• Septa Trolley Modernization

  • 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/.
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/.

Moderator: AlexC

  by PHLSpecial
 
Septa is planning on ordering a new trolley fleet along with upgrading the station platforms.
I agree that it's a once and a lifetime opportunity.

For the trolley fleet they are considering a light rail vehicle that is either single direction or bi-directional.
For many of the trolley stops on street level. Septa is considering to build out curbs so that the stations have level boarding and no more have to look out for cars possibly hitting them.

There are PDFs for all the trolley routes and what the station platforms look like.

There is a PDF on route 36 extension to the regional rail stop with possibly building a third track for freight. Septa is considering an extension to Fairmount park. Also sadly Septa currently believes it is not the right time to build the waterfront trolley.

https://planning.septa.org/projects/tro ... rnization/
  by PHLSpecial
 
I love the idea of the station platforms and the curb bump outs to create new stations. Similar to what Toronto did. The trolleys would have a massive boost in ridership of Septa can pull this off.
I like the idea of extending route 36 to the regional rail stop. There is consideration employees would be shuttled to the airport via the regional rail instead of PHL airport employee vans. The only thing that is holding back the RR running more frequent trains to center city is PHIL interlocking where Septa needs to single track. No idea how to fix this.

Build waterfront trolley! Connect it to Spring Garden. Would be cool if the trolley directly connected to market street. That's where most of the ridership would come from. Plus if they built more things along the waterfront which the is what city trying to do now.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Tell Septa to restore the following streetcar routes: 23, 30, 31, 37, 38, 56, 103, and 104. Light rail is a more beneficial and environmentally friendlier alternative to bus service.
  by JeffK
 
This is more of a blue-sky idea ... Sharon Hill is about 4 miles from Eastwick. IF the ROW could be found (a big "if") might it make sense to also extend the 102 to the same intermodal station? I don't know if there are other operational differences between the city and ex-Red Arrow trolleys that might preclude shared tracks at the new station, but at least gauge isn't one of them*

A 102 extension would create a rail loop (OK, admittedly multi-modal) linking Center City, Upper Darby, eastern Delco, and southwest Philly. It would also supplement or replace existing service on the 108 bus that's hampered by traffic.

* Cue the inevitable questions about why the El can't be connected to the BSS or NHSL.
  by PHLSpecial
 
JeffK wrote: Thu Dec 16, 2021 3:43 pm This is more of a blue-sky idea ... Sharon Hill is about 4 miles from Eastwick. IF the ROW could be found (a big "if") might it make sense to also extend the 102 to the same intermodal station? I don't know if there are other operational differences between the city and ex-Red Arrow trolleys that might preclude shared tracks at the new station, but at least gauge isn't one of them*

A 102 extension would create a rail loop (OK, admittedly multi-modal) linking Center City, Upper Darby, eastern Delco, and southwest Philly. It would also supplement or replace existing service on the 108 bus that's hampered by traffic.

* Cue the inevitable questions about why the El can't be connected to the BSS or NHSL.
1. TBH they should. 84th street is perfect place to run trolley tracks down the middle. The intermodal station should be able to accommodate the 102 trolley. Plus the trolley would cross the NEC so passengers don't have to connect to 30th street.
2. If Septa buys the bidirectional trolleys no need for trolley loops.
3. I wish everything can be set to standard gauge. But not worth the cost.
  by scratchyX1
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:01 pm I love the idea of the station platforms and the curb bump outs to create new stations. Similar to what Toronto did. The trolleys would have a massive boost in ridership of Septa can pull this off.
I like the idea of extending route 36 to the regional rail stop. There is consideration employees would be shuttled to the airport via the regional rail instead of PHL airport employee vans. The only thing that is holding back the RR running more frequent trains to center city is PHIL interlocking where Septa needs to single track. No idea how to fix this.

Build waterfront trolley! Connect it to Spring Garden. Would be cool if the trolley directly connected to market street. That's where most of the ridership would come from. Plus if they built more things along the waterfront which the is what city trying to do now.
Wasn't there a waterfront trolley, for a while?
  by PHLSpecial
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:04 pm Tell Septa to restore the following streetcar routes: 23, 30, 31, 37, 38, 56, 103, and 104. Light rail is a more beneficial and environmentally friendlier alternative to bus service.
The 23 could comeback and end at Erie Ave. Passengers would transfer onto the BSL. The 56 should comeback as well. Both will be in mixed car traffic.
The 104 definitely needs to come back. West Chester needs to be connected by rail again imo.
Before all of this we need unlimited transfers in a 2 hour window. These services would be a massive boost to the system.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:12 pm
PHLSpecial wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:01 pm I love the idea of the station platforms and the curb bump outs to create new
stations. Similar to what Toronto did.

Build waterfront trolley! Connect it to Spring Garden. Would be cool if the trolley
directly connected to market street. That's where most of the ridership would
come from. Plus if they built more things along the waterfront which the is
what city trying to do now.
Wasn't there a waterfront trolley, for a while?
It was a private operation (1982-1995) by BVTA, a now defunct organization whose fleet has largely has
been absorbed by Electric City in Scranton. BVTA operated on the Belt Line on Columbus Blvd up to the
Ben Franklin Bridge using trackage rights from PBL.

It is ironically the anniversary the Penn's Landing trolley folded (last service Sunday, December 17, 1995) as I type this.

San Francisco and Toronto have waterfront lines.
  by Silverliner5
 
Septa could buy a trolley that can change gauges from 1,581 to 1,435 mm so they won't have to do too much track changes to the system but Route 56 could have dedicated lanes on it's route
  by scratchyX1
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:37 pm
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:04 pm Tell Septa to restore the following streetcar routes: 23, 30, 31, 37, 38, 56, 103, and 104. Light rail is a more beneficial and environmentally friendlier alternative to bus service.
The 23 could comeback and end at Erie Ave. Passengers would transfer onto the BSL. The 56 should comeback as well. Both will be in mixed car traffic.
The 104 definitely needs to come back. West Chester needs to be connected by rail again imo.
Before all of this we need unlimited transfers in a 2 hour window. These services would be a massive boost to the system.
Isn't the 104 one of the busiest bus routes?
  by JeffK
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:37 pm The 23 could come back [comeback] and end at Erie Ave. Passengers would transfer onto the BSL.
Certainly the upper end should be restored. The tracks are mostly still in place. Unfortunately any of the narrower parts of the route seem to have been permanently ceded to cars, absent seismic changes in the city's traffic policies.
The 56 should come back [comeback] as well.
Again, parts of the route are probably wide enough for trolleys and cars to coexist.
The 104 definitely needs to come back. West Chester needs to be connected by rail again imo.
As someone who's old enough to at least remember the rump service to Manoa I'd love to see rail again as well, but the 1950s Highway Department sealed the line's fate when they added turn lanes that cut into the median.
Before all of this we need unlimited transfers in a 2 hour window.
Agree 100%! That's common in other cities I've visited. SEPTA's obtuse transfer policies, especially for people who aren't Key-holding commuters, are hostile and counterproductive.
  by PHLSpecial
 
As someone who's old enough to at least remember the rump service to Manoa I'd love to see rail again as well, but the 1950s Highway Department sealed the line's fate when they added turn lanes that cut into the median.
Oh you are talking about the 476 ramp. It can be done, but lots of buy in is needed. The on-ramps and exits need to change. That's sad and difficult to change. But we want change.
  by scratchyX1
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:39 pm
As someone who's old enough to at least remember the rump service to Manoa I'd love to see rail again as well, but the 1950s Highway Department sealed the line's fate when they added turn lanes that cut into the median.
Oh you are talking about the 476 ramp. It can be done, but lots of buy in is needed. The on-ramps and exits need to change. That's sad and difficult to change. But we want change.
Lanes can be narrowed, and turn lanes removed. If the trolley has dedicated lanes, it can take enough cars off the road, to make up for the lose.
  by JeffK
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:39 pm Oh you are talking about the 476 ramp. It can be done, but lots of buy in is needed. The on-ramps and exits need to change. That's sad and difficult to change. But we want change.
That's by far the worst encroachment, but the Blue Route was built long after the 1950s. PADOH chopped up the median for left-turn lanes at nearly every major intersection for miles out from Upper Darby. If they hadn't done that it's faintly possible rail service could have continued, assuming appropriate signalization could have been managed.

Ages ago somebody proposed running the line on a trestle down the median. IIRC the idea died in about 5 nanoseconds.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Pensyfan19 wrote:Tell Septa to restore the following streetcar routes: 23, 30, 31, 37, 38, 56, 103, and 104. Light rail is a more beneficial and environmentally friendlier alternative to bus service.
PF: SEPTA has discontinued trolley routes in favor of bus service for decades...The "Sub-Surface" routes serving
West Philadelphia - 10, 11, 13, 34, 36 were kept since they ran to Center City via the Market Street Subway.
#15 was a special case to run as a median-separated route where practical. #23 between Broad Street/Erie Avenue
and the Chestnut Hill Loop could be a good LRV service restoration with much of the track infrastructure intact.

The Waterfront Trolley was operated by the Buckingham Valley Trolley Association using vintage trolley cars.
Route #104 to West Chester's median-strip route looks to be preserved - but altered by road construction over
the course of decades making any restoration thought that much harder - and likely more expensive.

Unfortunately unless SEPTA "changes course" and becomes far more light rail-friendly none of these discontinued
routes are ever coming back...Restoring what has been lost since the 1960s alone will cost millions of dollars and
with SEPTA's precarious financial position since the beginning of "The Problem" in March 2020 and its resulting
major ridership losses there needs to be steady recovery for the existing system - along with a steady funding
source keeping any fare increases to a minimum - before new and/or restored services can be considered.
MACTRAXX