PATCO to Glassboro?

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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ekt8750
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by ekt8750 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:47 am

The thing is, the ROW they would use for this line is 100% at grade with several grade crossings. I can't see how they could run a third rail operation like that, especially when a lot of the proposed stations are located at grade crossings. I suppose they would have to have trains long enough to bridge the break in the third rail which could mean running trains with closed off cars off peak (current PATCO trains can be as short as 2 cars on weekends).

I'm not sure if PATCO could afford new equipment given that they just spent a ton of money to gut and rebuild the current fleet instead of out and out replacing them. If they were though, perhaps they could run this branch as a light rail line with overhead electrification to Walter Rand (with the necessary physical and/or temporal separation from the freight traffic, which will be needed anyway even if they were to run the current fleet). That way you'd only have to string up wire on this side of the river and retain operational flexibility. Only drawback would be the lack of a single seat ride to Philly.

mcgrath618
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by mcgrath618 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:09 pm

ekt8750 wrote:The thing is, the ROW they would use for this line is 100% at grade with several grade crossings. I can't see how they could run a third rail operation like that, especially when a lot of the proposed stations are located at grade crossings. I suppose they would have to have trains long enough to bridge the break in the third rail which could mean running trains with closed off cars off peak (current PATCO trains can be as short as 2 cars on weekends).

I'm not sure if PATCO could afford new equipment given that they just spent a ton of money to gut and rebuild the current fleet instead of out and out replacing them. If they were though, perhaps they could run this branch as a light rail line with overhead electrification to Walter Rand (with the necessary physical and/or temporal separation from the freight traffic, which will be needed anyway even if they were to run the current fleet). That way you'd only have to string up wire on this side of the river and retain operational flexibility. Only drawback would be the lack of a single seat ride to Philly.
The LIRR (rather hazardously) has a few grade crossings with third rails.

ExCon90
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:44 pm

CTA also had some (and still has?), but they and also the LIRR's are grandfathered. I don't know which agency(ies) would have jurisdiction over new installations of third rail at grade, but it's hard to believe they would get approval today. (Now that I think of it, the P-RSL had such an operation years ago, but I don't think the precedent would count today.)

ekt8750
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by ekt8750 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:48 pm

ExCon90 wrote:CTA also had some (and still has?), but they and also the LIRR's are grandfathered. I don't know which agency(ies) would have jurisdiction over new installations of third rail at grade, but it's hard to believe they would get approval today.
Conrail (and in turn their parent companies of CSX and NS) would be the landlord of the line so they would also hold the liabilities. I would think 3rd rail on their property would be a nonstarter.

mm670
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by mm670 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:30 pm

ekt8750 wrote:
ExCon90 wrote:CTA also had some (and still has?), but they and also the LIRR's are grandfathered. I don't know which agency(ies) would have jurisdiction over new installations of third rail at grade, but it's hard to believe they would get approval today.
Conrail (and in turn their parent companies of CSX and NS) would be the landlord of the line so they would also hold the liabilities. I would think 3rd rail on their property would be a nonstarter.
The line was originally the West Jersey Railroad's Camden to Cape May line and got to Atlantic City via the West Jersey & Seashore Railroad from Newfield. The line was electrified from Camden through Glassboro and Newfield to Atlantic City from 1906 to 1949 using 650 volt DC 3rd rail and overhead wire. The Vineland Secondary is now "owned, operated and maintained by Conrail, the terminal railroad, for the exclusive benefit of CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Corp".

A search of the NJ Assessment Records Search shows the railroad property in Camden and Gloucester City is owned by Conrail in Brooklawn and Westville it is shown as Norfolk Southern c/o Conrail, in Deptford Twp / Woodbury / Wenonah / Mantua Twp owned by Conrail, in Pitman owned by NJ Transit and in Glassboro by Conrail. Also in Glassboro the Williamstown & Delaware River Railroad is shown as owned by Conrail to Academy Street.

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TWTRTECH
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by TWTRTECH » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:56 am

As I see it, this Glassboro/Woodbury/Camden line would have nothing to do with PATCO unless the powers that be decide to go all out and put in a viaduct though the towns, and I don't see that happening. so more than likely if this line did come to fruition it would possibly be as an extension to the Riverline that runs north of Camden.

ExCon90
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by ExCon90 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:36 pm

I think the link with the RiverLINE is what they were planning for the Glassboro extension. For anything other than light rail the grade crossings would be an expensive problem to solve. At some public hearings years ago they were seen as a safety issue even with light rail--"we don't want any more trains on those tracks--children play on those tracks!"

pateljones
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by pateljones » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:05 pm

ExCon90 wrote:I think the link with the RiverLINE is what they were planning for the Glassboro extension. For anything other than light rail the grade crossings would be an expensive problem to solve. At some public hearings years ago they were seen as a safety issue even with light rail--"we don't want any more trains on those tracks--children play on those tracks!"
I think people along the Glassboro service want to go to Philadelphia. so an across the platform transfer is acceptable. could that be at the Rand Center in Camden? I would prefer a 1 seat ride from Glassboro to Philly but I see what many of you are stating about third rail dangers out in the open.

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:24 am

The old right of way that the train will use between Camden and Glassboro is set up perfectly for a diesel light rail line. I think the tracks are pretty much at grade. Transfers to Philadelphia will be done not necessarily walking across the platform. For the bus, you would probably not need to go downstairs. For Patco, you would need to.

mcgrath618
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by mcgrath618 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:17 pm

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:The old right of way that the train will use between Camden and Glassboro is set up perfectly for a diesel light rail line. I think the tracks are pretty much at grade. Transfers to Philadelphia will be done not necessarily walking across the platform. For the bus, you would probably not need to go downstairs. For Patco, you would need to.
Here’s a hot take:
How about an actual, full on NJT line? I know historically local politics and funding have been issues, but why couldn’t it work?

ExCon90
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by ExCon90 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:39 pm

mcgrath618 wrote:
njt/mnrrbuff wrote:The old right of way that the train will use between Camden and Glassboro is set up perfectly for a diesel light rail line. I think the tracks are pretty much at grade. Transfers to Philadelphia will be done not necessarily walking across the platform. For the bus, you would probably not need to go downstairs. For Patco, you would need to.
Here’s a hot take:
How about an actual, full on NJT line? I know historically local politics and funding have been issues, but why couldn’t it work?
It would require a roundabout route via the Delair Bridge and would have to terminate at 30th St. Lower Level; a one-seat ride but a long one which wouldn't even reach Suburban Station or Jefferson without a transfer. Also, I'm pretty sure it would require movement through Pavonia Yard to get to the Delair Bridge, and offhand I can't think of a way that a transfer to PATCO at Camden could be arranged. Both Pavonia and Frankford Jct. would be serious choke points for any sort of regular frequencies.

pateljones
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by pateljones » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:00 pm

NJT service would be considerably more expensive, based on how many crew members NJT has on a train compared to Patco. And this project is proposed as an extension of the Patco line and Patco is regarded as an exemplary transit operator. Let a South Jersey agency serve South Jersey residents and not people operating out of Newark.

jlichyen
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by jlichyen » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:22 am

Just spitballing here, but what if Glassboro, PATCO Speedline, and Atlantic City lines were all under the same management/dispatching?

I don't mean to head into crazy transit pitching territory, but there's still ROW to Mt. Holly, Salem, and Vineland, so couldn't a more robust network be built in the longterm?

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:10 pm

Passengers will be very upset if the line to Glassboro would run to 30th Street by way of the ACRL because it would take a longer circuitous route over just having people switch from a train to a train or train to a bus at the Walter Rand Transit Center. The longer route would have to involve the trains accessing the ACRL in Pennsauken and then crossing Delair Bridge where they would follow the NEC around N. Philadelphia terminating at 30th Street. This would add a lot of extra time. This is one reason why I don't like the Atlantic City Rail Line as a commuter rail route. Many people heading into Center City who live along the ACRL in South Jersey either use the bus or Patco.

FYI, on the LIRR electrified routes, there are tons of grade crossings. Even after the ones on the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville, where the third track will be added, will be eliminated, there will always be too many of them.

pateljones
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Re: PATCO to Glassboro?

Post by pateljones » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:16 pm

The budget of New Jersey Transit for next year lists funding for the patco extension to Glassboro. This is most exciting news as the study comes out next month and Senate President Sweeney said in the newspaper that this extension is his priority. I sense many factor coming together this year after so many years of no progress.

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