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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

16-12-27 VIDEOS: SEPTA Mid-Winter Trip XVI

Since I got my go-pro it's become a habit for me to accompany the Mid-Winter photo post with a special video post and this year is no different.

Due to the ongoing PATCO refurbishment project, I was extra keen to get another video from the front seat. Unfortunately, while I was able to get an unrebuilt trainset, it had decided to rain again so the video is somewhat marred by raindrops on the railfan window. I did take the extra time to ride the train all the way to 15th/16th and Locust as most years I jump off at 8th and Market to proceed directly to Market East. Also, this year's commentary was provided by special guest, Fred G.

My next long format video comes from my GoPro being mounted on the rear of a SEPTA Rt 34 trolley as it runs from the Angora loop to the 33rd St Subway Surface station. Please excuse the GoPro popping off the window from time to time.

The next two videos were taken on the Fox Chase line and show a student engineer being instructed on how to deal with the new ACSES PTC system, now in service on SEPTA. Because the cab door was open on this Silverliner V I was able to document exactly how much this hunk of junk gets in the way of the engineer. As promoted by safety scolds a PTC system should only intervene if a train is going to enter an unsafe condition, however we can see that the braking curves are ridiculously conservative as the engineer is able to easily get back below it with what could be described as mild braking.

Moreover, the way the information is displayed makes the engineer very timid as he approaches the various restrictions. Finally, the system fails to take into account the existing safety margins that were already built into the speed restrictions, resulting in the margin for error being doubled. This is the reason SEPTA recently had to increase the scheduled runtime of its trains by 4-5 minutes.

Finally, here's a little MFL railfan window action with a run from 46th St to 8th and market.

Well that's all the video content from the 2016 MWT. Hope to see you all again next year!

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