Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

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Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby jfrey40535 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:39 pm

SEPTA has been telling us for years now that they are expanding service back to Wawa, as early as 2005 from what I can see. Yet here we are 4 years later, and not a section of rail or piece of ballast has been turned over. What is taking so long, and who will be doing the work?

The 2007 Capital budget shows the cost of the project at $51mil with $6 mil in prior funding (I assume that means money has already been spent on it). $31 mil was scheduled for 2008-2010. What did that money buy us?

Then turning to the 2010 Capital budget, the cost balloned from $51mil to $80 mil. Ok, what changed? Is the railroad industry experiencing some sort of hyper-inflation that passed the rest of us?

Another $4.5 mil is scheduled to be spent next year, with $54 mil being spent in the 5 years after that, and $10 mil in the 7 years after that. Does that mean it will take 12 years to move the railroad ahead 3 miles?

I know that section of railroad may not be up to SEPTA's standards, but $80 mil for 3 miles? We have existing track, catenary poles and bridges, some which may need to be replaced, but still $80 mil? The average cost/mile of a flat railroad is about $2mil/mile, so where is the rest of the money going? Consultants and engineers who got a lifetime contract to study a existing active line?

The design/engineering phase of this project is underway and scheduled for completion in the 3rd quarter of Calendar Year 2010


Outside of the station facility, which sounds overly fancy, what is there to engineer? Based on this project, it costs SEPTA $26million per mile to build a railroad. This sounds really outlandish.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby scotty269 » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:07 pm

They had to study the effects of doing a study on the environment before studying whether or not they could study the area with an extensive study regarding the color of the ballast.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby pdtrains » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:20 pm

6M for railroad, 1M for station and parking, 13M for studies of studies of studies, 60M for political
payoffs. Welcome to Philadelphia. Chicago's got nothing on us.

It took about 40 years to build terminal A at the PHL airport, due to admitted political
squabbling.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Nasadowsk » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:55 pm

Beats me, in southern NJ, Wawas are popping up everywhere :)
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:41 pm

They haven't been reaching NY tri-state yet, which I'm waiting for.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby nomis » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:54 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:They haven't been reaching NY tri-state yet, which I'm waiting for.

Wawa was actually in the NYC area (& NE as well) in the 90's; yet because of too much competition, they abandoned their stores and sold them off.

[insert witty Wawa joke mocking septa here] & can we get this thread back on track before the banhammer comes :-)
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby MikeBPRR » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:17 am

jfrey40535 wrote:SEPTA has been telling us for years now that they are expanding service back to Wawa, as early as 2005 from what I can see. Yet here we are 4 years later, and not a section of rail or piece of ballast has been turned over. What is taking so long, and who will be doing the work?

SEPTA is apparently ready to bid for the track work, according to the minutes from the August 3rd meeting of the Township's Land Planning Committee.
the engineering and design phase is 60 percent complete, and SEPTA is ready to bid the track work

It looks like they're actually getting somewhere now. Apparently catenary rehab, among other things, begins in the fall.
jfrey40535 wrote:I know that section of railroad may not be up to SEPTA's standards, but $80 mil for 3 miles? We have existing track, catenary poles and bridges, some which may need to be replaced, but still $80 mil? [snip] This sounds really outlandish.

It does seem outlandish, at first. But I did some research just to see what was involved, and there's a lot of work going into the restoration. An interesting tidbit appeared in a News of Delaware County article that talked mainly about the 101/102 projects, but also addressed other Delaware County SEPTA projects.
Track bed stabilization will be done on the R3 Media/Elwyn Line to support the Elwyn to Wawa service restoration along with existing operations on the section of track. A retaining wall will be constructed between Lungren Road and Leni Road. Parking will be expanded at the Elwyn Station.

A retaining wall? I'd love to know if this wall will be between the houses along the right of way and the trackbed, or if it will be between the trackbed and the high tension wires. According to the planning committee minutes, SEPTA plans on building several of them (the minutes didn't specify where; only used "walls" in the plural). When you consider the state of the line, combined with the other aspects of the project, it makes a lot more sense.

Other work going into this project:
The Lundgren Road bridge will be widened and the walls will be winged back to provide better visibility for motorists crossing the bridge.

I couldn't agree more with that decision - I HATE driving or walking under that bridge because there's no room. Then there's the reconstruction of the bridges over Chester Creek. I've walked across them. They creaked when I walked across them. They're also raising the bridge over Route 1 by 18 inches. Apparently the design of the bridge and intersection both have to be approved by PennDOT and the Army Corps of Engineers. Outside of the station, I bet the rehab and replacement of those bridges are probably what's going to the most money.

My biggest question: what is the "sign-up" facility with space for forty cars that will be built near the Lenni Yard?

And lastly, one of the items of new business on the agenda of Middletown Township's August 10th Council Meeting was a "Notice of DEP Application - SEPTA - Wawa Service Restoration." Back during the township's June 8th council meeting, one of the items of business on the agenda was a "Notice of PUC Application - SEPTA-Wawa extension track work." What are DEP and PUC applications?
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby ekt8750 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:20 am

MikeBPRR wrote:My biggest question: what is the "sign-up" facility with space for forty cars that will be built near the Lenni Yard?

And lastly, one of the items of new business on the agenda of Middletown Township's August 10th Council Meeting was a "Notice of DEP Application - SEPTA - Wawa Service Restoration." Back during the township's June 8th council meeting, one of the items of business on the agenda was a "Notice of PUC Application - SEPTA-Wawa extension track work." What are DEP and PUC applications?


The sign up facility is prolly a crew and management quarters for crews to start and finish their runs at the start and finish of the day. Crews have to punch in and out just like everyone else that has hourly work.

DEP = Department of Environmental Protection
PUC = Public Utility Commission

They will need and upgrade in licensing from both to even think about operating the line full time again.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby R3toNEC » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:33 am

A storage yard is to be constructed at Lenni. I assume the parking is crew parking. I believe I read somewhere that the yard is being moved from Media to Lenni. The yard at Media is going to be removed and additional parking added to that station.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Jersey_Mike » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:47 am

The yard at Media is going to be removed and additional parking added to that station.


So they plan to re-format Media? :P
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby Clearfield » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:38 pm

:(
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby SEPTAR3kid » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:08 pm

Jersey_Mike wrote:
The yard at Media is going to be removed and additional parking added to that station.


So they plan to re-format Media? :P


well that's too bad to hear if it infact happens to be true...it seems the place they most need parking is elwyn but I guess the expansion might help that? Although at this rate I guess that won't be for a while if ever.
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby scotty269 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:45 pm

SEPTAR3kid wrote:
Jersey_Mike wrote:
The yard at Media is going to be removed and additional parking added to that station.


So they plan to re-format Media? :P


well that's too bad to hear if it infact happens to be true...it seems the place they most need parking is elwyn but I guess the expansion might help that? Although at this rate I guess that won't be for a while if ever.


They're going to re-format Media AND get an expansion a little further down the path?!

Is it for the (front-side) bus? Or for the train?


(Really, really, really bad geek jokes here. Sorry.)
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby MikeBPRR » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:41 am

R3toNEC wrote:A storage yard is to be constructed at Lenni. I assume the parking is crew parking. I believe I read somewhere that the yard is being moved from Media to Lenni. The yard at Media is going to be removed and additional parking added to that station.

I doubt it, but I'd like to know where you read this. From the August 3rd Planning Committee Minutes:
Mr. Gill noted that the contract also provides for construction of a 1,900 sq. ft. sign-up facility at Lenni Yard with parking for approximately 40 vehicles. Ms. Bradshaw [township counselor] inquired about hours of operation at the Lenni yard. Mr. Gill replied that work begins at 4 a.m. Train cars are cleaned out overnight and inspected. Minor repairs can be made at the Lenni yard, but any major repair work is handled at the Media Yard.

If Media yard does major repair work that Lenni yard won't be able to, then it will be around (I assume they meant in the future). Besides, I dream of a day when SEPTA has so many (fairly smoothly running) cars that they have no choice but to keep Media yard open because Neilds yard and Lenni yard are both full up.

The real item of news from the above passage is that minor repairs can already be made at the Lenni yard! Wow, they really got moving on replacing that catenary past Glen Riddle!

Speaking of Lenni yard, I walked by the old building one day and I saw what looked like an ANCIENT MU sitting in the facility. Someone was clearing out the shop in there, I guess; I'd never seen the garage door open before, and I'd read somewhere that WCRR was clearing out shop. What is that MU? And lastly, will the old training facility be around as part of Lenni Yard, or is the whole space going to SEPTA
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Postby khecht » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:03 pm

If it's an ancient MU in ex-PRR territory, it almost has to be an MP-54, no?
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