Statistics on SEPTA closures systemwide and poor performance

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Statistics on SEPTA closures systemwide and poor performance

Postby jfrey40535 » Sun Jul 18, 2004 8:24 pm

Anyone out here compile stats on how much of the entire transit system has been shutdown since the early '80's when they took over the regional rail system from Conrail?

I'm looking for anything such as number of stations closed, number of track miles that have been eliminated, etc. I already know what branches no longer exist such as West Chester, Reading and Newtown.

I think its time to get loud about how bad the system is run and I'd like to back my argument with some statistics. Things have been bad for awhile but it seems like we're progressing further and further downhill. Systemwide its becoming apparant that things are run to scare away riders, not attract them.

We have:
Ticket machines that are broken
Elevators out of service
Escalators out of service
Peak hour trains with too few cars
Non-coordination of schedules (like the 100 and MFL)
Bus operators that disregard EPA idling rules (and lack of enforcement by DOT)
Wasteful spending on non-essential systems like LED information signs on the MFL that never display useful information
Degrading sanitation conditions on the MFL, and degrading seats on MFL and regional rail Silverliner IV cars
A $58 million trolley line that does not run
Rotting PCC cars at Roberts Ave.

....among many other things. So if anyone had a running talley it would be much appreciated.
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Re: Statistics on SEPTA closures systemwide and poor perform

Postby Matthew Mitchell » Sun Jul 18, 2004 11:38 pm

jfrey40535 wrote:Anyone out here compile stats on how much of the entire transit system has been shutdown since the early '80's when they took over the regional rail system from Conrail?


Yep. The following excludes some segments/stations that were closed and subsequently reopened due to bridge outages, etc. Base year is 1978. There may be some errors in years of openings/closings since I'm working from the annual (more or less) census data.

R1 Airport
New line opened 1985.
Don't know the exact branch length, but Terminal E is at MP 12.8
New stations--5: Eastwick (1997), Terminal A#, Terminal B#, Terminal C/D, Terminal E
#--Terminal A and Terminal B are opposite ends of a single long platform

R2 Wilmington/Newark
Stations closed before 1983: Baldwin (1981), Naamans Rd. (1979), Wilm Shops (1981).
Stations closed after 1983: Lamokin (2003), Edge Moor(@)
Station opened: Churchman's Crossing(*)
*--wasn't there a station there for the race track? It doesn't show up in my data, which are derived from the SEPTA ridership census
@--Edge Moor was active when SEPTA suspended service beyond Marcus Hook in 1983, was not reopened when service to Wilmington was restored in 1989.

R3 Media-West Chester
Stations closed before 1983: Darlington, Locksley (both 1981)
Elwyn-West Chester: segment closed 1986
--9.8 miles, 9 stations: Williamson Free School, Glen Riddle, Lenni, Wawa, Glen Mills, Cheyney, Westtown, West Chester University, West Chester

R5 Paoli-Downingtown
Station closed before 1983: 52nd Street (1980)
Station opened before 1983: Exton (1981)
Station opened after 1983: Thorndale
Note that SEPTA operated to Coatesville and Parkesburg between 1990 and 1995(?)

R6 Ivy Ridge
Manayunk-Ivy Ridge: segment opened 1980
--0.2 miles, 1 station: Ivy Ridge
Cynwyd-Ivy Ridge: segment closed 1986
--1.2 miles, 3 stations: Barmouth, Manayunk, Ivy Ridge

R7 Trenton
Stations closed after 1983: Frankford Jct. (1993), Frankford (1990), Andalusia (1993), Wissinoming (2003)

R8 Chestnut Hill West
Station closed after 1983: Westmoreland

RRD trunk:
Station opened after 1983: Fern Rock Transportation Center (1992)
Stations closed after 1983: Spring Garden($), Tioga (1989), Nicetown (1989), Logan(1992), Tabor (1992), Fern Rock (1992).
$--Spring Garden was part of the original branch to Reading Terminal, closed when the tunnel opened in 1984.

R2 Warminster:
Station closed after 1983: Fulmor

R3 West Trenton
No changes

R5 Lansdale-Doylestown
Station closed after 1983: Fellwick

Lansdale-Quakertown-Bethlehem
Segment closed 1979: Bethlehem-Allentown
--4.7 miles, 1 station (Allentown)
Segment closed 1981
--36.9 miles, 9 stations: Hatfield, Souderton, Telford, Sellersville, Perkasie, Quakertown, Centre Valley, Hellertown, Bethlehem

R6 Norristown
Station opened after 1983: Ivy Ridge (lower) (1986)
Stations closed after 1983: Shawmont, Mogees

Norristown-Reading-Pottsville
Stations closed before 1981: Loansport (1979), Shoemakersville (?)(1980), Valley Forge Park (1980) [not sure about these ones, someone with a 1981 timetable handy could verify these were closed]
Segment closed 1981(^): Reading-Pottsville
--35.5 miles, 5 stations excluding Loansport and Shoemakersville: Mohrsville, Hamburg, Auburn, Schuylkill Haven, Pottsville
Segment closed 1981 (^): Norristown-Reading
--40.9 miles, 5 stations excluding Valley Forge Park: Phoenixville, Royersford, Birdsboro, Pottstown, Reading
^--both segments closed at the same time, but listed separately here for readers' convenience

R7 Chestnut Hill East
Station closed after 1983: Fishers

R8 Fox Chase-Newtown
Station designated but never opened: Village Shires/Buck Road
Segment closed 1983: Fox Chase-Newtown
--15.2 miles, 9 stations (excluding Village Shires/Buck Road): Walnut Hill, Huntington Valley, Bryn Athyn, County Line, Southampton, Churchville, Holland, George School, Newtown.
Last edited by Matthew Mitchell on Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jfrey40535 » Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:27 am

Thanks Matt!
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Postby Clearfield » Mon Jul 19, 2004 6:33 pm

When did Tioga on the RDG trunk close? It was literally yards away from Nicetown.
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Tioga

Postby Matthew Mitchell » Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:42 pm

Clearfield wrote:When did Tioga on the RDG trunk close? It was literally yards away from Nicetown.

Same time as Nicetown. I'm thinking mid- to late-eighties. It was gone before the 92-93 shutdown.
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Postby adamkrom » Tue Jul 20, 2004 2:14 am

Of course, some stations really should be closed, when they get practically no use, for example. SEPTA has a very close station spacing for a commuter rail system, and it doesn't operate it like a mass transit system that would justify closer station spacing. I like the fact that so many stations are for walking, though, instead of just park and rides.
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Postby jfrey40535 » Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:38 am

But alot of the closures have been in the city which makes the RR system inaccessible from everywhere except center city. These stations should not have cost alot to keep open, they certainly didn't look like they had alot of money spent on them, and should have been kept as flagtops.
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Postby SCB2525 » Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:59 pm

Weren't Westmoreland and Fishers right near another, more direct route into CC (a bus route), and this was the reason for closure? And werent they like a block away from each other?

Either Nicetown or Tioga should have probably been kept open, but not both. They were quite close. This wouldn't be wise at the moment (re-opening) b/c speeds b/w Temple and Wayne Jct. are attrocious. I like the idea of flag stops very much, but something similar to Rt. 100's light system should be utilized, allowing faster speeds (you don't have to slow down to see if someone's there. If you're not at you're not at your stop a minute early, tough.)

Why was Baldwin still on the map until SEPTA re-did it recently along with it's revamped web site? I can see Lamokin and Wissinoming (although they should have been al least photo-shopped out immidiately), but 23 years after closure? Sheesh.

Also, does anyone have a map that clearly shows branches such as (but not limited to) Reading's Port Washington, Frankford branches and PRR's Fort Washington, City(i think it was PRR) branches in relation to the current system? And what remains of the Fort Washington ROW?

I know it's a lot of questions (and I have more), but this topic interests me immensely.
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Postby reldnahkram » Tue Jul 20, 2004 10:29 pm

SCB2525 wrote:
Also, does anyone have a map that clearly shows branches such as (but not limited to) Reading's Port Washington, Frankford branches and PRR's Fort Washington, City(i think it was PRR) branches in relation to the current system? And what remains of the Fort Washington ROW?

I know it's a lot of questions (and I have more), but this topic interests me immensely.


I use the ADC maps quite a bit at my summer job (PennDOT), and the county maps show rail lines quite well. Up in Montgomery and Bucks county, the Stony Creek and Quakertown branches are both shown in all their glory, complete with stations. I don't know about beyond those points, but check 'em out.
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Postby Matthew Mitchell » Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:39 pm

SCB2525 wrote:Weren't Westmoreland and Fishers right near another, more direct route into CC (a bus route), and this was the reason for closure? And weren't they like a block away from each other?

You're thinking of Westmoreland and Allegheny (R6).

Either Nicetown or Tioga should have probably been kept open, but not both. They were quite close.


No they shouldn't have. Ridership was atrocious. Single digits the last few years they were open. Tioga had as many as 30 or 40 around 1980, but that still wouldn't have justified keeping the station open. Remember how many people are on board the trains at that point, and the total minutes delay to stop or even slow down for the stations.

And they're three-tenths of a mile apart.

[snip] Why was Baldwin still on the map until SEPTA re-did it recently along with it's revamped web site? I can see Lamokin and Wissinoming (although they should have been al least photo-shopped out immidiately), but 23 years after closure? Sheesh.

Because there have been plans to reopen it as a park/ride and for the redevelopment of the office building there. However, those plans are not active at this time.

Also, does anyone have a map that clearly shows branches such as (but not limited to) Reading's Port Washington, Frankford branches and PRR's Fort Washington, City(i think it was PRR) branches in relation to the current system? And what remains of the Fort Washington ROW?

Well a chunk of the latter is a power line right of way (you can walk it) and the rest is part of PA 309. The very end is across from the softball field at McNeil Labs on Camp Hill Rd. in Fort Washington. You can still see the grade of the original wye.
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Postby matt1168 » Wed Jul 21, 2004 1:01 pm

I ride the R-8 Fox Chase Line on a (mostly) daily basis, getting on at Ryers and off at Suburban.

Ryers and Cheltenham (the station just south of Ryers) seem to be the 2 stations closest to each other in the Septa system (approx. 5-6 blocks). While Ryers gets a pretty good ridership (it has a niced size park and ride, which I park in, and is in a pretty well populated area of the city, right on Cottman Av., a main street), Cheltenham has a whopping 12 parking spaces (actually, I think they just expanded the parking lot to 17... big deal), and isn't really located in walking distance of any major areas (although it's close to Ryers, the street setup in this area makes it a bit inacessible), and it's nothing but a major slowdown; I've counted maybe 9 people ever get on at one time, at the most. Septa should shut down Cheltenham and other stations like it, because all it serves as is a slowdown.
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Postby flynnt » Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:19 pm

matt1168 wrote: Septa should shut down Cheltenham and other stations like it, because all it serves as is a slowdown.


Highland station on the CHW side of the R8 is the same way. It is within a half a mile of 2 train station. There are no buses connections that can be made at the station. No one parks in it's parking lot. It is a flag stop for all trains after 9AM. What kind of operating capital could be saved by closing the station?(insurance, upkeep). If SEPTA decided to sell AND close the station, they would also realize a one time revenue enhancement. (They could also rent it too, I suppose).
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Postby matt1168 » Wed Jul 21, 2004 6:17 pm

Or what about Eddington... I'm sure the 12 people who use that station each day won't mind. :P
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Postby Matthew Mitchell » Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:32 pm

matt1168 wrote: Septa should shut down Cheltenham and other stations like it, because all it serves as is a slowdown.

Cheltenham does high 100s in terms of boards per day. That's OK by SEPTA standards.

flynnt wrote:Highland station on the CHW side of the R8 is the same way. It is within a half a mile of 2 train stations. There are no buses connections that can be made at the station. No one parks in it's parking lot. It is a flag stop for all trains after 9AM. What kind of operating capital could be saved by closing the station?(insurance, upkeep).

You're a little confused here over the difference between operating expenses and capital expenses. Insurance and upkeep are operating expenses (SEPTA's present trouble is with its operating budget), and the number I've heard is $40,000 per station for insurance and maintenance. Obviously that number will be higher if there's a large parking lot or a station building. I doubt there's been much capital expenditure on that station lately, though there may be some upcoming if this single-tracking of the R8 is gonna encompass high platforms too.

If SEPTA decided to sell AND close the station, they would also realize a one time revenue enhancement. (They could also rent it too, I suppose).

I suspect they've already offered the building for rent, if there's suitable space in it. And if they sell the station (I don't think they will), I'd want it on principle for them to put the money in the capital budget, and the proceeds of a station in the city is small beer in the capital budget.
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Postby queenlnr8 » Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:47 pm

Did you say that they are thinking of SINGLE TRACKING the R8??

They might as well close the line now if thats how SEPTA (or INPETA in this case) is thinking.
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