Philadelphia and Westerm: All Time Fleet Overview

Over the years, the Philadelphia and Western (P&W) line has seen a lot of different cars. Posted below is an overview of the cars that ran on this line over the past 100 years.  Please note that the 50 and 60 series cars aren’t listed at the moment, due to lack of photos available (that we know about).

 Original St. Louis Cars
{First Generation Order}

Click link above for pictures
#25 to 46

  • Built by St. Louis Car Company in 1905
  • Had trap doors and poles to access street platform in Norristown
  • Were wooden cars
  • Had smoking compartments, lavatories, and stained glass windows
St Louis {Second Generation order}
  • Built in 1920
  • Scrapped in 1955

 Strafford Cars {Third Generation order}

Collection of Joe Testagrose


  • Built by J.G. Brill Company in 1924
  • Upgraded to High Speed Cars (with a max speed of 68 mph) with the arrival of the Bullet Cars in 1931 and 1935
  • Renumbered from 60 to 70
  • Lasted 62 years in service


Bullet Cars {Forth generation order}

Collection of Joe Testagrose


  • Built by J.G. Brill Company in 1931
  • First cars designed in a wind tunnel
  • All aluminum
  • Purchased to turn the line into a high speed interurban
  • Capable of speeds up to 100mph, regularly saw 80mph
  • Almost lasted 60 years in service


Liberty Liners

Collection of Joe Testagrose

“Independence Hall” and “Valley Forge”

  • Built by St. Louis Car Company in 1941
  • Purchased from North Shore Line in 1963 for a proprosed Doylestown Branch
  • Formerly known as Electroliners
  • had a lounge with bar in back


CTA Cars

Collection of Joe Testagrose

# 476-489

  • Built by St. Louis Car Company in 1950 to 1959
  • Purchased from Chicago Transit Authority in 1989 to keep line running when Bullets could run no more until N5s arrived
  • formerly CTA’s 6000 series cars
  • Purchased for $500 apiece
  • 484-487 were in the Bicentennial Scheme
  • 482 and 483 (married set) still parked at Victory Yard


Budd M3s

Collection of Joe Testagrose

#601, 602, 605, 609, 619

  • Built by Budd in 1960
  • Single car units from the Market Frankford Line
  • Transfered from MFL in 1990
  • Had A/B signs replaced with N/B signs
  • Trucks replaced with trucks from ex-PATH K cars
  • Had space shuttle “nick names”


N5s {Firth generation order}

Taken by Brandon S.

#130(ex 451)-155

  • Built by ABB in 1993 (130 in 1991)
  • First A/C powered cars in SEPTA fleet
  • First SEPTA railcars to use Automatic Train Control
  • Cars were retrofitted with LED multi-color signs in 2007
  • Currently the only cars in service on the line today