Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

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/.

Moderator: AlexC

Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

Postby R5Dailyrider » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:24 am

Why does SEPTA continue to avoid addressing the continuing delays across the Regional Rail system. In particular the lines running through Fern Rock have been impacted daily for the past few weeks. I think it's time SEPTA ditched the corney radio ad's that tout the service and the new "SEPTA KEY" and actually address the service they provide. The GM is never to be found and the whole management/Media Relations department at SEPTA is overstaffed by hacks. Fares are moving up again and service and SEPTA continue to underperform.
R5Dailyrider
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:39 pm

Re: Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

Postby NorthPennLimited » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:24 pm

You must be new. Wait until the summer and equipment & signals break down during prolonged heat waves, then crew shortages start rearing it's ugly head as vacation season starts.

Seriously though, SEPTA is going through a lot of growing pains. The last gasoline price spike 6 years ago caused a surge in regional rail ridership. On top of that, in the early 80's when SEPTA assumed commuter train operations from Conrail, there was a long strike when RR workers refused to take wage cuts and union agreement rule givebacks that were far below pattern railroad rates of pay and work rules, as a result, a lot of the Conrail men left SEPTA which caused a surge in hiring.

Flash forward 35 years later, and now all those workers are retiring. So SEPTA has new train crews, new train dispatchers, new train mechanics, track workers, catenary linemen, managers, etc. A lot of institutional experience has been lost and there will be a lot of lessons re-learned the hard way since there are only a few dinosaurs left to mentor the new guys from making the same rookie mistakes of the past. Couple that to an emerging Gen-X and Millenial work force who aren't as self-motivated to work long hours and accept constructive criticism and you have a recipe for today's state of rail service.

In order to retain whatever talent is remaining in the work force from leaving SEPTA to work for other places for higher wages and benefits, you have to maintain competitive salaries with other railroads, hence the bump in fares.

It's kind of like scrapping a roster on a major sports team and recruiting rookies for your starting line-up. They just need time, good coaching, and experience to get back to the playoffs or divisional championship again.

Each time you look at the monitor and see the delayed trains in red, or your morning express is following a local train, tell yourself "THIS STILL BEATS SITTING IN TRAFFIC ON THE SCHUYLKILL". That's how I rationalize it. Sometimes I get fed-up and drive, then I realize the grass isn't greener behind the steering wheel, and parking costs an arm and a leg downtown.
NorthPennLimited
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:15 am

Re: Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

Postby R5Dailyrider » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:40 am

NorthPenn:

I appreciate your comments. Based on your thoughts it seems to come down to two common denominators- staff and infrastructure.

Seems like the physical plant has had millions poured into it with many more needed. The staff issue is very troubling but you would hope an employee would like to recognized and rewarded for performance. SEPTA has some serious issues and with the current entrenched Board od Directors I doubt anything "new" will develop.

Most days the train beats the car but the lackadaisical operating practices are a joke. What happened to line managers and pride in their lines?
R5Dailyrider
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:39 pm

What's wrong with the West Trenton line?

Postby JeffersonLeeEng » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:27 am

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/t ... 70621.html

Regular riders on the Regional Rail’s West Trenton Line know all has not been well on the 42-mile long route.

Since April, the line has experienced major delays four times, most recently Tuesday morning, when trains were delayed up to an hour.
JeffersonLeeEng
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:27 pm

JLE and Everyone:

After reading Jason Laughlin's article about the West Trenton Line I will make two mentions:

First - The West Trenton Line is not 42 miles in length - Back in the late 80s/early 90s era SEPTA
RRD timetables had mileages listed. West Trenton to Suburban Station is 33.0 miles exactly...

The 42 mile mention must be from the addition of the Airport Line trackage to the total...

Second - The two types of RRD catenary have distinct names:

The two-wire type is SIMPLE catenary while the three wire type is COMPOUND catenary.

From what I recall is the Airport Line from the connecting bridge to Amtrak NEC tracks to the end
of track at Terminal E is the only stretch of SEPTA RRD track with constant tension catenary.

If there has been any constant tension catenary installed on the West Trenton Line (or anyplace
else on RRD in recent years) please mention whereabouts and when if it is known...

This time of year especially during extreme heat catenary wires tend to sag and can be vulnerable
to damage meaning the implementation of speed restrictions to try and mitigate problems...

Interesting to notice that even with wire replacement on the West Trenton Line that catenary wire
troubles have been a recurring problem. It may well take installing constant tension catenary on
the entire 21.7 mile route from Jenkintown to West Trenton to try and solve these wire problems.

MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS
MACTRAXX
 
Posts: 3447
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:55 am
Location: Islandia,Long Island,NY

Re: Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

Postby NorthPennLimited » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:44 pm

I notice a lot of places lost steady spans when the catenary was upgraded. Would reinstalling steady spans take some of the vibration and bouncing out of the wire?
NorthPennLimited
 
Posts: 368
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:15 am

Re: Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

Postby ekt8750 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:22 am

MACTRAXX wrote:JLE and Everyone:

After reading Jason Laughlin's article about the West Trenton Line I will make two mentions:

First - The West Trenton Line is not 42 miles in length - Back in the late 80s/early 90s era SEPTA
RRD timetables had mileages listed. West Trenton to Suburban Station is 33.0 miles exactly...

The 42 mile mention must be from the addition of the Airport Line trackage to the total...

Second - The two types of RRD catenary have distinct names:

The two-wire type is SIMPLE catenary while the three wire type is COMPOUND catenary.

From what I recall is the Airport Line from the connecting bridge to Amtrak NEC tracks to the end
of track at Terminal E is the only stretch of SEPTA RRD track with constant tension catenary.

If there has been any constant tension catenary installed on the West Trenton Line (or anyplace
else on RRD in recent years) please mention whereabouts and when if it is known...

This time of year especially during extreme heat catenary wires tend to sag and can be vulnerable
to damage meaning the implementation of speed restrictions to try and mitigate problems...

Interesting to notice that even with wire replacement on the West Trenton Line that catenary wire
troubles have been a recurring problem. It may well take installing constant tension catenary on
the entire 21.7 mile route from Jenkintown to West Trenton to try and solve these wire problems.

MACTRAXX


Actually the Airport Line's constant tension catenary was replaced with standard compound wire a few years ago.
ekt8750
 
Posts: 663
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:30 pm

Re: Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

Postby Head-end View » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:49 pm

Isn't that a step backwards? Why would they do that?
Head-end View
 
Posts: 2335
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:00 pm
Location: The second row on a SEPTA Silverliner V

Re: Ongoing Regional Rail Service Delays not addressed

Postby SCB2525 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:05 pm

ekt8750 wrote:
Actually the Airport Line's constant tension catenary was replaced with standard compound wire a few years ago.


Not all of it. I believe its still in most of the middle section where freight is commingled.

Head-end View wrote:Isn't that a step backwards? Why would they do that?


Possibly an obsolete system, almost certainly not maintained properly. Cheaper to just replace with simple catenary.
User avatar
SCB2525
 
Posts: 869
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:44 pm
Location: Philly Metro


Return to SEPTA (and PATCO)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest