History of the Broad Street Line

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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby NortheastTrainMan » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:39 am

JimBoylan wrote:Parts of the Locust St. Subway took 35 years to get any track; the Arch St. Subway is 100 years old and still doesn't have any tracks in it! So, 64 years to finish North Broad St. express tracks is better than average for this City.
30th St. subway station took more than 30 years to get tracks.


WOW! It seems to be tradition to dig a subway then add tracks decades later, at least when it comes to Philly. I don't really know what goes into building a subway, but it seems super weird to physically drill, dig, and whatever to build the tunnel. Only to leave it entirely or partially trackless for decades. I'm making the Jackie Chan confused face right now :P (http://www.supercoloring.com/sites/defa ... g-page.png)
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby NortheastTrainMan » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:50 am

This one is geared towards safety for BSS maintenance crews

I rode the northbound 10:59AM express from Walnut-Locust today.

Typically the train moves fastest between Girard to Susquehanna, and again from Erie to Logan.

However as the train neared Susquehanna it began to slow down and sound the horn. It was a bit weird because the signals were all green.
I noticed something yellow in the track with either the letter "R" or "A" on it. Then further down there was a stop sign on the express track.

Moments later a maintenance man appeared, removed the sign, and began flashing a light vertically. After that the train proceeded at a reduced speed, which was also due in part to trailing a Spur.

This makes me wonder, how well are maintenance men protected down there? I know it's a super dangerous job, as it's dark and narrow down there with 3rd rail and trains flying by.
I felt like the signals should've been set to yellow or red as well. Because a momentary lapse in attention on part of the motorman could have extremely dangerous effects.

I don't think there have been many, if any reported incidents of maintenance workers being struck by BSS trains. But I've seen reports of it on NYC's subway and Amtrak a number of times, how a simple momentary lapse of attention combined with another factor(s) lead to deadly effects and close calls.
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby TWTRTECH » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:58 am

NortheastTrainMan wrote:
JimBoylan wrote:Parts of the Locust St. Subway took 35 years to get any track; the Arch St. Subway is 100 years old and still doesn't have any tracks in it! So, 64 years to finish North Broad St. express tracks is better than average for this City.
30th St. subway station took more than 30 years to get tracks.


WOW! It seems to be tradition to dig a subway then add tracks decades later, at least when it comes to Philly. I don't really know what goes into building a subway, but it seems super weird to physically drill, dig, and whatever to build the tunnel. Only to leave it entirely or partially trackless for decades. I'm making the Jackie Chan confused face right now :P (http://www.supercoloring.com/sites/defa ... g-page.png)

Image only a small portion of the Arch street tunnel was ever built as can be seen in this 1952 photo... Credit The Temple Urban Archives.
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby TWTRTECH » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:25 pm

Image Here is another shot under Arch street near 13th, Credit PhillyHistory.org
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby JimBoylan » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:45 pm

There may also be another section of the Arch St. Subway at 10th St.
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby mcgrath618 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:21 pm

TWTRTECH wrote:
NortheastTrainMan wrote:
JimBoylan wrote:Parts of the Locust St. Subway took 35 years to get any track; the Arch St. Subway is 100 years old and still doesn't have any tracks in it! So, 64 years to finish North Broad St. express tracks is better than average for this City.
30th St. subway station took more than 30 years to get tracks.


WOW! It seems to be tradition to dig a subway then add tracks decades later, at least when it comes to Philly. I don't really know what goes into building a subway, but it seems super weird to physically drill, dig, and whatever to build the tunnel. Only to leave it entirely or partially trackless for decades. I'm making the Jackie Chan confused face right now :P (http://www.supercoloring.com/sites/defa ... g-page.png)

Image only a small portion of the Arch street tunnel was ever built as can be seen in this 1952 photo... Credit The Temple Urban Archives.

Where is this? In between 10th and 9th?
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby TWTRTECH » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:16 pm

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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby TWTRTECH » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:20 pm

JimBoylan wrote:There may also be another section of the Arch St. Subway at 10th St.

Tenth and Arch....Image
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby TWTRTECH » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:22 pm

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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby TWTRTECH » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:28 pm

Then there is this 1962 shot of the Arch street subway, not sure if 101th or 13th street location.. Image
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby TWTRTECH » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:31 pm

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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:33 pm

NortheastTrainMan wrote:I don't really know what goes into building a subway, but it seems super weird to physically drill, dig, and whatever to build the tunnel. Only to leave it entirely or partially trackless for decades.

I think the tunnels were dug just in time for the Depression and the money ran out. Happened a lot--I think that's the reason the Cincinnati subway never got any track. The P&W never got beyond Strafford because of the Panic of 1907.
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby NortheastTrainMan » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:09 pm

Great images & info on the unfinished Arch Street Tunnels.

Now pertaining to the BSS mainline, this story is a bit long so pardon me

This happened some time ago, so forgive me if I'm a bit hazy on this.
I wanted to post this when it happened but I had issues accessing my email for this account :(

Nonetheless, a few years ago I estimate circa 2014 in the Fall on either a Tuesday or Thursday, I was heading to Cecil B Moore to get to class at Temple.
My class was at 8 AM and I went to board whatever southbound arrived at Olney first around 7 AM.

A southbound express rolled in, on the local track. Which was weird, but I boarded it and intended to get off at Erie to switch to the local.
However the express operated on the southbound local track to Erie.

When we arrived at Erie, another southbound express rolled in.
Now I'm totally confused. I'm on an express and another one (DJ Khaled voice :P) rolls in directly adjacent. Green lights w/the (Fern-Rock to Walnut-Locust) sign and everything.
The trains sat there for what felt like forever as riders on the platform were confused as to why there were 2 southbound expresses there.

I have no idea where a southbound local could be in proximity, so I decide to stay on my express train that's still on the southbound local track, and take it to Girard then crossover to catch a northbound local to Cecil B Moore.

The express which arrived on the express track takes off quickly at track speed. Meanwhile my express on the local track travels at seemingly restricted speed, like much slower than a regular local.
Now after crawling since Olney, I'm running late to class. However as we neared Girard, instead of stopping the train skips Girard. Almost everyone on the train started flipping out.

My train finally stops at Spring Garden, where I crossover and catch a northbound local all the way back to Cecil B. Luckily the class was easy and nothing major was happening that day, but still I despise being made late.

Throughout this whole ordeal, not a single announcement was made.

Looking back on this, I probably should've got off at Erie and just waited for the southbound local, oh well.

AFAIK my southbound express made stops at Fern Rock, Olney, Erie & Spring Garden. No idea why it skipped Girard, nor do I know what happened after Spring Garden.

I assume nothing like this has happened since.

Pardon the long story. But here are my questions.

- Why/what causes 2 express trains to operate simultaneously in the same direction in an adjacent format? Some sort of severe miscommunication between dispatch & supervisors?
It takes up so much space and bottlenecks the system. Plus it's redundant to have 2 trains running like that.

- What would happen at Walnut-Locust? Would one train just continue down to Pattison/AT&T?
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:58 am

Was there a destination sign on your "Express" train?
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Re: History of the Broad Street Line

Postby silverliner266 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:33 pm

My first though is that there was some kind of fatality at Girard. That might require using local tracks for expresses and shut down the station.
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