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Home > Archives > Metroliner Service train, 1980.

Metroliner Service train, 1980.

Color photograph showing a Metroliner Service train passing through Metuchen, N.J.; image dates to June 1980.

<i>Metroliner Service</i> train, 1980.

The Metroliners were high-speed Budd electric cars designed for use on the Pennsylvania Railroad's busy mainline between New York and Washington. The cars generally operated as married pairs, meaning that trains had an even number of cars. Luxurious interiors and fast running times made the Metroliner Service a viable competitor to regional airlines, and new stations were built outside of Washington and New York to attract riders who had left center cities for the suburbs.

Under Amtrak, Metroliner Service frequencies increased to keep up with demand, and trains often reached speeds of up to 110 mph. In the late 1970s, Amtrak refurbished and reconfigured part of the Metroliner fleet after it had run more than 1.5 million miles of service. Electrical components were moved from the underside of the floor to a new compartment on the roof. Notice that in this image, the roof of car No. 885 has been modified.

The popularity of the Metroliner cars led Amtrak to use them as the basis of design for the Amfleet cars, which first entered service in 1975.

Photographer: Mike Schafer. Courtesy of Passenger Train Journal/Mike Schafer.