Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

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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Train60
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by Train60 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:42 pm

I went looking for information on this project and all I could find was this
http://septa.org/rebuilding/station/elwyn-wawa.html

Let me get this straight... SEPTA has budgeted $150.5 million to rehabilitate 3-miles of track, build a new stations and a 600-car parking deck? Maybe the budget also included additional EMU cars or work in the Media yard or work on the viaduct just to the west of Media? The price seem very high for a 3-mile extension of service.

If anyone has a link to more of the details please share it.

MikeBPRR
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by MikeBPRR » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:06 am

Train60 wrote:I went looking for information on this project and all I could find was this
http://septa.org/rebuilding/station/elwyn-wawa.html

Let me get this straight... SEPTA has budgeted $150.5 million to rehabilitate 3-miles of track, build a new stations and a 600-car parking deck? Maybe the budget also included additional EMU cars or work in the Media yard or work on the viaduct just to the west of Media? The price seem very high for a 3-mile extension of service.

If anyone has a link to more of the details please share it.
*dusts off account after years of inactivity*

Well, I'm no budgeting expert, nor am I a SEPTA apologist, but as a nearly lifelong Middletown Township resident, here's what I know needs to be done:

1) New track and ties - if you walk the Chester Creek rail trail, you may see how old the ties and rails are.
2) PTC signalling - the railroad will need to be equipped with this. FWIW, there appears to be an empty frame for a signal by the Lenni Road.
3) A new station - I'm no expert, but I imagine that this will be a challenging engineering feat. There doesn't appear to be enough room for a six hundred car garage on the the old station site https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9007756 ... a=!3m1!1e3 between where the creek bends suddenly. The terrain is also rather hilly; there will need to be some hard core landscaping to fit the garage. Not only that, garages are expensive - it is more expensive to build a garage of 600 spaces than the equivalent of 600 spaces on a flat surface lot.
4) They also once intended to build a new yard, since SEPTA was having storage problems when this project was first proposed. I don't know if that's still in the cards, though.
"I know nothing, nothing..." - Sgt. Schultz

bikentransit
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Location: Bristol, PA

Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by bikentransit » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:38 pm

It was suggested some time ago to just get the service up and running, do everything minus the Wawa property and reopen the station at Glen Riddle which would nicely attract walk ups. Under that scenario, the trackwork and PTC could proceed, and service could be extended partially until they had funds and motivation for Wawa. Rome was built faster than this.

mcgrath618
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by mcgrath618 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:58 am

Renderings are up on SEPTA's rebuilding website:
http://septa.org/rebuilding/station/elwyn-wawa.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://septa.org/rebuilding/img/station ... wawa-1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

jonnhrr
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by jonnhrr » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:20 pm

The drawings show 2 tracks at the station. I assume that the rest of the extension will remain single track for the time being.
Avatar Photo - P&W local from Gardner to Worcester at Morgan Rd., Hubbardston

mcgrath618
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by mcgrath618 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:32 am

jonnhrr wrote:The drawings show 2 tracks at the station. I assume that the rest of the extension will remain single track for the time being.
I noticed that too, do you think that only one platform will be used for now, and then they'll add another track one day, or do you think they're gonna use a wye?

andrewjw
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by andrewjw » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:56 pm

mcgrath618 wrote:
jonnhrr wrote:The drawings show 2 tracks at the station. I assume that the rest of the extension will remain single track for the time being.
I noticed that too, do you think that only one platform will be used for now, and then they'll add another track one day, or do you think they're gonna use a wye?
Why would a wye be needed with only one platform indefinitely?

ekt8750
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by ekt8750 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:13 pm

andrewjw wrote:
mcgrath618 wrote:
jonnhrr wrote:The drawings show 2 tracks at the station. I assume that the rest of the extension will remain single track for the time being.
I noticed that too, do you think that only one platform will be used for now, and then they'll add another track one day, or do you think they're gonna use a wye?
Why would a wye be needed with only one platform indefinitely?
It wouldn't. The station looks like it's going to be a two track station with an island platform. The line will obviously split into two tracks further up before Wawa and then merge back into one after and continue to West Chester.

When I first saw the renders, I thought the actual platform was going to be built over Baltimore Pike but it looks like it'll be just before it.

mcgrath618
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by mcgrath618 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:58 pm

ekt8750 wrote:
andrewjw wrote:
mcgrath618 wrote:
jonnhrr wrote:The drawings show 2 tracks at the station. I assume that the rest of the extension will remain single track for the time being.
I noticed that too, do you think that only one platform will be used for now, and then they'll add another track one day, or do you think they're gonna use a wye?
Why would a wye be needed with only one platform indefinitely?
It wouldn't. The station looks like it's going to be a two track station with an island platform. The line will obviously split into two tracks further up before Wawa and then merge back into one after and continue to West Chester.

When I first saw the renders, I thought the actual platform was going to be built over Baltimore Pike but it looks like it'll be just before it.
That's what I meant.

Suburban Station
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by Suburban Station » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:59 am

are there economies of scale when it comes to track work? in other words, there is a fixed costs to getting the work site set up (and track designed) that can then support a larger amount of mileage? Perhaps the whole problem is that the extension is simply too small and as a result costs a heckuva lot more.

MikeBPRR
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by MikeBPRR » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:00 am

Train60 wrote:I went looking for information on this project and all I could find was this
http://septa.org/rebuilding/station/elwyn-wawa.html

If anyone has a link to more of the details please share it.
Here are a good amount of details, from a presentation given to MIddletown Township council in November.

https://cloud.septa.org/s/LBvchGCL1QCATcT#pdfviewer

Highlights: the $150 million is going to the following:
  • The station, the garage, and the bus loop
  • Replacing the bridge over Route 1
  • Replacing the two bridges over Chester Creek
  • Replacing the bridge over Lungren Road. Good riddance to that one-lane underpass with poor visibility. It's Middletown's own "beep beep" bridge.
  • Continuously welded rail
  • Replacements of wire and catenary towers
  • A new rail yard at Lenni
The cost makes more sense now, given the scope of these projects.

Fun tidbit: the expanded yard at Lenni will include a crew check-in office where parking at one end of the Chester Creek trail is located. I expect NIMBYs to complain about this.
"I know nothing, nothing..." - Sgt. Schultz

zebrasepta
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by zebrasepta » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:37 am

New update on the Wawa project.
http://www.septa.org/rebuilding/news/ro ... -2019.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Starting at 8:00 p.m., Friday, February 8, crews will begin to remove the rail bridge spanning U.S. Route 1 as part of the Elwyn to Wawa Service Restoration Project. The replacement of the rail bridge is a critical phase of the restoration project to restore Media/Elwyn Line service from its current terminus at Elwyn Station to Wawa, Pa.

Nasadowsk
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by Nasadowsk » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:00 am

zebrasepta wrote:New update on the Wawa project.
http://www.septa.org/rebuilding/news/ro ... -2019.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Starting at 8:00 p.m., Friday, February 8, crews will begin to remove the rail bridge spanning U.S. Route 1 as part of the Elwyn to Wawa Service Restoration Project. The replacement of the rail bridge is a critical phase of the restoration project to restore Media/Elwyn Line service from its current terminus at Elwyn Station to Wawa, Pa.
One hopes they actually replace it. All this talk of 'critical phase', 'NIMBY' and fretting about costs, suggests this is is an awfully convenient way to deep-six the entire thing now and in the future.

"The bridge was removed, it'll cost too much to replace!"

(Not like SEPTA's ever done anything like that in the past...)

mcgrath618
Posts: 371
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Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by mcgrath618 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:23 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
zebrasepta wrote:New update on the Wawa project.
http://www.septa.org/rebuilding/news/ro ... -2019.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Starting at 8:00 p.m., Friday, February 8, crews will begin to remove the rail bridge spanning U.S. Route 1 as part of the Elwyn to Wawa Service Restoration Project. The replacement of the rail bridge is a critical phase of the restoration project to restore Media/Elwyn Line service from its current terminus at Elwyn Station to Wawa, Pa.
One hopes they actually replace it. All this talk of 'critical phase', 'NIMBY' and fretting about costs, suggests this is is an awfully convenient way to deep-six the entire thing now and in the future.

"The bridge was removed, it'll cost too much to replace!"

(Not like SEPTA's ever done anything like that in the past...)
...
They had to order a new bridge to be produced. They wouldn't drop the money on that and then not restore it.
They also wouldn't have done all the trackwork they've already done if their intention was just to sideline it.

bikentransit
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Location: Bristol, PA

Re: Why is Wawa expansion so slow and costly??

Post by bikentransit » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:42 pm

Don't be so sure. SEPTA doesn't care either way, to them it's all OPM (Other People's Money). They talk a good game when it comes to being a transit operator and helping the region, going "Green", etc, but at the end of the day they only answer to who signs their checks.

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