Bad planning is the hallmark of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), who is the broker of your tax dollars for funding transportation projects in the Philadelphia region. Since they shut down public access to discussing and influencing the dispensation of these funds (after all, why shouldn't taxpayers influnce how their money is spent over elitist planners at DVRPC), the agency has hijacked SEPTA's rail system and has pushed the conversion of SEPTA's abandoned railroads into hiking trails for suburbanites.
The insanity of this strategy has effectively taken a high grade piece of transportation infrastructure and converted it to low grade use. Presidential candidate
Donald J. Trump supports use of public funds to move the economy. You can bet the bank that concepts such as DVRPC's "Circuit" will short-circuit once Mr. Trump
is elected president. PA-TEC will lobby the Trump Administraiton to suspend funding for all rails-to-trails projects and heavy investment in commuter rail expansion
projects throughout Pennsylvania. Our state was once linked by rail from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and everywhere in between. Small cities such as Scranton,
Hershey, Gettysburg, York and Reading all had robust passenger rail service, until the Federal Government killed the industry with the interstate highway system.
It's time to get back on Track. On November 8, let's make America great again!
PA-TEC is the most aggressive advocate for reform and passenger rail service expansion in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
For the second time in less than 6 months, one of SEPTA's railcar fleets has been flagged for having cracked structural components. In the summer of 2016 it was the
Koren Silverliner V cars, ordered by SEPTA from Hyundai who had zero experience building railcars.
On February 5, 2017, SEPTA announced that the Adtranz build M4 Market Frankford cars were in part being sidelined due to structural fatigue. Fortunately only 20 cars of the 220 cars are affected. However, with a fleet of 220, SEPTA is reporting only 114 cars available for service. We wonder, where are the other 86 cars?
PA-TEC calls on the State and Federal Government to step in and investigate SEPTA who has squandered public funds on low quality equipment, including the SEPTA Lock and Key fare system which has fallen short of its technical capabilities despite a staggering cost of $220 million (half the cost of a rail line rebuild).
In other news, SEPTA's Regional tRail division is moving along at full steam, with another segment of the Fox Chase-Newtown Regional Trail set to open in the summer of 2017. Meanwhile, SEPTA's only ambitious rail expansion (restoration) project - the 3 miles to Wawa, remains idle.
During the winter of 2014, the SEPTA board of directors quietly signed over the out-of-service Fox Chase-Newtown corridor to Montgomery County. "Their portion" of the railroad has since had the rails and ties removed in the spring of 2014 as part of the extension of the "Pennypack Trail" from the Philadelphia county line to Byberry Road. The dream of Feodor Pitcairn of killing the railroad since the 1960's has finally become reality.
While SEPTA retains legal ownership of the land, this effectively kills off any future consideration of restoring rail service to Bucks County where existing SEPTA regional rail stations are at capacity, roadways congested, and no other means of expanding effective mass transportation possible.
As previously documented by PA-TEC, SEPTA has refused to assert ownership of the trailway with the placement of signs acknowledging the corridor as railbanked. It is certain that any future aspirations for reactivation will be vehemently opposed by trail users, NIMBYs and BANANAs (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything).
The Newtown corridor is another missed opportunity, a direct violation of SEPTA's enabling legislation, in part caused by inaction on the part of Bucks County who had the opportunity to restore RDC service in 1983, the corrupt politicians in Montgomery County, the wealthy Bryn Athyn clans, and SEPTA's own corrupt board of directors who have poorly planned investment in the region's rail system. It should also be mentioned the lack of real public support has contributed to the Newtown line's fate. Have fun.