Tuesday, June 18, 2002

ARCHIVES - 06/18/02

P&W service was disrupted during the PM peak period due to the derailment of a work car near Matsonford station. As a result, P&W service was single tracking between Radnor and Hughes Park, completely disrupting the PM peak schedule. All express service was suspended with Norristown service making all stops. At around 5:00pm, service was alternating between Bryn Mawr and Norristown locals, however once the crowds started to dissipate, all service went Norristown local. The starter at the P&W platform kept making announcements about service delays during the entire incident.

The same could not be said for 104 service during that same period. The 5:33pm West Chester express didn't even show up, while the 5:47pm Newtown Square local departed 7 minutes late (using 3061) and the 5:52pm departed 3 minutes late (using 3154). West Chester commuters were further enraged when the 6:02pm departed 69 St at 6:10pm 8 minutes late, and with a nearly full load west of Newtown Square. Only one announcement was made rearding the 5:33pm trip, claiming only that it was delayed with no further explaination. If this is not further evidence that Chester County commuters are getting the short end of the stick from SEPTA, then tell me what is.

Then there's the case of 4412 block; the 5:45pm 109 to Chester was seen using 4549 - an ElDorado. Suffice to say that trip left with a dangerously full load. From what I hear, 4549 was the only bus available in the entire lot when the operator checked in. But, of course, there is no vehicle shortage, right?

The MCI demo that is on SEPTA property is apparently a newer demo, complete with LED sign and otherwise looks to be built to NJT specs, complete with LED tail lights, and is numbered 6001. Demo 6000, you may recall, was built to NYC Transit specs.

Once all 85 New Flyers arrive at Comly, some 3000s may be sent off to Midvale, so that the remaining 8600/8700 series Neos can be retired. Here's hoping that SEPTA will preserve at least one of the 8600s as a museum bus.

The big controversy over the weekend was SEPTA's unveiling of the new Silverliner V cars. The good news is that 2+2 seating will be offered; the bad news is that only 30% of the new cars will have 2+2 seating - located in the middle of the car - with the dreaded 3+2 seating at both ends of the car. Why is it that other railroads (Virginia Railway Express and most commuter rail systems in California come to mind) actually do something that is completely foreign to SEPTA's management, namely take customer input and add more amenities? Wait, I forgot, this is SEPTA. SEPTA's idea of amenities would be just getting the buses and trains running on time. Or even better - having enough buses to cover runs at Red Arrow. Wow, what a concept!

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