Last runs for SEPTA Silverliner II & III rail cars

On track at Suburban Station: The Silverliner V.
On track at Suburban Station: The Silverliner V. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 27, 2012

The last of SEPTA's old Silverliner II and Silverliner III train cars, dating from the 1960s, are making their final runs this week.

The two cars, the last remnants of a fleet of 75, will be taken out of service Friday evening, a day before a federal waiver of handicapped-accessibility rules expires. They will spend their final days on SEPTA's shortest regional rail line, shuttling between Suburban Station and Cynwyd.

SEPTA has been gradually replacing its oldest cars with new Silverliner V cars for the past 20 months, as new cars arrive from the Hyundai-Rotem Corp. assembly plant in South Philadelphia.

Plagued by delays, Hyundai has delivered 99 of 120 Silverliner V's to SEPTA, and 90 of those are operating in revenue service. SEPTA hopes to have all the cars, purchased for $274 million, by September.

The oldest two cars still running are a Silverliner II built in 1963 by the Budd Co. for the Reading Railroad and a Silverliner III built by St. Louis Car Co. for the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1967, according to the Philadelphia chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

SEPTA and the historical society gave rail buffs a farewell tour on the old Silverliners last month.

With the new cars and its existing Silverliner IV cars, SEPTA will have a fleet of about 400 cars to carry passengers on its 13 regional rail lines. Passengers have faced overcrowding on rush-hour trains for several years, because of shortages caused by increasing ridership, delays in new car deliveries, and removal of cars for repairs or maintenance.

SEPTA is selling its old Silverliners to a Newark scrap dealer for about $2300 each.

The last runs for the old Silverliners on Friday will be as Train 1089, leaving Suburban Station at 7:03 p.m., and Train 1091, leaving Suburban at 7:59 p.m.

Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or

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