Budd Silverliner (Silverliner II)

This week we'll take a look at an old workhorse on commuter railroads of the Northeast. She doesn't have the looks or the glory of the more famous trainsets of North America, but for many people, life cannot go on without this stainless steel EMU.

The name Silverliner has first been used by the famous Pennsylvania Railroad on new advanced stainless steel commuter EMUs (Budd Pioneer III or PRR MP85) serving the Philadelphia area in 1958. The cars are said to have made a good impression and the name SIlverliner has been carried on as the name of the EMU herself since the Silverliner II, aka PRR MP85B (there are 5 generations to date). I'll elaborate a little more on this series, i.e. the Budd Silverliner or Silverliner II, in this post.

The letterboard still says Pennsylvania on the ex-PRR units on the SEPTA
The Silverliner II first saw service in 1963 and a total of 59 cars (55 for the PRR and Reading, 4 for the USDOT for high-speed rail research) were built. Unlike the more conventional EMUs, the Silverliner II is really a single standalone car able to operate on her own. Braking was done by a pneumatic system only. Power is delivered by 4 traction motors and the Silverliner II pumps out a total of 550 horses. She is fast too and has a top design speed of 100 mph and a top service speed of 85 mph (remember, this was before, although not by much, true high-speed rail was unveiled to the world). All cars today are operated by SEPTA, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

The ex-Reading units had cow guards on their trucks


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