PATCO – Lindenwold Hi-Speedline

The Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO), a division of the Delaware River Port Authority, operates this rapid transit line from Philadelphia to Lindenwold, New Jersey.  This line is state of the art with Automatic Train Operation, and it was the first system to use the magnetic fare card system, which is currently being replaced by a new “Freedom” system.

Photographer: Brandon Shaw

PATCO started off as the “Bridge Line” in July of 1936, running over the Benjamin Franklin bridge into Camden, New Jersey.  The tracks for this line actually connected to SEPTA’s Broad Ridge Line near 8th and Market Street Station, where trains would go North to Girard Station.  Today the tracks are severed, but you can still see the connection point to the PATCO system.

Collection of Joe Testagrose

In February of 1969, service was extended to Lindenwold, NJ.  New cars from Budd were put into service for the line in 1968, making PATCO the first transit line to use Automatic Train Operation.  In 1980, Woodcrest Station opened, and cars nearly identical to the Budds, built by Canadian Vickers, were delivered in as well.


Photographer: Creighton T Rabs

Today, PATCO still strives to be cutting edge.  Although the cars are the same, PATCO is rehabilitating their entire fleet with a federal grant they received.  Soon, they will have AC traction motors and a modern blue/grey interior.  Twelve cars at a time are being rehabbed so that PATCO doesn’t go into a car shortage.

Also, PATCO is introduced a new “Freedom Card” system.  This is a touch less smart card system, where riders are able to purchase and use debit-card like Freedom cards to pay their fares.  Also, the old plastic magnetic cards were replaced with new paper tickets with magnetic strips.  Now, every station has a machine and special Freedom gates installed.  More information about the freedom card program can be found here:

Additionally, PATCO is also conducting a study of the feasibility of extending service to Gloucester County.  This study will take 18 to 24 months.  As if that wasn’t enough, they are studying the feasibility of creating a waterfront light rail line along Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia.  More information about both of these projects can be found at these websites:

New Jersey Expansion:

Pennsylvania Expansion:


 Rail Fleet (click for pics)

PATCO operates a fleet of 121 cars from both Budd and Canadian Vickers.  These cars are 67′ 6″ long, 10 ft wide, and have two doors on each side.  They also use roll signs on the ends of the cars, and light up board signs on the sides (similar to the B-IV cars on the Broad Street Line). The fleet is currently being completely rebuilt by Alstom. The Rebuild is intended to extend each cars life by 25 years.

Year   Manufacturer  Model Fleet











 Canadian Vickers