March 9, 2004 |
Somewhere near SEPTA's R-5 Line in Malvern is the mass grave of 57 Irish workers who died while toiling on the railroad in the 1830s. For years, people have believed they were buried just feet from the track - one marker was placed at the spot in 1909, another in 1998. But recent research by two Immaculata University professors, William E. Watson and John Ahtes, now challenges that presumed location - and other aspects of the workers' sad story. "It's mostly myth and forklore until now," Watson said.
October 15, 1993
Earlier this month, SEPTA general manager Louis J. Gambaccini stepped down from his post as chairman of the American Public Transit Association (APTA), amid a confetti-like shower of accolades from his fellow transit administrators during the organization's annual convention in New Orleans. It is a common lament of local officials that sometimes their talents and achievements are recognized more clearly by people outside Philadelphia than in it. (Yes, Mayor Rendell, we hear you.)
September 21, 1993 |
There will be something missing Thursday from KYW Newsradio - the regular reports on traffic conditions, congestion and backups that are normally broadcast six times every hour. KYW has agreed to a one-day suspension of its popular traffic reports as part of a one-day effort to promote mass transit. Instead of describing the backups on I-95, the Blue Route and the Schuylkill Expressway, KYW plans to air "transit reports," describing the routine operations of the Broad Street Subway, the Market-Frankford Elevated and the regional rail lines.
September 7, 1993 |
After spending $264 million to save the regional rail lines inherited from the Reading Railroad, SEPTA now faces a more difficult job: recapturing several thousand riders who left the system while the lines were under repair. SEPTA's mammoth RailWorks program officially ended yesterday, on schedule and way under its original $354 million budget, financed mostly with federal tax dollars. Altogether, the two-year renovation replaced 21 decrepit bridges, laid 16 miles of new track, installed 26 miles of overhead electric wire and built a new station near Temple University.
September 6, 1993 |
Attention, passengers. Attention, passengers: All SEPTA trains continue through to Center City. The Suburban Station loudspeaker yesterday blared out the announcement that is music to the ears of thousands of rail commuters from Jenkintown to Doylestown. After 10 months of construction, RailWorks, the $264 million project to rebuild 4.5 miles of track between Wayne Junction and Center City, was open yesterday. So the trains rolled. From Fox Chase, from Lansdale, from Warminster, from Norristown, from Chestnut Hill and from West Trenton, they came.
September 5, 1993 |
Imagine a railroad so shiny new that even the rocks beneath the tracks are clean. It has a new station that has never yet smelled bad. It has miles and miles of concrete retaining walls that nobody has yet gotten around to painting with graffiti. All its bridges are in excellent repair and freshly painted. Its track is so smooth that electric trains glide along nearly noiselessly. That is the railway that SEPTA unveils to its riders beginning this morning with the official ending of the two-year RailWorks project.
August 24, 1993 |
In response to Jim Hunter's letter Aug. 11, I wish to state that SEPTA is one of the most reliable, attractive, secure and cost-efficient transit operations in the United States. And I am not the only one who says so. The management consultant firm of KPMG Peat Marwick concluded in a report last year that SEPTA compares favorably with its peers in most of the public transportation industry's standard measures of efficiency. These measures include operating cost per vehicle hour, operating cost per passenger mile, operating cost per vehicle revenue mile and operating cost per unlinked trip.
August 11, 1993
PRAYER IN SCHOOL: ANYONE'S PRAYER, EVEN AN ATHEIST'S Richard Weiss (letter July 29): I am not condoning teaching religion in public schools, but the American Civil Liberties Union is trying to do away with prayer of any kind or of any religion at any meeting of a group of people with different religions. I wouldn't care who said the prayer, including atheist Madelyn O'Hare. I would at least have the decency to hear them out. Our founding fathers had enough insight to include God in the Constitution, since they put the words "In God we trust" on currency which you and the ACLU don't mind putting in the bank or your pocket.
June 27, 1993 |
Railworks, the project to rebuild SEPTA's most heavily used stretch of tracks, should easily wind down on schedule by Labor Day, and at a cost well below earlier estimates. After Sept. 4, the former Reading Railroad mainline between Wayne Junction in North Philadelphia and Market East station in Center City will again be handling more than 350 trains a day. The big question then will be: How many people will be aboard them? SEPTA ridership in all of its operations has fallen continuously since 1988, and it has lost rail passengers wholesale since Railworks disrupted operations beginning in April 1992.
May 4, 1993 |
At the Norristown Transportation Center yesterday morning, SEPTA service supervisor William T. Ryals was standing at the side of the Center City express buses, bullhorn in hand. His mission was to help ease the pain of commuters from the northern suburbs whose trains will be out of service for the next four months, as the transit authority works to complete the second phase of RailWorks, its two- year bridge replacement and refurbishing project. On this day, his task looked easy.