Tuesday, October 18, 2011

52 Harrisburg

Milepost 104.9. Here is the Harrisburg passenger station built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1880's. Today it is owned by Amtrak. Overhead electric wires supported above the tracks provide the power for the locomotives. Seen to the left is a locomotive prepared to push a string of passenger cars east to Philadelphia.

It is because the overhead electric power ends at Harrisburg that an initial passenger train service improvement might be made using a seamless transfer for motive power from electric to diesel electric. A locomotive design able to operate both from overhead electric power and as a  diesel electric locomotive is currently being operated by New Jersey Transit. Such a design could be applied to the Keystone Corridor West. Time consuming exchange of a straight electric to a separate diesel electric locomotive would be avoided.

The easiest service improvement would be to extend passenger service to Lewistown, PA using a dual electric - diesel electric locomotive. Doing so would serve the student population of Penn State.

Photograph showing the proximity of the Harrisburg Passenger Station to the Capitol Complex of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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