37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

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Patrick Boylan
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37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by Patrick Boylan »

https://whyy.org/articles/septa-spends- ... kly+2/6/20
Cracking steel has plagued El cars since at least 2017 when about 90 of the 1990s-era cars were pulled off the route for emergency welding work. But now all 218 cars in the fleet will need a more permanent fix, even those that received repair work three years ago.
...
SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch
...
said that SEPTA needs all of its 138 operational M-4 cars to run the line at rush hour, but more than 30% of the entire MFL fleet is out for either steel beam repairs, regularly scheduled five-year overhauls, seat reconfiguration or other types of maintenance.
...
retired University of Pennsylvania transit professor Vukan Vuchic
...
“This is unusual, that you would only have 138 out of 218 cars in service,”
I too am amazed that they have only 138 out of 218 cars in service. I'm not sure why the spokesman Busch said "more than 30%", why couldn't he have said 36% or 37% or 36.5% which are much closer to the 138 out of 218?
And if there are too many cars out of service to meet day to day operations is it too unreasonable to defer seat reconfiguration?
And maybe let's hope Kawasaki's still in business and gets better consideration when SEPTA eventually gets new cars, considering how much better their trolleys and Broad Street cars have fared than any other railcars SEPTA's gotten.

BuddCar711
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by BuddCar711 »

So when can we expect the new M-5s?

JeffK
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by JeffK »

BuddCar711 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:29 am
So when can we expect the new M-5s?
From the sounds of it, not soon: “We think with this repair we’ll get 30 more years of service,” [Busch] said.

It's going to be like the sad last days of the Strafford and Bullet cars, which were decades older than many of the people riding them.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

Patrick Boylan
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by Patrick Boylan »

Many, but not all. My dad was born in 1920. When cars 76 and 80, built 1926 and 1930, started running at the Penn's Landing Trolley, he mentioned "how can you call them antiques when they're younger then me."
The PCC's, although older than me, were newer when I was born than their Kawasaki replacements, 38 years old now, have been since 1991 for the newest PCC batch, and since 1998 for the oldest.

septaglizzy27
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by septaglizzy27 »

oof , so the El getting the PCC II treatment?

JeffK
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by JeffK »

Patrick Boylan wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:59 am
Many, but not all. My dad was born in 1920. When cars 76 and 80, built 1926 and 1930, started running at the Penn's Landing Trolley, he mentioned "how can you call them antiques when they're younger than me."
The PCC's, although older than me, were newer when I was born than their Kawasaki replacements, 38 years old now, have been since 1991 for the newest PCC batch, and since 1998 for the oldest.
Ha! Nothing like being older than a museum piece!

In the pre-K-car and N5 days I paid a visit to the East Haven Trolley museum. When one of the operators asked me how i liked riding on such old equipment I said "heck, I'm on cars older than these every day". He gave me a funny look till I said simply "SEPTA Red Arrow division".

We can hope the same won’t be possible with the M-4s, but I’m not betting on it.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

BuddCar711
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by BuddCar711 »

septaglizzy27 wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:32 pm
oof , so the El getting the PCC II treatment?
SEPTA would have been better off having the Almond Joys rebuilt.

rcthompson04
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by rcthompson04 »

I am curious what the out of service numbers are for the Silverliner IVs who have been soldering on for twice as long.

It sounds like the service issue is tied to the MFL M-4s being married pairs.

JeffK
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by JeffK »

BuddCar711 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:20 am
SEPTA would have been better off having the Almond Joys rebuilt.
IIRC they considered that option. The bodies were built at Red Lion and were still in good shape (lots of stainless steel), but bringing them up to then-current standards was problematic.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

MACTRAXX
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by MACTRAXX »

JeffK wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:44 pm
BuddCar711 wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:20 am
SEPTA would have been better off having the Almond Joys rebuilt.
IIRC they considered that option. The bodies were built at Red Lion and were still in good shape (lots of stainless steel), but bringing them up to then-current standards was problematic.
Jeff and BC: This is a topic I wanted to reply to...

Do either of you remember M3 car #614? Back around 1977 this car was overhauled
and an experimental air conditioning unit installed. This car was easy to spot with its
unique roofline especially after it was retired sitting in the yard outside 69th Street.
The M3 retrofit of air conditioning was deemed unsuccessful and not repeated.

PTC and SEPTA got almost 40 years out of the M3 fleet. If the choice had been made
to rebuild these cars back in the late 1990s instead of replacing them with the current
M4 fleet SEPTA would be seeking to replace the rebuilt cars - 20 to 25 more years is
likely the limit that the M3 cars would have had - the M3s would be 60 years old now.

Both the M3 and M4 fleets have been worked hard over their service lives - it may be
the case that the M4 cars do not remain in service as long as their predecessors did.

With the MFSE far and away the busiest single SEPTA rapid transit route keeping the
current M4 fleet running is very important to the CTD. A new M5 fleet is probably a
number of years - perhaps decades - away along with a very high price tag...

MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS

BuddCar711
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by BuddCar711 »

MACTRAXX wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:52 am
Do either of you remember M3 car #614?
I remember it really well. From what I understand, both 614 and PCC 2165 were air-conditioned (don't know what components were used in 614's setup, but 2165 used components for a truck refrigerator (the passengers complained 2165 was TOO cold). If SEPTA waited until the 1980s, both the PCCs and Almond Joys should have used the Sutrak roof-mounted units that were standard equipment on their then brand new Neoplan buses, thus it would have been more successful.

JeffK
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Location: Western suburbs

Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by JeffK »

MACTRAXX wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:52 am
Do either of you remember M3 car #614? ... This car was easy to spot with its unique roofline especially after it was retired sitting in the yard outside 69th Street.
Very definitely. That was back in the days when my employer expected us to wear suits every day regardless of the temperature. I'd scan for that roofline on the off-chance it was in whatever consist showed up at my station.
The M3 retrofit of air conditioning was deemed unsuccessful and not repeated.
IIRC the units couldn't keep up with the loss of cooled air every time the doors opened, plus of course the bodies themselves weren't designed to limit air exchange.
A new M5 fleet is probably a number of years - perhaps decades - away along with a very high price tag.
After living through the "can we squeeze another year out of the Brills?" era of the P&W, that's a scary thought.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

JeffersonLeeEng
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by JeffersonLeeEng »

JeffK wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:47 pm
A new M5 fleet is probably a number of years - perhaps decades - away along with a very high price tag.
After living through the "can we squeeze another year out of the Brills?" era of the P&W, that's a scary thought.
Yeah, but it's 21st century. What with automatic train control and speed limits, surely operations aren't going to be crippled too badly (especially with schedule padding as the norm)...

JeffK
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Re: 37% of Market-Frankford cars out of service

Post by JeffK »

JeffersonLeeEng wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:17 pm
Yeah, but it's 21st century. What with automatic train control and speed limits, surely operations aren't going to be crippled too badly (especially with schedule padding as the norm)...
My concern was about long-term reliability and how many cars might eventually be OOS permanently before replacements arrive. E.g. no one can say what the spare-parts picture may be in 2045; they may end up cannibalizing some of the fleet to keep the rest running. Plus delivery delays - not just here but in the industry - have been common for decades. Unless there's a major change to production and procurement SEPTA could again find itself waiting longer than planned while the M-4s continue to deteriorate.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

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