Regional rail to Pottstown

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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sammy2009
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by sammy2009 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:15 pm

blizzard wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:49 pm
From mcgrath618 in the Amtrak forum on https://www.railroad.net/viewtopic.php? ... 2#p1526592
I have heard that SEPTA will be leasing some of the Montreal ALP45s for its Phoenixville return pilot.
Is this for real?
SEPTA doing that must be a pipe dream. Nothing is built to support such a thing.

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ChesterValley
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Location: Waiting on the R5 for an Amtrak train to pass

Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by ChesterValley » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:57 pm

uhh, if memory serves me, Image ...
A completed operational feasibility study by [Norfolk Sothern] is a prerequisite to progress a project. [Norfolk Southern] will support only passenger project requests that have been fully studied and modeled.
Unless NS has somehow pulled a 180 on this project...I do not know what mcgrath is referring to
The Scheduled 11:30 R5 Local to Malvern Next To Arrive on track 4 Section B

blizzard
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by blizzard » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:10 pm

Just watched most of this 90 minute meeting from a community forum on restoring passenger rail to Berks County (and points in between) on 11/21: https://www.bctv.org/video/restoring-pa ... -to-berks/

The Berks Alliance & Greater Reading Chamber Alliance is sponsoring a three month study with Transportation Economics & Management Systems (TEMS), a global firm who uses computer-aided models to study the full economic impact of developing passenger rail service between Philadelphia and Reading, including around all stations in between. This would include things like the potential for standard 79 mph operation as well as cost vs benefit analysis for upgrades to support 110mph operation, and where such operation is feasible. It will also explore the potentials of having various operators run the service, including SEPTA, Amtrak, Virgin Trains, or potentially others. It will also assess the impact of passenger train traffic on freight traffic and what improvements will be needed to mitigate any impact to freight.

Phoenixville's mayor and a task force member talks about the interesting approach they're taking at this by focusing primarily on identifying funding first, from public and private sources as well as using real estate development to fund things like station construction and operating subsidy, basically thinking outside the box. They say by funding this at the community level they eliminate the need to go through time consuming EIS processes and other studies that the Feds typically require. They say that they've already talked to SEPTA and that if they get the necessary funding secured, they'll accept their plan.
Lines frequented: SEPTA Norristown, Lansdale, MFL, BSL, NHSL, Amtrak Keystone (Eastern), NEC

ChemiosMurphy
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by ChemiosMurphy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:49 pm

blizzard wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:10 pm
This would include things like the potential for standard 79 mph operation as well as cost vs benefit analysis for upgrades to support 110mph operation, and where such operation is feasible.
What? It’s like 10 miles to Norristown. 110 mph operation would be insanity considering how slow the rest of the journey would be. The Reading trunk is nearing capacity.

Look, I love Septa and dearly miss my time on the Warminster and Manayunk lines (driving to NJ sucks) but the study is absolutely ludicrous on multiple levels. Why would Amtrak or Virgin Trains even remotely care about ten miles? Sounds like Berks Is getting fleeced.

I do think that acquiring Exo’s surplus equipment would be great and a cost effective way to test the waters for expansion, and even as backup equipment depending on the price. It would be a great way for Leslie Richards to disrupt the status quo, and quite the entrance to the Authority.

But am I alone in thinking this study is not realistic?

ChemiosMurphy
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by ChemiosMurphy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:06 pm

From Mcgrath618 in AEM7 Amtrak thread
NS agreed to play ball on the condition that the center track be restored up to Phoenixville, and that no wire is put up unless the pilot program is wildly successful.
Does this mean no center track, no pilot? Aka will we be on Wawa time for this (aka when I’ll be dead)?

blizzard
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by blizzard » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:27 am

ChemiosMurphy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:49 pm
blizzard wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:10 pm
This would include things like the potential for standard 79 mph operation as well as cost vs benefit analysis for upgrades to support 110mph operation, and where such operation is feasible.
What? It’s like 10 miles to Norristown. 110 mph operation would be insanity considering how slow the rest of the journey would be. The Reading trunk is nearing capacity.

Look, I love Septa and dearly miss my time on the Warminster and Manayunk lines (driving to NJ sucks) but the study is absolutely ludicrous on multiple levels. Why would Amtrak or Virgin Trains even remotely care about ten miles? Sounds like Berks Is getting fleeced.
The study is about the entire length to Reading, not just Phoenixville. There are separate groups involved here, the Berks group which is just in the "what if" and how do we justify it financially to secure funding phase, and the Phoenixville group that is trying to actively secure funding to just Phoenixville for a first phase. Per their presentation, a TEMS study was responsible for getting the MD gov to change his mind regarding the purple line down there, and apparently also had influence in convincing the PMs of England and France to build the channel tunnel.
Lines frequented: SEPTA Norristown, Lansdale, MFL, BSL, NHSL, Amtrak Keystone (Eastern), NEC

rcthompson04
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:03 am

blizzard wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:27 am
ChemiosMurphy wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:49 pm
blizzard wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:10 pm
This would include things like the potential for standard 79 mph operation as well as cost vs benefit analysis for upgrades to support 110mph operation, and where such operation is feasible.
What? It’s like 10 miles to Norristown. 110 mph operation would be insanity considering how slow the rest of the journey would be. The Reading trunk is nearing capacity.

Look, I love Septa and dearly miss my time on the Warminster and Manayunk lines (driving to NJ sucks) but the study is absolutely ludicrous on multiple levels. Why would Amtrak or Virgin Trains even remotely care about ten miles? Sounds like Berks Is getting fleeced.
The study is about the entire length to Reading, not just Phoenixville. There are separate groups involved here, the Berks group which is just in the "what if" and how do we justify it financially to secure funding phase, and the Phoenixville group that is trying to actively secure funding to just Phoenixville for a first phase. Per their presentation, a TEMS study was responsible for getting the MD gov to change his mind regarding the purple line down there, and apparently also had influence in convincing the PMs of England and France to build the channel tunnel.
Having separate groups exploring this at different levels probably means that the Phoenixville pilot won’t get dragged down by being ate by a SVM pipe dream.

NorthPennLimited
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by NorthPennLimited » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:27 pm

This project might foster a little more support from the top brass at SEPTA now that there is a new Skipper coming to the helm in January.

Her prior responsibilities at PennDot probably gave her a “big picture” view of the transportation needs of the Commonwealth.

It will be interesting to see if Leslie Richards’ prior working relationships and connections with the DNC can grow our regional rail network to support other areas where sprawl is reaching breaking points for transportation and commuting.

The willingness of the stakeholders to think outside the box to keep this idea moving forward is very promising.

mcgrath618
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by mcgrath618 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:39 pm

NorthPennLimited wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:27 pm
This project might foster a little more support from the top brass at SEPTA now that there is a new Skipper coming to the helm in January.

Her prior responsibilities at PennDot probably gave her a “big picture” view of the transportation needs of the Commonwealth.

It will be interesting to see if Leslie Richards’ prior working relationships and connections with the DNC can grow our regional rail network to support other areas where sprawl is reaching breaking points for transportation and commuting.

The willingness of the stakeholders to think outside the box to keep this idea moving forward is very promising.
Not only that, but due to the recent election, it seems that the majority of SEPTA's board is in favor of expanding rail in the suburbs. I am excited for Richards' tenure, especially after the shaky few years marked by Kneuppel's reign.

I should note to everyone following this discussion: any claims I make on this discussion come from a very reliable source within SEPTA.

ExCon90
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Re: Regional rail to Pottstown

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:53 pm

In any case, 110 mph for a Philadelphia-Reading stopping service is nonsense--trains would need to slow down for the next stop before even reaching 110, and Black Rock Tunnel will still be a choke point.

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