Posts Tagged ‘SEPTA trains’

SEPTA Increasing Rail Service Next Week

September 1, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said it will increase service across its system next week.

New schedules for buses, trolleys and high-speed rail went into effect Aug. 29 and 30 while new regional rail schedules will become effective on Sept. 5.

SEPTA said overall service will increase to 93 percent of pre-COVID levels. High-frequency bus and trolley routes will operate at pre-COVID levels.

 Parking at regional rail stations will continue to be free through October, and closed station sales offices will reopen by the first week in September.

SEPTA To Gradually Restore Suspended Service

April 26, 2021

Service restorations and a hiring freeze are highlights of the operating budget recently approved by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

SEPTA said the restoration of service suspended during theCOVID-19 pandemic would be gradual.

This includes restoration to 96 percent of pre-pandemic service for buses, subways, trolleys, and the Norristown High Speed rail line.

SEPTA officials said that by fall 80 percent of regional rail service will have been restored.

Bus service is currently at at about 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels while regional rail is at about 64 percent.

Aside from a hiring freeze SEPTA is making other cost cut as part of its $1.5 billion operating budget. The budget includes $368 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding.

The agency’s capital budget is expected to be announced this week.

SEPTA to Upgrade Station

April 21, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said it will address critical safety, security and infrastructure needs along the Market-Frankford Line stations as well as work to improve its Allegheny Station.

The agency said it has addressed similar needs at the Somerset Station, including implementation of a new security plan.

Although Allegheny Station will remain open while work is performed, some early closures will occur three nights starting for about a week starting on April 23.

That will provide workers eight hours between closing and the morning reopening for intensive cleaning efforts, as well as maintenance and repair work.

SEPTA officials said the issues facing the Market-Frankford Line stations along the Kensington Avenue Corridor are complex and will involve short- and long-term solutions.

SEPTA to Resume Rail Service on Chestnut Hill Line

January 30, 2021

Rail operations on the Chestnut Hill West Regional Rail line will resume on a limited basis on March 7, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said.

Service on the line was suspended last March during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when SEPTA scaled back rail operations overall.

Under the new schedule, rail service on the Chestnut Hill line will consist of “several trains” operating between 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Details about when those trains will run have yet to be released.

Aside from the pandemic, which has depressed public transit use, SEPTA also cited Amtrak construction that would have made operating the Chestnut Hill service unreliable.

Philly-Reading Rail Service Could Cost $818M to get Started

January 13, 2021

Implementing rail passenger service between Philadelphia and Reading, Pennsylvania, would cost up to $818 million in capital expenses, a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation study concluded.

The study found the 12-station, 59-mile service could attract up to 6,400 passengers daily,

However, PennDOT said several significant issues must be addressed to determine the concept’s feasibility.

One of those is whether host railroad Norfolk Southern would  be a “willing party” to negotiate access, improvements and fees.

NS tracks would be used between Reading and Norristown and are not electrified, a fact that could complicate equipment decisions.

The report said the existing SEPTA route between Norristown and Philadelphia is heavily used and might not be able to accommodate additional trains.

Additional studies are needed to make a detailed infrastucture and service feasibility study; a Norfolk Southern operational feasibility study; development of local support and funding; preparation of design and environmental documents; and completion of a preliminary memorandum of understanding between Norfolk Southern and SEPTA or whatever entity would be the project sponsor.

If funding can be arranged the service could be launched in 2030.

Getting to Work in Philadelphia

January 6, 2021

Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority train is shown in Morrisville, Pennsylvania on Aug. 23, 1978. The train appears to be operating on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

Photograph by Robert Farkas