Regional rail to Pottstown

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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby Backshophoss » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:13 pm

Amtrak uses their P32-DM's into NY Penn and GCT.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby Nasadowsk » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:08 am

Backshophoss wrote:Very unlikely SEPTA will consider the BBD AL45DP, or for that matter any kind of diesel powered service extension.


It makes zero sense for them:

* The ALP-45DP is roughly 12 million a unit.
* You'd have to have service facilities for it.
* You'd have to have fueling facilities for it.
* You'd have to have a spot where they can change modes, since they can't do it en-route, for some dumb reason.
* You'd have a captive to one line only fleet. Granted, SEPTA excels at that.
* They'd be minimally useful on other RRD lines, given their low HP in diesel or electric.
* You create two classes of service.
* Even the ALP-45 hasn't proven to be a spectacularly reliable unit, granted it's probably a bit better than other DMs out there. That's not saying much, given what disasters the P32s and DM30s are.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if SEPTA's run the numbers. It's cheaper to just string up wire for a few mile's extension.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby glennk419 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:27 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:Very unlikely SEPTA will consider the BBD AL45DP, or for that matter any kind of diesel powered service extension.


It makes zero sense for them:

* The ALP-45DP is roughly 12 million a unit.
* You'd have to have service facilities for it. - No reason they couldn't be serviced at Frazier or even Wayne Electric
* You'd have to have fueling facilities for it. - SEPTA must have a fuel pad for the MOW diesel fleet
* You'd have to have a spot where they can change modes, since they can't do it en-route, for some dumb reason. Mode change takes less than 2 minutes, plenty for Norristown stop.
* You'd have a captive to one line only fleet. Granted, SEPTA excels at that. Could also be used for Quakertown service.
* They'd be minimally useful on other RRD lines, given their low HP in diesel or electric. 6700 HP in electric, 4200 HP in diesel. Seems plenty adequate.
* You create two classes of service. ??
* Even the ALP-45 hasn't proven to be a spectacularly reliable unit, granted it's probably a bit better than other DMs out there. That's not saying much, given what disasters the P32s and DM30s are.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if SEPTA's run the numbers. It's cheaper to just string up wire for a few mile's extension.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby mcgrath618 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:49 pm

glennk419 wrote:
Nasadowsk wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:Very unlikely SEPTA will consider the BBD AL45DP, or for that matter any kind of diesel powered service extension.


It makes zero sense for them:

* The ALP-45DP is roughly 12 million a unit.
* You'd have to have service facilities for it. - No reason they couldn't be serviced at Frazier or even Wayne Electric
* You'd have to have fueling facilities for it. - SEPTA must have a fuel pad for the MOW diesel fleet
* You'd have to have a spot where they can change modes, since they can't do it en-route, for some dumb reason. Mode change takes less than 2 minutes, plenty for Norristown stop.
* You'd have a captive to one line only fleet. Granted, SEPTA excels at that. Could also be used for Quakertown service.
* They'd be minimally useful on other RRD lines, given their low HP in diesel or electric. 6700 HP in electric, 4200 HP in diesel. Seems plenty adequate.
* You create two classes of service. ??
* Even the ALP-45 hasn't proven to be a spectacularly reliable unit, granted it's probably a bit better than other DMs out there. That's not saying much, given what disasters the P32s and DM30s are.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if SEPTA's run the numbers. It's cheaper to just string up wire for a few mile's extension.

+1. Very good counterpoints.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby ChesterValley » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:44 pm

I hate to be that guy, but can someone explain to me why SEPTA is allergic to diesel? The most I can figure out from the search function is because they don't want to or the ventilation at Market East. As stated above, SEPTA has to have facilities for diesel locomotives for maintenance or emergencies anyway.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby glennk419 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:19 pm

ChesterValley wrote:I hate to be that guy, but can someone explain to me why SEPTA is allergic to diesel? The most I can figure out from the search function is because they don't want to or the ventilation at Market East. As stated above, SEPTA has to have facilities for diesel locomotives for maintenance or emergencies anyway.


I will be polite and summize that they moved away from diesel at a time when they inherited aged equipment and a deteriorated infrastructure from Conrail and its predecessors, at a time when ridership was declining ( no doubt due to A and B above ), funding was increasingly scarce and their ability to run the railroad division was marginal at best. The ex-Reading RDC's and FP-7's were worn out and there was little desire to replace those vehicles. The Center City rail tunnel was another factor although the ventilation issue could have been addressed.

Fast forward to today. The infrastructure is in much better shape, ridership on RRD is at almost record levels and population density along routes that were chopped ( Bethlehem, Schuylkill Corridor, Newtown, West Chester ) has grown dramatically. Funding, while not unlimited, is much improved, and technology exists that would allow resumption of those routes without gold plated electrification and despite having to reclaim a few bike trails on ROWs that SEPTA still owns.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby scotty269 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:38 pm

mcgrath618 wrote:
glennk419 wrote:
Nasadowsk wrote:
Backshophoss wrote:Very unlikely SEPTA will consider the BBD AL45DP, or for that matter any kind of diesel powered service extension.


It makes zero sense for them:

* The ALP-45DP is roughly 12 million a unit.
* You'd have to have service facilities for it. - No reason they couldn't be serviced at Frazier or even Wayne Electric
* You'd have to have fueling facilities for it. - SEPTA must have a fuel pad for the MOW diesel fleet
* You'd have to have a spot where they can change modes, since they can't do it en-route, for some dumb reason. Mode change takes less than 2 minutes, plenty for Norristown stop.
* You'd have a captive to one line only fleet. Granted, SEPTA excels at that. Could also be used for Quakertown service.
* They'd be minimally useful on other RRD lines, given their low HP in diesel or electric. 6700 HP in electric, 4200 HP in diesel. Seems plenty adequate.
* You create two classes of service. ??
* Even the ALP-45 hasn't proven to be a spectacularly reliable unit, granted it's probably a bit better than other DMs out there. That's not saying much, given what disasters the P32s and DM30s are.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if SEPTA's run the numbers. It's cheaper to just string up wire for a few mile's extension.

+1. Very good counterpoints.


They bring in a truck to fuel the diesel locomotives. There is no fuel pad.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:38 pm

Keep in mind that the ALP-45DP is no longer in production, and can't be produced until BBD finds a substitute Tier IV compliant prime mover. More likely, SEPTA would buy a dual-mode MU set like what Stadler makes.

From the outside, it seems like SEPTA is better than any other American transit agency at putting up wire on the (relatively) cheap for new extensions. Wired service to Phoenixville seems like the optimal idea to me (using the Phoenixville Industrial Track ideally), pushing to Pottstown as funding allows.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby ChesterValley » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:49 pm

There is a possibility this is dead in the water right now with the FTA's shenanigans.

According to Street's Blog, https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/08/13/trump-administration-withholding-1-4-billion-in-transit-funds-authorized-by-congress/
Just $25 million of the $1.4 billion appropriated for new transit projects in 2018 has been allocated by Trump’s FTA since it was awarded in March

The FTA's 2019 fiscal year proposal states on page 11: https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/docs/funding/grant-programs/capital-investments/69556/fy19-annual-report.pdf
For the remaining projects in the CIG program, FTA is not requesting or recommending funding…

Future investments in new transit projects would be funded by the localities that use and benefit from these localized projects


Right now the FTA is holding a diolouge on what even is a "Federal Project" https://usdot.uservoice.com/forums/913033-what-is-a-federal-project

Granted, congress has overridden the white house and approved the spending bills, but its August and projects are still on hold. There also is a possibility the KOP extension could be threatened by this, if someone wants to chime in here and tell me I'm wrong I will be very happy.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby AlexC » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:04 pm

mtuandrew wrote:What about detouring around the Black Rock Tunnel? It's the only major chokepoint. By exiting the Harrisburg Line at Perkiomen Jct, using the mothballed Phoenixville Industrial Track + former power station track, and reentering at CP Cromby, SEPTA can add a stop at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (a potential park & ride) and more importantly, can wire the entire route without ever crossing the NS main; it only needs to clear Plate F and CRRC bilevels, not Plate H double-stacks.

It does require taking part of the Schuylkill River Trail for a few miles north of Phoenixville to restore the old PRR, as well as buying/leasing and upgrading several miles of industrial FRA Class 1 or Excepted track. This is all additional to the $1b that NS will require for a third or fourth track Norrisville - Valley Forge and Cromby - Pottsville.

So. If SEPTA magically got $1b on top of the $1b it needs for deferred maintenance, is this possible?

This also involves rehabbing the RDG Perkiomen Branch bridge as well as the PRR bridge from Mont Claire to Phoenixville. SEPTA wouldn't do that for the one in Manayunk, they probably wouldn't do that for the one out there.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby amtrakhogger » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:42 pm

mtuandrew wrote:Keep in mind that the ALP-45DP is no longer in production, and can't be produced until BBD finds a substitute Tier IV compliant prime mover. More likely, SEPTA would buy a dual-mode MU set like what Stadler makes.

From the outside, it seems like SEPTA is better than any other American transit agency at putting up wire on the (relatively) cheap for new extensions. Wired service to Phoenixville seems like the optimal idea to me (using the Phoenixville Industrial Track ideally), pushing to Pottstown as funding allows.


Doesn't NJT have a new order for 17 ALP45DP's?
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby ChesterValley » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:55 pm

Yup. https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/commuterregional/njt-upping-alp-45dp-fleet/ NJ Transit exercised their option at 184.5 million USD for 17 additional locomotives.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby mcgrath618 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:20 pm

ChesterValley wrote:Yup. https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/commuterregional/njt-upping-alp-45dp-fleet/ NJ Transit exercised their option at 184.5 million USD for 17 additional locomotives.

Yet they can’t afford PTC and now have to suspend the AC line?
What a bunch of idiots running NJT. Not that it’s entirely their fault, their state did kinda screw them over.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby rr503 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:30 am

mcgrath618 wrote:
ChesterValley wrote:Yup. https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/commuterregional/njt-upping-alp-45dp-fleet/ NJ Transit exercised their option at 184.5 million USD for 17 additional locomotives.

Yet they can’t afford PTC and now have to suspend the AC line?
What a bunch of idiots running NJT. Not that it’s entirely their fault, their state did kinda screw them over.


10 years of ignorance towards PTC can’t be fixed in 7 months (though, to their credit, they’ve gone from 13% to 58% complete since Jan). Same goes for crew shortages — systemic issues don’t go away overnight. A fleet structure issue, however, can be mitigated simply (provided funding) so as they dedicate funds to the former two issues, I see no problem with them doing the same to this.

In short, the issue with PTC and crews at this moment isn’t one of funding, but one of the current management having been left a dead dog.
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Postby mcgrath618 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:46 am

I know it’s a dumb fantasy, but it would be cool if SEPTA approached EMD and asked for an updated FL9, like an FL10. Those had pantographs IIRC, and that means they could operate through the CCCT without issue, and then be a diesel express to Norristown or something like that.
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