Regional rail to Pottstown

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

rcthompson04
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:32 am

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by rcthompson04 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:01 pm

mcgrath618 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:49 pm
Backshophoss wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:20 pm
NS will not Allow catenary.
Why not? The Trenton Sub on CSX handles all traffic just fine.

And you’re right. SEPTA isn’t buying any ALPs. Phoenixville is leading them :)
I suspect SEPTA would still be leasing the ALPs due to the grant / loan process. Phoenixville and/or Chester County (depending on the outcome of the next county election) would be paying some of the cost.

I could see SEPTA being forced to get some dual modes if this works though. It solves part of the problem with restoring some service to non-electrified territory. Adding service is a very nice shiny object in the eyes of the politicians and this might be a relatively cheap way to do it.

ExCon90
Posts: 4475
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:22 pm

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by ExCon90 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:55 pm

NS now operates under SEPTA catenary through Norristown; that would weaken any argument against operating under catenary in principle.
Additionally, there will have to be plans for a more comprehensive service in the near future, particularly a few late-night cleanup trains, to develop the operation to its full potential. Phoenixville should surely justify more service than Cynwyd.

pumpers
Posts: 2096
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:56 pm

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by pumpers » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:12 pm

mcgrath618 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:49 pm
Backshophoss wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:20 pm
NS will not Allow catenary.
Why not? The Trenton Sub on CSX handles all traffic just fine.

And you’re right. SEPTA isn’t buying any ALPs. Phoenixville is leading them :)
I'm late to this thread and haven't read it all, but I thought CSX and SEPTA are 100% separated now on the Trenton Sub, after that big project a few years ago (if Setpa and CSX sharing the same tracks is what mcgrath is referring to).

mcgrath618
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by mcgrath618 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:29 am

pumpers wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:12 pm
mcgrath618 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:49 pm
Backshophoss wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:20 pm
NS will not Allow catenary.
Why not? The Trenton Sub on CSX handles all traffic just fine.

And you’re right. SEPTA isn’t buying any ALPs. Phoenixville is leading them :)
I'm late to this thread and haven't read it all, but I thought CSX and SEPTA are 100% separated now on the Trenton Sub, after that big project a few years ago (if Setpa and CSX sharing the same tracks is what mcgrath is referring to).
This is true, but before that point CSX did indeed run under wire. Even now they’re still running under the bridges, just with no wire above.

rcthompson04
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:32 am

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:16 pm

mcgrath618 wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:29 am
pumpers wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:12 pm
mcgrath618 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:49 pm
Backshophoss wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:20 pm
NS will not Allow catenary.
Why not? The Trenton Sub on CSX handles all traffic just fine.

And you’re right. SEPTA isn’t buying any ALPs. Phoenixville is leading them :)
I'm late to this thread and haven't read it all, but I thought CSX and SEPTA are 100% separated now on the Trenton Sub, after that big project a few years ago (if Setpa and CSX sharing the same tracks is what mcgrath is referring to).
This is true, but before that point CSX did indeed run under wire. Even now they’re still running under the bridges, just with no wire above.
Norfolk Southern already runs double stacks under wire at Norristown and non-double stacks west of Frazer.

nova08
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:59 pm

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by nova08 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:05 pm

Would single stacks west of Fraser on Amtrak's Keystone line indicate some type of restriction of double stacks under wire. Yes, NS runs under Septa's wire at Norristown everyday, but they run and a very limited speed given the station and interlocking to the Morrisville line.

rcthompson04
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:32 am

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:36 pm

nova08 wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:05 pm
Would single stacks west of Fraser on Amtrak's Keystone line indicate some type of restriction of double stacks under wire. Yes, NS runs under Septa's wire at Norristown everyday, but they run and a very limited speed given the station and interlocking to the Morrisville line.
I don't know if double-stacks have an issue with wire clearance west of Frazer, but I don't think there is any demand for double-stacks west of Frazer. The freight traffic between Frazer and Lancaster is nominal with it being non-existent between Coatesville and Kinzers if I remember correctly.

nova08
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:59 pm

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by nova08 » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:45 am

rcthompson04 wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:36 pm
nova08 wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:05 pm
Would single stacks west of Fraser on Amtrak's Keystone line indicate some type of restriction of double stacks under wire. Yes, NS runs under Septa's wire at Norristown everyday, but they run and a very limited speed given the station and interlocking to the Morrisville line.
I don't know if double-stacks have an issue with wire clearance west of Frazer, but I don't think there is any demand for double-stacks west of Frazer. The freight traffic between Frazer and Lancaster is nominal with it being non-existent between Coatesville and Kinzers if I remember correctly.
Sorry, let me connect the dots I had in my mind. West of Frazer on the Keystone line is used by NS to reroute intermodal trains headed to/from Morrisville. This has happened during the recent derailment at Reading and Septa work at Norristown.

My point was if there is a single stack restriction on the Keystone line then NS will likely oppose catenary construction from Bridgeport to Phoenixville if it will create a single stack restriction. Assuming the single stack restriction exists in the first place. Not that they needed any more of a reason to oppose it.

NorthPennLimited
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:15 am

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by NorthPennLimited » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:48 pm

Catenary can easily be constructed to Phoenixville with 22’ 6” clearance just like the existing catenary between Woodbourne and West Trenton. SEPTA also runs double stacks under the wire at Norristown

rcthompson04
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:32 am

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by rcthompson04 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:21 am

NorthPennLimited wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:48 pm
Catenary can easily be constructed to Phoenixville with 22’ 6” clearance just like the existing catenary between Woodbourne and West Trenton. SEPTA also runs double stacks under the wire at Norristown
I suspect the issues NS would have with wires are not height related. They are probably related to running them over the Schuylkill River Bridge in Norristown and what you do with Abrams Yard

blizzard
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:40 pm

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by blizzard » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:14 pm

Howdy folks,

Would having Amtrak operate service to Phoenixville, Pottstown or even Reading be more realistic than having SEPTA do it? They'd be able to operate out of 30th Street lower level and have the diesel power and maintenance facilities that SEPTA lacks, without having to deal with the center city commuter tunnel. Would they also have an advantage in terms of being able to force their way to have access to NS tracks where SEPTA or another local agency couldn't? This is assuming somebody would fund Amtrak to provide the service.

NorthPennLimited
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:15 am

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by NorthPennLimited » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:22 pm

Amtrak will charge a arm and a leg to operate the service to Pottstown.

Best bet would be to have PennDot and DVARP negotiate trackage rights on NS (and possibly SEPTA) purchase the equipment, and subcontract the operation to NS, Keolis, Bombardier or Virgin Trains.

NS could be offered large real estate tax abatements for offering up their ROW and maybe donating space at the engine house at Abrams to service/ store the trains. They could also easily apply for grants to rebuild Norris Interlocking and make the railroad bi-directional on both tracks West of Abrams.

glennk419
Posts: 3057
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 7:44 pm
Location: Southeastern PA & Cape May County, NJ

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by glennk419 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:37 pm

PennDot does pay subsidies for the Keystone service so the idea is not as far fetched as it may sound.
Glenn

Backshophoss
Posts: 6320
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by Backshophoss » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:16 pm

No wire =no service
SEPTA will NOT buy any Diesel or dual mode power.
NS may not play along anyway
What was under RDG is now lost.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

mcgrath618
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:11 pm

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by mcgrath618 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:16 pm

Backshophoss wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:16 pm
No wire =no service
SEPTA will NOT buy any Diesel or dual mode power.
NS may not play along anyway
What was under RDG is now lost.
I wouldn't be so sure; I've heard quite the opposite.

Return to “SEPTA (and PATCO)”