Amdist a large railfan turnout last night the final two older Sivlerliners (Budd 9010 and St. Louis Car 235) ran their last runs. They operated on the last Cynwyd run of the day - 1091 - and then deadheaded back to town as D6092 with many of the railfans still on board returning to Center City. The train made a special run to Market East for a final photoshoot before returning to 30th Street and then the deadline at Powelton Yard. Here is a picture of 235 at Cynwyd preparing to leave on D6092 after completing its last ever revenue run. Photo by Joe Butler.
This is it! The final week where the remaining Silverliner II (9010) and Silverliner III (235) will operate in service. Both cars will hold down all service on the Cynwyd Line this week. The Philadelphia Inquirer even posted information on their last scheduled trips.
On June 30th, the existing waivers that the FRA gave to SEPTA to allow these cars to continue to operate on the rails will expire. This may leave a slight car shortage for the summer until the rest of the Hyundai-Rotem Silverliner Vs are delivered and placed into service.
The Silverliner IIs and IIIs definitely had a great run, serving the Pennsylvania Railroad, Reading Railroad, Conrail, and SEPTA over the years. We definitely apprecitate their service, and anticipate that on Friday, a lot of railfans will be riding the Cynwyd Line to say their final goodbyes.
For those who are not aware Novabus has won the bid to deliver a total of 245 buses for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). This is a four year contract made to Novabus. This is a rather unusual contract - for one not all of the buses will arrive in one year. The order would be spanned over the course of four years. Ofcourse this all depends on funding. The first of the Nova artic hybrids are slated to arrive here in December 2012. It has been rumored that the pilot may arrive here as early as September. This acquisition cost for these buses is $171 million.
The tentivitve break down of this order is as follows:
Please note: Contract orders can and will change, please stay tune for more details and/or corrections being made.
Since the retirement of #9007 last Friday. Up until yesterday, there were three Silverliner IIs and one Silverliner III which were in service. All four of the remaining Silverliners were since kept in a four-car consist until Thursday. On Thursday, June 21st, the Silverliners 9009-9001 were operating as a two-car consist on the Wilmington/Newark line on train as train #2760. While en route from Newark, both of these cars has suffered mechanical issues - 9009 had a blown transformer while 9001 had lost power to its traction motors. Both of these cars were sent to Wayne Electric. Since these issues occurred just one week before the scheduled retirement of the remaining Silverliner II/IIIs, both 9001 and 9009 has been removed from revenue service. Only 235 and 9010 remain in service. To track the Silverliner II/IIIs http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=72
The Route 34 Subway-Surface trolley operating along Baltimore Avenue will be using buses this summer from June 17th until Labour Day weekend due to trackwork. Every summer SEPTA buses a subway surface line for track renewal and this year it is the 34's turn. For more information see http://septa.org/alert/34.html.
On top of the eleven (11) New Flyer Xcelsior which were already delivered. CATA is slated to received 17 more Xcelsior during the course of the summer months. This units will replaced the remaining Orion Vs left and some New Flyers. In hindsight, it has been reported that the few Orion Vs which are still service, will be retired within the next couple of weeks. The New Flyer Xcelsior, also designated as the XN40 are the first CNG powered Xcelsiors to ever be purchased and delivered. Once all said and done, their fleet numbers will be #1-#28. The powertain which these buses will have is a Cummins Westport ISL-G 280 with a Voith 4 speed transmission.
Photo taken by SEPTA3371CSX1
Apparently DART is plans to reroute ALL buses away from Rodney Square, starting June 17th, 2012. They all won't serve the same new stops, so it seems like pedestrians may have some serious walking transfers to make.
Among other changes, the 32 Wilmington Trolley will no longer serve the Riverfront; this will be replaced by extended route 12 service. On the flip side, the 32 will return to the Amtrak Station with increased frequencies. The 31 Newark Trolley will be discontinued due to historically low ridership.
Changes are also in store for Sussex County routes for May. One notable change is that the 305 will no longer serve Rodney Square, but start at the Amtrak Station instead. More details here: http://www.dartfirststate.com/dtc.ejs?command=PublicDTCPressReleaseDisplay&id=4284
Today was the first day CATA's brand new 2012 New Flyer Xcelsior 40 foot CNG (XN40) buses were placed into service. There are 11 total in this order. These are the first new buses for the central PA transit agency since 2002.
The Philadelphia Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society will be sponsoring a farewell trip for the Silverliner IIs and IIIs on Sunday, May 6, 2012. The itinerary shows that the trip will cover portions of the Chestnut Hill West, Cynwyd, Fox Chase, and Norristown Lines. They hope to have a 3 car train: one ex-Pennsylvania RR Budd, one ex-Reading RR Budd, and a St. Louis car in the middle if they are still available at the time.
Tickets cost $50 each. Please visit the Philadelphia Chapter NRHS website for more details and the order form: http://www.trainweb.org/phillynrhs/
Mark in the PTV forums reported seeing 6001 on the 452, 6002 on the 413, and 6006 on the 419. This may mean that some (if not all) of the remaining RTSs in the Camden area will be leaving the area, either being sent up North or to be retired.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission released a plan late last month on how SEPTA can improve Fern Rock Transportation Center. Fern Rock was rebuilt to handle thousands of Regional Rail passengers transfering to the Broad Street Line when service to Center City was suspended due to Railworks Construction. However, these days there's a lot of excess space, making transfers between buses, trains, and the subway quite a hike.
Some suggestions include separating car and bus traffic (with a bus only driveway), better connecting the station to surrounding neighborhoods (as there is no access to the neighborhood on the east side of the station), improving parking and drop off areas, and more! Plan Philly has more details about the project, and Jayayess1190 started a thread about it in the forums.
Starting today, the ALP-45DP dual mode locomotives will start service on four trains in Northern Jersey: 1006 (Lake Hopatcong to Hoboken via Montclair State University), 808 (Lake Hopatcong to Hoboken via Summit), 1009 (Hoboken to Lake Hopatcong via MSU EXPRESS Newark Broad Street to MSU), and 855 (Hoboken to Mount Olive via Summit EXPRESS Newark Broad Street to Summit.
Many thanks to redarrow5591 for this information. Hopefully the engines will do well in revenue service. Check out the "ALP-45DP in test run" thread for more details!
Finally SEPTA has awarded a contract for its New Payment Technology (NPT) system, which will upgrade SEPTA's fare collection system to allow payment of fares with SmartCards and tap-and-go credit/debit cards. ACS Transportation Solutions Group is the lucky winner.
SEPTA anticipates rolling the system out in 3 years, in 3 phases. It will start off by upgrading the buses and trolleys, then the Subway-Elevated Lines, and finally the Regional Rail system. For more details about NPT, check out SEPTA's NPT website: http://www.septa.org/fares/npt/news-events-3.html
On Sunday, October 30th, SEPTA will be discontinuing most of the aspects of the Route 47 Service Enhancement program that started last spring. Unfortunately, they weren't able to receive the enhanced travel times that they desired and customers were still getting passed up. They will keep the following things, though:
The regular September 4th schedule will still be in effect until February, though.
For SEPTA's Press Release: http://www.septa.org/service/bus/47pilot/index.html
SEPTA has posted proposed changes to the C that would make the Nedro Division Route 4 and the Ogontz Division Route 16. In addition making permanant some minor routing changes to routes 12, 99, 110, 150, the 400 series routes, and making Route 78 permanant are also on the agenda for hearing scheduled for November 29th, 2011. More info at http://septa.org/notice/asp/hearings.html.