May 18, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
@ 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, 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.
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.
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.
The Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers (DVARP) will host the 2015 Tri-State Meeting (DE, NJ, PA) of NARP on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The meeting will take place at the Friends Center, 15th and Cherry Streets, in Philadelphia, which is one block north of SEPTA’s Suburban Station. SEPTA will accept Amtrak tickets on regional rail trains from 30th Street Station. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to be followed by a tour. NARP President Emeritus Ross Capon; Amishi Castelli from the Volpe Group and Ruby Siegal from AECOM; and Byron Comati from Strategic Planning at SEPTA will address the meeting. The price of admission, which includes refreshments, a buffet lunch, and a tour, is $35 if received by March 25, and $40 at the door.
Amtrak, Drexel and their partners in the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan will host an open house this month to introduce the project to the public and solicit community input. The event is an opportunity for interested parties to learn about the project, meet the team, ask questions and provide input. The open house will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 28 on the main concourse at 30th Street Station from 4-7 p.m. There will be no formal presentation, but members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.
The public is also invited to learn about the project by logging onto the recently-launched website, PhillyDistrict30. Here visitors can get the latest project information, sign up to receive project updates via e-mail, review news coverage and more.
The Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan is a joint planning effort focused on creating a single integrated vision for the area surrounding 30th Street Station. The goals of the plan center on concepts of community, connectivity and identity.
The effort is led by Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University and SEPTA with support from a coordinating committee that includes a wide range of public and private agencies, area stakeholders and other interested parties.
(Courtesy: Drexel University)
NEC Future is a program of the Federal Railroad Administration. As stated online, “NEC FUTURE is a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate, and prioritize future investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), from Washington, D.C. to Boston. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) launched NEC FUTURE in February 2012 to consider the role of rail passenger service in the context of current and future transportation demands. Through the NEC FUTURE program, the FRA will determine a long-term vision and investment program for the NEC, and provide a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Service Development Plan (SDP) in 2016 in support of that vision.”
This link – Open House Meetings, November 2014 – provides information about the schedule of upcoming meetings.
Amtrak will celebrate National Train Day this Saturday, May 10th.
Event information for 30th Street Station in Philadelphia can be found at this link:
Happy New Year to everyone. We at DVARP hope that you had a safe and happy holiday season.
2013 can definitely be characterized as an active year with respect to public policy debate. Transportation issues were certainly a part of the mix. Below is a very brief overview of important events during the year:
Reduction or elimination of Keystone and Pennsylvanian service was possible, as Amtrak was required to achieve funding agreements due to the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. Governor Corbett indicated support for funding continued operations in March. PennDOT announced a one year funding commitment in June, pending the resolution of the larger transportation funding issues in the Commonwealth.
The backlog of infrastructure rehabilitation required for safe operation of the fixed guideway routes reached a near-crisis situation, with SEPTA announcing a multi-year plan for substantial service reductions if appropriate capital project funding levels were not approved by the Commonwealth legislature. Pennsylvania government officials finally approved a comprehensive transportation funding plan in late November.
NJ Transit –
NJ Transit opened the Pennsauken Transportation Center in October. The $40 million station facility, located in the Delair section of the township, provides the opportunity for transfers between the Atlantic City Rail Line and the Riverline, as well as access to local NJ Transit bus routes and parking. Interestingly, both the ACRL and Riverline stations were considered during the initial planning stages prior to opening of each line, and each was subsequently eliminated due to community opposition.
The continued deterioration of system infrastructure was demonstrated in multiple incidents involving escalator and elevators failures, coupled with service interruptions due to rail vehicle troubles. Escalator issues were addressed temporarily by DRPA agreeing to pay SEPTA for maintenance pending a longer term plan which may require certain units to be replaced. The first of the rehabilitated railcars were delivered in December, with revenue operation expected in March 2014.