman was sitting a row ahead of me in the window seat.  Suddenly
there was an enormous flash and pop.  The baseboard electric heaters had
shorted out and burned a hole in his sock.
It was pretty horrible.  But if I could get a ride on them today, I would.

Dave H.

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