RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
69th St TERMINAL
SEPTA's 69th Street Terminal is one of the best places to go for a transit fan!
If you've never been there before, plan on spending a lot of time. Here in one place, you have subway, light rail, and trolleys (and busses if you feel so inclined to include them).
The subway / heavy rail line is the Market-Frankford line, and is the western terminus of the line. Through trains loop around without going into the yard.
This is the southern terminus for the Norristown Light Rail line. They started using the current ABB cars back in the early 90's, just after Baltimore took delivery of it's first 36 cars. Baltimore and Philadelphia are the only two systems in the U.S. with ABB equipment. Somewhere I have a couple of shots of the old equipment the ABB LRV's replaced, and one still runs at the streetcar museum in Orbisonia PA -- I will put them on here as time permits.
The 101 and 102 trolley lines make you feel like it is still the 40's or 50's. The Kawasaki cars used on this line is their version of the old standby PCC car dating back to the 30's. (BTW -- SEPTA updated a fleet of PCC cars, and is now running them on the number 15 line, Girard Ave. Ride them if you get the chance.)
Two interesting notes: The Light Rail LRV's use third rail instead of the more common pantograph associated with most light rail lines, and the Kawasaki's on the 101 and 102 routes use pantographs instead of the common trolley pole.
This area is also the shop area for all three lines, as shown below in the map.
In the map below, I had to shrink the "size" of the subway yard, for if I did it on the same scale as the rest of the map, there wouldn't be enough room. Most of the data for the map came from both Google Maps and bing.com/maps Google Maps has the same satellite imagery available on Google Earth, but you don't have to download the 10meg exe file on your computer to view the images.
Bus route info came from SEPTA's own series of maps, which are available for purchase inside the terminal for 9-10 bucks. They have one for the central area, and one that covers the suburban routes. Both are necessary if you are going to railfan SEPTA. I believe they are also available at the Franklin Map stores.
Below the map are a few shots from the two map services mentioned. Enjoy.
Map of the 101 and 102 lines from SEPTA's website, on their site, it is an interactive map.
These five shots are from http://www.bing.com/maps/ and are screen captures using Snag-it - the quality is so-so.
Shots of the terminal, subway loop, and light rail terminal.
Shots of the subway / trolley yard.
Shots of the light rail facility.
The straight down shots (lighter in shading) are from Google Earth. For some reason, they "fuzz out" the edges of the pictures???? Anyone know why?
The "3-D" pix are from http://www.bing.com/maps/ .... these are pretty good!
The Franklin Ave station, note the use of bar and color light signals.
The bar signals showing both aspects.
Looking towards the 69th St Terminal on the 101/102 line from the Franklin Ave station.
Outbound Kawasaki #109 coming into and leaving Franklin St for Sharon Hill on the 102 line.
An inbound Kawasaki having just left Franklin St., nice shot of the poles.
Trackwork at West Chester Pike before going into the terminal.
Inbound #121passing Franklin Ave.
Close-ups of some of the signals.
Inbound trolley approaching West Chester Pike.
Looking up the tracks towards Franklin Ave, from West Chester Pike.
Trolleys at the terminal, getting ready to be dispatched.
OK, we need a few bus pictures, at least one of them is obscured by a SIGNAL! :-)
Last Updated: 23-Dec-2012