• 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 ExCon90
 
I believe another factor was that there weren't enough substations to handle the frequencies required to accommodate the existing traffic growth -- too many cars out on the line at one time -- and of course there was no money available from anywhere to provide for that. I think Ron DeGraw's book The Red Arrow mentions that rush-hour trippers to Westgate Hills had to be operated with busses even while rail service continued to West Chester. Also, there are some beautiful trees occupying the median farther in, whose removal would incur plenty of backlash. An interesting dilemma for the tree-huggers: trees or electric rail transportation?
  by ekt8750
 
ExCon90 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:33 pm Also, there are some beautiful trees occupying the median farther in, whose removal would incur plenty of backlash. An interesting dilemma for the tree-huggers: trees or electric rail transportation?
They actually can be relocated to line the tracks without killing them if done right.
  by PHLSpecial
 
ekt8750 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:10 am
ExCon90 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:33 pm Also, there are some beautiful trees occupying the median farther in, whose removal would incur plenty of backlash. An interesting dilemma for the tree-huggers: trees or electric rail transportation?
They actually can be relocated to line the tracks without killing them if done right.
Exactly, we would need to convinced to look at the bigger picture and you are removing cars off the road. Plenty of space on the in parking lots and open grass to replant the trees. The LRT would remove one lane of traffic. Connect people to SAP, West Chester, and possibly West Chester University.
  by ElectricTraction
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:06 pmAgreed, I don't know the status of the EMU bi-levels but I kinda hope its cancelled. Like you said single level is the best way forward for the northeast corridor minus NJT. The Denver RTD could also piggyback of this should they need more cars in the future. I'm not sure would design a EMU for commuter rail.
I don't know about SEPTA, but NJT is going ahead with them, and I don't think they will be very good performers. The whole concept is sort of a kludge given NJT/Amtrak clearances. NJT, SEPTA, RTD, and possibly some other agencies could all use a single level EMU design.

We need standardized designs for single-level EMUs, DMUs, and coaches, as well as MLs, MBTA/MARC clearance bi-levels, and gallery cars. I believe the bi-levels used in the rest of the country and Toronto are already basically standardized.
Head-end View wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:05 pmIn Chicago, the METRA Electric Division is on at least their second generation of gallery type EMU's which are a kind of bi-level car but different configuration than NJT uses. And the Chicago, South shore & South Bend RR (NICTD) also now runs a fleet of gallery type EMU's. They are very readily accepted in the Chicago area.
Between the low-level platforms, and the higher overhead clearances, there is a lot more space to make those practical there, whereas the NJT clearance MLs with both high- and low-level boarding are going to be a much more compromised design, and aren't going to be great. They'd be better off with 12-car dual-locomotive push-pull ML sets for peak or peak, and single-level EMUs common to SEPTA, RTD, and other agencies for everything else. Plus, with Gateway and rebuilding Penn, they could probably run mostly or all single-level and run more trains.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
ElectricTraction wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:30 pm I believe the bi-levels used in the rest of the country and Toronto are already basically
standardized.
Comets (single level) are used mainly due to tunnel and catenary restrictions. Most everything (commuter)
outside NEC or Chicago is BBD bilevel or similar. AXT/EXO is an exception.
  by ExCon90
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:33 am
ekt8750 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:10 am
ExCon90 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:33 pm Also, there are some beautiful trees occupying the median farther in, whose removal would incur plenty of backlash. An interesting dilemma for the tree-huggers: trees or electric rail transportation?
They actually can be relocated to line the tracks without killing them if done right.
Exactly, we would need to convinced to look at the bigger picture and you are removing cars off the road. Plenty of space on the in parking lots and open grass to replant the trees. The LRT would remove one lane of traffic. Connect people to SAP, West Chester, and possibly West Chester University.
Yes, if there could ever be agreement to remove the two inside lanes you wouldn't even have to disturb the trees. With welded rail and traffic-signal preemption you could provide a really attractive transit time, and there's no Regional Rail line anywhere near. A much better investment than restoring Wawa-West Chester Regional Rail, I would say.
  by ElectricTraction
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:23 pmComets (single level) are used mainly due to tunnel and catenary restrictions. Most everything (commuter)
outside NEC or Chicago is BBD bilevel or similar. AXT/EXO is an exception.
Yes, and that covers a number of systems, but probably not more cars, as the NEC systems are just much larger. Chicago seems to love the gallery cars, VRE uses them as well, and CalTrain is either phasing them out or already has. AFAICT, the bi-levels and gallery cars are interchangeable from a height and platform perspective, but Metra seems to love the gallery cars, so having a standard gallery car design and a standard bi-level design isn't the end of the world.

MBTA and MARC can use the NJT MLs, and MARC has some now, but they really should have a taller design like the older MARC cars and MBTA cars if multilevel cars are really necessary at all on those lines, as the NJT MLs are really cramped to fit within the North River tunnel profile. LIRR having different multilevel cars is idiotic, as they are basically the same size as the NJT cars, except with slightly larger corners.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
ElectricTraction wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 10:04 pm LIRR having different multilevel cars is idiotic, as they are basically the same size as the NJT cars,
except with slightly larger corners.
Slightly shorter than NJT, but still won't clear the tight loading gauge in the 63 Street Tunnel to GCT.

With the Mount Royal tunnel no longer in use for commuter rail and an all diesel fleet, it seems EXO might
be able to rationalize and use a common car (if standard bilevels could clear Gare Centrale).
  by PHLSpecial
 
From the Connect NEC 2035 here is the list of improves coming to Septa if funding is found.

PDF: https://nec-commission.com/app/uploads/ ... 5-Plan.pdf

• Harrisburg Line Interlocking Improvement Projects: This includes interlocking
improvements for Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor and SEPTA’s Paoli-Thorndale Line, replacing or
reconfiguring outdated interlockings that present a challenge to reliability. The interlocking
improvements support existing and future ridership growth and support flexible operations.
• Harrisburg Line Catenary and Signal Projects: This includes catenary and signal
improvements for Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor and SEPTA’s Paoli-Thorndale Line. The projects
will replace outdated signal systems to allow bi-directional train movements and support
flexible and more efficient operations than are currently possible. Overhead catenary will be
replaced and upgraded to improve system reliability.
• New Interlocking and Turnback Track between Cornwells Heights and Eddington: This
project will allow growth in Trenton Line service by allowing some trains to turn back to
Philadelphia at Cornwells Heights, reducing the amount of operational activity by SEPTA in
the delay-prone southern approach to Trenton.
• Ragan Turnback Track: Allows select SEPTA Wilmington Line trains to use multiple tracks
at Wilmington Station, using a turnback track past the station to allow for more reliable and
more frequent SEPTA service and saving an estimated 4 to 7 minutes for southbound trips
ending at Wilmington Station.
• Holly-Bell-Landlith Improvement Project: This project eliminates a bottleneck north of
Wilmington by adding a third track in this location, offering Amtrak and SEPTA greater
flexibility and schedule reliability.
• Harrisburg Line: Station Accessibility Program – SEPTA-led stations (Villanova, Malvern,
Devon, and Wynnewood): The project will make the stations fully ADA accessible with highlevel platforms, improve the customer experience, and bring the stations into a state of good
repair.
• Morrisville Yard: This project will provide additional train storage and capacity at Trenton
Transit Center by providing a new SEPTA facility at Morrisville Yard adjacent to NJ TRANSIT’s
facility
  by ElectricTraction
 
R36 Combine Coach wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 10:46 pmSlightly shorter than NJT, but still won't clear the tight loading gauge in the 63 Street Tunnel to GCT.
MN has no use for ML cars, LIRR shouldn't except that they've dragged their feet on full electrification on the western half of the system for decades so that they could standardize on 100% EMUs into NYP.
  by scratchyX1
 
ExCon90 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:24 pm
PHLSpecial wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:33 am
ekt8750 wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:10 am
ExCon90 wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:33 pm Also, there are some beautiful trees occupying the median farther in, whose removal would incur plenty of backlash. An interesting dilemma for the tree-huggers: trees or electric rail transportation?
They actually can be relocated to line the tracks without killing them if done right.
Exactly, we would need to convinced to look at the bigger picture and you are removing cars off the road. Plenty of space on the in parking lots and open grass to replant the trees. The LRT would remove one lane of traffic. Connect people to SAP, West Chester, and possibly West Chester University.
Yes, if there could ever be agreement to remove the two inside lanes you wouldn't even have to disturb the trees. With welded rail and traffic-signal preemption you could provide a really attractive transit time, and there's no Regional Rail line anywhere near. A much better investment than restoring Wawa-West Chester Regional Rail, I would say.
Looking at the map, yeah, if it's got the usage, this would be a case where it has the capacity that light rail would make sense. in the median where possible.
  by sammy2009
 
I wonder if it would be possible if Bombardier made a single level version of the next upcoming MLV III ? It looks like it could be done. Just a random thought.
  by PHLSpecial
 
According to the DVRPC 2050 vision

MFL trains would be replaced in 2033-2040
BSL trains replaced 2041-2050
NHSL trains replaced 2041-2050
Septa Trolleys replacement 2026-2050
Silver IV replacement 2041-2050
River line fleet replacement 2041-2050
Patco fleet replacement 2041-2050

I would think that Patco and BSL would order from the same vendor since they are both standard gauged.
Man the SLIV, BSL, Patco fleet would all be over 50 years old if this timeline holds true.
  by mcgrath618
 
Absolutely no chance the M-4s make it to the 2030s. I’d expect replacements within the next 7 years at least.

The N-4s might also be replaced as part of the ill-conceived KOP spur.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Don't get your hopes up of the Silverliner IVs lasting until the 2041-2015 time frame. I could perhaps see the Silverliner Vs lasting until that time frame. However, the IVs are like 47 years old. Presently, Septa is looking into replacing them down the road.
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