- Sep 2, 2021
- Lubec, ME
Interesting. The original Swampoodle concept (as discussed here moved the Chestnut Hill West service from running via Amtrak NEC and PHN station, to the SEPTA trunk line via the tunnel and 16th St. Junction which would have various benefits to CHW service (faster and avoiding congestion at PHN). So perhaps putting both this and the reverse Swampoodle you suggest in would move all SEPTA trains to the ex RDG and leave the connection at PHN just for Amtrak service to Reading. Kill 2 birds with one stone (and one construction project). But it makes too much sense so it will probably never happenI think it would make the most sense for AMTRAK (with SEPTA’s blessing) to build a reverse Swampoodle Connection and run service via the NEC to the Chestnut Hill West Line And then switch over to the ex-Reading. The SEPTA Main Line is very congested with all stops trains and it will probably take 20+minutes to get from 30th Upper to 16th Street (where SEPTA will be as kind as AMTRAK is at ZOO and NORTH PHILADELPHIA) whereas PHL to PHN is scheduled for 8 minutes. In addition to likely being faster and avoiding pinch points in SEPTA territory, this routing could be entirely diesel. It could maybe happen that if SEPTA scheduled CHW trains right behind AMTRAK, timekeeping could improve. I don’t think running over the NS controlled ex-PRR to Norristown is wise because 1) it’s NS, 2) it (I think) would require reconfiguring ZOO, and 3) you forfeit (long term) stopping at Manayunk, Conshohocken, and Norristown TC, all of which could be potentially very busy. Any restoration of the Ivy Ridge Branch is a nonstarter from local opposition and cost standpoints.