The Inquirer reports that a 35 year old Warminster man died after being struck by an R5 train near the Delaware Valley College station on Friday. The victim was struck by the #523, which was en-route to Center City and Thorndale, at the Beulah Rd crossing in New Britain Borough. SEPTA operated shuttle buses between Doylestown and Chalfont for two hours until the accident scene was cleared.
This was just the first of major problems throughout the SEPTA system, as late trains and slippery rail conditions made Friday's commute on the Regional Rail system very difficult. R5 trains to Thorndale and Malvern were reported anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes late. There were also reports that the last R2 train to Marcus Hook was cancelled. In addition, an Amtrak breakdown caused problems on the R7 Trenton line.
Delays throughout the system will become more common as slippery rail season continues. On Thursday night, there were reports that some crew members were forced to leave inbound trains before reaching Center City in order to make their connecting outbound runs. Other spies within RRD confirm that there continue to be staffing shortages on the RRD, particularly among assistant conductors.
Further problems weren't as severe on Saturday, but there still were a few hiccups. The 11:46am R7 Trenton to Chestnut Hill East (#1716) was delayed 10 minutes in an attempt to wait for a delayed NJ Transit local from Penn Station/New York. The R7 was told to leave Trenton before the NJT train arrived.
And, oh by the way, on-time performance still continues to fall below 90 percent. Numbers should be forthcoming soon, but early indications show that the results are not pretty for SEPTA ... again.
NJT ETHICS FALLOUT
Speaking of NJ Transit, the Newark Star Ledger reports that 26 employees have been disciplined over various ethics charges, following an internal investigation triggered by the arrest of former VP of NJT Bus Operations Maureen Milan, who recently pled guilty to lesser charges and faces 6 months in jail as part of a plea bargain.
NJ Transit reports that several detours will be in effect over the next few weeks due to various parades in South Jersey. Among the disruptions:
- Moorestown, Burlington Co: The 407 and 413 buses will be detoured along Main St within Moorestown Twp on November 7 between 6:30pm and 9:30pm due to a candlelight tour.
- Palmyra, Burlington Co: The borough's Halloween parade will force the 419 to detour off of Broad St on October 30 between 6:30pm and 9:00pm.
- Williamstown, Gloucester Co: A halloween parade along S Main St will detour the 400 bus on October 25 between 6:30pm and 8:30pm (this will only affect trips to Sicklerville, however cascading delays along other short turn trips are possible)
- Ocean City: The 509 and 551 will be detoured off the 8 St Causeway on November 1 due to a road race in Ocean City and Somers Point. Also, on October 30, the Ocean City loop into the Transportation Center will be closed due to the city's Halloween parade from 7:15pm until midnight.
It's interesting that NJT makes notice of detours of its South Jersey, considering the second class status that often befalls South Jersey among the powers in charge at Newark. At the same time, SEPTA, either through a lack of interest on their part, or in the words of one whiteshirt, the towns not letting SEPTA know what's going on (which is entirely possible), isn't quite as on the ball on this issue, as people in the western suburbs could probably attest to.
ATLANTIC CITY ITEMS
The new bus terminal in Atlantic City is apparently progressing along, as new platform assignments have been issued for buses which end at the terminal. In addition, local buses operating along Atlantic Av will no longer stop at Michigan Av or Indiana Av, instead stopping at Ohio Av.
In addition, the Atlantic City Rail Line will operate a bus bridge to replace three mid-day trains between Cherry Hill and 30 St/Philadelphia due to the rehab of the Delair Bridge. The bus bridge, which started today, will be in effect for the next 4-5 weeks. Normal rail service is operating between Cherry Hill and Atlantic City.