Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

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Re: Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

Postby trhickey » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:12 am

Station parking is key to the success of any transit system with aspirations of moving masses of suburban commuters. However, with respect to your assertion that the solution would have been to reactivate the Newtown Line with more parking, that would have incurred the capital cost of new parking plus the capital and ongoing operating costs of a 14th Regional Rail service. Better (then as now) to put more parking at existing West Trenton/Warminster/Doylestown stations without incurring the expense of a new rail service.

As far as the cost and effectiveness of SEPTA's efforts to modernize its antiquated fare collection system, that has nothing to do with the topic of this discussion. And, no, it was demonstrated repeatedly that restoring Newtown Line service would not be a good investment.
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Re: Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

Postby SCB2525 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:53 pm

trhickey wrote:And, no, it was demonstrated repeatedly that restoring Newtown Line service would not be a good investment.


Citation needed. Every actual study done of the line that I've seen pre-bike trail propoganda era demonstrated it to be worthwhile; though the longer it was left to rot, the closer to the truth this became.
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Re: Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

Postby bikentransit » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:42 pm

There are a number of parties that wish the line dead and perhaps even assisted this latest trail movement. These are the parties that continue to promote the fallacy that the line is a bad investment, stealing riders from other lines, not feasible, etc. SEPTA did their own study in 1991 that green lighted the project but guess who made sure no funding was allocated for it. Same thing happened in 1980 when Russ Parkhouse tried to get funding to electrify the line.

Its funny after all these years, they still troll places like RR.net to make sure no one gets the idea that the trains are needed.

Only a plant would know that the "Snail Darter" was an issue with reconfiguring Bethayres, which was a terrible idea anyway. The end result of all this is a week and underperforming Fox Chase line.
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Re: Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

Postby trhickey » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:28 pm

SCB2525 wrote: Citation needed. Every actual study done of the line that I've seen pre-bike trail propoganda era demonstrated it to be worthwhile; though the longer it was left to rot, the closer to the truth this became.


I don't know what studies you've "seen" but DVRPC---the keeper of objective travel demand forecasting for the region---has ran the numbers multiple times going back to the late 70s and always concluded that improved/restored Newtown Service will generate relatively few new riders. That is important as SEPTA relies heavily on federal funds for its major capital programs and cost-per-new-rider is a heavily-weighted criteria in the FTA's evaluation methodology (and back in the 90s, when the decisions discussed in this thread were being considered, it was for all intents and purposes the ONLY criteria).

You want a citation? Start with the last rail travel demand analysis performed by DVRPC from 1995 (ttps://www.dvrpc.org/Reports/95002.pdf). The study concluded restoration of service would only attract 285 new riders running via the original alignment to Fox Chase or up to 345 new riders rerouted via the Trenton Cut-Off to Fulmor on the Warminister Line. Neither option would warrant a major capital investment. After 1995, Bucks County's interests to using the right-of-way for a busway.

The earlier, pre-internet studies are available from the DVRPC library in Center City or my garage (some digging is required at either location...).
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Re: Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

Postby trhickey » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:42 pm

bikentransit wrote:There are a number of parties that wish the line dead and perhaps even assisted this latest trail movement.

You may not have noticed, but the line IS dead and has been for quite a while.

bikentransit wrote: These are the parties that continue to promote the fallacy that the line is a bad investment, stealing riders from other lines, not feasible, etc.

I won't ask your opinion regarding climate change, but there have been multiple travel demand studies from the late 70s to 1995 that have all concluded that, at best, the Newtown Line will only attract a few hundred new riders--not enough to warrant a new parking garage on the West Trenton/Warminster/Doylestown Lines, let alone investment in a new rail line.

bikentransit wrote: SEPTA did their own study in 1991 that green lighted the project...

Not aware of any study commissioned by SEPTA or anyone else in 1991. SEPTA under Lou Gambaccini was obsessed with assembling a coalition for the "Cross-County Metro" and didn't let anything else be considered, let alone "green lighted". Maybe you're thinking of the 1995 travel demand forecast study produced by DVRPC on SEPTA's behalf (https://www.dvrpc.org/Reports/95002.pdf). As noted above, it did not conclude happily.

bikentransit wrote: ...but guess who made sure no funding was allocated for it.

Uhhh...SEPTA? Because in the 90s they were activity shooting down any project idea that competed with the Cross-County Metro (e.g.: the City's last attempt at extending the Broad Street Subway up the Boulevard)---at least until Jack Leary took over and the Schuylkill Valley Metro eclipsed the Cross-County Metro....

bikentransit wrote: Same thing happened in 1980 when Russ Parkhouse tried to get funding to electrify the line.

I have a great deal of respect for A. Russell Parkhouse and appreciate anyone making reference to him 33 years after his death---but what the h*** are you talking about?!? I worked for the County from 1977 to 1982 (then SEPTA from 1985) and I can assure you that [1] Mr. Parkhouse did not have a stash of money for electrification---that is not how projects are funded in the Delaware Valley, [2] if he did he wouldn't spend it on a transit project (he was all about leveraging other people's money (whenever i was going to meet with SEPTA he always advised "don't commit to anything you don't want taken out of your paycheck"), and [3] he especially wouldn't spend it on the Newtown Line (Mr Parkhouse's political base was Eastern Montgomery County---who do you think set the policy to deep-six the Newtown Line?).

I think you've confused Mr. Parkhouse with Ed Tennyson, who electrified the Newtown Line as far as Fox Chase and, as PennDOT Deputy Secretary under the Shapp administration, set aside funding to finish the job (https://lightrailnow.wordpress.com/2014 ... velopment/)

bikentransit wrote: Its funny after all these years, they still troll places like RR.net to make sure no one gets the idea that the trains are needed. Only a plant would know that the "Snail Darter" was an issue...
[/quote]
A well-informed plant, I guess...
Is it necessary to descend into name calling and conspiracy theories to make your point? If you recall, this thread began with a 1985 photo of a Railbus bound for Newtown with me in the front window. I've done my part in trying to maintain, then restore service, but sometimes the dragon wins and i have the scars and bruises to prove it.

What have you done lately but sow paranoia with half-facts and unsupported assertions?
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Re: Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

Postby ChrisinAbington » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:30 pm

trhickey wrote:Maybe you're thinking of the 1995 travel demand forecast study produced by DVRPC on SEPTA's behalf (https://www.dvrpc.org/Reports/95002.pdf). As noted above, it did not conclude happily.

Thank you for the report link. I had not read through it before this afternoon and found it a good albeit short read.
The Midvale connection described in the second alternative especially peaked my interest. I had never heard of that plan before as sort of a reverse Swampoodle for Diesel on the Reading side.
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Re: Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

Postby trhickey » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:40 pm

ChrisinAbington wrote: The Midvale connection described in the second alternative especially peaked my interest.

Good God! I didn't pick up on the reference to the Midvale Connection in the DVRPC report. I haven't heard it mentioned for 30+ years!!

The Connector was proposed as a single track running parallel to Midvale Av from Wayne Junction to the Chestnut Hill West Line. I came up with that while at SEPTA in the late 80s, not for the diesel services (which were gone at that point) but to preserve Route R7 and R8 service (Chestnut Hill East and Fox Chase) for the project that became known as Railworks. "Reverse Swamppoodle " is precisely how it was described.

Unfortunately, the new Fern Rock was as far as Engineering was willing to go with mitigation and convinced senior management that Routes R6, R7, and R8 could be buses for the summer outages.

Thanks for the blast form the past!
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Re: Newtown Branch - Leyland Railbus Test Photo

Postby SCB2525 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:12 pm

trhickey wrote:Not aware of any study commissioned by SEPTA or anyone else in 1991.


http://newtownline.pa-tec.org/documents/1991_NewtownStudy.pdf
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