More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

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More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby rslitman » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:06 pm

SEPTA's new page about improved on-time performance at http://www.septa.org/service/rail/improvement/otp.html refers to more schedule changes coming up in January 2017. I suspect that the West Trenton line is going to be a focus of these. Very few, if any, changes to this line were made in the new December 2016 timetables. This line has had some on-time issues since the switch to single track operations in 2015, so I can see that it's ripe for revisions.

My biggest concern is that SEPTA may have really liked the results of turning some trains back at Neshaminy Falls during the car shortage last year. Selfishly, I don't want to lose any full length runs, especially 328/3223, 6370/3755, 326/6327, and 5368/369.

Does anyone have any idea what type of changes SEPTA has in store for us soon?
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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby NorthPennLimited » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:52 pm

If I were short on crews, I would cut Airport service north of Temple U.

Seems frivolous to have half hour Airport service to Glenside when nearly 800 trains were cancelled last year, and you already run half hour service towards Lansdale, and hourly service to Warminster and West Trenton.

As stated before, the Norristown Line needs a tune-up. An 18 mile trip takes nearly 1 hour, making the average train speed below 20mph.....which almost makes a bicycle as competitive as the Norristown Line trains. Even in poor traffic on I-76, the journey in rush hour takes less than an hour from the ramp at 30th Street to Plymouth Meeting / King of Prussia.

Would like to see the rush hour consists a car bigger on a few trains to ease overcrowding.
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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby JeffK » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:11 pm

NorthPennLimited wrote:... the Norristown Line needs a tune-up. An 18 mile trip takes nearly 1 hour, making the average train speed below 20mph.....which almost makes a bicycle as competitive as the Norristown Line trains. Even in poor traffic on I-76, the journey in rush hour takes less than an hour ...

At the risk of being a bit OT, it continues to amaze me that more people going from Norristown to CC don't switch over to the NHSL. Even with the current (and unexplained) service reductions it still runs more often, equals/beats RRD times, and following the 01/01 fare "simplification"*, is a lot less expensive. Based on admittedly only a few conversations, all I can assume is that the idea of taking the El is just too much of a stretch for many riders.

* Less likely a simplification than a response to the "oops" of realizing the Key can't interpret zone fares ...
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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby PARailWiz » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:07 pm

JeffK wrote:[
At the risk of being a bit OT, it continues to amaze me that more people going from Norristown to CC don't switch over to the NHSL. Even with the current (and unexplained) service reductions it still runs more often, equals/beats RRD times, and following the 01/01 fare "simplification"*, is a lot less expensive. Based on admittedly only a few conversations, all I can assume is that the idea of taking the El is just too much of a stretch for many riders.

* Less likely a simplification than a response to the "oops" of realizing the Key can't interpret zone fares ...


If you're coming from east or west on Ridge Pike, or from the north, parking at NTC is extremely inconvenient, requiring use of the garage (not as nice at twice the price) or making a left turn onto DeKalb Street during the evening rush hour (nigh impossible). One is left with the option of parking at Main Street or Elm Street and walking with no convenient or safe way to cross Markley Street in whatever weather turns up.

This is a large part of why the reduced express service, slower schedules, and ever more trains turning at NTC (or one now at Main Street) is so frustrating.
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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby nova08 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:06 pm

NorthPennLimited wrote:As stated before, the Norristown Line needs a tune-up. An 18 mile trip takes nearly 1 hour, making the average train speed below 20mph.....which almost makes a bicycle as competitive as the Norristown Line trains. Even in poor traffic on I-76, the journey in rush hour takes less than an hour from the ramp at 30th Street to Plymouth Meeting / King of Prussia.

Would like to see the rush hour consists a car bigger on a few trains to ease overcrowding.

Have the times gone awry on Septa's schedule? I was just about to agree with you as the main reason I do not take the train on my commute from Conshohocken to the Navy Yard, but on the schedule Septa has the Conshohocken-Jefferson express at 27 minutes and the local at 37 minutes. I could have swore it was a solid 10 minutes longer for the both of these.

That said, only a handful of real express trains and hour off-peak headways doesn't help anything.
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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby danquagl » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:06 pm

New schedules to come out January 29th. A bunch of re-timings and station stops added/taken away.

http://www.septa.org/schedules/january.html
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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby zebrasepta » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:57 pm

danquagl wrote:New schedules to come out January 29th. A bunch of re-timings and station stops added/taken away.

http://www.septa.org/schedules/january.html

There's even more padding now which probably has to do with the kinks of the PTC system
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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby NorthPennLimited » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:04 pm

I agree with Zebra.

I noticed last week, the inbound trains move at a snail's pace just north of the center city tunnel entrance to Jefferson (Market East Station) as a result of PTC.

But I guess we are all safer now, with PTC moving the trains along at a slower pace.

Maybe someday the technology will improve, and trains will run just as fast as the old days when all you had in the cab was an engineer (with his foot on thte deadman pedal) and a fireman watching out for signals.

In the meantime we have to contend with slower, "safer trains", with some schedule padding. Hopefully, the boys in the back room put the schedule padding where it's needed (if needed), and not just arbitrary points along the trip to boost on time report statistics.
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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby MACTRAXX » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:09 pm

NPL and Everyone:

Back under RDG and Conrail operation only RDC trains (and the one push-pull train) used a two
man engine crew. Firemen were eliminated at some point before the end of diesel service
in the Summer of 1981.

MU cars were always a Engineer only operation - with other train crew members riding up front
when there was need or if they had time during their duties on board.

Taking note of the slow operation under PTC approaching Center City stations it makes me think
that these restrictive speeds could be some sort of reaction to the recent Hoboken and Atlantic Terminal accidents that is being programmed into SEPTA RRD PTC equipment.

This is only making a usual RRD slow approach operation even slower and perhaps they will fine-
tune the PTC system as it is established over time...

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Re: More Regional Rail Schedule Changes in Early 2017?

Postby rslitman » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:20 pm

There will be an almost two-hour gap between West Trenton departures on weekday early evenings from 5:27 pm (train 3755, currently at 5:23) to 7:24 pm. Train 376 will now turn to 373 at Woodbourne. Last Wednesday, January 18, the trainset that came out at 6370 to turn as 3755 broke down in the yard and had to be canceled. It was bad enough to have to wait "only" about an hour for 373, scheduled for 6:14. Now we'll have to wait two hours for the next train. Also, I know from last week's experience and a few other times when I've taken it that 373 has its own group of regular riders. What's going to happen to them?

Train 328 has a big change, too. It's going to be a reverse commute express of sorts, skipping Langhorne, Woodbourne, and Yardley. We have a decent number of riders who get off at these stops, plus a handful who get on there for the ride to West Trenton. I have already told some 326 regulars who work at my employer and who get on at Woodbourne and Langhorne but sometimes miss their train to count on backtracking to Neshaminy Falls or drive to work. (We all rode the same trains together during the car shortage last year.)

Speaking of driving, West Trenton (and Trenton) service will be appreciated even more with the Turnpike bridge closed for the foreseeable future. I needed to have my car at work yesterday and spent almost a half hour stuck waiting to get over the Scudder Falls Bridge.
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