New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

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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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby JeffK » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:19 am

Tadman wrote:Perhaps a tack-on order to the Chicago 7000-series or a shortened LIRR M9?

Another (admittedly remote) possibility would be a tack-on to the new trolley fleet - assuming, of course, that the base vehicles' design would allow modifications for high-level boarding. FWIW, when the K-cars were ordered SEPTA considered doing an add-on for the NHSL as well but didn't because of budget constraints. As we sadly know, that decision ended up being more costly as the Bullets' and Straffords' failure rate skyrocketed shortly thereafter.
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby silverliner266 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:39 pm

JeffK wrote:
Tadman wrote:Perhaps a tack-on order to the Chicago 7000-series or a shortened LIRR M9?

Another (admittedly remote) possibility would be a tack-on to the new trolley fleet - assuming, of course, that the base vehicles' design would allow modifications for high-level boarding. FWIW, when the K-cars were ordered SEPTA considered doing an add-on for the NHSL as well but didn't because of budget constraints. As we sadly know, that decision ended up being more costly as the Bullets' and Straffords' failure rate skyrocketed shortly thereafter.


I think it's even a little less likely than remote. The new trolley fleet will be modern low floor street cars which can't really be modified for high level operation. I think it is possible that they could be an add-on to whatever replaces the current BSL fleet, assuming the loading gauge would allow for it.
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Upper Merion Twp Board says they won't pay for KoP Rail

Postby JeffersonLeeEng » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:28 am

It looks like the NIMBYs are one step closer to killing this dead...

https://www.philly.com/transportation/k ... 90306.html

Fair use quote:
As SEPTA prepares to seek local funding for a $1.2 billion rail extension to King of Prussia, the community that will host the new tracks, Upper Merion, is sending a message: Don’t look at us.

“Any organization or body which expects Upper Merion to have any type of substantive contribution is kidding itself,” Greg Waks, chairman of Upper Merion’s Board of Supervisors, said Monday.
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby JeffK » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:35 pm

From the township's standpoint it's a kind of non-denial denial, as it's very rare for any township-level municipality to contribute to transit projects. They can cover themselves against the NIMBYs by not doing something they wouldn't do anyway. The real worry is that it's going to offer ammunition to the naysayers who will spin it to the project's detriment.

The other issue, of course, is whether the spur will be eligible for New Starts funding. Under normal circumstances it would be a slam dunk but nothing's normal these days. Beyond that I don't understand why SEPTA and its planners haven't worked harder to involve the business community in gathering funding. The biz people have been all over the place praising how much the line will help the local economy, but seem conspicuously unwilling to put some extra money on the table. Heck, when businesses benefit from other new infrastructure like roads or sewers there's usually some form of "impact assessment", "mitigation charge", or similar. I don't see why a project of this magnitude shouldn't be treated similarly.
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby mcgrath618 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:52 pm

Yea Upper Merion themselves have no bearing on whether this thing gets the money or not. It's pretty much all up to the Feds at this point.
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby sammy2009 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:39 am

SEPTA should ask the owner of King Of Prussia to put some funds to this. I mean the rail line is gonna benefit them also. My .02 cents.
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby JeffersonLeeEng » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:06 am

sammy2009 wrote:SEPTA should ask the owner of King Of Prussia to put some funds to this. I mean the rail line is gonna benefit them also. My .02 cents.


The Property Management Company/Owner of King of Prussia Mall is Simon Property Group who aren't too enamored about public transit encroaching on their territory. I think they understand much of their workforce uses buses and transit as a means for transportation, but they're not exactly wanting for "Park and Ride" areas there. Much of the impetus for funding and steering this project along has mainly come from the KOP-BID (Business Investment District--a non-profit) and Montgomery County Commissioners Arkoosh and Lawrence. It's not looking like the resounding success it should have been, but yeah...SEPTA... :-/
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby mcgrath618 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:19 pm

JeffersonLeeEng wrote:
sammy2009 wrote:SEPTA should ask the owner of King Of Prussia to put some funds to this. I mean the rail line is gonna benefit them also. My .02 cents.


The Property Management Company/Owner of King of Prussia Mall is Simon Property Group who aren't too enamored about public transit encroaching on their territory. I think they understand much of their workforce uses buses and transit as a means for transportation, but they're not exactly wanting for "Park and Ride" areas there. Much of the impetus for funding and steering this project along has mainly come from the KOP-BID (Business Investment District--a non-profit) and Montgomery County Commissioners Arkoosh and Lawrence. It's not looking like the resounding success it should have been, but yeah...SEPTA... :-/

Is that necessarily SEPTA’s fault though? It looks like they actually tried this time. It seems to be the NIMBYs and apathy that are killing this thing off, not SEPTA’s incompetence/sabatoge (see: Ivy Ridge Line closure)
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby JeffK » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:28 pm

mcgrath618 wrote:
JeffersonLeeEng wrote:Is that necessarily SEPTA’s fault though? It looks like they actually tried this time. It seems to be the NIMBYs and apathy that are killing this thing off, not SEPTA’s incompetence/sabotage [sabatoge] (see: Ivy Ridge Line closure)

After attending a lot of meetings and volunteering on a citizens' group, my 2¢ is that the NIMBYs aren't carrying much weight with anyone except the supervisors who, as we've noted, don't have a financial stake. Mostly the never-anything types seem to be fussing around the edges of the project rather than having any effects on its main support groups. In addition their many (now-deleted) racist posts gave them a lot of negative publicity.

However I'd definitely agree apathy's a larger factor. First, at least as I see it there hasn't been enough done to answer the "what's in it for me?" questions raised by local residents. That's been compounded by the fact that while the LPA had the lowest negative reaction it was also probably low on the plus side. The limited number of stops don't offer much local service. The common perception is that "the line is only to get workers to the Mall", which ignores areas like First Ave. and the number of existing inbound commuters who'll be pulled from the 12X buses as well as from jammed parking lots at Gulph Mills and King Manor. Second, the project's lugubrious pace (~7 years and still filing papers) has left the impression that it's another SVM-like case of SEPTA planning and planning but never doing. Certainly much of this delay is out of SEPTA's hands due to regulatory requirements but it doesn't help public perception.

Of course the elephant* that could still trample everything remains How To Pay For It. Even though I'm a strong supporter of the spur, I'm frustrated by the lack of transparency re the line's costs - or for that matter why transit expansion is so expensive just about everywhere in this country. Add to that hostile governments in Washington and Harrisburg, and not just this but nearly every major transit project is at risk.

* [Symbolism intentional]
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby mcgrath618 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:02 pm

JeffK wrote:
mcgrath618 wrote:
JeffersonLeeEng wrote:Is that necessarily SEPTA’s fault though? It looks like they actually tried this time. It seems to be the NIMBYs and apathy that are killing this thing off, not SEPTA’s incompetence/sabotage [sabatoge] (see: Ivy Ridge Line closure)

After attending a lot of meetings and volunteering on a citizens' group, my 2¢ is that the NIMBYs aren't carrying much weight with anyone except the supervisors who, as we've noted, don't have a financial stake. Mostly the never-anything types seem to be fussing around the edges of the project rather than having any effects on its main support groups. In addition their many (now-deleted) racist posts gave them a lot of negative publicity.

However I'd definitely agree apathy's a larger factor. First, at least as I see it there hasn't been enough done to answer the "what's in it for me?" questions raised by local residents. That's been compounded by the fact that while the LPA had the lowest negative reaction it was also probably low on the plus side. The limited number of stops don't offer much local service. The common perception is that "the line is only to get workers to the Mall", which ignores areas like First Ave. and the number of existing inbound commuters who'll be pulled from the 12X buses as well as from jammed parking lots at Gulph Mills and King Manor. Second, the project's lugubrious pace (~7 years and still filing papers) has left the impression that it's another SVM-like case of SEPTA planning and planning but never doing. Certainly much of this delay is out of SEPTA's hands due to regulatory requirements but it doesn't help public perception.

Of course the elephant* that could still trample everything remains How To Pay For It. Even though I'm a strong supporter of the spur, I'm frustrated by the lack of transparency re the line's costs - or for that matter why transit expansion is so expensive just about everywhere in this country. Add to that hostile governments in Washington and Harrisburg, and not just this but nearly every major transit project is at risk.

* [Symbolism intentional]

It's expensive only because the government highly subsidizes interstate and highway infrastructure construction. If they threw that kind of money towards SEPTA we would see this built tomorrow.
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Re: New NHSL hearings and Draft EIS

Postby ChesterValley » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:07 am

I want to make a few points here.

I live here, nearby the section where the NHSL planned line is to be built. I remember going to the voting booth back during the 2018 election and mentioning to some people about the rail line and how we should vote to help it by voting Democrat. I was told no, it dosen't matter which party we vote the rail line is going through. I was told that because of the casino, the rail line will be forced though one way or another if trouble arises. It is staggering to me the amount of complacency that is endemic to this area, and how riled up and relatively active the opposition is.

JeffK wrote:
However I'd definitely agree apathy's a larger factor. First, at least as I see it there hasn't been enough done to answer the "what's in it for me?" questions raised by local residents. That's been compounded by the fact that while the LPA had the lowest negative reaction it was also probably low on the plus side. The limited number of stops don't offer much local service. The common perception is that "the line is only to get workers to the Mall", which ignores areas like First Ave. and the number of existing inbound commuters who'll be pulled from the 12X buses as well as from jammed parking lots at Gulph Mills and King Manor. Second, the project's lugubrious pace (~7 years and still filing papers) has left the impression that it's another SVM-like case of SEPTA planning and planning but never doing. Certainly much of this delay is out of SEPTA's hands due to regulatory requirements but it doesn't help public perception.

* [Symbolism intentional]


I remember one of the routes in the Environmental proposal actually went around to the old golf course, going along the PECO right of way, I don't know why it was scrapped. Especially with all the new high density housing their building.
mcgrath618 wrote:It's expensive only because the government highly subsidizes interstate and highway infrastructure construction. If they threw that kind of money towards SEPTA we would see this built tomorrow.


The feds have poured money into the Eisenhower interstate system at a rate of 90-10 under the federal highway act of 1956, 90% federal funding and 10% state funding. At the time this was legitimized as a national security measure of sorts, the roads viewed as a way to move military equipment and supplies in a time of war. Fun fact, the military can shut down federal highways at any time for this reason and bridge clearances are made for tanks.

Normal federal projects work around 60-40 or so federal to state, again depending on the project.

But what really chaffs my hide right now is the current presidential administration. I know I'm throwing a rock at a hornet's nest right now, but there are some realities we need to face. President Trump has been toxic toward transit, with his most recent transgression demanding back money from California for the money was allocated for the high speed rail project. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-high-speed-rail-20190219-story.htmlAdditionally, the head of the DOT is Elaine Chao. For the record she is considered a distinguished member of the heritage foundation, the same heritage foundation whose goal is to eliminate the DOT https://www.heritage.org/transportation/report/how-close-down-the-department-transportation. The same heritage foundation that helped torpedo the Nashville transit program https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/climate/koch-brothers-public-transit.html. She is currently embroiled in a scandal because of her husband Mitch McConnel's rather unethical relationship https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/19/mitch-mcconnell-elaine-chao-relationship-1163655.

In the above story about Nashville, they actually used a software called i360 which targeted "anti-transit" advocates, essentially concentrating and targeting the crazies to mobilize the opposition.
Central to the work of Americans for Prosperity is i360, the Kochs’ data operation, which profiles Americans based on their voter registration information, consumer data and social media activities. The canvassers divided the neighborhoods into “walkbooks,” or clusters of several dozen homes, and broke into teams of two.

There are rules: No more than two people at a door (to avoid appearing threatening). No stepping on lawns (homeowners don’t like it). And focus strictly on the registered voter. If anyone else answers, say a polite “thanks” and move on.


Then the FTA has been pulling their own stunt's which I've detailed before http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=72&t=166520&p=1483004#p1483004 Regarding that link, funds are still on hold http://t4america.org/transitfundingdelays/, and it got to the point where congress has put language in so that 80% of the money must be spend by December 31st of this year.
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