Track Electrification
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Track Electrification photograph. Many wires, cables, and transformers stretch above the railroad track.

Credit: Courtesy of Dan Cupper

Electrification required an elaborate spider web of overhead lines to carry electrical current. The new trains eliminated the black smoke, soot, and cinders of the old coal-burning steam locomotives, making rail travel faster, cleaner, and also, in the case of commuter service, more frequent, since the there was no longer any need to detach and reposition the engine. The new electrical lines, however, did require periodic maintenance, seen in this view of Electrical Traction Department employees in Harrisburg.

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