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Old 06-24-2016, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
They exist:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALP-45DP

NJ Transit has them. I believe that SEPTA's response when asked why the procurement of a few of these is not on their capital budget was that "these locomotives aren't proven technology." This is the problem with SEPTA; though they are good at running their current system, they are a devious organization that lies because their riding public doesn't know or care enough to realize what is going on elsewhere. (In that regard they are a lot like Philadelphia politicians).

They need to spend another 2-3 years bringing the worst of their system up to a state of good repair, then they need to look at restoration of service. Of course after they acquire new buses and fix the worst of their bridges, they'll probably start gold-plating subarban train stations in an attempt to spend money to fend off expansion/restoration.

I'm pretty sure that no other American transit organization has presided over more system cuts and service reductions than SEPTA. As other transit systems build extensions, SEPTA turns unwanted rail (think north of Quakertown and the line past Fox Chase all the way to Newtown) into trails. Corrupt, short-sighted, and wrong. All the while, our local and state politicians turn a blind eye.

So I support SEPTA as well and want them funded as they are vitally important to this region. But strategically they are a disaster and they don't seem interested in advocating for themselves or Greater Philadelphia.
First, regarding the ALP-45DP: That's good to hear. I do see that these are the first and so far only examples of dual-mode locomotives of this type. I don't remember how many FL9s were built, or whether any other manufacturer besides EMD built dual-mode third-rail electric/diesel locomotives.

So technically speaking, these are "not proven technology," though if I read that article right, they've now been in service for six years, long enough to get feedback. But if what you're saying is that SEPTA is unwilling to crawl out on a limb for something, I have two words for you: SEPTA Key. (Of which speaking: I had a conversation recently with a former employee that hinted strongly at internal agency politics as the cause of some of the missteps with that project, which a more robust IT department might have finished faster; SEPTA has good IT people but not enough of them to handle a project of that size and complexity in short order.)

As for the lack of desire to promote expansion of service, it's as much the fault of our elected officials as of SEPTA. The Newtown Branch is a trail now not so much because SEPTA wasn't interested in restoring service on it as it was because Montgomery County, at first backing the sentiment against electrifying the line in Bryn Athyn Borough but then later simply acting on the momentum that had built up because of that, opted not to support restoration via electrification (the only viable option at that time). The City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have to sign off on any capital funding for physical infrastructure, and - as we have seen over the decades - they too pursue expansion half-heartedly in a lot of cases or simply can't afford their share of the bill, the reason why the BSS Northeast Spur is a dead letter for the foreseeable future.

And given the track record of the nation's premier example of a transit agency that prioritized expansion over maintenance, I think I agree that repair and maintenance should come first, but note that SEPTA is on board with both of the rail transit extensions actively being pursued right now, a sign that things have gotten better as far as repair and maintenance are concerned at the agency.

And if you think the other systems are really doing better at expansion: Consider how many decades New Yorkers have waited for the Second Avenue line and the problems the MBTA had with gold-plating of the stations on the Somerville/Medford Green Line extension, which nearly sunk the project. I wouldn't call SEPTA's new suburban stations gold plated, given the need for ADA access and the usefulness of high platforms in providing such; surely you wouldn't begrudge them architecture better than that of a glorified bus shelter? (No escalators are involved in the construction of most of these stations, just elevators, which are necessary for disabled access to cross-passageways.) BART around the Bay looks to me like the only expansion project that hasn't had Issues of some sort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilliesPhan2013 View Post
People do not realize the true extent of the engineering involved in much of Philadelphia's transportation infrastructure. Every time I am in City Hall station, I always become perplexed by the thick walls and the curved nature of the tracks. Unlike what one would think, the Broad Street Line goes down North Broad, bears right after Arch, and makes a sharp left under City Hall to reach the station. It then straightens out as it approaches Walnut-Locust. This is all because of the sheer weight of City Hall (the curved nature of the tracks probably also have something to do with the proposed subway loop). The Schuylkill Expressway, as hated as it is, is also an engineering feat. I-76 is squeezed between the hills of Northwest Philly/Montgomery County, Fairmount Park, active railroads, the Schuylkill River itself, a complicated interchange with the Vine Street Expressway, and has roadways on top of it under University City.
The dogleg in the Broad Street Subway tunnel between Race-Vine and Walnut-Locust, including the City Hall platforms, is there because the tunnel could not be dug through the massive foundation of City Hall Tower; it's not related to the subway loop proposal at all. And, of course, as I mentioned before, those walls are so thick because they're holding up City Hall's southwest side.

Quote:
When it comes to the Market Street elevated section of the El, I remember it well. I was 8/9 when it started in 2003, and 13/14 when it ended in 2009. Back then, I hated getting off at 40th Street and taking a shuttle bus to 52nd and Walnut, only to walk back to 53rd and Ogden. Doing research on it years later, I questioned why it could not have been continued as a subway since there is a shorts section of box culvert before the El goes above ground. Unfortunately, the Mill Creek Sewer cuts directly in the path of the El at 43rd Street. Going under Cobbs Creek at the city line probably would have been an issue too.
This I find more perplexing; after all, the Market Street Subway's West Philadelphia extension passes beneath the Schuylkill, and I can't figure out why passing under two smaller streams would be more of an engineering or hydrological challenge - except to note that the intersection of North 46th/South Farragut and Market streets, where the creek crosses the path of the El, floods often when it rains heavily, or at least used to before the street was rebuilt, suggesting there may be some more serious issues with water flow or the water table.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:14 PM
 
Location: In the heights
24,505 posts, read 25,328,281 times
Reputation: 13067
To add on to the many suggestions like fare-restructuring and extensions for Regional Rail and the Broad Street Line extension to the Navy Yard:

Better fare integration for none-SEPTA services in the area to make those as seamless as possible.

Working on making some of the intersecting points for different services to be easier for transfers. Things like where the North Philadelphia BSL station with the North Broad RR station (and possibly the Philadelphia North RR stop) should work on easier indoor transfers. That general area should probably be slated for high density commercial and residential development as that's a lot of people with potential access so it seems sensible to develop it as a secondary CBD where development doesn't have to fight as much with historic preservation.

Renaming RR lines and their announcements with indications of where the other end of the line past Center City is. The city and region are growing now so there should be a concerted move towards letting people know that within the city RR is a viable option with fare structuring/integration to support growth.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
[snippage]

Renaming RR lines and their announcements with indications of where the other end of the line past Center City is. The city and region are growing now so there should be a concerted move towards letting people know that within the city RR is a viable option with fare structuring/integration to support growth.
IOW, bringing back the R-numbers!

Don't hold your breath for that to happen.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:10 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,880,905 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post

Renaming RR lines and their announcements with indications of where the other end of the line past Center City is. The city and region are growing now so there should be a concerted move towards letting people know that within the city RR is a viable option with fare structuring/integration to support growth.
During the week, most of the lines vary too much to make a name change (or even the old R names) makes any sense. For a lot of the routes, thru travel doesn't even make a lot of sense. For example, on quite a few lines it takes half an hour to get from Broad and Lehigh (North Broad Station) to Broad and Glenwood (North Philadelphia Station) - all of about a block or two away from each other.
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