Amtrak accident in Chester, PA

On Sunday April 3rd, at approximately 7:53 AM local time, southbound Amtrak Palmetto #89 enroute to Savannah, GA derailed after striking a backhoe, resulting in the death of 2 and injuring approximately 30 according to news outlets.  The two fatalities were identified as Amtrak employees, presumably engaged in track maintenance activity.  The Amtrak locomotive derailed and sustained moderate damage.

Due to NTSB investigation activity and the damage resulting from the derailment, rail service through the affected area was suspended for the day.  Amtrak and SEPTA service has resumed this morning, but is limited to 2 tracks through the area.  Passengers are advised to expect delays.

Public forums to be held for Roosevelt Boulevard project

The City of Philadelphia, in partnership with SEPTA and PennDOT, is conducting public forums for the purpose of soliciting comments regarding potential transportation improvements in the Roosevelt Boulevard corridor.  One possible outcome is the operation of limited stop bus service in the corridor between Frankford Transportation Center and Bucks County destinations.

The forums are scheduled during mid-April at locations in Philadelphia and Bucks County.  Detailed forum schedules and descriptions can be found at the link:
Roosevelt Boulevard “Route For Change” Public Forums

Interested individuals can go to http://www.rooseveltblvd.com/ to sing-up for project notifications and additional information.

SEPTA Annual Service Plan meetings

SEPTA will conduct the Annual Service Plan Open House meetings on Monday, March 28, 2016 at the following times and location:

12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM
and
5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

SEPTA Board Room
Mezzanine, 1234 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Follow the link below for information —

Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Service Plan Public Open House Meetings

Philadelphia Transit rated 9th

Smart Asset, a financial service company, has created a report entitled “The Best Cities for Public Transportation” .  The report ranks the top ten U.S. cities in by evaluating the attractiveness of the public transportation system.  Philadelphia was listed at #9, behind Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Jersey City.  Oakland, CA finalized the list at #10.

 

Support Norristown High Speed Line expansion

Christopher Sawyer, a former candidate for Philadelphia Sheriff and author of the Philadelinquency blog, has created a Change.org petition in support of expanding SEPTA’s Norristown High Speed Line to King of Prussia. Activists opposing rail expansion to King of Prussia had previously created their own petition.

The Link to the petition can be found here: Stop The Racists From Blocking the NHSL From Being Built

givecommutersavoice.com

On March 12, 2015, NJ State Senators Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) and Nicholas Sacco (D-Bergen/Hudson) introduced legislation to modify the existing structure of the NJ Transit Board of Directors. Currently, there are seven voting members and a single non-voting member that was added to the NJ Transit Board several years ago with the intent of providing representation for the public.

Legislative Bill S-2804 includes language that would expand the NJ Transit Board to ten members, nine of which will have voting authority. News reports online indicate that the bill may be amended to also provide voting authority for the existing non-voting member. Another provision of the Bill includes the requirement that members selected to represent the public must be NJ Transit commuters. The related NJ State Assembly Bill, A-4303, was introduced by Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) and Assemblywoman Elizabeth Maher Muoio (D-Hunterdon/Mercer)

More recently, Senator Lesniak has created an online petition asking residents to support Bill S-2804 via the website Give Commuters a Voice. All New Jersey residents are encouraged to sign the petition as a way to demonstate support for greater transparency and accountability from the NJ Transit Board of Directors.

Northeast Corridor service to be restored Monday morning

At 5:30 p.m. this afternoon, Amtrak announced the restoration of service between Philadelphia and New York. As stated on the Amtrak website, “Effective with departures from Philadelphia at 5:53 a.m. (Train 110) and New York at 5:30 a.m. (Train 111), all Amtrak Acela, Northeast Regional and other services resume.”

SEPTA has also announced the resumption of service with some modifications. As stated on the SEPTA website, “Trenton service will resume tomorrow AM (5/18) with no service to North Philadelphia, Bridesburg and Tacony stations. Delays are expected.”

The restoration comes following an announcement late last week that service would not resume until Tuesday. Amtrak and contractor personnel have been working around the clock to repair the damage sustained during the derailment. NJ Transit restored service to 30th Street Station on Friday, May 15th.

Amtrak Derailment in Philadelphia

On Tuesday May 12th, at approximately 9:20 PM local time, Amtrak Northeast Regional Train #188 derailed at the curve east of Frankford Junction while enroute to New York City, resulting in the death of 8 and injuring approximately 200 according to news outlets. During a press conference late this afternoon, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesperson Robert Sumwalt stated that preliminary data extracted from the locomotive event recorder indicates that the train was traveling at approximately 106 Miles per Hour as it approached the curve. The approach speed limit is 80 MPH, and the speed limit through the curve is 50 MPH.

Due to NTSB investigation activity and the damage resulting from the derailment, rail service through the affected area is suspended indefinitely, pending Amtrak repairs. This includes Amtrak, the SEPTA Trenton Line, and the NJ Transit Atlantic City Rail Line west of Cherry Hill Station.

This PlanPhilly article: How to go around the Northeast Corridor shutdown after the Frankford Junction derailment provides a comprehensive list of transit alternatives between Trenton and Philadelphia to bypass the affected area.

SEPTA is offering additional trains on the West Trenton Line, which is accessible via special NJ Transit shuttle bus from the Trenton Transportation Center. There is no fare for the special NJ Transit Shuttle but customers must present a valid SEPTA or Amtrak fare to ride.

Atlantic City Rail Line riders can access PATCO at Lindenwold or temporary bus shuttles operating between Cherry Hill and Philadelphia 30th Street Station. NJ Transit is currently cross-honoring Amtrak and SEPTA Regional Rail Division tickets on the Southern Division bus routes and the River Line. Amtrak tickets only are being cross-honored on NJ Transit NEC trains between Trenton and New York City.

PATCO is currently cross-honoring tickets for Amtrak and the NJ Transit Atlantic City Rail Line.

DVARP extends sympathy to the injured, and condolences to the families who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

DVARP would also like to thank the many participants assisting in the rescue operation. The efforts and professionalism of the first responders is appreciated.