A pleasant surprise awaited some SEPTA customers at their local stations on the morning of October 29, 2010. Their regular Friday morning commute turned into a party on wheels after they hopped on the inaugural trip of SEPTA’s first new Silverliner V Regional Rail train placed in regular passenger service.
The trip into Center City on these gleaming, new-car-smelling railcars was followed by a customer appreciation ceremony at Suburban Station, where the inaugural run ended.
“It’s here!” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. “SEPTA is thrilled to be able to offer customers all the travel comforts and modern amenities built into these new Silverliner V Regional Rail cars. We look forward to bringing more into service in the near future.”
SEPTA kept details about the Silverliner V’s regular-service debut under wraps, preferring unveil the new train first to everyday customers during their commute. Now, however, the secret’s out: SEPTA’s first Silverliner V train – consisting of three new state-of-the-art railcars – made its first service call as Train Number 1062 on the Cynwyd Line. It departed Cynwyd Station shortly after 9 am, then made the route’s usual stops at Bala, Wynnefield and 30th Street Stations, before ending at Suburban Station, where it broke through a huge “Welcome” banner before coming to a rest.
Now, however, the train is just another member of the Regional Rail fleet – dispatched on different lines throughout the system, wherever needed to serve customers. SEPTA wants to give all its customers the chance to experience the new ride. The train’s full service schedule for the first week of November is posted online at www.septa.org/silverliner.
The three railcars included in this initial roll-out are the first of 120 new Silverliner V rail cars SEPTA is purchasing under a $274 million contract with Hyundai-Rotem USA, which has opened a new facility in South Philadelphia to do fabrication and assembly work. The company ships the train shells to Philadelphia from its plant in South Korea.
The new trains will allow SEPTA to bolster its railcar fleet and add passenger capacity on Regional Rail, which will help alleviate over-crowding for riders. The additions will also usher in a well-deserved retirement for some of SEPTA’s oldest trains. Approximately 70 cars that have been in service on these lines since the mid-1960s will be pulled from the tracks permanently after the new cars are up-and-running.
The Silverliner Vs were designed with the goal of improving the experience of SEPTA’s customers, with amenities such as bright and spacious interiors, large windows and mid-car doorways. There are digital panels displaying trip details inside and out, and interior flat-panel screens provide the latest travel updates. The trains also feature state-of-the-art, energy-efficient climate control systems. For more information, including video of the new train in action, visit www.septa.org/silverliner.