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Home > Archives > Finishing a wheel set, 2014.

Finishing a wheel set, 2014.

Color digital image showing Amtrak machinists finishing a wheel set; image dates to November 2014.

Finishing a wheel set, 2014.

From left to right, Machinists Rich Thompson, Marcos Preston and Preston Rice finish up a wheel set at the Wilmington Shops. This heavy maintenance facility has an especially rich history that dates back more than a century. The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) completed the new shops northeast of downtown Wilmington, Del., in 1904 since a track realignment project and construction of a new passenger station had necessitated removal of the old shops along the Christina River.

The PRR and its successor Penn Central, borne of the PRR’s 1968 merger with the New York Central Railroad, continued to run the Wilmington Shops until 1976. That year Amtrak gained control of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) as a result of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act.

Today, the Wilmington Shops remain the primary facility for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of electric locomotives used on the NEC, including the Amtrak Cities Sprinters (ACS-64s) that entered revenue service in 2014 and the high-speed Acela Express power cars. Skilled employees perform truck repair, wheel work, HVAC work, traction motor repairs and component repair and remanufacturing work.

Photographer: Chuck Gomez for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.