SEPTA Pulls AEM-7s Out of Retirement for Wash Duty

If you are a fan of AEM-7 electric locomotives you might want to head to Philadelphia.

Railfan and Railroad reported on its website that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is putting stored AEM-7s temporarily back into service on what it terms “wash trains.”

These are movements that seek to “wash” away the residue of fallen leaves on rails which can reduce the friction of a train’s wheels with the rail.

SEPTA officials said they use a number of methods to clean rails of leaf residue, including high pressure spraying with a mixture of water, gel and sand.

The “wash trains” typically operate after the evening rush hour and throughout the night. The trains are expected to operate up to the Thanksgiving holiday.

AEM-7 locomotives once were the standard locomotive on the Northeast Corridor for Amtrak but have since been replaced.

At SEPTA, the AEM-7 units were replaced in 2018 by ACS-64 locomotives.

This article has been corrected to reflect that wash trains are maintenance of way operations and not revenue service.

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2 Responses to “SEPTA Pulls AEM-7s Out of Retirement for Wash Duty”

  1. David Patch Says:

    Maintenance of way is not “revenue service.”

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