As for the rest of the system, the last trains departing Center City were also running nearly an hour late in both directions. Trains arriving on schedule on the PRR side were delayed as they were heading to RDG side destinations or back to Roberts Yard. There's no reason why some of the earlier scheduled PRR-side trains couldn't have been annulled and/or passengers directed to Broad Street Owl buses either at Fern Rock or North Broad/North Philadelphia (Broad and Lehigh) to reach Suburban Station, then connect with protect trains at Suburban. (By this time of the night, it's very possible that the last couple of BSS trains could've still been in service at Fern Rock, but I don't have any details on that.)
Here's the real kicker. Nobody from SEPTA bothered to report this mess to the appropriate traffic outlets (though at that late hour, the only station offering traffic reports would be KYW NewsRadio 1060 - yet, people do listen to 1060 late at night). Granted, it's late, and Richard Maloney is probably getting a good night's sleep while trying to think up his next lie to the riding public. But still, there's no reason why someone from the Control Center can't take the initiative to call KYW and alert them to major problems such as this (if anyone who works at the Control Center is paying attention, the number is (215) 724-1060, and is staffed 24/7). It's not going to do good for those who are not in Center City or stranded on the trains, but it would certainly be good for those who may be waiting at the various stations for loved ones to return home from work.
To make things even more interesting, there was no mention of this latest meltdown by any of the TV stations - even during the morning newscasts - or by the Inquirer or Daily News - though both papers were probably well past deadline for today's editions.
And while we're at it, is it any coincidence that there have been an alarming frequency in service disruptions on the Regional Rail over the past several months? Since last September, there have been several major shutdowns throughout the Regional Rail system, not counting the Rail Power project and the President's Day blizzard last month. That's not factoring in the numerous delays and breakdowns on individual lines during that time frame. The problems seemingly have been occuring almost once a month. But, we're still expected to shell out a lot of money to ride a Regional Rail system that is still the laughing stock of the nation (although some reports out of Boston say that the MBTA is starting to run a very close second). Perhaps it's time for Fearless Leader and the rest of the (ahem) brain trust at SEPTA to start showing more of a comittment to the Regional Rail division, though that would be asking too much, now wouldn't it?
- The 12:10am 65 bus from 69 St Terminal to Germantown & Chelten (5216 block) operates to Germantown, returns to 69 St, then deadheads back to Allegheny Depot;
- The 12:25am 65 to Germantown (5215 block) deadheads back to Allegheny, however it displays a block sign "5396", which tends to tell me that it either changes over to the 60 after the trip for Owl service, or operates as a 60 before doing a round trip on the 65 (I'm inclined to guess the former);
- The 65 round trip departing from 69 St at 12:51am (9628 block) does a round trip to Germantown and back before deadheading to Callowhill;
- The Owl bus that operates on the 65 now operates out of Allegheny (5201 block). This run deadheads from Allegheny Depot to 69 St Terminal then enters into service on the 65 to Germantown;
- The 12:31am G bus from Overbrook (7686 block), operates to the Food Center in South Philadelphia, then pulls 4 68 Express trips between UPS and Broad-Oregon;
- The 1:26am G bus from Overbrook to the Food Center (7651 block) apparently deadheads from Southern Depot to Overbrook to enter service; while the 2:03 am from Overbrook (7687 block) arrives in revenue service from South Philadelphia, which is the last scheduled departure from Overbrook.
Somehow, I would imagine that if some of these wasteful deadhead moves were adjusted to operate into revenue service closer to their respective depots, SEPTA might be able to reduce any operating deficts without massive systemwide cuts.