When new management came to the Philadelphia & Western Railway early in the Great Depression, it was convinced that high-speed service would bring back the riders. They were so committed to this principle were that wind tunnel testing was employed in the design of these “bullet”-shaped cars, both to bring about the highest practical speed for the cars and also to reduce wind resistance to a minimum – thereby reducing operating costs.
The Philadelphia & Western was an example of high-platform, rapid transit type service, where everyday speeds exceeded 75 miles per hour. Cars like 209 proved to be a huge success in this setting, hauling millions of passengers back and forth between Norristown and 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby (and intermediate stations) for nearly sixty years. The line was purchased by the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (Red Arrow Lines), and continues today under SEPTA ownership and with modern cars.
|Car Number||209||Car Builder||J.G. Brill Company|
|Year Built||1931||Type||DE Interurban|
|Height||10’6″||Weight||52,300 lbs. (26 tons)|
|Seats||56||Motors||GE 706 (4@)|
|Year Acquired||1993||Status||Trolley Display Building Exhibit|