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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scotty269
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by scotty269 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:41 pm

MikeBPRR wrote:I stumbled upon the WHYY special about the Ben Franklin Bridge transportation hub that wasn't. It said that there was supposed to be a huge trolley terminal underneath where the lightning statue is. Is the trolley terminal the reason why there's so much space between the two tracks at Franklin Square Station, or is the trolley terminal elsewhere?


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MikeBPRR
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Reading Trunk history

Post by MikeBPRR » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:01 pm

While cruising Bing maps, I noticed that there seemed to be enough land for a third track from between Fern Rock and Wayne Junction. The bridge over Bellfield Avenue, which appears to be an original RDG structure (is it?) specifically looks like the northern side has room for a third track. The problem is that I can't tell whether there once was a third track because the catenary towers seem like they were only designed for two tracks. I also can't tell because the bridge over 18th street, which appears to be relatively new, is clearly only designed for two tracks. Did a third track actually exist until either SEPTA, Conrail, or the Reading tore it out, or did the RDG engineer the line so that there was room for a third track if needed? Would a third track help add capacity, or just move a bottleneck closer to Jenkintown?

I also noticed on my Bing maps journey that there was space for a third track at the Melrose Park station. Did an express track exist here, or did the Reading just design the station that way? If there was a third track, how often was it used in its heyday? Would it be useful today? In another topic, R3 Passenger wished for there to be a third track between Jenkintown and Wayne Junction. Just from cruising Bing maps, it seems to me that a third track would require some serious re-engineering. Did the Reading ever have plans for a third track and thus designed the Melrose Park that way, or did they build/plan for a third track through Melrose Park alone?
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Franklin Gowen
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Re: Reading Trunk history

Post by Franklin Gowen » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:21 pm

MikeBPRR wrote:I also noticed on my Bing maps journey that there was space for a third track at the Melrose Park station. Did an express track exist here, or did the Reading just design the station that way?

Ding-ding-ding...jackpot! Yes, a third track was indeed formerly used in the vicinity of Oak Lane (Melrose Park) on the Bethlehem Branch. :)

If there was a third track, how often was it used in its heyday? Would it be useful today?

I believe that this track was to aid in getting Bethlehem-bound freight trains over the road more smoothly. I admit that I am a trifle confused about exactly *how* the use of this track generated the benefit. The Oak Lane Middle Siding was not a very extensive length of third track...less than a mile, I think; perhaps even just half a mile.

I wonder if it was used as a staging-point to hold a freight that did have enough time to tie up the Tabor Jct. interlocking as it struggled upgrade from Philly's Erie Ave. yard, but did not have enough time to do that *and* clear the main as far as Jenkintown/Glenside for a scheduled passenger train coming up the line for Hatboro/West Trenton. Melrose Park is only 1.4 miles from Tabor Junction, where the Bethlehem Branch from Erie Av. met the Tabor Branch from Wayne Jct., and only one mile south of Elkins Park. The grade between Erie Ave. and Oak Lane was very unfriendly - ranging from 0.93% to 1.16% at its worst! Not an easy move. The Beth. Br. segment immediately around Oak Lane was a nearly-level plateau, which would have been useful for letting the freights "catch their breath."

Sooo...if my conjecture is correct, then the middle siding would have been a very convenient point to temporarily store a freight train.

In another topic, R3 Passenger wished for there to be a third track between Jenkintown and Wayne Junction. Just from cruising Bing maps, it seems to me that a third track would require some serious re-engineering. Did the Reading ever have plans for a third track and thus designed the Melrose Park that way, or did they build/plan for a third track through Melrose Park alone?

As stated above, built just through Melrose Park alone. Interestingly, the Oak Lane Middle Siding was wired for electric MU operation just as the Beth. Br. mains were. Good example of operational flexibility. By the way, evidence of this unused track was still to be seen as late as autumn 1991, shortly before SEPTA embarked on its ambitious (and desperately needed) "Railworks" reconstruction project.
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In 2019, the late, great RDG overlaps with SEPTA, NS, CSX, RBMN, and several shortlines - that's life . . .

scotty269
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by scotty269 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:08 pm

I could see a restored middle track in assisting during the peak hours; hold the local on the outer track at Melrose, and run an Express around it via the middle track.

Matthew Mitchell
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by Matthew Mitchell » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:38 pm

scotty269 wrote:I could see a restored middle track in assisting during the peak hours; hold the local on the outer track at Melrose, and run an Express around it via the middle track.

Well the way trains are fleeted, I don't think it's all that necessary unless one train or another is late. A half hour is plenty of time to get even six trains through (though the typical fleet pattern is five.

glennk419
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by glennk419 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:40 pm

There was recently a thread on the Reading RR page regarding the Oak Lane middle track which can be found here: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=99&t=65597
Glenn

dlandw
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by dlandw » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:57 pm

Hello all,

While riding the R7 from 30th Street to Trenton on Sunday, I noticed a number of PCC trolley car shells piled up in a junkyard on the west side of the tracks someplace between the Zoo and North Philadelphia station (although it may have been between North Philadelphia and Bridesburg, don't recall exactly).

Has anyone else noticed them, or know the area well enough to be able to pinpoint their location? They're probably "too far gone" to be saved, but might it be worthwhile to let a rolling stock conservation group know that they're there?

Cheers,
Al ("dlandw")

Ken S.
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by Ken S. » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:15 am

Not sure if this is the right place for it, but how would Railworks have been handled if SEPTA had kept and rebuilt the FP7s? Some recent releases of SEPTA content for Trainz (the FP7s and Bombers) is what leads me to ask this question.

glennk419
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by glennk419 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:46 am

Ken S. wrote:Not sure if this is the right place for it, but how would Railworks have been handled if SEPTA had kept and rebuilt the FP7s? Some recent releases of SEPTA content for Trainz (the FP7s and Bombers) is what leads me to ask this question.


Not sure it would have made any difference at all. The FP-7's lack head end power capability which would have been needed for the coaches and was the reasoning for leasing the NJT U34CH's. I suppose the FP's could have been retrofitted with the gen-sets during rebuilding which would have only eliminated the need for the leased power.

The bigger question may be what effect they may have had on our currently "out of service" non-electrified routes?
Glenn

Matthew Mitchell
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by Matthew Mitchell » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:57 am

glennk419 wrote:Not sure it would have made any difference at all. The FP-7's lack head end power capability which would have been needed for the coaches and was the reasoning for leasing the NJT U34CH's.

And there wasn't nearly enough equipment or track space to offer more than a skeleton service via the alternate route.

Franklin Gowen
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by Franklin Gowen » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:46 pm

Matthew Mitchell wrote:
glennk419 wrote:Not sure it would have made any difference at all. The FP-7's lack head end power capability which would have been needed for the coaches and was the reasoning for leasing the NJT U34CH's.

And there wasn't nearly enough equipment or track space to offer more than a skeleton service via the alternate route.

Indeed so. I'm all the more amazed that aside from Lansdale and West Trenton rush-hour diesels, even a short-lived Railworks service to Fox Chase existed. I did ride it, but sure wish I also had a photograph of it.
Franklin Gowen • • • • READING COMPANY forum moderator
Click here for "America's Largest Anthracite Hauler"
In 2019, the late, great RDG overlaps with SEPTA, NS, CSX, RBMN, and several shortlines - that's life . . .

hoffman900
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by hoffman900 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:17 pm

Hi all,

I've only browsed around for a bit, but this looks like a great forum.

I picked up a botany book from 1901 for cheap and found this in it.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4144/484 ... 5da7b8.jpg

Not that I think it's worth anything, but I'm curious to know if anyone can give me an approximate year on it. Thanks in advance.

- Bob

edit: some quick investigation using the calendar on my computer shows Friday Feb 9th occurred in ...1912, 1917, 1923, 1934, 1940.. I believe 1940 was the last year for the PTC, but not sure if they used those transfer tickets past then.

tgolanos
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by tgolanos » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:57 pm

Not too sure where to ask this question, and it has to to with historical SEPTA operations, so I figure this is as good a place as any. Does anyone have an actual copy of a schedule that shows R6 through-service from Ivy Ridge to Norristown? I'd like to take a look at it to see what service was like in the 80s.
Następny przystanek: Warszawa Centralna.

glennk419
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by glennk419 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:22 pm

tgolanos wrote:Not too sure where to ask this question, and it has to to with historical SEPTA operations, so I figure this is as good a place as any. Does anyone have an actual copy of a schedule that shows R6 through-service from Ivy Ridge to Norristown? I'd like to take a look at it to see what service was like in the 80s.


I have an April 29, 1984 schedule for Norristown to Reading Terminal if that helps at all.
Glenn

tgolanos
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Re: Historical Discussion

Post by tgolanos » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:45 pm

glennk419 wrote:I have an April 29, 1984 schedule for Norristown to Reading Terminal if that helps at all.


I have one of these lying around here somewhere, actually, from just after the tunnel was opened. I'm more interested in the ex-PRR Ivy Ridge half of the line, especially before service was cut back to Cynwyd. Thanks for the offer, though.
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