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Saturday, May 11, 2013

13-05-11 PHOTOS: SEPTA Control

While other people were braving crowds in an ultimately futile attempt to see a bunch of private cars in New York City, I glommed on to a tour organized by the Baltimore NRHS chapter to get a tour of SEPTA's 1234 Market St control center as well as other parts of the system. SEPTA is surprisingly good about these sorts of things and most railfans in the Philly area have probably attended several, but i had as of yet never been available for one so I leaped at the chance even though I would have to attend with a bunch of out of towners.

The tour would convene at 10am, but due to some other plans that got made and then canceled I found myself at 30th St station at 7:30am with not much to do. As the local NTD exhibits were not yet set up I made my way to the trusty old 30th St parking garage to get some photos of what was in the yards that day. Later the tour would get back to 30th St en route to 69th St for a shoppe tour, but due to some delays I had to pack it in early in order to make some scheduled appointments.

You can find all of the photos of the tour and related explorations here

We begin at the Race St engine terminal with Heritage painted B32-8W #512 in the dock behind P42DC #160.

NS GP40-2 #3029 was hanging out for some reason.

 AEM-7 #950 was there with a Keystone trainset. In a previous photo I caught it in the act of lowering its pantograph.

The whole menagerie out of "yard" power at Race Street including the afformentioned Geep, Amtrak GP38H-3 #523 and GP15 #578 a the Juniata Terminal road slug pair with 9725 and 8850.

Juniata Terminal SW1500 from above.

PRR #120 in Penn Coach Yard.

Metroliner Cab Cars #9638, #9644 and #9645.

Moving on to 1234 Market the group was given a comprehensive introduction to the SEPTA system in a 10th floor meeting room by one of SEPTA's community relations manager. After that we were taken up to the top floor where the operations center for all of SEPTA's divisions is located. After another briefing in the operations conference room, with its flat screen monitors set to display the entire Market Frankford Line. Unfortunately almost all the "big boards" were down for some sort of maintenance :-( Here is the Heavy Rail dispatch desks covering the MFL and BSS.

VDU display for the dispatcher handling the north end of the Broad Street Subway. Click for a larger view.

MFL dispatching desk showing the model board VDU and display screens for CCTV cameras. Click for a larger version.

Video of the Subway division control center.

SEPTA power dispatch office showing the VDU's for the SEPTA Regional Rail system and the Chestnut Hill West line. Again click for larger versions.

SEPTA Regional Rail Division dispatch office as seen from the chief dispatcher's desk.

The Big Board was working in the RRD office so here is the view of the old "Chineese Wall" area between Suburban and 30th St.

Pensy side of the RRD showing the West Chester, Chestnut Hill West and Airport lines.

Video of the RRD dispatch office.

SEPTA Desk 5 dispatcher in front of a new CTEC feed from Amtrak. Apparently SEPTA paid some large amount of $ to get a feed from Amtrak so it can see the progress of its trains in Amtrak territory instead of having to literally "guess" what any delays might be. Sounds good...except SEPTA has already rolled out GPS units on all of its bus fleet so they could have just used that instead of setting up a cross-railroad dispatching feed.

SEPTA RRD public address announcer. This person keeps track of RRD delays and service disruptions and can make announcements to PA equipped platforms.

RRD dispatch from the side. The desks in the foreground are the mechanical desks which are staffed during weekdays to assist crews having mechanical trouble in the field.

 The tour moved on to 30th St station for lunch and afterwards we got taken out on the disused platform expansion for photos and more information. Here SL-V #832 departs on track #3. Track #4 was taken up by an NTD display.

Inbound train of SL-V's with single #711 in the lead on track #2.

Here the SEPTA Rep is explaining about the history of the Regional Rail system as a train of SL-V's depart westbound on track #3.

The SEPTA Rep explaining about the challenges of maintaining a fleet of rail vehicles for 40-50 years as another trail of SL-V's departs westbound on track #3.

The Circa Center deploying its adaptive camouflage again.

SEPTA SL-IV #431 arriving on the middle platform track #5.

On the way home from Center City PATCO was doing trackwork between Broadway and Ferry Ave which required some wrong railing. Here is a video taken out he back of a PATCO train from 15/16th Locust to Haddonfield.

Well that's it for now!

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