• SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

  • 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

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  by trackwelder
 
wagz wrote:
I get the general feeling that SEPTA is playing the same hardball tactic right now with the NHSL bridge over the Schuylkill. "Give us funding to fix it or we're shutting off the trains". Sure the bridge likely is in bad condition, but if it was in such bad condition as to be unfit for train service over it then it would have been shut down months ago when the problem was discovered, not "we're going to close it in July".

it's a tactic like that was used in '93 that turned Luzerne depotn in to a box factory and the 56 and 23 trolleys in to busses
  by Matthew Mitchell
 
Jersey_Mike wrote:
Matthew Mitchell wrote:Huh? ASCES and I-ETMS definitely have different hardware.
The real magic comes in the software, most of the hardware comes in the form of antennas and I-ETMS is an antenna only system. This is not like left and right tripping trip stops, you just need an extra BNC connector into the box. Remember that even radios now are software defined.
We got some more information this week at the APTA rail conference. The "interoperability" of the SEPTA and CSX systems is at the back end only. ACSES is overlaid onto cab signals and as you pointed out earlier, CSX is not going to install cab signals on their main line locomotives (they'll have to do so for the units that provide local service in SEPTA territory like up the Warminster line).
  by Jersey_Mike
 
Again if PTC is required for both lines a dual system would still meet all the required safety goals. Second, running only some trains with cabs and other trains without cabs is not without precedent. BNSF has cabs fitted on the Aurora Sub which is only required on commuter locomotives and in the Harrisburg area trains heading off the Buffalo Line are not required to have cab signals fitted when operating to Enola Yard or the Harrisburg Line. This is a political problem. One wonders why mass transit doesn't have the same sort of friends in congress that every other industry has.

BTW many CSX trains operating on the Trenton Line are probably interacting with the RF&P Sub which is equipped with cab signals so I don't know how much of a problem using only equipped leaders would be. Once NJT extends service to West Trenton they'll need it.
  by 25Hz
 
Jersey_Mike wrote:Again if PTC is required for both lines a dual system would still meet all the required safety goals. Second, running only some trains with cabs and other trains without cabs is not without precedent. BNSF has cabs fitted on the Aurora Sub which is only required on commuter locomotives and in the Harrisburg area trains heading off the Buffalo Line are not required to have cab signals fitted when operating to Enola Yard or the Harrisburg Line. This is a political problem. One wonders why mass transit doesn't have the same sort of friends in congress that every other industry has.[/i]

BTW many CSX trains operating on the Trenton Line are probably interacting with the RF&P Sub which is equipped with cab signals so I don't know how much of a problem using only equipped leaders would be. Once NJT extends service to West Trenton they'll need it.


That is a very interesting question and one that has dogged transit since the common carriers exited the passenger biz all those years ago. One reason, is there's no money to be had supporting public benefit programs. To work for such an agency would mean you care about serving the people, probably more than making the big bucks.

I don't think SEPTA will have an issue with this grant application, but then again, it should be allowed to file for an exemption for the affected parts of its system.
  by Jersey_Mike
 
It is bad public policy for SEPTA to try to segregate its operations from CSX on the Trenton Line. It will take a 2-track railroad and reduce it to a one track railroad. That means if there's a problem service will be suspended and if trains are late those delays will cascade.
  by Matthew Mitchell
 
Jersey_Mike wrote:It is bad public policy for SEPTA to try to segregate its operations from CSX on the Trenton Line. It will take a 2-track railroad and reduce it to a one track railroad. That means if there's a problem service will be suspended and if trains are late those delays will cascade.
That's exactly what DVARP's concern was, but the project presently under consideration entails adding a third track from Wood to Yardley.

So the question then is trading single track from Yardley to West Trenton for an end to any freight interference, and avoiding a situation where CSX retakes control of dispatching and forces SEPTA to comply with their system or take the passenger trains off altogether.
  by 25Hz
 
I wonder why RDG relaced a 3 track span with a 2 track span? Would fix all this nonsense if it was 3 tracks.
  by Matthew Mitchell
 
25Hz wrote:I wonder why RDG relaced a 3 track span with a 2 track span? Would fix all this nonsense if it was 3 tracks.
It was four tracks at one point. They rationalized the infrastructure because more tracks equal more maintenance cost and possibly higher property taxes.
  by westernfalls
 
Jersey_Mike wrote:BTW this isn't a PTC issue... SEPTA has wanted to separate itself from CSX on that stretch of tracks FOR YEARS.
Without all the PTC hoopla, this proposal was thoroughly discussed here 7 years ago: http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=72&t=20555

A detailed description of the current proposal seems as elusive now as it was the last time around. Who's seen it?
25Hz wrote:I wonder why RDG relaced a 3 track span with a 2 track span?
There was never a 3-track span across the Delaware River at Yardley. The present bridge recently had it's 100th birthday and it was built in a era when the New York Branch was a double track railroad with center sidings. The 4-track sections weren't built until a few years later.
  by Matthew Mitchell
 
westernfalls wrote:A detailed description of the current proposal seems as elusive now as it was the last time around. Who's seen it?
There have been briefings for both CAC Railroad Subcommittee and for DVARP. I think Bob and I have a pretty good handle on the proposal. The key difference from the previous one is the third track. A couple of switches would be added to Wood so SEPTA will have a two-track railroad the whole way through to Yardley. Relocation of the yard at West Trenton is a phase II project.
  by Clearfield
 
Matthew Mitchell wrote:I think Bob and I have a pretty good handle on the proposal.
Yes we do.
  by Jersey_Mike
 
What's depressing is that SEPTA could use the money to extend service to Wawa or Quakertown instead of pussyfooting around with CSX because the two railroads can't learn to make nice.
  by Matthew Mitchell
 
Jersey_Mike wrote:What's depressing is that SEPTA could use the money to extend service to Wawa or Quakertown instead of pussyfooting around with CSX because the two railroads can't learn to make nice.
There is no easy solution like you imply. Either 1-SEPTA spends millions of dollars to equip all its equipment with a compatible PTC system, 2-SEPTA spends less now and equips only part of the fleet, but then has the dispatching hassle of making sure all trains going beyond Wood are led by an equipped unit, or 3-SEPTA spends a comparable amount of money and puts in six miles of additional track, which brings some side benefits.

If CSX "plays nice" and adopts ACSES on the West Trenton then they have to equip some fraction of their fleet with the necessary equipment plus has to dispatch accordingly (e.g. no more run-throughs). The shareholders wouldn't stand for that, especially since there's a zero-cost alternative which is for CSX to tell SEPTA to play it our way or stop running your trains on our tracks.

You can do all the cost-benefit analysis you want, but getting a waiver from Washington is a non-starter. If you've got a viable means of compliance, no risk-averse bureaucrat is going to let you off. APTA and the AAR have been lobbying on this for years and all they've got is a chance of pushing back the deadline to something more realistic.
  by nomis
 
Matthew Mitchell wrote: There is no easy solution like you imply. Either:

1-SEPTA spends millions of dollars to equip all its equipment with a compatible PTC system,
2-SEPTA spends less now and equips only part of the fleet, but then has the dispatching hassle of making sure all trains going beyond Wood are led by an equipped unit, or
3-SEPTA spends a comparable amount of money and puts in six miles of additional track, which brings some side benefits.
Re quoting because the true operational and monetary options need to be understood ... [emphasis mine]
  by westernfalls
 
Before asking for $38.8 million from the taxpayers' pocket, has SEPTA engaged a competent and independent signal consultant to demonstrate that it is impossible to run the line with both signal systems in place? Debate about equipping entire fleets of equipment with dual equipment to operate on a few miles of track is ludicrous.
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