Philadelphia - West Chester restoration

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  • Member since
    June 2002
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Philadelphia - West Chester restoration
Posted by daveklepper on Monday, June 20, 2022 5:46 AM



Jun. 15— — At Tuesday's work session meeting, West Chester’s Borough Council gave informal approval for the Committee to Reestablish Rail Service to West Chester to continue developing a plan to connect the borough with Philadelphia via commuter rail.  SEPTA rail service ended in the 1980s, in part, due to a lack of ridership. The committee and some residents wish to reestablish rail service to Wawa, with the SEPTA connection there to Philadelphia.


The committee's plan for West Chester Metro was presented to council by Tom Hickey.  To reduce costs from $379.8 million (what one SEPTA official said more than $500 million, battery powered shuttle trains, with a resulgting initial capital expense of $16.4 million, not including operational or train-rental costs. 38 trips each weekday between West Chester and Wawa, 5AM – midnight, would use the existing SEPTA right of way.  The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission forecast 1,910 weekday riders for direct-Philadelphia service and 1,350 for shuttle service to Wawa.


The committee provided a fact sheet stating that the lower cost would be achieved by using recycled rail, avoiding electrification by using battery-powered, zero emission trains, deferring signalization, and minimizing station costs with permeable, stabilized gravel parking lots. Operating costs would depend on who runs the trains. Possible operators are SEPTA Regional Rail, SEPTA Suburban Transit, Transportation Management Association of Chester County and tourist-train operator West Chester Railroad,  64 minutes as total travel time to Philadelphia, compared to 95 mintes using the 104 bus and the Market Frankford El, and 81 minutes taking a car to Wawa and then rail.


Trains might run from 5:01 a.m. to 12:04 a.m. In 1986, when the line closed, there were 18 West Chester trains on weekdays and 11 were shuttles to Media.


Commuters might ride Vivarial Class 230 "D Train" EMU — a two-car battery-powered light train that could transport 194 passengers, with 88 seated and 106 standees, while traveling 60-miles on a charge.


Five hundred fifty parking spots would initially be constructed at four stations. A TRUEGRID permeable paving system and stabilized gravel would offset storm water issues and be considered "green." Plastic grids could be lifted and reused as needs change. Stations, with parking, would be located at the Market Street Station, West Chester University at Nields Street and at Union Street.


Track restoration $9.6 million, platform restoration $675,000, train operation and maintenance center $1.3 million, boarding ramps $5 million. $16,395,000 is 4 percent of the estimated capital cost of $380 million for full restoration of the original electrifies line.


  • Member since
    May 2022
  • 61 posts
Posted by anglecock on Sunday, June 26, 2022 8:33 PM

West Chester has/ has a great terminal with mutiple platforms and bus parking. I am betting that the ridership was driven away in the 1980s from the mismanagement by Conrail .

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