WashingtonPark wrote: <snip>I’d somewhat discount the impact of stub terminals (or in this case relays) on capacity. There are similar terminals in NYC which, with longer trains than exist on PATCO, once turned as many as 26tph. This isn’t to say that stub ops aren’t annoying, but they’re certainly operable. At any rate, a short extension of the rails wouldn’t be *that* complicated.
Field tests were done after that nearly 30 year old report. I know, I was involved in them. 24tph works fine without any station stops. Add in picking up and discharging passengers and things back up terribly. You could run a lot more than 24 if you didn't care how long it took you to traverse the line and you had unlimited car equipment and turn capacity. If you want an efficient operation 24 won't work. There is a crossover west of 15th. There is barely enough room in the pocket to turn a 6 car train and you must creep up to EOT to avoid hitting the bumper block, which is an automatic work suspension. None of this really matters for Glassboro anyway. There are no plans to run those trains to Philadelphia over PATCO property. PATCO and TNJ have determined it isn't feasible. It might look good on paper but it doesn't work in the real world without a huge amount of money being spent. The Federal government hasn't even committed their share to providing service that is basically a restartup of glorified RDC service on a right of way that is already there.
The fact that PATCO can’t get 24tph with stopping indicates to me the presence of a relatively serious control line problem. Unless dwells regularly stretch over 180 seconds, there’s really no good reason for a rapid transit service with decent acceleration and braking rates to be limited to 16tph...unless its signal system was not designed for high capacity ops, which seems to be the case here (?). Luckily this is a relatively simple fix — install some new IJs and rework the control lines to get station area cutbacks and you’re golden.
To the point of this Glassboro proposal in general: yes, it’s not going anywhere, and yes, it’s currently planned as a dinky. That doesn’t mean this isn’t important. Trans-river capacity will eventually be the thing that limits peak hour public transit cap in the region — especially given that PATCO is the only rapid transit way across. Understanding it’s challenges is thus key to making informed decisions about transit in the area.
I’d also argue that expansions should be made off the PATCO spine and not as stand alones, but that’s again just me.