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Old November 16th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #61
Nexis
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Heres a NJ Transit Map


Electric lines

Gladstone Branch
Morristown Line : Hoboken to Dover
Montclair-Boonton Line : NYC Penn Station to Montclair
North Jersey Coastal : Hoboken to Long Branch
Northeast Corridor Line
Princeton Branch
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
Newark City Rail : Main & Broad Street Connection

Diesel

Pascack Valley Line
Bergen County Line
Main Line
Morristown Line : Dover to Hackettstown
Montclair-Boonton Line : Montclair to Hackettstown
Raritan Valley Line
North Jersey Coastal : Long Branch to Bay Head
Atlantic City Line
RiverLine Light Commuter Rail

Other Services operating in NJ

PATCO High Speed Line : Philly to Lindenwood,NJ via the Ben Franklin Bridge




PATH , Line 1 >Newark Penn Station , Harrison , (Journal SQ , Exchange Place :Jersey City) , WTC
Line 2 >Journal SQ , Grove Street , Pavonia -Newport (Jersey City) , ( Christopher Street , 9th Street , 14th Street , 23rd Street , 33rd Street : New York City )
Line 3 > Hoboken Terminal , Pavonia-Newport , WTC
Line 4 > Hoboken Terminal , Christopher Street , 9th Street, 14th Street , 24th Street , 33rd Street


Weekdays



Weekends



~Corey
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 03:36 AM   #62
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Here's some NJT videos form some of my Favorite Rail Fanners

North Jersey Coastal Line

Red Bank,NJ Electric & Diesels







Raritan Valley Line : Diesels

Middlesex,NJ




Atlantic City Line : Diesels

Berlin,NJ




~Corey
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Old December 27th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #63
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Old December 28th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #64
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Thanks for the great videos. I personally enjoy riding NJ Transit whenever I'm in the area.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #65
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Old February 18th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #66
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Theses were taken on the 13th last weekend , An ACES train Loco caught fire , which switching , no was killed , but it did melt the Catenary above the locos , disrupting service on the NEC for the hours.





http://www.phillyfirenews.com/conten...etail/3893.php

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Old March 5th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #67
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UNITED STATES | Regional Rail

SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) provides commuter rail service in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, spanning 5 counties in Pennsylvania and extending into the states of Delaware and New Jersey.

Length: 289 miles (465 km)
Number of Stations: 153
Number of Lines: 13 (The nomenclature on the map below is a little confusing...go read some history on Wikipedia, then ride SEPTA RR and you'll understand)
Daily ridership: ~130,000

*info from: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/e...-rail-systems/

The map below includes subway, trolley and light rail lines:


This map from Wikipedia gives an accurate geographical representation of SEPTA Regional Rail:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ail_System.png

Last edited by nouveau.ukiyo; March 6th, 2010 at 05:36 AM.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 03:31 PM   #68
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http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front...ail_line_.html

Quote:
How to use old Bethlehem rail line?



Unused rights-of-way are lines of competition for both recreational use and renewed rail service.

By Paul Nussbaum
Inquirer Staff Writer

What's the best use of the old rail line that once carried passengers between Lansdale and Bethlehem?

A revived SEPTA commuter line, to Quakertown in upper Bucks County, and beyond to the Lehigh Valley?

A bucolic "rails to trails" walking path through the exurbs and small towns?

Or both?

The old Reading Co. route is being pulled toward two different futures, separated by a county border.

In Bucks County, planners hope to restore passenger rail service to an area that lost it 29 years ago. Just to the north, in Lehigh and Northampton Counties, workers have removed the old rails to make way for an eight-mile-long Saucon Valley Trail.

In that corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, two national trends - for rails and for trails - converge. And SEPTA, which owns the old Bethlehem route, has a foot in each camp.

Yesterday, the SEPTA board leased part of the route, for $1 a year for 30 years, to the Boroughs of Coopersburg and Hellertown for the recreational trail. Last month, the board gave similar leases to neighboring Upper and Lower Saucon Townships for another part of the eight-mile trail.

At the same time, SEPTA is working with the Bucks County Transportation Management Association on a plan to restore rail service on the same rail line, from Lansdale through Quakertown to Shelly, just southeast of the Lehigh County line.

Throughout the Philadelphia region, competing hopes for long-dormant rail lines might collide, as the rails-to-trails movement meets revitalized efforts to restore train service.

SEPTA is spending up to $100 million in Delaware County to extend commuter train service 3.2 miles to Wawa on the R3 Elwyn line, its first move to restore service after three decades of reducing the Regional Rail network it inherited from the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading.

Some of that network, taken out of service years ago, already has been leased for trails.

In Montgomery County, two miles of the out-of-service R8 line between Fox Chase and Newtown is now the Pennypack Trail, a bike-and-pedestrian path along the edge of Lorimer County Park.

Also in Montgomery County, the Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Lower Merion is being built on a two-mile railbed that used to be part of the R6 Cynwyd line, from the Cynwyd station to the Manayunk Bridge.

In Delaware County, the Chester Creek Branch Rail Trail is planned for a long-unused line leased by SEPTA in 2005 to Friends of the Chester Creek Branch.

When SEPTA leases out-of-service railbeds for use as trails, it retains ownership and the right to bring back rail service. But it has never done so, and SEPTA officials acknowledge the presence of a popular trail could make a return to train service harder.

"It could be tricky. Legally, it's still ours, but there would be an outcry from those who have gotten used to it as a trail," said Byron Comati, SEPTA's director of strategic planning and analysis. "But we haven't waived our rights. We're not abandoning it."

"Rail-banking" - using a railbed as a trail - helps preserve an out-of-service corridor from deterioration, vandalism and development, he said.

"Better the right-of-way is being used for something than nothing," Comati said. "We're not abandoning it. We're preserving its long-term viability."

Jon Frey, a Bucks County resident who is leading efforts to restore service on the R8 line to Newtown, said the existence of trails would make it harder to bring back trains.

"I think in the long term it's going to be a significant problem," Frey said. "Once it becomes accepted and popular, a community is not going to want to have it taken away. I don't think anywhere a trail has gone back to passenger rail service."

Jack Cahalan, manager of Lower Saucon Township, said the township's new lease with SEPTA for the trail on the Quakertown-Bethlehem line is going to provide "a real recreational asset" to local residents.

"Once people get out on this trail, they're really going to fall in love with it," Cahalan said, citing historic attractions, geologic features, and the newfound ability to walk between communities. He said the township hoped to have the first section of the trail open for use this year.

He acknowledged SEPTA's right to the property.

"Any time they want to restore the rail service, they just take back the trail," he said. "But if it's vacant, we'd like to use it."

Tom Beil, manager of adjacent Upper Saucon Township, said his township had budgeted $250,000 this year to build a two-mile portion of the trail. He said the township knows it must remove its improvements if SEPTA reclaims the path.

"We viewed it as a huge benefit for our residents," Beil said. "If it's only open for a certain number of years, it's still a benefit for those years."

Tom Sexton, director of the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's northeast region, acknowledged there is "naturally a competition" for some corridors, but he said communities have found ways to have both rails and trails.

"There is a way of having our cake and eating it, too," Sexton said, citing so-called Rails With Trails projects that have put footpaths next to active railroads in more than 60 locations.

Nationally, there have not been many efforts to reactive dormant rail lines on trails, said Carl Knoch, manager of trail development for Rails to Trails Conservancy.

By the time the eight-mile Saucon trail is completed in 2015, trains might be using the same railbed about a mile to the south. There, at the crossroads burg of Shelly in Bucks County, is the proposed northern end of a restored rail line from Lansdale.

The latest study of restoring SEPTA service north to Quakertown and on to a park-and-ride lot at Shelly is supposed to be done by spring, said William D. Rickett, executive director of the Bucks County Transportation Management Association.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is preparing ridership studies, and if the proposal meets federal guidelines, it would go to the Federal Transit Administration for consideration.

Costs for restoring service from Lansdale to Shelly would be about $110 million to $115 million, with diesel-powered railcars, or more than $300 million if the corridor is electrified to accommodate the existing fleet of electric cars, Rickett said. New cost estimates are being prepared by Jacobs Engineering. SEPTA and the DVRPC would seek the money from the federal government.

Depending on funding, the project might be done in increments, with service extended first to a midway point like Telford, and then to Quakertown and Shelly.

"The key is going to be the money," Rickett said. He predicted service could begin in about 41/2 years, if there were prompt federal approval and funding. SEPTA's Comati said that was probably optimistic.

"The time it takes to restore a line is phenomenal," Comati said, noting that the project to restore service to Wawa has been two years just in design.
I used to live in Upper Bucks, went to high school in Bethlehem and college at DeSales University, where the old Reading Line passes through campus. I would love to see rail service restored.

http://oldtrainschedules.com/?cat=8

The link above has some old Septa/Conrail schedules, including an old Bethlehem schedule. The fastest trains back them did the trip from Bethlehem to Reading Terminal in an hour and a half, which isn't bad!
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Old March 5th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #69
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http://www.buckslocalnews.com/articl...f445019181.txt

Quote:
Effort to reactivate Newtown rail line dominates discussion at Town Hall meeting

Published: Tuesday, March 02, 2010

By Jeff Werner; BucksLocalNews.com Editor

UPDATE: Look for SEPTA'S RESPONSE in the coming days.

The effort to restore the Newtown rail line is picking up steam.

During a town hall meeting on Sunday at George School, more than 60 people listened and asked questions as representatives from the Pennsylvania Transit Expansion Coalition (PA-Tec) outlined its arguments for bringing back the line.

The meeting was organized by Newtown 21st Century Voice to give the residents of Newtown Borough and Newtown Township an opportunity to speak up on issues that could impact their lives.

During Sunday’s Town Hall, comment was limited to the R8 line and the idea of establishing a community center. But organizers said they hope to hold additional town halls in the future.

Much of the discussion on Sunday centered on the potential restoration of the R8 line, which once linked Fox Chase with Newtown Borough via Village Shires, Churchville, Holland and Southampton in Bucks County and Abington and Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County. Operation on the line was discontinued in 1983 due to a lack of ridership and its reliance on diesel locomotives.

Since then, PA-Tec argues there’s been a tremendous amount growth throughout the corridor, more than warranting the restoration of service.

The organization began pushing the R8 issue as an alternate to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s (SEPTA) plans to build a large parking garage in Jenkintown. They believe the transit organization should instead be investing in its commuter rail system, which they said would take cars off the road and be better for the environment.

The group is lobbying the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) and legislators in Montgomery and Bucks counties for reinstatement of the line, either as the R8 Newtown-Fox Chase line or linked into the R4 line. The line would be electrified and equipped with welded rails and low profile electrical towers to make it aesthetically unobtrusive and as quiet as possible.

The non-profit, volunteer organization based in Southampton contends the line would draw new passengers, help the environment and ease congestion by taking cars off the road, while lessening the burden on nearby stations.

"Can we really afford to continue to let trees grow on this line, while we sit in traffic and compromise the environment and our productivity?" they asked.

“Over and over again we have been told that this line is simply not feasible; that studies show only a modest benefit and not enough to justify a new line,” said PA-Tec member John Scott.

That’s not the case, he said, projecting the new line would draw from a large area of Bucks County –- as far away as Buckingham, New Hope, Doylestown and Plumsteadville -- in addition to highly populated Newtown Township, Southampton and Northampton townships.

“When you add up all those riders, we have a net gain of 3,000, which is significantly more than any study in the past has shown and probably enough to justify restoration of the line, if not make it an absolute necessity,” said Scott.

With that said, Scott said it would take political backing and somewhere between $100- and $300-million to accomplish the mission.

“This is not a trivial project, but at the same time it is not a gigantic project. This is not a big dig,” said Scott. “The funding would most likely come from SEPTA’s capital budget.”

SEPTA, however, hasn’t been receptive to funding improvements and expansion of its rail system, preferring instead to put its money into building parking garages and investing into “smart station” technology initiatives, said Scott.

“Technology and parking garages have no place as a centerpiece for transit growth strategies,” argues Scott. “Parking garages do not serve the people of Newtown well. Parking garages do not serve the environment well. Technology does not move passengers. Technology does not get a single car off the Newtown Bypass in the morning.

“The answer is much simpler,” said Scott. “Instead of technology and garages being the centerpiece of the growth, the region, the environment and the economy need only two things - jobs and cold, steel rails.”

Tom McCue, who lives within a five minute walk of the Jenkintown station, is among hundreds of people fighting plans by SEPTA to build a parking garage at the station and has formed an alliance with PA-Tec to press instead for the reinstatement of the R8 line.

“We realized early on that the two projects – parking garages and the expansion of rail - are mortal enemies. Only one will win. Our hope is that we can guide SEPTA strategy to think in terms of expanding rail because there is no form of transportation that comes close to steel wheels rolling on steel rails. Nothing comes close.”

SEPTA, he said, has had a tendency over time to contract itself into a small group of transit centers and starving and eventually eliminating their rail system. “The more I looked into it the more concern I had.

“Our sustainability depends on us getting out of automobiles as much as possible and as quickly as is practical,” he said.

Newtown resident Allen Samuels said the rail line is a great idea, but he wondered where the cars would park.

Scott said he anticipates the establishment of a park and ride lot located off the Newtown Bypass in Newtown Township. Two acres have been zoned for that purpose, he said.

“There also may be a benefit of having a smaller station in the borough, which would primarily serve walkers and local residents,” he said.

Another resident asked whether there is still opposition in the Beth Ayres area.

“There is potentially some opposition in that area,” said Soctt. “That’s why we have the R8 and R4 alternative. There are also environmental issues between Beth Ayres and Fox Chase and there’s also a trail occupying the right-of-way,” he said. “For various environmental and political reasons, that section may not be available.”

Another resident asked if they had a case for making the R8 a priority over Quakertown, Reading and West Chester projects.

“We have looked at all of these. We’d just point out that some of the traffic corridors in Bucks County have double the amount of traffic others do. We have higher population densities in this part of Bucks County. Quakertown has had a lot of growth, but they still don’t have the population density. The area served has 60 percent of the population that Newtown has. There’s a stronger case for the Newtown line and they need to revisit that. There are clearly more people here.”

The $64,000 question is “how do we convince our friends at SEPTA that this is a worthwhile project … and get them to understand that they need to switch into an expansion mode, which every other transit system in the country is doing,” asked resident Dennis Goran.

Scott encouraged residents to write their county commissioners, local politicians, state representatives and state senators in support of the project.

“We can also look to the federal level to help get some of the funding in place, because we are talking about a lot of money,” said Scott. “We have been in touch with many of the legislators and for the most part we get a lot of support. But I would encourage you to let them know that you’re behind this, that we have a market here, that there is ridership here and it is not a wasteful project.

“I believe the tide is turning. They (SEPTA) are starting to see this is something they can’t ignore much longer,” said Scott. “They’re kind of digging their heels in right now, but we think that’s temporary.”

SEPTA has basically said if the politics are behind this, they will build it, added PA-Tec vice president Paul Iverson. “If it’s politically popular, they’ll build it.”

State Rep. Steve Santarsiero reiterated his support for the project, and again called for SEPTA to conduct a feasibility study. “And it needs to be a real feasibility study, based on real data and sound methodoloy,” he said.

“This is a well thought out proposal that deserves a feasibility study, but as part of the mix we have to look at future transportation needs. We have to look at all the possibilities. They are not mutuallu exclusive and there are a number of ways we can improve our commutes and the quality of life in our area.

“While that’s important, we also need to look at other potential solutions to the traffic problems we have and they are not mutually exclusive,” said Santarsiero. “One idea I had when gas prices were hovering around $4 was to introduce long range comuter buses to our area. The idea with that is to set up park and rides and we could have comuter buses going to major train terminals such as Cornwells Heights and the Hamilton station in New Jersey.

“SEPTA was not interested in that when I pitched it to them a year ago, but that doesn’t mean private carriers won’t be interested in it,” he said. “The Bucks County TMA said they may be interested in looking at that on a pilot basis from the Taylorsville Road Park and Ride to the Hamilton Station. If we could start with that, htat would help many of our commuters going north, particulary with the expansion of the Scudder Falls bridge.”

In December, the group picked up support from the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors, which voted unanimously to adopt a resolution in support of the effort.

This spring, the group will make its presentation to the Newotwn Borough Council, which will entertain a similar resolution.

The township’s resolution calls on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Bucks County Planning Commission, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to review the reinstatement of regional rail service between Fox Chase and Newtown.

"The restoration will afford Newtown Township residents with an easy and efficient means of transportation to and from Center City Philadelphia," reads the resolution.

It continues, "Exceptionally high growth rates of housing developments in areas of Bucks and Montgomery counties, formerly serviced by the R8 line north of Fox Chase, has contributed to traffic and congestion in the Newtown area. Sound planning principles indicate the growing need to expand the use of commuter rail systems to improve mobility and traffic flow."

The supervisors, in adopting the resolution, said they would "support a cooperative effort with other municipalities, Bucks and Montgomery counties and the business community for SEPTA, PennDOT and the Bucks County Planning Commission to conduct a new review of the reinstatement of regional rail service on the existing line."

Rob Ciervo, the chairman of the board of supervisors and a candidate for state representative in the 31st District, said the resolution would be sent to the agencies and governing bodies involved.

"We're not just saying we want the line to come back," said Ciervo. "We want these agencies to devote resources to do the study necessary. If a study is updated and done perhaps funding that would have gone to something else would go to this."
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Old March 5th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #70
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Something I'm not all that happy about; click on the link to see some maps to help make things a bit easier to understand.

http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...rough-running/

Quote:
Philadelphia Reevaluates Regional Rail Route Structure, Dismissing Through-Running
by Yonah Freemark | February 4th, 2010

» The advantages made possible with the opening of a downtown tunnel in the 1980s will be passed over if SEPTA officials get their way.

When it opened the Center City Commuter Connection in 1984, Philadelphia had produced an interconnected regional rail system few other American cities could boast of. By digging a tunnel 1.7 miles between the former Pennsylvania Railroad’s Suburban Station and the tracks of the former Reading Railroad, regional transit authority SEPTA created a unified rail system spanning the entire Philadelphia region.

Unlike most U.S. commuter systems, Philadelphia could offer its riders through-service from one part of the metropolitan area to the next and stops at multiple stations downtown. Trains wouldn’t have to turn around at the center-city terminus, clearing up space for redevelopment and speeding up travel times. New uniformly numbered lines operated from one suburban destination to another, via downtown, just like the Paris RER and many German S-Bahn systems.

Unfortunately, SEPTA has spent the last 25 years making a mockery of the 1980s investment in its regional rail network. Now, the transit agency’s planners are pushing to remove uniform nomenclature from services and eliminate even the suggestion of through-running from operations. It’s a waste of transit capacity on a grand scale, and a disappointment for the agency’s 130,000 daily riders.

When the regional rail route designations were introduced in 1984, each route, labeled R1 through R8, had two suburban termini, with stops through downtown. Operations, like those on any rapid transit service, were relatively straightforward: trains on the R3 line, for instance, would begin their route in West Trenton and end in Elwyn, every time.

Today, however, services are muddled as if the line designations had no meaning. R2 trains, for example, become R6 trains when they pass through downtown when coming from the south; they become R1 trains at when coming from the north. R6 trains coming from Cynwyd simply terminate at Suburban Station, despite the fact that the R6 line supposedly continues to Norristown. On the weekends, R7 trains from Chestnut Hill East evolve into R3s headed towards Elwyn. On every line, certain trains simply cease operations once they reach downtown.

None of this, of course, is displayed on the agency’s map. How can the average rider not be confused?

These operational oddities are the result of ups and downs in transit ridership over time: line segments on each side of downtown were originally matched based on similar service needs, but corridor use has changed. But there is no explanation for why SEPTA is unable, for instance, to simply change the name of R2 trains coming from Newark to R6 and rename the dead-end Cynwyd R6 something else. The agency has clearly not made an effort to take advantage of the full potential of its built network, a failure that has been repeatedly been decried by one of the system’s designers, University of Pennsylvania transportation professor Vukan Vuchic.

The system’s staffers suggest that few people take advantage of the through-running nature of the system’s routes, and therefore that the idea of suburb-to-suburb lines should be abandoned.

But that through-running has not been made clear enough for anyone to understand! There are clear inconsistencies between line naming and actual services. Meanwhile, the system’s route map shows all regional rail lines in a uniform blue as if part of one line. The product is difficult to read, especially since the former Reading and Pennsylvania Railroad networks cross over one another with no interconnection north of downtown.

A lack of clear detail about which line goes where is to be expected for systems designed for commuters coming almost entirely from the suburbs to the center city — most riders know their line, they don’t transfer, and they go to a single downtown destination. But the beauty of an interconnected line such as Philadelphia’s is that it provides rapid transit ease of use for commuter rail passengers: it has the capacity of providing frequent services in the central city, multiple urban stations, and efficient transfers. Unfortunately, looking at SEPTA’s map, most people unfamiliar with the system can likely decipher none of those features.

One way to solve the problem is to diagram the regional rail system as a rapid transit agency would, as demonstrated on the right in the drawing above. Lines are differentiated by color, their paths are easily traceable, and it’s clear where trains begin, make stops, and terminate. Other cities with such systems show just that on their maps.

There is, in other words, a clear explanation for why SEPTA suffers from a lack of through-riding passengers: a lack of clarity about where trains go. For transit agencies just about anywhere, that’s a big problem.

SEPTA’s recently proposed solution to this situation is to rename lines based on their termini: R7 routes, for example, would simply become “Trenton” or “Chestnut Hill East” lines, depending on the direction. Colors and numbers currently associated with each service would be banished, because it has been decided that they are too complicated to understand. Whether or not trains themselves finish their routes downtown, lines would be portrayed as if they simply radiate from the center city in one direction; customers taking the train from a non-downtown station would be provided no information about the ultimate destination of their train past center city.

This change would basically reinstate the naming practices in place before the construction of the tunnel connection. It would basically compel all passengers to descend from trains downtown and transfer. The negative effect on ridership is unquestionable.

According to SEPTA planners, this would make getting around more simple. Unfortunately, that will only be true for people heading to the named terminus. Numbers and colors are far easier to remember than endpoints, especially when several of Philadelphia’s termini have very similar names (such as Trenton versus West Trenton).

Indeed, the existing system could work perfectly well for Philadelphia, as long as it were operated and labeled appropriately. The decision to move to a route-naming method that obviates possibilities for through-routing ignores the great transportation connections made possible with the downtown tunnel.

It’s true: The current line labels are nonsensical considering the operational environment. At the extreme, the R6 Cynwyd has a daily ridership of roughly 500 while its pair, the R6 Norristown, carries about 8,000 passengers every day. Services, as a result, cannot follow the route numbers as they’re currently set. The transit agency must rearrange lines so that ridership on each side of downtown is roughly equivalent, so that it make sense to provide similar amounts of service on each; otherwise, Philadelphia will continue suffering from its current bizarre operations conditions or have inappropriate service provision along many of the corridors.

Perhaps SEPTA simply needs to re-envision the manner in which it describes its existing system. Instead of each line being an individual branch of the overall network — i.e., R1 Airport — it could become an individual branch of a more encompassing line. There are currently thirteen line termini on Philadelphia’s regional rail network; by dividing services leading to those stations based on geography and ridership, SEPTA could produce a simpler to understand system.

One demonstration of how this could work is illustrated above (http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2...rough-running/): SEPTA could divide service into three main corridors — the “Red,” “Yellow,” and “Green” lines, each with roughly equivalent ridership on each side of downtown. This would reduce the number of major routes from seven to three and make a network map easier to understand than the slithering cacophony of hues that would be required were each route designated with its own color. Customer comprehension of the system would improve, simply because of the smaller number of variables encountered by the average passenger.

Philadelphia may not be the best test case for such a simplification of the route network because of the general lack of shared main lines outside of the urban core. Yet the concept, which would take full advantage of through-running and encourage passengers to take the train from one part of the region to the next, is still valid.

For Philadelphia’s future development, getting regional rail right is vitally important: the system has the potential to carry a much larger percentage of the region’s population if it were upgraded to rapid transit-type operations, a series of improvements that would be far cheaper to implement than a major light or heavy rail construction campaign. But the only way to do so would be in taking advantage of the system’s through-routing, which increases overall speeds, improves network capacity, and expands the number of available destinations for passengers.

Today, roughly 5% of passengers take advantage of SEPTA’s through-routing, departing and arriving at destinations outside of downtown, despite the agency’s terrible lack of information about routes and dramatic inconsistencies in operations. These peoples’ commutes cannot be thrown out the window, or the system’s popularity will suffer; meanwhile, improvements in the design of line routings would probably increase ridership by encouraging more non-downtown use of the network. A rethinking of the way regional rail works is well worth the effort for Philadelphia, but a move back to the radial model of suburb-to-downtown transit lines would be a step in the wrong direction.

Above map hypothesizes completion of the unfunded but relatively cheap “Swampoodle Connector” that would allow formerly Reading Railroad trains to continue along the Chestnut Hill West line. Ridership in the above proposal based on 2006 estimates, from SV Metro.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #71
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What are the frequencies like on the regional rail lines? Do people actually use them to get around the city, or are the underfunded, infrequent and empty as many American transit systems seem to be?

And how come we never really see anything about Philly's PT on SSC? Surely it has some pretty cool subway stations we can ogle.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 02:24 PM   #72
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What are the frequencies like on the regional rail lines? Do people actually use them to get around the city, or are the underfunded, infrequent and empty as many American transit systems seem to be?

And how come we never really see anything about Philly's PT on SSC? Surely it has some pretty cool subway stations we can ogle.
The system is currently getting overhauled and expanded. New Rolling stock for Regional Rail is arriving as we speak. Its a decently funded system , but has been run badly intill a few years ago. I think theres a train every 10-20 mins , but i'm not sure about that. Its fairly busy , when they expand and restore some more key lines , then it will be just as busy as some European systems. For the subway pictures and videos go to the Subway forum.

Heres some videos of the Regional Rail

R5 to Philadelphia



September SEPTA Trains Wallingford and Media R3 Stations



A Major Transit Hub , Trenton Transit Center , Southern Terminus for NJT NEC line , Northern Terminus for Septa R7 Line, Terminus for NJT Riverline and NJT Buses and Septa Buses. The Station is currently getting overhauled.

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Old March 6th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by city_thing View Post
What are the frequencies like on the regional rail lines? Do people actually use them to get around the city, or are the underfunded, infrequent and empty as many American transit systems seem to be?

And how come we never really see anything about Philly's PT on SSC? Surely it has some pretty cool subway stations we can ogle.
Frequencies depend on the line, but tend to be on average every 30 minutes during peak hours (in one direction, depending on the time of day), and 1 hr+ during non-peak hours. Take a look at the schedules if you're especially curious:

http://www.septa.org/schedules/rail/index.html

Some lines are served by both Amtrak and SEPTA (Keystone Corridor and Northeast Corridor); frequencies on those lines regards to express trains are quite good.

As SEPTA Regional Rail is a railroad, the purpose of many lines is to link the suburbs and outlying cities with Center City Philadelphia. For those living in the city, bus/subway/trolley are usually a cheaper means of getting around, not to mention more frequent than the trains. Regional Rail fares start at $3.50; Bus/subway/trolley cost $2 cash or 1 token ($1.45).

However, one of the peculiarities of this system concerns some of the lines that run entirely or for a significant distance within the City of Philadelphia, notable the R7 Chestnut Hill East, R8 Chestnut Hill West, R8 Fox Chase, R6 Cynwyd, R6 Norristown, and R7 Trenton. Within the city, the distance between some stations can be as little as 3/10 of a mile (~500 meters, as seen on the Chestnut Hill lines) ranging up to 1 mile, numbers you'd typically see only on heavy rail metro/subway systems.

Another unique feature of the system is that it is 100% electrified. It is also RER-esque in that all trains, as they run from the suburbs to the city, link up to a main line and pass under Center City through a tunnel, making stops, then re-emerge to run on the opposite side on the network back out to the suburbs (see map).

Yes, many people use SEPTA Regional Rail; ridership has been growing steadily over the past few years and is close to an all time peak ever since SEPTA took over the system in the early 1980s. However, ridership is only 130,000 daily; around 3 million people live within the scope of the system. Most jobs are in the suburbs, as is the majority of the metropolitan area's population. Unfortunately, despite the rich railroad history on Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania, the automobile is the typical means of transportation for most people today. The problem here has less to do with SEPTA and public transportation than it does with the lifestyle of Americans.

SEPTA is 'underfunded' I suppose, but the people who run SEPTA aren't exactly what we'd call 'good at what they do'; giving them more money wouldn't necessarily mean better things to come. And don't get me started on the SEPTA union.

Improvements are being made though; 120 new rail cars have been ordered from Rotem, a South Korean company, and the first batch are arriving as we speak. They will replace some of the older cars still in service, the oldest having been around for 47 years! Yikes!

Also, the system has shrunk over the years, but recently people are talking about restoring service to some defunct lines; see some of the articles I posted above.

Most of the people interested in Philadelphia hang out on that 'other' site. SkyscraperCity is composed of people from around the world; because Philly is scrunched in between New York City and Washington D.C., it tends to be looked over by most people and therefore mentioned little internationally. Also, Philly is historically a working class, manufacturing city. The fall of industrial America hurt this city hard in ways that may have negatively affected it's image. These days, especially outside the West (I live in Japan now), when I say I'm from Philadelphia, people have no clue where that is or think it's just the name of cheese.

If your interested in the subway, head over to the SEPTA thread under the Subways and Urban Transport Forum.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 03:15 AM   #74
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Thanks for all the information!

It's a shame the frequencies are so low, hopefully they'll improve as the years go by. I just had another look at the map and saw that there doesn't seem to be many connections in the suburbs (even when the lines pass each other). As expensive as it would be, maybe closing some stations and rebuilding them in more appropriate places could help with ridership and connectivity.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 06:03 AM   #75
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Thanks for all the information!

It's a shame the frequencies are so low, hopefully they'll improve as the years go by. I just had another look at the map and saw that there doesn't seem to be many connections in the suburbs (even when the lines pass each other). As expensive as it would be, maybe closing some stations and rebuilding them in more appropriate places could help with ridership and connectivity.
That map is deceiving, its compressed.

Heres a Map of the now dead SVM Project , the Green lines are canceled but the Orange & Purple dotted lines will be restored sometime this decade.



Heres the true map of the Septa & Future Restored network , there is a chance for a connector line , cutting across all the other lines. Which would be Diesel and a Euro Style Train.



Septa is overhauling there Fleet with 104 New ROTEM Cars





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Old March 8th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #76
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Heres a Map of the now dead SVM Project , the Green lines are canceled but the Orange & Purple dotted lines will be restored sometime this decade.
Well, no one knows if service will ever be restored on those lines. The only restoration currently in the works is the extension of the R3 Elwyn line 3 miles (~5kms) to Wawa. It's projected to cost $100 million, which I think is an incredible price for restoration work; at that price, you'd think they're building a new line. SEPTA has also spent 2 years on design work and planning for this line, which is a lot of time for a short 3 mile line that already exists! Actually, I bet a lot of money is being spent on station work and parking capacity (see below).

Restoring the R8 to Newtown is really tricky; many, very wealthy NIMBYs live along the old tracks, not to mention the cost. However, a lot of people live along this line, including many who work in the city; I personally think this line should be a priority out of all the extension ideas on the table.

SEPTA is studying the restoration of service to Quakertown and beyond to Shelly. Completion of this project would be $300 million (if electrified). Although this project has some hope, word on the street is that this line would only have 4,000 daily passengers (that's just an unofficial number I heard on another forum). Another ding in this plan is that many of the people who live along this abandoned line and work in Philadelphia usually take the R5 from Lansdale or another a station nearby. In other words, there would be few newer passengers; instead, passenger numbers would probably be redistributed. Another problem with the Quakertown line is that the tracks are owned by Norfolk and Southern, a rail frieght company; the line is still an operating railroad. I personally think this line needs to be fully restored to the Lehigh Valley, a few miles north of Quakertown, home to 700,000 people and the fastest growing metropolitan area in Pennsylvania. However, many of the workers there that commute out of the area work in New Jersey and New York City; it might be better for them to have a rail line to NYC rather than Philly!

It's unfortunate that the extension to Reading died such a sad death.

West Chester has a sad story as well; not only was their rail service cut, but trolley service was cut as well, thereby eliminating all rail transit. The trolley was interesting; it ran at quite high speeds for what it was because it had it's own right of way for a significant length of it's route. SEPTA recently completed a large bus depot there within the past few years; I think that shows SEPTAs commitment to servicing West Chester with buses. If you want to take the trains, it's not a long drive to a nearby R5 or R3 station.

By the way, service was cut on many of these lines either because of low ridership or because SEPTA didn't want to run diesel trains through the tunnels under Center City (all abandoned lines were diesel for the most part), or a combination of both. To be honest, I can't see any extensions being done unless a lot more office jobs come to Center City and a lot of those workers live in the suburbs.

Recently, SEPTA has seemed to be focusing more on improving their stations, notable increasing car parking capacity. I can't tell you how many stations have had work done in the past 5-7 in regards to this. It will allow more people to park and ride and thereby increase ridership, but it also tells you something about life in America; you still need a car even if you take the train to work.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #77
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SEPTA counts unique names to get 153 stations, but North Philadelphia has two separate platforms. The R7 stops at one while the R8 stops at a different platform, but near the first one. I think they should be counted as two since you can't walk from one platform to the other without going through the parking lot. So I say they have 154 stations.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 04:18 AM   #78
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I took a few NJT Videos on Sunday while waiting for a Train for New York that got delayed , and then waiting for a train to Newark that go Delayed.

NJ Transit Train @ Secacuse JCT departing for NYC



NJT Northeast Corridor Line to Trenton

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Old March 15th, 2010, 05:19 PM   #79
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http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/news...-replaced.html

Quote:
Levittown station will not be replaced

By: GEORGE MATTAR
The Intelligencer

Due to major funding issues, SEPTA has abandoned plans to build a $34 million Levittown Train Station to replace the crumbling site, which does not even have a working toilet.

The transit agency also is shelving plans for expanded parking at the Yardley station and proposing a "modest" fare hike, effective July 1.

"Levittown is dead. That and 19 other projects are on hold unless Pennsylvania's application to convert Interstate 80 to a toll highway is passed," said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale "Pat" T. Deon Sr. at a news conference Friday at SEPTA headquarters on Market Street in Philadelphia.

Deon and other SEPTA officials unveiled a proposed budget for fiscal 2011 of $1.18 billion, which includes an 8 percent increase in medical and prescription costs, electricity rate caps set to expire next January and the recession, which has impacted ridership about 3 percent.

The new Croydon Train Station, well under way, will be completed, Deon said. That project was funded in part by federal stimulus funds.

SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey said the proposed fare hikes will be "modest" and there has not been a fare hike since August 2007. He said the lack of federal funding had nothing to do with the proposed fare increases, which occur every three to four years to keep up with operating costs and inflation. He noted last November's strike by some SEPTA workers and new contract with pay increases did not spark the fare hikes.

SEPTA likely will raise fares between 5 and 6 percent, SEPTA officials said. That would raise the cost of a token from $1.45 to about $1.53, weekly TransPasses from $20.75 to roughly $22 and weekly TrailPasses from $22.50 to about $23.75.

Additionally, weekday peak pricing will be in effect until 7 p.m. daily, said SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney. Now, SEPTA gives slightly reduced rates to riders using the system from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, considered off-peak hours. This will be eliminated if the budget for fiscal year 2011 is passed as it was presented Friday.

SEPTA's $2 base fare for buses, subways and trolleys is one of the lowest among the Top 10 largest U.S. transit agencies, SEPTA officials said.

SEPTA Chief Financial Officer Richard Burnfield said unlike other area transit agencies, SEPTA's proposed fare increases will not be paired with service reduction. He cited New Jersey Transit, which recently proposed a 25 percent fare hike, along with significant cuts in service. No cuts are planned for SEPTA.

Meanwhile, Deon is not very optimistic SEPTA will get the $110 million it planned on from the federal government.

"We are in trouble. I'd say it's a 50/50 chance and that leads me to believe we won't get that money," he said. "Gov. Ed Rendell is behind us and Pennsylvania supports this. It's the federal government that we have to convince."

Deon urged residents to write to Bucks County Congressman Patrick Murphy, D-8, U.S. Senators Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Arlen Specter, D-Pa., to make sure Pennsylvania's application to convert Interstate 80 to a toll highway is approved under state Act 44.

Act 44 was passed the state Legislature in July 2007, creating the first ever long-term dedicated funding for transit and highways. After a failed plan to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Rendell proposed the money would come from issuing bonds on future toll revenue and tolling I-80.

George Mattar can be reached at 215-949-4165 or [email protected].
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Old March 16th, 2010, 02:43 AM   #80
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I haven't been to Levittown yet, so I can't comment on the station. I did go to Yardley, but don't remember much. It certainly wasn't a small parking lot. I was there on a Sunday at 6am so of course there were no cars then. Peak time until 7pm seems too late to me. I could see 6pm, but by 7:00 people are going out and not work.
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