Tuesday, January 21, 2003

  • PAOLI PROBLEMS Service on the R5 Paoli-Thorndale line and on Amtrak's Keystone Corridor to Harrisburg was delayed anywhere from 10 minutes for outbound trains and well over 30 minutes for inbound trains this morning due to switching problems near Frazer Yard. The air compressor that operates one of the switches just east of Frazer was not properly operating due to the near arctic conditions overnight. As a result, the 5:52am from Thorndale arrived 25 minutes late into Paoli and delays cascaded further into the morning as R5 inbound and outbound service was forced to operate single track between Frazer Yard and Paoli Interlocking. Trains passed by Frazer Interlocking, then backed up from 1 track (the inbound local track) to 4 track (the outbound local track) before heading eastbound to Malvern. Passengers at Malvern heading to Center City were forced to board at the outbound platform. During this time, SEPTA's automated anouncements misled passengers into thinking that trains were only running 10 minutes behind schedule. Apparently, the same people who coordinated the announcements were the same people advising Andy Reid about the Eagles game plan this past Sunday as the latest chapter of "Philadelphia: The City that Loves to Choke" was written. Let's just say that the scores of commuters waiting at Paoli didn't buy SEPTA's explaination that trains were "only" 10 minutes late...

  • END OF THE SPREE Just a reminder that the public hearing to discontinue the 76/Center City Shopping Spree line will take place tomorrow starting at 10:00am at SEPTA Headquarters, 1234 Market St, Philadelphia. The 76 only carried about 400 passengers per day, which doesn't seem like that many to begin with. Factor in that there are a ton of buses eastbound on Market (17, 21, 33, 38, 42, 44, and 48 among others) and westbound on Walnut (9, 12, 21, and 42), and of course, the Spree becomes a waste of money. The City of Philadelphia and the Center City District are also supporting the elimination of the Spree.
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