Historical Discussion

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/.

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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby walt » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:48 pm

No problem. These 14 cars were built circa 1949 by the St. Louis Car Co using a variation of the pre-war PCC body ( no standee windows), with the 32 degree windshield slope and the "Chicago" Length ( to accommodate the second platform). They were my favorite Red Arrow Cars, though the 1941 Brilliners actually had a smoother ride. The Red Arrow ordered these cars from St. Louis after Brill declined to build more Brilliners when requested to do so by the Red Arrow.
Please Move to the Rear and Speed Your Ride
( Philadelphia Transportation Company)
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby andrethebusman » Tue May 12, 2015 5:03 pm

Looking for some date verification for SEPTA service past Paoli. I have following:

1/1/83 Cut back from Downingtown to Paoli

3/1/85 Resumed to Downingtown as Schulkill Xway Construction alternative

1989 sometime - Cut back to Paoli because of disagreement with Amtrak over fees

4/2/90 Resumed service to Downingtown, now extended to Parkesburg

11/10/96 Cut back to Downingtown again as too little riding past there to justify expense

Anybody verify the 1989-90 cuts and restorations?
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby philipmartin » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:34 am

I live in northwestern Lehigh County, and one of my friends here, now deceased, got out of the navy in 1945 and got a job running interurban cars between Allentown and Philadelphia, for a short time. The company expected him to run his car full speed through fogged in crossings, so he quit.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby phllax » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:13 pm

I have 2 questions:

1. How come the connection between the NEC and the RDG main just RR south of the Norristown junction was never electrified and used? Was it due to the phase difference between PRR and RDG sides and the slope upward slope going from the RDG to the NEC?

2. If the airport line stations and bridge over I95 were done when the airport was redone in the 70's, why did it take so long for the line to go into service? Did it have to do with reconstruction and construction of other parts of the line, or was is more beauracratic and some issue with Conrail/Amtrak/Septa? The line could have easily been operated just to Suburban before the tunnel opened.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby westernfalls » Sat May 19, 2018 9:12 pm

phllax wrote:I have 2 questions:
1. How come the connection between the NEC and the RDG main just RR south of the Norristown junction was never electrified and used? ...
2. If the airport line stations and bridge over I95 were done when the airport was redone in the 70's, why did it take so long for the line to go into service? ...

1. No compelling reason to improve it beyond keeping it serviceable.
2. An editorial at that time blamed engineers and lawyers without proper supervision.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby mcgrath618 » Mon May 28, 2018 4:59 pm

I was talking to a worker at the PRR Museum and it appears that the final two SLIs have been scrapped.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby ConstanceR46 » Tue May 29, 2018 7:02 pm

Ya sure? They were at Strausburg and there are far worse and far less rare Basket Cases there.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby mcgrath618 » Tue May 29, 2018 7:15 pm

ConstanceR46 wrote:Ya sure? They were at Strausburg and there are far worse and far less rare Basket Cases there.

Believe me, I walked the grounds looking for them, but could not find them. The employee said it was because of PCB oil.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby ConstanceR46 » Tue May 29, 2018 8:31 pm

I got some bad news about the E44 and GG1, then...
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby mcgrath618 » Tue May 29, 2018 9:59 pm

ConstanceR46 wrote:I got some bad news about the E44 and GG1, then...

Which is why I don’t understand why they got rid of them.
Maybe it was some former dressed in a museum uniform who stole a badge? We’ll never know...
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby HGN2001 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:31 am

Back in my childhood years in the 50s, we had a neighbor who was a pretty good, but amateur photographer. Somehow, through the years, a photo that he took of downtown Philadelphia around 30th Street station ended up in my possession. I thought maybe some of the members here might get a kick out of it. The actual picture covers a much larger skyline shot, but I've cropped it down to the "transit" portion. I'm guessing that this might have been taken around 1950.

TransitCropped2 (2).jpg
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:20 pm

westernfalls wrote:
phllax wrote:I have 2 questions:
1. How come the connection between the NEC and the RDG main just RR south of the Norristown junction was never electrified and used? ...
2. If the airport line stations and bridge over I95 were done when the airport was redone in the 70's, why did it take so long for the line to go into service? ...

1. No compelling reason to improve it beyond keeping it serviceable.
2. An editorial at that time blamed engineers and lawyers without proper supervision.

I missed this one until now, but a major cause of delay was that after prolonged negotiations with the PC and RDG, both went into bankruptcy, which required the trustees to review every existing agreement to evaluate whether the agreement was favorable to the railroad. Entering bankruptcy allowed the railroad to disaffirm any contract unfavorable to the railroad, and the trustees could be sued in their personal capacity by any shareholders who felt they had wrongly reaffirmed an unfavorable agreement. Imagine going over all the agreements in which PC participated, with an up-or-down decision having to be made on each one.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Postby westernfalls » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:08 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
westernfalls wrote:
phllax wrote:I have... questions:
...
2. If the airport line stations and bridge over I95 were done when the airport was redone in the 70's, why did it take so long for the line to go into service? ...

2. An editorial at that time blamed engineers and lawyers without proper supervision.

I missed this one until now, but a major cause of delay was that after prolonged negotiations with the PC and RDG, both went into bankruptcy, which required the trustees to review every existing agreement to evaluate whether the agreement was favorable to the railroad. Entering bankruptcy allowed the railroad to disaffirm any contract unfavorable to the railroad, and the trustees could be sued in their personal capacity by any shareholders who felt they had wrongly reaffirmed an unfavorable agreement. Imagine going over all the agreements in which PC participated, with an up-or-down decision having to be made on each one.


A circumspect synopsis was published by the Philadelphia Chapter NRHS in their May, 1985 newsletter, Cinders:

SEPTA's "new way to fly," the Airport High Speed Line, took off smoothly on Sunday morning, April 28, after nearly 20 years on the runway...
The new line was first proposed in 1965, approved in 1970 and ballyhooed for an opening in 1976 to coincide with the Bicentennial celebration of that year. But political infighting, funding disputes, railroad bankruptcies and Northeast Corridor rehabilitation work delayed its completion until 1984, and helped balloon the cost to almost $90 million. The opening of the center city rail tunnel late last year caused a futher delay, because SEPTA officials did not want to risk starting the airport service until the tunnel had reached a "steady state" of operation.


As noted on the airport's web site, Terminals B, C, D, and E (with provision for the rail service) were completed in the Spring of 1977.
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