• 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 Tritransit Area
 
westernfalls wrote: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.
As Jersey Mike mentioned before, the PTC signal system is only one part of the reason why SEPTA is pursuing this. With traffic on CSX on the rise, along with increased ridership and demand on SEPTA's West Trenton Line, CSX and SEPTA will butt heads a bit more in the future as they try to boost more service on each of their lines. This allows SEPTA and CSX to operate independently, so freight movements won't affect SEPTA service and vice versa.

CSX is going to have to have dual equipment for their movements down the Main Line to Jenkintown as well as NS for movements through Norristown, I imagine.
  by Matthew Mitchell
 
Tritransit Area wrote:CSX is going to have to have dual equipment for their movements down the Main Line to Jenkintown as well as NS for movements through Norristown, I imagine.
Right. But those are locomotives that stay in the same area instead of road units that travel everywhere.
  by trackwelder
 
was the woodbourne station re-built before or after the incident that instigated the ptc legislation? i i've always wondered why they built it on the old 1 track row instead of maybe realigning two track over a bit. it appears that within a few years both septa and csx might miss the ability to have a four track main through there.
  by nomis
 
Matthew Mitchell wrote:
Tritransit Area wrote:CSX is going to have to have dual equipment for their movements down the Main Line to Jenkintown as well as NS for movements through Norristown, I imagine.
Right. But those are locomotives that stay in the same area instead of road units that travel everywhere.
The NS side is not exactly the same case of CSX Local-yokel's; but they are usually semi-captive pools of Short-Medium Haul distances of equipment that can become permanent pool (Morrisville-Abrams at the very least) if need be.
  by Jersey_Mike
 
nomis wrote:
Matthew Mitchell wrote:
Tritransit Area wrote:CSX is going to have to have dual equipment for their movements down the Main Line to Jenkintown as well as NS for movements through Norristown, I imagine.
Right. But those are locomotives that stay in the same area instead of road units that travel everywhere.
The NS side is not exactly the same case of CSX Local-yokel's; but they are usually semi-captive pools of Short-Medium Haul distances of equipment that can become permanent pool (Morrisville-Abrams at the very least) if need be.
NS locomotives are generally equipped with cab signaling and the Morrisville Line requires it. If that's the rub for CSX that is why NS won't care. I have a sneaking suspicion that the PTC mandate is going to be some combination of delayed, weakened, eliminated or avoided and I think CSX thinking the same way. The problem is that if SEPTA cab signals the shared portion of the Trenton Line there is no way in hell CSX will be able to avoid needing equipped locomotives for that section. Even in the case where dual PTC is installed, but the freight version just doesn't work very well and ends up being cut or operating in a degraded mode half the time cab signals would probably be required to compensate.

Needing to install cab signals in addition to dealing with SEPTA's dispatchers is like the spiting on the cake for CSX.

Will be interesting to see what NJT does for RVL and West Trenton service. I suspect it will have a pool of dual equipped locomotives, probably the PL42s.
  by rslitman
 
Sometimes when I see YouTube videos of trains going through Woodbourne on weekends, all of the SEPTA trains in both directions run on the usual inbound track.

Last Saturday, I rode the train all the way to West Trenton to attend a special event where I work. I noticed after Neshaminy Falls that we were on the "wrong" track. This remained the case all the way to the end of the line.

Is this the normal practice on weekends, possibly to give the freight trains easier passage on both their dedicated (non-electrified) track and the usual SEPTA outbound track? Or was this done for another reason, such as avoiding the need to go into the yard, which may have been full of trains being kept over the weekend?

If it was to keep the passenger and freight trains on separate tracks, I guess this is what we can expect 7 days a week when this regulation goes into effect.
  by 25Hz
 
You'd still need 2 tracks to avoid peak hour conflicts to and from west Trenton.
  by 25Hz
 
I am wondering if they could get a new flag stop only station at Edgewood rd after they put in the 3rd track... Just a small paved area on one side & one set of PDX panels...
  by Matthew Mitchell
 
25Hz wrote:You'd still need 2 tracks to avoid peak hour conflicts to and from west Trenton.
To completely avoid them, yes. But a single track at the end of the line is less disruptive than one in the middle. For instance, in the off-peak hours, you've got an hour to get a train from Yardley to West Trenton, lay over, turn around, and come back.
  by Tritransit Area
 
25Hz wrote:I am wondering if they could get a new flag stop only station at Edgewood rd after they put in the 3rd track... Just a small paved area on one side & one set of PDX panels...
It's very unlikely - with SEPTA's network any new station has to be fully ADA compliant, which generally means high platforms, ramps, etc. Why Edgewood Road, though?
  by 25Hz
 
Tritransit Area wrote:
25Hz wrote:I am wondering if they could get a new flag stop only station at Edgewood rd after they put in the 3rd track... Just a small paved area on one side & one set of PDX panels...
It's very unlikely - with SEPTA's network any new station has to be fully ADA compliant, which generally means high platforms, ramps, etc. Why Edgewood Road, though?

It's in between woodbourne & yardley. Pretty big gap. I'll just start new thread about it, just makes sense to do the projects back to back. Mini-hi would suffice I suspect.
  by Clearfield
 
Keep in mind that if SEPTA doesn't get the grant to pay for this, here are some possible and separate scenarios.

CSX distatches the West Trenton line (which they own) north of Woodbourne from Jacksonville, Florida creating delays for SEPTA. And, SEPTA would need to maintain a fleet dedicated to West Trenton with freight compatible PTC equipment

OR

The line would have a new terminus at Woodbourne and be renamed the "Woodbourne Line" eliminating the confusion between Trenton and West Trenton.


With SEPTA's capital budget the lowest in 15 years, there isn't enough money any more to maintain a state of good repair, let alone new fund starts or special projects.

Think about it as you board a bus at the Bridgeport stop on the NHSL line.
  by Jersey_Mike
 
Another thing to consider, SEPTA wouldn't pay to install dual PTC systems on the line. SEPTA would pay to install its system and CSX would pay to install its system. In fact, under the single track arrangement both systems would be working side by side and you would need almost exactly the same hardware as you would for a straight up overlapping dual system. If this wouldn't result in a decrease in capacity I would have to give SEPTA kudos for its clever use of BS to get $.
  by nomis
 
Yes it would be roughly the same amount of Wayside hardware, provided CSX / FRA would even allow a dual system. Equipping some or all of the septa fleet with two systems is a cost that Septa is to bear (silly unfunded mandate to boot).

All if PTC is BS, finding a way to get an incremental infasteucture benefit from the outlay of equipment would be beneficial for Septa to consider, especially if DELLA to TRENT is the bottleneck, not WOOD to TRENT.
  by Jersey_Mike
 
I believe the operating plan would be to have SEPTA on the north track and CSX on the south track with the third track extended to reduce the 2xsingle track segment. Yard moves would still need to cross the "CSX track" at TRENT but normal service could turn in front of TRENT tower throughout off-peak times.

BTW the workable PTC solution is going to involve autonomous vehicle technology, which is basically the same problem only harder as trains run on rails. In 10 yeas people will be kicking themselves for spending billions on such a "dumb" system when something based on adaptive cruise control and computer vision will require much less wayside hardware. MU's can be completely automated while freight would use it as an extra head end crewmember with a brake valve. The system can identify wayside signals and signal indications by sight, keep track of distances, again, on sight (extra mileposts may be needed, although UP has them every 1/4 mile already) and allow trains to get close in to Stop signals, again, on sight. Everything would be backed up with the current odometer based tracking as a failsafe, add in some adaptive cruise control radar for permissive operations into occupied blocks and systems to detect and respond to speed restriction signs and you have yourself a PTC system with none of the headache.
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