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GoAmtrak

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I looked for an appropriate thread, perhaps this thread is the best to post it: Is it correct that there is an extension of SEPTA? In Wikipedia I read SEPTA extends a line from Belwyn westwards: Media/Elwyn Line - Wikipedia

The extension is only about 4 miles, but better than nothing. And if I'm informed correctly, this is the first extension of any SEPTA line since 1992! Probably, nobody here has ever heard of the new terminal called Wawa :D More interestingly, a further expansion could lead to West Chester, a small nice town in Pennsylvania.

If I'm informed well enough, this is the only extension of any passenger railway line in the entire US in 2021! But there are relatively few informations about it. Can somebody confirm this or a planned further extension to West Chester?

Isn't there a risk that this very small extension doesn't bring enough additional passengers and then a few years later SEPTA or some politicians claim it's unnecessary and abandon it and don't go further to West Chester?
 
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Isn't there a risk that this very small extension doesn't bring enough additional passengers and then a few years later SEPTA or some politicians claim it's unnecessary and abandon it and don't go further to West Chester?
I am under the impression that the main purpose of the Wawa extension is to add park and ride. The existing Media and Elwyn stations have limited parking and are inconveniently located for people driving in, whereas the new Wawa station will be right off of Route 1.

As for a further extension to West Chester I doubt it. This line used to have service but it was cut back to Elwyn in the early 1980s I believe. It was a pretty long trip and not well patronized. I heard a rumor once that SEPTA made a deal with Chester County to favor extension of the Paoli line to Exton and Thorndale in return for being allowed to drop service to West Chester.

Better service along West Chester Pike would probably be more beneficial - bring back the 104 trolley maybe? That area has developed a lot since the 104 was bustituted.
 

west point

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Video shows places where a future 2nd track can be added. Notie the CAT supports is already wide enough for 2 tracks at various locations. Digress the substation seems to be fed from commercial power. No equipment noted for conversion to 25 Hz, Is it possible that CAT will 60 Hz for the extension?
 
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Video shows places where a future 2nd track can be added. Note the CAT supports is already wide enough for 2 tracks at various locations. Digress the substation seems to be fed from commercial power. No equipment noted for conversion to 25 Hz, Is it possible that CAT will 60 Hz for the extension?
I don't think they would do this for such a short segment. Plus the Silverliner IV's only run on 25Hz.
 
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I believe the Lenni substation that was built by the PRR in 1928 (and is therefore 25Hz) will be used to power the extension. They are building a storage yard at Lenni which is just beyond Wawa.
 

jis

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I don't think they would do this for such a short segment. Plus the Silverliner IV's only run on 25Hz.
I agree that they would not do a separate system for this short segment.

Silverliners however are quite capable of operating at 60 Hz. In general a 25 Hz transformer will work fine at 60Hz but not the other way round. The Denver Silverliners do not really use anything different from the SEPTA ones.

The Physics of it is that to carry the same power through a transformer operating at 25Hz requires a larger core than one at 60Hz.
 
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GoAmtrak

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As a die hard Philly Native and Wawa addict I resent that comment! LOL! @Triley what say ye?
Of course, as a Swiss, I'm somewhat ignorant and haven't heard of every suburb in the US ;)

But I like Philly indeed. For me, its one of the most fascinating cities in the entire US. Without any irony.

The thing with the Wawa store chain having something to do with the station I read also about it.

Nonetheless, I hope they may extend the line further to West Chester, although chances perhaps aren't that good as some mentioned. I just remember the commuter rail around Salt Lake City was extended northward towards a small suburban community, with the possibility to extend it further to Brigham City, UT. Then they thought the extension to that suburban nowhere wasn't necessary and cut it back again.

Let's hope unsuccessful experiments like that don't happen too often in the future.
 

jis

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I just remember the commuter rail around Salt Lake City was extended northward towards a small suburban community, with the possibility to extend it further to Brigham City, UT. Then they thought the extension to that suburban nowhere wasn't necessary and cut it back again.

Let's hope unsuccessful experiments like that don't happen too often in the future.
The technical reason for that cut back was that in order to serve that single station extension they would have had to equip their trains with an additional (UP) PTC system, which the rest of their system does not need. Huge additional cost for an almost nothing service. So they cut back when PTC became mandatory UTA uses a different PTC system.
 
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I thought I read somewhere they were going to call the station Middletown as that is the township the station resides in. Or maybe get the Wawa store chain to cough up money for naming rights, like they did for Jefferson station.
The town/village/settlement/whatever of Wawa was there long before there was a Wawa store chain (the area got the name in the 1880s from some rich guy's estate). And before there was a Wawa store chain, there was a Wawa Dairy. The first Wawa convenience store was opened in 1964, but even though I lived in Wawa country, I don't remember my parents ever shopping at one, probably because they were located in a different part of Delaware county from where we lived.

In fact, they served Wawa milk at my Delaware County elementary school. (Wawa is in Delaware County.) I never liked it that much, though I'm sure it was fine milk, but you know kids, my Mom served us Sealtest milk at home, and kids can get a little OCD about strange brands.

Anyway, Wawa is a name with some tradition in that part of the Philly metro area, so I would imagine they might want to keep it. But it would be rational for SEPTA to try to get some money for naming rights from the company.
 
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Nonetheless, I hope they may extend the line further to West Chester, although chances perhaps aren't that good as some mentioned. I just remember the commuter rail around Salt Lake City was extended northward towards a small suburban community, with the possibility to extend it further to Brigham City, UT. Then they thought the extension to that suburban nowhere wasn't necessary and cut it back again.
Back in the day, the line did run all the way to West Chester. I once did a joyride on it when I was in high school, and then rode back on what is now the 104 bus (which years ago was a Red Arrow Trolley) back to 69th St. Terminal. I'm not sure why they cut it back, and, if AmtrakMaineiac in post #6 is correct, the folks in Chester County might be satisfied with the service on the Maine Line to Exton and Thorndale and don't feel the need to pay for extending the line to West Chester. I recently drove through that area, the sprawl is pretty horrific, and driving to Exton/Thorndale is probably just as good to the average traveler taking a train to Philly as driving into downtown West Chester, and there's probably more parking at Exton and Thorndale than downtown West Chester. However, at some point, there might be interest in turning downtown West Chester into a walkable mixed-use urban center, and then having a train station in the middle of town might be seen as having a higher priority for public spending. But who knows when, or if, that will ever happen.
 
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Silverliners however are quite capable of operating at 60 Hz. In general a 25 Hz transformer will work fine at 60Hz but not the other way round. The Denver Silverliners do not really use anything different from the SEPTA ones.
Makes sense. The issue might be more with voltage. They could probably handle 12.5KV like Metro North uses, but might have an issue with 25KV as Amtrak uses from NHV to BOS. Modern equipment like the Siemens locos can change on the fly but older stuff like the S4s might not be able to.
 

jis

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Makes sense. The issue might be more with voltage. They could probably handle 12.5KV like Metro North uses, but might have an issue with 25KV as Amtrak uses from NHV to BOS. Modern equipment like the Siemens locos can change on the fly but older stuff like the S4s might not be able to.
I don't believe S4s have automatic tap changing transformers. They are like the NJT Arrow IIIs. But unlike the Arrow IIIs I don't see why they'd have even bothered putting in a 25kV capable transformer in S4s which had no possibility of straying into 25kV territory..
 

GoAmtrak

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Back in the day, the line did run all the way to West Chester. I once did a joyride on it when I was in high school, and then rode back on what is now the 104 bus (which years ago was a Red Arrow Trolley) back to 69th St. Terminal. I'm not sure why they cut it back, and, if AmtrakMaineiac in post #6 is correct, the folks in Chester County might be satisfied with the service on the Maine Line to Exton and Thorndale and don't feel the need to pay for extending the line to West Chester. I recently drove through that area, the sprawl is pretty horrific, and driving to Exton/Thorndale is probably just as good to the average traveler taking a train to Philly as driving into downtown West Chester, and there's probably more parking at Exton and Thorndale than downtown West Chester. However, at some point, there might be interest in turning downtown West Chester into a walkable mixed-use urban center, and then having a train station in the middle of town might be seen as having a higher priority for public spending. But who knows when, or if, that will ever happen.
Thank you for your good information.

By chance, I found a very informative video about the SEPTA extension to Wawa:

It was made by a rail enthusiast from Nebraska (!) who travelled to Pennsylvania to document progress - despite the short extension and the not really famous new terminus. I appreciate there are some true rail enthusiasts in the United States until today. They give me hope improvements can happen.

I haven't found yet in which month the extension to Wawa will actually open. Does somebody know?
 
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I haven't found yet in which month the extension to Wawa will actually open. Does somebody know?
It's strange that for some reason this project is not mentioned on Septa's website. The only good information I could find was Middletown townships site which had a presentation a year ago which said service would start in early 2021. I would not be surprised if this date has slipped due to COVID.

 

cirdan

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I agree that they would not do a separate system for this short segment.

Silverliners however are quite capable of operating at 60 Hz. In general a 25 Hz transformer will work fine at 60Hz but not the other way round. The Denver Silverliners do not really use anything different from the SEPTA ones.

The Physics of it is that to carry the same power through a transformer operating at 25Hz requires a larger core than one at 60Hz.
Transformers saturate more quickly at low frequency, which is why you need more iron, which is expensive.

Ditto on board the train where the penalty is far greater because that's extra weight you are lugging around.

That said, these days modern power electronics does provide some workarounds and the cost and operational penalty of multi-system trains is no longer as crippling as it once was.
 
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