Airport Line Schedule Change

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Re: December 13, 2015 RRD Schedule Changes

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:46 pm

AC and Everyone:

After re-reading the information SEPTA posted about the 12/13/2015 schedule changes and discovering that all folders will be reissued this topic needs a overall title concerning ALL schedule changes effective on this date.

There is more then just Airport Line changes even though they are the most significant changes coming up under
these new RRD schedules...

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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby zebrasepta » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:08 pm

The schedule change was implemented because passengers were complaining about how late West Trenton/Warminster trains according to this article from
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2015/1 ... l-changes/
Among the biggest changes: Direct, weekday service to the airport on both the Warminster and West Trenton lines will end. Riders will have to get off at 30th Street Station or Suburban Station and catch another train to the airport.

Hopkins says the changes are being made because SEPTA was having reliability issues, particularly on the Warminster and West Trenton lines, as well as on-time performance problems.

As a result, he says rail rider complaints spiked.

Another source:
http://www.phillymag.com/news/2015/12/0 ... e-changes/
Now, 30 years later, the same problem has surfaced, but this time, it’s the result of the Regional Rail system choking on its own success. Steady ridership gains over the past several years have led to longer dwell times at stations, and the delays these cause ripple throughout the system. As a result, the Airport Line is once again being uncoupled from the rest of the network as part of a larger reorganization of Regional Rail schedules and timetables.


One change is the aforementioned uncoupling of the Airport Line from the Warminster and West Trenton lines on weekdays. During peak hours (6 to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 7 p.m.), Airport Line trains will operate between Temple University and the airport, and at all other times, they will operate as far as Jenkintown-Wyncote on the Reading side. Likewise, trains on the West Trenton and Warminster lines will no longer operate past 30th Street Station on weekdays. West Trenton and Warminster riders who wish to continue on to University City or the airport — yes, they exist, Hopkins said — will need to change trains at one of the Center City stations.

The second change also involves the Warminster and West Trenton lines, whose trains will skip Melrose Park, Elkins Park and Wayne Junction stations on weekdays beginning with the December 13th schedule change. "By running trains express from Jenkintown to Fern Rock, we open up space between trains and improve running times," said Hopkins. Lansdale/Doylestown trains and off-peak Airport trains will continue to stop at all three stations.
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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby SCB2525 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:24 pm

From what I've seen in capital budgets, the plan is to eventually run all Airport service to Noble and have trains turn there on a new siding IIRC. I believe the work is to coincide with a new BETH interlocking at Bethayres. It's at least a few years away though.
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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby South Jersey Budd » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:01 pm

Looking and comparing the schedules.

Currently weekend Doylestown trains leave at :26 after the hour and arrive at Suburban at :45. With two additional stops at Melrose and Elkins Park these times don't change. How is that ? And theses trains are already very crowded.

Currently weekend West Trenton trains leave at :58 and arrive at Suburban Station at :00 for 1:02 running time. With 2 less stops the new times are :52 out of West Trenton and :55 at Suburban Station for 1:03 running time. 2 less stops and 1 extra minute.

Is there an explaination ? I can't figure this one out.
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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby Stevek » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:55 am

I am very disappointed in the way that SEPTA implemented the schedule changes. My wife used to take the #409 from Glenside at Elkins Park to Center City (6:33AM). Now, Train #4211 stops at 6:40AM. Just to check, I went on the SEPTA android app, and found it missing on the "next to arrive" part of the app. I went to the on-line Glenside Combined PDF and did find it there. I then went on the Trainview page, and saw that it goes from Glenside to Temple University without stopping at any station. I checked a few other trains and found the same thing. That's when I called SEPTA Service. The only information the agent gave is that the on-line PDF has the correct information. He didn't engage when I tried to point out the inconsistencies between the on-line PDF, and the SEPTA app, so I filed a complaint on-line with SEPTA. That may take a day or two before I hear back from them, and it will not solve the immediate problem.

My issue is that the information should be consistent across all platforms. It's very confusing when there's conflicting information about schedules. SEPTA has apparently been working on this schedule change for a long time. I realize that there will be problems in implementing such a huge change, but did anyone check before going live how the information would be coordinated? My wife said that she heard absolutely nothing on the train, or upon arriving at a Center City station about any problems with train scheduling across on-line platforms.
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Re: December 13, 2015 RRD Schedule Changes

Postby MACTRAXX » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:19 am

Everyone:

With the RRD weekday schedule changes effective today it will be interesting to see how these changes affect riders.

The previous post by SK is just one instance in that these significant changes are making riders change their
commute times and routines which in many cases are well set and established by long term schedule consistency.

On further thought the former R1 Airport schedule type which was issued before the change eliminating the
R numbers and colors was better for riders using Airport-bound through trains from points on the RDG side
because through services where they originated from and terminated at were shown instead of using at least
two timetables and using the train numbers to match the train service(s) as one needs to do now...

That R1 timetable stood out due to it being printed on yellow paper - the color yellow should have been retained
for the Airport Line - It should have been done as the only color retained in the R number elimination - and this
schedule had the geographically correct "free map" of the SEPTA RRD system included which was a good
inclusion here - I considered it to be one of SEPTA's "secrets" that was helpful for passengers...

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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:00 pm

It doesn't seem to have been recognized that major changes require major checking and rechecking because a change in A may have side effects on B and C. The paper schedules were a dog's breakfast of careless errors, documented by an errata sheet covering both sides of an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. I can't think of a satisfactory explanation of why those errors were discovered in time to put out an errata sheet prior to the effective date but not before large quantities of timetables were printed and distributed. It comes as no surprise that electronic information sources apparently were not coordinated either.
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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby NorthPennLimited » Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:34 pm

Why didn't they just use the old 2001 Airport operating plan where all the trains would turnaround at Glenside? That old plan seemed to work just fine.

Why reinvent the wheel?

Wasn't the WHOLE PURPOSE for building Carmel South interlocking at Glenside to cross over Airport trains to the inbound platform and have the crew duck in the stub track north of Glenside?

Remember the yellow striped St. Louie cars that ran to the Airport?
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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby tgolanos » Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:04 pm

NorthPennLimited wrote:Why didn't they just use the old 2001 Airport operating plan where all the trains would turnaround at Glenside? That old plan seemed to work just fine.

Why reinvent the wheel?

Wasn't the WHOLE PURPOSE for building Carmel South interlocking at Glenside to cross over Airport trains to the inbound platform and have the crew duck in the stub track north of Glenside?

Remember the yellow striped St. Louie cars that ran to the Airport?


I don't have any 2001 timetables to confirm this, but maybe Warminster and Lansdale/Doylestown have slightly higher frequencies now than they did back then. If so, then crossing Airport trains to the inbound side might clog up the system. That's my guess.
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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby South Jersey Budd » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:28 pm

The frequencies couldn't have been much different. Doylestown / Lansdale has been half hour service on weekdays for quite some time. I remember a bunch of Glenside locals were cut when the Control Center was computerized to lessen congestion during the break in period and never came back.

Glenside locals could help to express Doylestown, Lansdale, West Trenton and Warminster trains past a bunch of stops to reduce running time. It seems running time keeps getting longer and longer. Weekday rush hour West Trenton trains, like 319 and 323, take 1:10 to 1:15 to get to Suburban. But off peak isn't much better, 1:08 running time.

The schedules could be designed to get those trains quickly through the Glenside to Temple trunk and allow the Glenside locals to sweep all the local passengers up.

Example (with all times for spacing purposes only)
:00 after the hour Doylestown leaves Jenkintown.
:05 West Trenton leaves Jenkintown
:07 Glenside local leaves Glenside. At Jenkintown at :10 and runs local to town should be at Temple by :26.

Then the Lansdale leaves Jenkintown at :30.
Warminster leaves Glenside at :32 passes Jenkintown but doesn't stop at :35.
The Glenside local leaves Glenside at :37, Jenkintown at :40 and makes local stops to town arriving at Temple about :56.

This leaves 20 minutes between cycles off peak for foul time for maintainers or track inspections etc.

It's possible this same pattern could be used during peak periods where the 20 minutes gets filled with the express trains.

It's simple patterns that make sense to passengers where they don't have to guess if that train makes that station. Some West Trenton locals make Elkins and Melrose and some make just Elkins. All the cross routing after the loss of the "R"'s made the schedules crazy like where West Trenton express 3507 makes a Fern Rock stop?!?! And then 3505 goes West Trenton to Paoli Line followed 5 minutes later by 5315 which goes Lansdale to Elwyn line. Why ?!?! There are plenty of other head scratchers.
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Re: December 13, 2015 RRD Schedule Changes

Postby MACTRAXX » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:53 am

NorthPennLimited wrote:Why didn't they just use the old 2001 Airport operating plan where all the trains would turnaround at Glenside? That old plan seemed to work just fine.

Why reinvent the wheel?

Wasn't the WHOLE PURPOSE for building Carmel South interlocking at Glenside to cross over Airport trains to the inbound platform and have the crew duck in the stub track north of Glenside?

Remember the yellow striped St. Louie cars that ran to the Airport?


NPL and Everyone:

As I previously mentioned Glenside loses service with this schedule change. Carmel is a good place to turn
trains operating through to the Airport starting on the southbound track at GLN.

There were 8 S3 cars striped in yellow for PHL Airport service in the late 1980s - these cars had the 2/2 seating,
luggage and timetable racks inside. The trouble was that SEPTA was not able to run them strictly on the Airport
Line - and for example during the Railworks 1992-93 shutdown periods at times some of these cars ended up on
being assigned to trains operating out of Fern Rock to West Trenton, Warminster and Lansdale-Doylestown.

When SEPTA colorstriped all the MU equipment in 1999-2000 these S3 cars got the red and blue striping to
replace the yellow on this group of cars. The interiors remained the same until their recent years retirement.

AC and Everyone:

This topic title needs to be changed to cover the overall schedule changes that went into effect in the past week
and the added topic about the scheduling errors be combined into this one - and if anyone secures a copy of the
errata sheet issued showing what the errors were to please post it if at all possible.

Noting that SEPTA will have to print revised corrected schedules at a cost of around $20,000 is a costly expense
that should have been caught by careful checking or proofreading - something that should have not happened in
the firstplace. More then likely something like this will not happen again...

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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby scotty269 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:51 pm

My girlfriend met me on my way home from the airport, but she almost got on the Airport-bound train. Why? Because the Jenkintown-bound train was signed as a Warminster train.
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SEPTA Riders Complain at Elkins Park...

Postby JeffersonLeeEng » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:41 am

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local ... blems.html

Well, it looks like the new December 13th schedule changes are not going as well as some people had actually hoped. Lots of complaining for the sake of it all, so who knows on where to set the blame? But aging infrastructure...and all aside, yeah...it is what it is...
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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby dcipjr » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:17 am

This change has been botched at every single level. I don't know what SEPTA was thinking.

As a neighbor to both the Warminster and West Trenton lines, I've lost direct airport service except on the weekends. This is a service cutback as far as I'm concerned.

I could drive to Jenkintown, but Airport trains only service Jenkintown during certain hours of the day, otherwise I have to change trains. Plus, forget about parking at Jenkintown after 8 AM on a weekday—are they really trying to make more people use Jenkintown? It's packed enough as it is.

The schedules are a nightmare. I was traveling with a coworker who was looking for a train to Elkins. The printed timetable said he could take one train, but the SEPTA app disagreed with the schedule. The timetable turned out to be right, but he wound up having to ask a conductor.

Also, just look at the current Airport timetable:

Image

Let's play a game of Find the Mistakes:
  • Jenkintown is misspelled as "Jenkinwtown"
  • No times or dashes are listed for Elkins Park
  • Temple, Wayne Junction, Fern Rock, Melrose Park, Elkins Park, Jenkintown, and Glenside are all listed as fare zone C (Center City)
  • No alternating shading on the airport side of the schedule (makes it harder to read)
  • "D - Trains without a listed destination (—) may depart ahead of scheduled time" — there are no destinations listed, and no "D"s on the schedule either.

Come on, SEPTA...surely you can do better than this.

To top it off, I haven't noticed *any* on-time improvements since the new schedule. If anything, it's been worse.

Bring back the old routings and schedules, please.
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Re: Airport Line Schedule Change

Postby khecht » Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:03 pm

I haven't had time to do comparisons, but you can see how well trains are doing at http://phor.net/apps/septa/

A quick look at January airport trains shows some doing fine, others very much not so.
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