• Amtrak service proposed: Reading, PA to Philadelphia and NYC

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by ExCon90
 
Tom V wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 11:01 am The current Hudson river tunnels are only at capacity during rush hour, there are opportunities to add more trains during the shoulder hours.
If there's no room for rush-hour trains there won't be enough ridership to sustain a service that only runs off-peak.

As to previous service to Reading and beyond, that was (and remains) outside SEPTA's five-county area; as best I can recall, Berks County was paying something toward supporting the service and later decided not to keep it up, leaving SEPTA with no alternative but to cease the operation, and the Bethlehem situation was similar. I don't know whether feelings in Berks County have changed, and as far as I know the line into Bethlehem has been irremediably severed.
  by NotYou
 
My understanding from the reading I have done is the Budd RDC services to Newtown, Bethlehem, and Reading were terminated by David Gunn (the EHH of US passenger rail?) because ridership plummeted and SEPTA was hemorrhaging money.
  by rcthompson04
 
The difference between today and 40 years ago is that the population has grown a lot along the 422 corridor. I think the corridor is ripe for rail service and really should have SEPTA to Phoenixville then Pottstown, but not past Pottstown, and Amtrak to Reading. This would be completely complementary with what is done on the Main Line and fits SEPTA’s service area for buses.

I lived in Berks County for 2 years. The place just wants to whine about not being included in any region of the state but doesn’t want to be part of one either. There was an effort to join BARTA and Red Rose Transit several years back that went nowhere in part because of Berks County parochialism.
  by MACTRAXX
 
NotYou wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:11 pm My understanding from the reading I have done is the Budd RDC services to Newtown, Bethlehem, and Reading were terminated by David Gunn (the EHH of US passenger rail?) because ridership plummeted and SEPTA was hemorrhaging money.
NY: The ridership drop in ALL of SEPTA's Commuter Rail services back in 1980-1981 was after -THREE-
fare increases over the course of 1980 totalling about 50 percent. The result was the Summer 1981 rail
cutbacks - service on the former RDG routes to Reading-Pottsville and Bethlehem-Allentown ended.
Berks, Schuykill, Northampton and Lehigh Counties refused to subsidize and/or save the two routes.
There was a short interim service to Pottstown and Quakertown that Montgomery and Bucks Counties
refused to further fund leading to the full discontinuance of these two services.

The Newtown service was turned into the ill-fated "Fox Chase Rapid Transit Line" for about 19 months (1/83)
which was SEPTA's unsuccessful attempt to "transitise" a commuter rail line. Another was the name change
of the SEPTA Commuter Rail system in 1983 to "Regional High Speed Lines" which was used until June 1985.

Each year during that era SEPTA would request PA state funding on a "hat-in-hand" basis not knowing what
will get approved dealing with politicians that were sometimes openly hostile to Philadelphia and SEPTA.
SEPTA's biggest problem then was the lack of any dedicated or steady funding revenue source.

Conrail was the contract operator of SEPTA's Commuter Rail service for six years and nine months of both
the former RDG and PC routes (April 1, 1976-December 31, 1982) and was required by law to exit operating
all contracted passenger service in the Northeast region.

When SEPTA took over direct operation of the Commuter Rail system at the beginning of 1983 the plan was
to cut employee wages and benefits to the equivalent of City Transit Division levels - which was the primary
reason for the resulting 108 day rail strike that year.

Ridership on SEPTA RRD would finally bottom out to its lowest level in 1984. The opening of the Center City
Commuter Connection in November 1984 was a major change that started a steady increase in RRD ridership
over more than three decades until the 2020 losses began as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

The first half of the 1980s can be referred to as SEPTA's rail services "Bad Old Days" under GM David Gunn.
This is going somewhat off-topic but relevant to this subject's past history...MACTRAXX
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:12 am The population has grown a lot along the 422 corridor. I think the corridor is ripe for rail service and
really should have SEPTA. This would be completely complementary with what is done on the Main
Line and fits SEPTA’s service area for buses.
Would be much cheaper for SEPTA to buy a few MCI D4500 coaches for commuter service (about $500,000 each).
  by ExCon90
 
SEPTA would still need money from Berks County to run buses which would have to compete for space on 422 -- not likely to attract many riders, who would prefer to be stuck in traffic in their own cars rather than on a bus. Ridership sufficient to justify the cost of rail service may well be potentially available, but only by rail.
  by ChesterValley
 
The only proposal I've heard getting kicked around PennDOT was extending the NHSL from the proposed KOP end station out to Phoenixville along 422 using the ROW, but that hasn't really gone anywhere. I dunno, short of putting a congestion tax on those drivers on 422 which I think was floated out and was quickly scuttled I don't think any solution will be sought out there. Most of the drivers around King of Prussia would rather willingly kill of any mass transit proposal, support for transit initiatives vary wildly by county in SEPA
  by electricron
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:29 am They should be framing it this way:

There's an accident blocking the road on 422. Do you want to:
  1. Be stuck in traffic in your car?
  2. Be stuck in traffic in a bus?
  3. Still be moving because the train is bypassing all the mess in the first place?
You missed the fourth options entirely:
Using an alternate highway (a detour)

There is more than one highway to choose from, just like there is more than one railroad route.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
To add, where exactly are the heaviest "choke points" on U.S. 422? 422 is a freeway only as far as Douglassville,
then an 8 mile segment with cross traffic and signaled intersections. Or is the highest density between Pottstown
and I-76 at Valley Forge?
  by rcthompson04
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Tue Sep 28, 2021 10:51 pm To add, where exactly are the heaviest "choke points" on U.S. 422? 422 is a freeway only as far as Douglassville,
then an 8 mile segment with cross traffic and signaled intersections. Or is the highest density between Pottstown
and I-76 at Valley Forge?
Correct. PennDOT AADT data shows over 100,000 vehicles a day in Valley Forge while that gradually drops to approximately 55,000 vehicles a day in Pottstown. The At-Grade sections in Berks County drop into the 20,000s and 30,000s and start increasing once you hit the bypass section in Exeter Twp.
  by Ridgefielder
 
NotYou wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:11 pm My understanding from the reading I have done is the Budd RDC services to Newtown, Bethlehem, and Reading were terminated by David Gunn (the EHH of US passenger rail?) because ridership plummeted and SEPTA was hemorrhaging money.
Didn't it also have something to do with SEPTA wanting to go all-electric?
  by rcthompson04
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:39 am
NotYou wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:11 pm My understanding from the reading I have done is the Budd RDC services to Newtown, Bethlehem, and Reading were terminated by David Gunn (the EHH of US passenger rail?) because ridership plummeted and SEPTA was hemorrhaging money.
Didn't it also have something to do with SEPTA wanting to go all-electric?
The Center City Connection was a few years away.
  by mcgrath618
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:39 am
NotYou wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:11 pm My understanding from the reading I have done is the Budd RDC services to Newtown, Bethlehem, and Reading were terminated by David Gunn (the EHH of US passenger rail?) because ridership plummeted and SEPTA was hemorrhaging money.
Didn't it also have something to do with SEPTA wanting to go all-electric?
Sort of. SEPTA crews generally handled all electric trains, whereas Conrail handled all diesels. Conrail wanted out.