Ain’t No juice jacks Here No more; Sunny Morning on the old Pennsylvania Railroad.

Pat Yough asked, ‘Anything on the scanner?’

‘Something about Norfolk Southern’s 24K, sorry didn’t catch the details,’ I replied.

A call was made; the angle of sun was inspected and Pat made a decision.

‘We can get breakfast, then catch the 24K before it arrives at Morrisville.’

Vintage PRR map with key lines identified in red.
Vintage PRR map with key lines identified in red.

Back in the days of the old Pennsylvania Railroad, the Trenton Cutoff was an electrified freight route used by freights as a shortcut around Philadelphia, that also served to avoid grades and minimize interference between through freight and passenger operations.

This late-era heavily engineered line is comparatively difficult to photograph these days.

Under Norfolk Southern’s modern operations, the Trenton Cutoff no longer functions as it had under PRR.

Conrail discontinued the electrification on the line in the early 1980s; today, the old PRR Main Line east of Harrisburg is largely void of through freight (as it primarily serves as a passenger route for Amtrak Keystones and SEPTA suburban trains).

However, today a few NS symbol freights are routed via old Reading Company lines to Norristown then via a Conrail-era connection to the Trenton Cutoff, thus avoiding the old Main Line. Got that?

Anyway, our quarry, intermodal freight 24K, terminated at yard near Morrisville, Pennsylvania opposite the Delaware River from Trenton. We set up near the yard.

First we scored our breakfast, then we scored photos of the 24K, before moving on to other projects.

 Not all important railroads are blessed with pastoral scenery. The catenary poles and wires tell of the Trenton Cutoff’s history. At one time Pennsylvania Railroad’s P5A, GG1 and E44 electrics plied the line. More has changed than the just locomotives

Not all important railroads are blessed with pastoral scenery. The catenary poles and wires tell of the Trenton Cutoff’s history. At one time Pennsylvania Railroad’s P5A, GG1 and E44 electrics plied the line. More has changed than the just locomotives

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