SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

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manuelsmith
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SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by manuelsmith » Thu May 23, 2013 5:16 am

SEPTA is working on a federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant application that could mean the difference between increasing safety, speeds and ADA accessibility along the West Trenton Line or discontinuing that service all together.

http://planphilly.com/articles/2013/05/ ... ger-trains

Matthew Mitchell
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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by Matthew Mitchell » Thu May 23, 2013 8:27 am

I wouldn't put it quite that way, but the impending PTC mandate would make it a lot harder to run on track shared with CSX. The alternative to segregating the freight and passenger tracks would be to install PTC equipment that's compatible with the CSX system in a subset of the RRD fleet, and then ensure that all trains going beyond Woodbourne are led by an MU with that equipment. Cheaper in the short run, but not much cheaper.

The key to doing the segregation without adversely affecting passenger service is that six miles or so of third track between Wood and Yardley. Then you only have single track on the very end of the line, and scheduling isn't impacted too badly. Without it, you'd have to schedule West Trenton like you schedule Warminster, with a lot less reverse-peak service.

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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by manuelsmith » Thu May 23, 2013 10:43 am

What the writer did not cover is a timetable, how long does it take for the FTA to consider and approve the TIGER application? And if it's not approved, when would SEPTA face a possible service curtailment?

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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by Tritransit Area » Thu May 23, 2013 10:45 am

THIS is what happens when kneej-erk federal mandates come out of nowhere with an aggressive deadline. I would hope that this would be a no-brainer to give SEPTA the money for this project, as it's the direct result of the demands of the government.
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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by scotty269 » Thu May 23, 2013 11:39 am

Once again, the separation of freight and passenger traffic is being separated. This completely kills any future projects involving limited passenger trains expressing down the NYSL and removes any hope of the West Trenton line becoming an alternate to the NEC.

Shameful.

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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by glennk419 » Thu May 23, 2013 1:12 pm

Isn't it amazing how we're now paying the price for all of the short sighted track removal of the previous decades?

I'm also curious what implications this will have for the CSX C746 runs that utilize some portion of SEPTA for the runs beteen Woodbourne and Lansdale. Even if they opt to use the Morrisville (ex-PRR Trenton Cut-off) vs the West Trenton and Bethlehem branches, they will still need to use a short portion of the WT and Norristown lines. Will this become an operation like the NJT River line where freight runs only during the hours that SEPTA does not? I know that SEPTA also runs training trains and equipment moves during the off hours, not sure if PTC only applies to revenue trains.
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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by Matthew Mitchell » Thu May 23, 2013 3:05 pm

scotty269 wrote:Once again, the separation of freight and passenger traffic is being separated. This completely kills any future projects involving limited passenger trains expressing down the NYSL and removes any hope of the West Trenton line becoming an alternate to the NEC.
It doesn't remove hope: it simply means that if passenger trains use the NYSL, they're going to need to have freight-compatible PTC equipment as well as ASCES (the system SEPTA, Amtrak, and most passenger carriers will be using).

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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by njrail3963 » Fri May 24, 2013 6:07 am

A few related questions here:

If this grant doesn't come through could some trains be "short turned" at Neshaminy Falls or Langhorne? Some work would be required to put in/move switches but this would take some pressure off the single track segment. How would this affect ridership?

Where is the start of CSX ownership? I haven't seen a physical division post sign anywhere. Is the interlocking at Neshminy Falls on Septa property or CSX?

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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by nomis » Fri May 24, 2013 6:14 am

njrail3963 wrote:Where is the start of CSX ownership? I haven't seen a physical division post sign anywhere. Is the interlocking at Neshminy Falls on Septa property or CSX?
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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by wagz » Fri May 24, 2013 10:34 am

Matthew Mitchell wrote:It doesn't remove hope: it simply means that if passenger trains use the NYSL, they're going to need to have freight-compatible PTC equipment as well as ASCES (the system SEPTA, Amtrak, and most passenger carriers will be using).
Which actually raises a point I was thinking about yesterday. Continuing up the NYSL, when CSX reaches the Lehigh Line there is the same issue. The Lehigh Line shares trackage with NJT trains for a much greater distance than SEPTA has to worry about between WOOD and TRENT. And on that token, there is the issue of the CSXC746 and getting to Lansdale as well as the several trains that utilize the Norristown line for a short distance to access the NS Morrisville Line. CSX could probably retrofit a small sub-group of locomotives with ACSES equipment to be captive for Lansdale operations, but the entirety of the NS or CSX fleets could pass through Norristown on their road trains.

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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by glennk419 » Fri May 24, 2013 11:03 am

Is there an echo in here?
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60 Car
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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by 60 Car » Fri May 24, 2013 11:27 am

I thought one of the mandates of PTC was interoperability?
If it was not, it should be.....

You would think that since PTC has been mandated, a standard specification should have been written so that the equipment could be compatible nationwide.

Oh, wait..... Tha would make sense..... Never Mind.

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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by Matthew Mitchell » Fri May 24, 2013 11:36 am

But what makes sense in a freight application (routes that are thousands of miles long, light density of trains, moderate speeds) isn't necessarily what makes sense in a passenger application (more dense route network and service, high speeds, emphasis on travel time).

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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by Tritransit Area » Fri May 24, 2013 12:04 pm

60 Car wrote:I thought one of the mandates of PTC was interoperability?
If it was not, it should be.....

You would think that since PTC has been mandated, a standard specification should have been written so that the equipment could be compatible nationwide.

Oh, wait..... Tha would make sense..... Never Mind.
Precisely. In fact, that was one of the major issues that SEPTA and a host of other commuter railroads had with the mandate - the fact that there wasn't one "standard", and also the limited sources available to even set up such a system in such a short amount of time.

The ironic part of all of this is that this legislation stemmed from an accident between a Commuter Rail train and a Freight train!
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Matthew Mitchell
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Re: SEPTA seeks $$ for major West Trenton Line Help

Post by Matthew Mitchell » Fri May 24, 2013 1:32 pm

I expect that the western roads like Metrolink that operate over freight lines will be using the freight roads' system, not Amtrak's system. So there won't be an ironic situation like you envision where the Metrolink/UP collision wouldn't have been prevented.
Government regulators aren't that dumb.

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