New Jersey Transit train led by Arrow III #1327 pulls into the Far Hills station.
|In service||Arrow I: 1968-1976
Arrow II: 1973-1997
Arrow III: 1978-present
|Manufacturer||Arrow I: St. Louis Car Company
Arrow II/III: General Electric, Avco
|Family name||Jersey Arrow|
|Number built||Arrow I: 35
Arrow II: 70
Arrow III: 230
|Formation||Arrow I/III: Single unit
Arrow II/III: Married Pair
|Fleet numbers||Arrow I: 1200-1233 ex 100-133
Arrow II: 1234-1303
Arrow III: 1304-1533
|Operator||Penn Central Railroad
Conrail (under NJDOT)
New Jersey Transit
|Line(s) served||Northeast Corridor Line
North Jersey Coast Line
Morris & Essex Lines (Arrow II and III only)
|Car body construction||Stainless steel|
|Car length||85 ft (26,000 mm)|
|Width||9 ft 11 1⁄2 in (3,035 mm)|
|Doors||2 end doors w/ traps
1 middle door high level only
|Maximum speed||100 mph (160 km/h)|
|Traction system||Transformed alternating current fed through either Ignitron (Arrow I/II) or Silicon-controlled (Arrow III) rectifiers to phase angle DC motor controller. Arrow III fleet converted to AC traction 1992-95.|
|Power output||Arrow III rebuilt (pair): 1,150 hp (860 kW)
Arrow III rebuilt (single): 750 hp (560 kW)
|Electric system(s)||12 kV 25 Hz AC Catenary (Arrow I/II/III)
12 kV 60 Hz AC Catenary (Arrow II/III)
25 kV 60 Hz AC Catenary (Arrow II/III)
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Bogies||General Steel GSI 70|
|Braking system(s)||Pneumatic, dynamic|
|Coupling system||WABCO Model N-2|
The Jersey Arrow is a type of electric multiple unit (EMU) railcar developed for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and used through successive commuter operators in New Jersey, through to New Jersey Transit. Three models were built but only the third is in use today. The series is similar to SEPTA's Silverliner series, but include center doors among other differences in details.
The first series of Arrows (known as PRR MP85s) were built in 1968-69 by the St. Louis Car Company; 35 were built and purchased by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. These cars were initially numbered 100-134. These cars were built with higher capacity 3-2 seating which caused grumbling by the passengers at that time.
These cars bear some resemblance to the Silverliner III also produced by St. Louis Car company at the time, including a unique numberboard area. However, these cars are very different mechanically. They featured diamond-shaped twin-arm Stemmann pantographs, round windows, center doors, and a different body shape.
Car 107 caught fire and was scrapped. During 1975, the Arrow Is were rebuilt to be compatible with the newly arrived Arrow IIs. As they were rebuilt, they were renumbered 500-533 (accounting for the loss of 107).
A further renumbering of the Arrow Is to 1200-1233 was planned, however this was never implemented as the Arrow Is were instead retired. The Arrow Is were phased out and stored as additional Arrow IIIs arrived from General Electric. All cars were stored out of service in the late 1970s due to reliability issues with their Westinghouse propulsion equipment.
Comet IB conversion
The Arrow I cars sat unused for over a decade. Realizing that the car bodies still had many decades of service left on them, New Jersey Transit made the decision to have them rebuilt into locomotive-hauled coaches. Between 1986 and 1988 the cars were converted into the Comet IB cab control and trailer coaches by Morrison-Knudsen. The rebuilt Comet IB cars remained in service for two decades before being retired by New Jersey Transit in late 2008, with some now leased or sold.
In 1974, General Electric and Avco produced 70 Arrow II cars in the married pair format. The Arrow IIs were numbered 534-603. They were purchased specifically to replace the ancient PRR MP54s, which were slowly phased out of New Jersey service in late 1977. General Electric was the prime contractor for the order and bought stainless steel body shells fabricated by Avco and before assembling the railcars in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The Arrow IIs were constructed following the production of SEPTA's single unit Silverliner IVs, but prior to the Married Pair Silverliner IV units. Indeed, the Arrow II and the Silverliner IV share the same body shell, cab corner air scoops and single-arm Faiveley pantographs, with the primary differences being the shorter air intake hump on the roof, corresponding lack of dynamic brakes, and the inclusion of the high-level center door as on the Arrow I.
One important feature was the 2-2 seating, which was a result of passenger complaint over the 3-2 seating on the Arrow I. The Arrow IIs also featured a toilet in the B-car.
In service, the Arrow IIs were leased to Amtrak and MARC in the late 1970s, with units 590-591 being destroyed in a collision at Seabrook, Maryland on June 9, 1978, early in their MARC service. Arrow IIs could be found running Harrisburg-bound trains, Off-peak Clockers, and electrified commuter service in Maryland, where they bumped the last operating MP54s from service.
Upon the formation of NJ Transit, the Arrow IIs were called back to New Jersey, rebuilt to operate on the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Hoboken commuter lines. As they were rebuilt, they were renumbered to 1234-1303. The Arrow IIs ran on the Hoboken division until 1997, when the decision was made to retire them due to rotting floors and holes in the roofs. Most were scrapped in 2001. One pair remains (however split) as part of SEPTA's wire inspection train.
The Arrow IIIs were built between 1976 and 1979 by General Electric and Avco in the same fashion as the Arrow II's. They consist of 200 cars built as married pairs (1334–1533) and 30 single cars (1304–1333). These cars were initially ordered as part of a plan to rehabilitate the NJ DOT (Later NJ Transit's) Hoboken division, converting the 3,000 volt DC system to a 25 Kv 60 Hz AC system. However, due to the retirement of the Arrow I MUs, and the Arrow IIs frequently being leased to Amtrak and MARC, as well as delays to the rehabilitation of the Hoboken electrification, the Arrow IIIs were assigned to the former Penn Central electrified lines instead. As a result, the Arrow IIs and only a portion of the Arrow III fleet were devoted to the Hoboken division when the electrification work was finally finished in 1984, with the remaining Arrow IIIs being assigned as the only MUs in service on the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line. Due to the lack of an automatic transformer tap changer, the Arrow IIIs cannot switch between line voltages while in service. To prevent confusion a triangular orange sticker with the current voltage the unit is set to is affixed under the front window, "12k" for the Newark Division and "25k" for the Hoboken Division. After the North Jersey Coast Line was changed to 25kV south of Matawan, MU service to Long Branch was replaced by push-pull trainsets only.
The Arrow III's body shell is similar to the Silverliner IV and Arrow II. However, the Arrow IIIs have some prominent differences, notably the two small air intake blisters (as opposed to the large humps on prior models). The Arrow IIIs also featured the twin-arm Stemmann pantographs as on the Arrow Is, built by the United Knitting Machine corporation. The large central air scoop over the center of the roof on each cab end is the final major spotting feature. The Arrow IIIs saw the return of 3-2 seating.
The Arrow IIIs were given a mid-life overhaul between 1992 and 1995 by ABB. The rebuild replaced the original DC propulsion system with a new solid state AC system that also included higher power traction motors with a total of about 375 hp per two axle truck. The increased power per motor allowed for motors to be eliminated from the truck located under the pantograph in each of the married pairs, reducing the number of powered axles per pair to 6 although raising horsepower to 1150. Single units retained all 4 powered axles with a total of 750 hp. After the rebuild was completed problems were encountered with both traction motor and axle bearing overheating which lowered the maximum permitted speed in service to 90 mph from 100 and then ultimately to 80 mph as the problems persisted. In 2011 a single arm Schunk type pantograph was fitted to Arrow III #1463 replacing the original twin-arm Stemmann. By 2013 six additional units had been fitted with the new pantograph.
As of 2013 New Jersey Transit uses Arrow IIIs extensively on the Gladstone Branch (Hoboken to Gladstone), on the Princeton Branch (Princeton Junction to Princeton University), on the North Jersey Coast Line (New York/Rahway to Matawan, and the Northeast Corridor line (New York to Trenton).
- Rosenbaum, Joel (1996). NJ Transit Rail Operations. Railpace. ISBN 0962154164.
- "Silverliner IV New Commuter Cars for Philadelphians". Headlights 36 (4): 14–15. April 1974.
- "NTSB-RAR-79-3: Rear-end collision of Conrail commuter train No. 400 and Amtrak passenger train No. 60, Seabrook, Maryland, June 9, 1978". National Transportation Safety Board Railroad Accident Reports. National Transportation Safety Board: Washington, DC, USA.
- Carleton, Paul (1982). Under Pennsy Wires. D. Carleton Railbooks Publication. p. 246.