• 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/.
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

  • 145 posts
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 10
  by mcgrath618
 
Did SEPTA trackage rights along the line just become null and void when they stopped diesel service?
  by ekt8750
 
mcgrath618 wrote:Did SEPTA trackage rights along the line just become null and void when they stopped diesel service?
Conrail owned the line and the service and contracted SEPTA to be the operator. Conrail actually abandoned the passenger service to Pottstown in 1981 before they spun the passenger rail system off to SEPTA in '83 so they kept ownership of the ROW and there were no rights to negotiate or change hands.
  by mcgrath618
 
Interesting.
As for NS playing nice, I’m sure if the state offered them a nice tax incentive they would consider rolling with it. They’re reasonable; it’s not like it’s CSX
  by MACTRAXX
 
ekt8750 wrote:
mcgrath618 wrote:Did SEPTA trackage rights along the line just become null and void when they stopped diesel service?
Conrail owned the line and the service and contracted SEPTA to be the operator. Conrail actually abandoned the passenger service to Pottstown in 1981 before they spun the passenger rail system off to SEPTA in '83 so they kept ownership of the ROW and there were no rights to negotiate or change hands.
EKT: You have this backwards: Conrail operated commuter trains for SEPTA under contract. When
funding for the diesel routes ended - and counties outside the 5 county SEPTA area and the state
declined to subsidize the former Reading diesel routes. The service would be cut back to Pottstown
and Quakertown but when Montgomery and Bucks Counties would not further fund these lines it
then ended during the summer of 1981. The entire SEPTA RRD system saw cutbacks in 1981.

The early 1980s were probably the toughest years in the history of passenger rail services in SE
Pennsylvania - three SEPTA fare increases totaling more then 50 percent over the course of just
over a year (1980 had the highest inflation rate in recent U.S. history) caused a large decrease
in ridership and with Conrail contract operation costs steadily rising along with neglect of railroad
infrastructure the SEPTA Regional Rail system as a whole's survival was once threatened.

Conrail owned the ROW on the Reading-Pottsville route. At the beginning of 1983 SEPTA decided
to take direct control of their rail service instead of hiring another contractor (Amtrak Commuter
was going to likely take control) when Conrail exited operating passenger rail services for SEPTA,
NJT and what would become the Metro-North Commuter Railroad which was mandated by law.

MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Backshophoss wrote:They swapped in a SL III pic for he original pic,still one heck of a long shot to get NS to play nice here.
BSH: The Patch has a Silverliner 4 picture. A S3 would have been the 1967 vintage St. Louis
cars (220-239) which would have made more sense even though that group of cars is retired.

Someone must have called the Patch on posting the picture of the MFSE cars - which will never
run west of Upper Darby let alone anyplace in the Schuylkill Valley...MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by JeffK
 
MACTRAXX wrote:Someone must have called the Patch on posting the picture of the MFSE cars - which will never run west of Upper Darby let alone anyplace in the Schuykill Valley...MACTRAXX
I confess to being the flagger :P

Most of these smaller operations just grab whatever pops up at the top of Google or Wikimedia. The Norristown paper loves using a stock pic of an SL II (!) to illustrate almost ANY article about transportation. Even a larger operation like NBC10 gets flummoxed by the distinction between the NHSL and the 101/102 trolleys. Dontcha just love it?
  by mcgrath618
 
https://patch.com/pennsylvania/phoenixv ... l-proposal" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It seems that in this instance, the proposal actually has a serious chance.
It's interesting how keen Pheonixville government is to get the rail system back to their town. It also seems like they want to electrify the line, rather than have a diesel service.
  by ExCon90
 
That would be the logical choice, including electrification beyond Norristown. And if it's going to take as long as Hatboro to Warminster they'll need to get started right away -- how many years did that take again?
  by NorthPennLimited
 
It currently takes a train an hour to run 18 miles from center city Philadelphia to Norristown.

They have to find a way to shave-down the run times to make a 12 mile extension to Phoenixville competitive with an automobile drive time.

Same thing with the diesel/electric trolley to connect with the railroad at Paoli. Nobody wants to do a transfer. They'd rather just drive to Malvern or Paoli and catch the train.

It will be interesting to see the findings of the "umpteenth" feasibility study on extending commuter service west of Norristown. Hopefully, they don't shoot for the good-plated system Schuylkill Valley Metro envisioned.
  by mcgrath618
 
NorthPennLimited wrote:It currently takes a train an hour to run 18 miles from center city Philadelphia to Norristown.

They have to find a way to shave-down the run times to make a 12 mile extension to Phoenixville competitive with an automobile drive time.

Same thing with the diesel/electric trolley to connect with the railroad at Paoli. Nobody wants to do a transfer. They'd rather just drive to Malvern or Paoli and catch the train.

It will be interesting to see the findings of the "umpteenth" feasibility study on extending commuter service west of Norristown. Hopefully, they don't shoot for the good-plated system Schuylkill Valley Metro envisioned.
How about an express service? Have it only stop at East Falls, Manayunk, Conshohocken, and Norristown, before continuing to Phoenixville.
  by MACTRAXX
 
MCG, NPL and Everyone:

From looking at the current Manayunk-Norristown Line schedule - and 1976 Conrail timetables for
the Norristown-Philadelphia route local trains shows a 40-45 minute running time for the exactly
18 mile line between Elm Street-Norristown and Center City Philadelphia or Reading Terminal.

RDC runs ran nonstop between DeKalb Street-Norristown and North Broad Street (an important
stop back in RDG days) in 22 minutes on average - 14.1 miles.

If new service operates west of Norristown and operates through to Center City it would make
sense to run express - or add limited stops such as Conshohocken and Manayunk only.

At some point in the late 1970s until service ended in the Summer of 1981 some runs required
changing trains at Norristown. When service was cut back to Pottstown all RDC trains ran to or
from Norristown and did not operate through to Reading Terminal.

The listed mileages for 1976 Schuykill Valley route stations are - Reading Terminal Zero:
North Broad Street 2.9
Manayunk 7.6
Conshohocken 13.5
Norristown-DeKalb Street 17.2
Valley Forge Park 23.7
Phoenixville 27.7
Royersford 32.0
Linfield 34.4 (limited service)
Pottstown 40.5
Monocacy 47.1 (limited service)
Birdsboro 49.5
Reading-Franklin Street 58.1
(Limited Service: Both Linfield and Monocacy averaged one train stopping each way per day.)

I agree with the "one seat ride" thought - any required transfer is a no-go for some riders.
But-unless this line extension becomes electrified or is run using dual mode equipment a change
of trains will most likely be required with DeKalb Street Norristown the logical transfer point.

The Commuter Rail mode is the best way of restoring service on this route. The Schuykill Valley
Metro was a very expensive project that would have been a costly boondoggle.

Restoring service to Norristown and east will be easier then going with a DMU service to the
Great Valley area and Paoli which would require new or restored trackage along with a required
transfer at Paoli for service east or west from that point.

It is good to see that restored or new service on these routes has support without any significant
NIMBY opposition. Hopefully all parties can work something out to make this a reality...MACTRAXX
  by NorthPennLimited
 
22 minutes is a good run time. Add another 10 minutes to stop at Temple U, Jefferson, and Penn Center and you give an automobile a run for its money down the Schuylkill Expressway with no traffic
  by bikentransit
 
And what of the SEPTA funding curse? Or can we finally get them to start investing in expansion instead of gadgets? There was a recent article where Jeff Knupple said part of SEPTA's job is to help steer or be a partner in development, yet they've completely missed the suburban expansion market in Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties. I drove by the old Lenni station yesterday and see zero progress out there. There's no reason why Wawa should take 20 years. They could have done a scaled restoration such as reopening Lenni and Glen Riddle. They didn't have any issue adding a temporary stop at 9th street. It's clear they don't want to expand.
  by mcgrath618
 
https://patch.com/pennsylvania/phoenixv ... s-proposed" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Looks like this actually might happen?
And they’re proposing to ELECTRIFY IT??? Good luck getting SEPTA to do that
In all seriousness, this would be amazing and needs to happen.
  by Backshophoss
 
How active is freight service to Pottstown? NS will balk on any extension of wire to there.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 10