Wednesday, April 23, 2003

  • ANOTHER RAIL FIASCO And now, for the monthly fiasco on SEPTA's Regional Rail system. In fact, it's three for the price of one in the fiasco department today, though two of the problems were not SEPTA's fault (as amazing as this sounds).

    The first incident occured at around 1:15am, as a CSX freight train derailed near Neshaminy Falls. Reports indicate that vandals placed used tires on the CSX (non-electrified) track, causing at least 6 of the over 100 freight cars to derail into the SEPTA track area. The derailment knocked catenary down, forcing SEPTA to suspend service on the West Trenton line for most of today. Service as far north as Trevose is expected to be restored in time for tomorrow's commute, however there will be no shuttle service between West Trenton and Trevose. Instead, SEPTA is telling commuters to take the R7 Trenton line, which had it's own share of problems this afternoon (more detail shortly).

    The second incident occured during the morning rush hour, as downed wires between Fern Rock and Jenkintown forced passengers on the R2 Warminster and R5 Lansdale-Doylestown line onto shuttle buses at Jenkintown to connect with the Broad Street Subway at Fern Rock. Service was restored at around 4:00pm this afternoon, however residual delays were still expected. In addition to the stranded trains north of Fern Rock, service on the R1 Airport and R5 Paoli-Thorndale lines were also impacted, as trains could not be cross-routed via the Center City tunnel. There were reports that R1 Airport Line service was also suspended for most of the day due to stranded trains on the Reading Trunk, however, that has not been confirmed.

    Okay, let me see if I understand this. SEPTA has enough buses to take passengers from Jenkintown to Fern Rock, but can't even provide basic shuttle service along the even busier West Trenton line? And isn't the Warminster line supposed to be shut down if Fearless Leader has her way? And is it any coincidence that this latest RRD meltdown occured the day before the monthly SEPTA Board Meeting - just as the last RRD meltdown did last month?

    Meanwhile, the R7 Trenton Line, which was already experiencing heavier loads due to the non-service on the R3 West Trenton line, had it's own problems during the evening rush hour. Philadelphia and Amtrak police report that an New York bound Amtrak train (#186) struck and killed a tresspasser near Bridesburg at around 3:15pm. All R7 service was suspended during the police investigation, with the exception of two peak hour trains to Trenton.

    All in all, it was not a good day to be a Regional Rail commuter in Bucks County.

  • 10 INTERRUPTED Service on the 10 was disrupted yesterday following a fatal shooting on Lansdowne Avenue between 59 and 60 Sts in West Philadelphia. Unfortunately, there was no way to divert the 10 around that area, hence shuttle buses were deployed. The 31 bus was also affected by the incident.
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