• Future of Septa Regional Rail Fleet

  • Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.
Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.

Moderator: AlexC

  by ekt8750
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:15 pm
ekt8750 wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 8:59 pm I wonder if SEPTA is paying attention to Amtrak's order of MU trainsets from Siemens. Maybe something they'd want to either piggyback off or (more likely) make modifications to the design to fit their needs (like I believe the sets Amtrak are ordering will be diesel powered and will be unbreakable sets, SEPTA would be more apt to want their MUs electric powered and sets no longer than 2 cars).
They aren’t MUs but locomotives with cars. The dual mode locomotives might with considering along with a commuter version of the passenger car and control car.
That's what I was thinking. It would also make system expansion so much easier.
  by PHLSpecial
 
ekt8750 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:34 pmThat's what I was thinking. It would also make system expansion so much easier.
I can't think of many places that Septa can use a dual mode loco since most of their network is electrified. Maybe service to Quakertown, West Chester? Service to South NJ, but would need a tunnel instead of going up North over a bridge. Still in all cases I think Septa is better off putting up more catenaries than going dual mode.
  by scratchyX1
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:10 am
ekt8750 wrote: Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:34 pmThat's what I was thinking. It would also make system expansion so much easier.
I can't think of many places that Septa can use a dual mode loco since most of their network is electrified. Maybe service to Quakertown, West Chester? Service to South NJ, but would need a tunnel instead of going up North over a bridge. Still in all cases I think Septa is better off putting up more catenaries than going dual mode.
Remember, the town of phoenixville's proposal uses dual mode, as NS doesn't want catenary over their tracks.
Plus, it'll make it easier to expand to Pottstown, Reading, and and the two cities already mentioned.
If service level demand EMU, then look at electrification. It's possible that Battery electric locomotives could be used off catenary , to give enough acceleration to get out of the way of 2 mile long freights.
I'm aware that it's added complexity, and weight (precluding any of that trains running to the airport.

Unrelated, here's a service change that could prove useful for the Suburban Lines. Instead of the media line stopping in the middle of State Street, it turns south on Orange Street, to connect with the Media Regional rail station. I imagine that for those trying to get into Philly, it'd be a lot faster than riding to 69street and transferring. Counterintuitive, I know, going the opposite direction of destination to get there faster.
  by PHLSpecial
 
Ah yes Phoenxville definitely needs it for sure. Though Septa is need to be sped up a ton to make the service viable or have an express train to downtown.

Your second part, we need more cross town light rail to connect services together. Gives us more of a reason to use regional rail. I would say we have all the bones for a good RR system. We need more connectively and high frequency. RR has the highest budget and runs trains every two hours. Come on, its time Septa changes this.
Last edited by nomis on Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote
  by scratchyX1
 
it's a shame that PDOT removed so much for traffic sewers. I seem to recall the Pike to west Chester had tracks in middle removed, for making it more of a high way. That would have been a great trackless trolly route.

it's the low level platforms that require two crew members.
The ticketing becoming off boarding with fare enforcement , to allow all crews to become operators is one step.
I know newer equipment is capable of automatic low trap operation.
If there isn't a need, due to freight, for low platforms, there has got to be a way to mass roll out higher platforms, for not an outrageous amount. Septa management should read Alon Levy's blog, for pointers on other countries to look for consultants from. OR even better, look at say, Spain, and hire some of their transportation infrastructure persons.
I mean, American car makers did so with Japanese makers in the 80s, to great success.
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Last edited by nomis on Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Removed unnecessary quotes
  by rcthompson04
 
I think the benefits of dual modes is that you can start rush hour only trains on some expansion routes then expand to more widespread service once you see numbers justifying it.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:19 pm it's a shame that PennDOT removed so much for traffic sewers. I seem to recall the Pike
to West Chester had tracks in middle removed, for making it more of a high way. That would
have been a great trackless trolley route.
Wasn't that the former 104?
  by ekt8750
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:40 pm
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:19 pm it's a shame that PennDOT removed so much for traffic sewers. I seem to recall the Pike
to West Chester had tracks in middle removed, for making it more of a high way. That would
have been a great trackless trolley route.
Wasn't that the former 104?
Yes and West Chester Pike became a divided highway by absorbing the (now) Rt 104 ROW. For the most part, prior to that West Chester Pike was mostly a 2-4 lane road and the trolley ROW paralleled it most of the way.
  by JeffK
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:19 pm it's a shame that PDOT removed so much for traffic sewers. I seem to recall the Pike to west Chester had tracks in middle removed, for making it more of a highway. That would have been a great trackless trolley [trolly] route.
West Chester Pike was a classic victim of 1950s thinking. At that time there wasn’t a PennDOT but rather the more aptly named Highway Department. The Pike was two lanes for most of its length. As sprawl increased the DoH proposed widening it to four. Except near Upper Darby the tracks were along the side rather than the middle. Most of it was single-line with some passing sidings and station pull-outs, making it an obvious target for the road-builders.

Judging by the houses, my guess is this photo was taken in the Broomall-Manoa area,

Image

There was a fair amount of civic opposition to replacing the rail line. One of the area newspapers took a non-scientific poll which found nearly 80% support for maintaining service. Theoretically the tracks could have been preserved in the new median but it would have greatly complicated car traffic at intersections, especially left-turn lanes. So the Highway Department prevailed, up came the rails, and in came the autos.

The last West Chester trolley ran in 1954. A rump service ran as far as Westgate Hills till 1958 when that too was discontinued. A short stretch of tracks remained on the Pike to ferry cars to the old barn in Llanerch, just west of Upper Darby. Someone please jog my brain, but I have a vague memory of that being closed around 1971 when all maintenance was consolidated at Victory Ave.
  by ekt8750
 
JeffK wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:24 am
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:19 pm it's a shame that PDOT removed so much for traffic sewers. I seem to recall the Pike to west Chester had tracks in middle removed, for making it more of a highway. That would have been a great trackless trolley [trolly] route.
West Chester Pike was a classic victim of 1950s thinking. At that time there wasn’t a PennDOT but rather the more aptly named Highway Department. The Pike was two lanes for most of its length. As sprawl increased the DoH proposed widening it to four. Except near Upper Darby the tracks were along the side rather than the middle. Most of it was single-line with some passing sidings and station pull-outs, making it an obvious target for the road-builders.

Judging by the houses, my guess is this photo was taken in the Broomall-Manoa area,

Image
That looks like Westgate Hills which is just before you get to Haverford Hospital as you head west.
The last West Chester trolley ran in 1954. A rump service ran as far as Westgate Hills till 1958 when that too was discontinued. A short stretch of tracks remained on the Pike to ferry cars to the old barn in Llanerch, just west of Upper Darby. Someone please jog my brain, but I have a vague memory of that being closed around 1971 when all maintenance was consolidated at Victory Ave.
Correct. What is now the Rt 103 also used the West Chester Pike trackage up to Llanerch and turned up Darby Road just short of the Llanerch Shop. That line was converted to bus in 1966 and it was also probably when they decided to move trolley maintenance to Victory which was done in 1971. The small yard at the foot of West Chester Pike at Terminal Square is all that remains of the line.
  by scratchyX1
 
ekt8750 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:53 am
JeffK wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:24 am
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:19 pm it's a shame that PDOT removed so much for traffic sewers. I seem to recall the Pike to west Chester had tracks in middle removed, for making it more of a highway. That would have been a great trackless trolley [trolly] route.
West Chester Pike was a classic victim of 1950s thinking. At that time there wasn’t a PennDOT but rather the more aptly named Highway Department. The Pike was two lanes for most of its length. As sprawl increased the DoH proposed widening it to four. Except near Upper Darby the tracks were along the side rather than the middle. Most of it was single-line with some passing sidings and station pull-outs, making it an obvious target for the road-builders.

Judging by the houses, my guess is this photo was taken in the Broomall-Manoa area,

Image
That looks like Westgate Hills which is just before you get to Haverford Hospital as you head west.
The last West Chester trolley ran in 1954. A rump service ran as far as Westgate Hills till 1958 when that too was discontinued. A short stretch of tracks remained on the Pike to ferry cars to the old barn in Llanerch, just west of Upper Darby. Someone please jog my brain, but I have a vague memory of that being closed around 1971 when all maintenance was consolidated at Victory Ave.
Correct. What is now the Rt 103 also used the West Chester Pike trackage up to Llanerch and turned up Darby Road just short of the Llanerch Shop. That line was converted to bus in 1966 and it was also probably when they decided to move trolley maintenance to Victory which was done in 1971. The small yard at the foot of West Chester Pike at Terminal Square is all that remains of the line.
Is that a high traffic bus route? IF so, septa should be looking at converting some to battery extended trackless trolleys.
much better acceleration, and longer life of vehicle.
  by PHLSpecial
 
I think a bunch of the ROW can be restored on the 104 line. I purposed a while back this should be the way Philly can be connected to West Chester. Though it does throw more stress on the MFL should the 104 trolley come back.
  by ekt8750
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:11 am Is that a high traffic bus route? IF so, septa should be looking at converting some to battery extended trackless trolleys.
much better acceleration, and longer life of vehicle.
It is. In fact it is one of the heaviest transit routes in the system. While trackless might be a good stopgap, you'll get a bigger bang for your buck with full rail. Light rail vehicles hold more people per trip, plus you'll get even better acceleration and vehicle lifespan than the tracklesses. The 104 is such a straight shot that with the proper signaling, traffic control and prioritization, LRVs can cut down travel times by at least 40 mins.
  by rcthompson04
 
ekt8750 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:52 pm
scratchyX1 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:11 am Is that a high traffic bus route? IF so, septa should be looking at converting some to battery extended trackless trolleys.
much better acceleration, and longer life of vehicle.
It is. In fact it is one of the heaviest transit routes in the system. While trackless might be a good stopgap, you'll get a bigger bang for your buck with full rail. Light rail vehicles hold more people per trip, plus you'll get even better acceleration and vehicle lifespan than the tracklesses. The 104 is such a straight shot that with the proper signaling, traffic control and prioritization, LRVs can cut down travel times by at least 40 mins.
I have thought a light rail service along West Chester Pike to West Chester then up Pottstown Pike to Exton Station would be a better fit to adding rail service back to West Chester.
  by JeffK
 
The Red Arrow Ardmore Line, now SEPTA 103, was a different animal than the West Chester route. After running along WC Pike it branched off into a rather classic suburban neighborhood. Part of the route was already in a kind of median in the center of a wide street. After that ir switched to a (rather famous) private ROW which among other things passed under the P&W at Ardmore Junction before terminating at Lancaster Avenue.

Image

What I heard - again, please correct - was that there were no active plans to bustitute the line, but by 1965 even the once-mighty Red Arrow was in bad financial shape. Supposedly there were no longer enough serviceable cars to operate all of the three surviving routes. They looked into acquiring a trio of second-hand cars for Ardmore but couldn’t even.scrape together the necessary $450,000. So, they pulled the plug the next year.

It’s frustrating to think that the lack of such a comparatively paltry investment, even measured in 1966 bucks, cost us the Ardmore line.
Last edited by JeffK on Wed Jul 14, 2021 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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