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
Philadelphia built Budd RDC diesel railcars are heading to Vermont for startup rail service between Montpelier, Burlington and St. Albans, Vt. These cars are the same ones operated on many routes in the Philadelphia and New Jersey region until 1983. Between 1981 and 1983, SEPTA operated similar railcars to Reading, Bethlehem and Newtown. In 1983, SEPTA ceased operating all diesel service because of lack of competence in operating and maintaining the cars, despite the tremendous growth in areas such as Southampton, Northampton and Newtown. Today, most of SEPTA's idle railroads have been converted to jogging trails for the small vocal minority that lobbied the DVRPC to install them.
The RDC cars heading to Vermont as a tremendous cost saver compared with purchasing new cars. The balance of TRE's RDC fleet are heading to California where demand for passenger rail service has skyrocketed over the last two decades.
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.