One for the rail fans

Posted on October 19, 2011 by Heather Redfern - Also by this author

Rail fans Liam and Bill McCann get an up-close view of a Broad Street Line car.
Rail fans Liam and Bill McCann get an up-close view of a Broad Street Line car.

Almost every transit authority has them — the buffs who know every detail about every vehicle and piece of equipment ever used by an organization.  For the second consecutive year, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) paid tribute to the passion of its rail fans by inviting them to attend its recent annual Rail Rodeo competition.

Sixty rail fans — winners of a special ticket lottery — were treated to a behind the scenes look at SEPTA’s Fern Rock Maintenance Facility, a place few outside of the Authority are able to venture.  Based on the attendees’ reactions, it was an experience few will forget.

Previously only open to SEPTA employees and their families, the annual Rail Rodeo allows Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line operators, Regional Rail engineers and conductors and yard motorpersons to participate in various tests of operational and mechanical skill on SEPTA’s trains. The rail fans in attendance were allowed to take part in the competition, riding on the Broad Street Line during the operations test.

A SEPTA employee explains the operation of the Authority's Broad Street Line subway to a young Rail Rodeo attendee.
A SEPTA employee explains the operation of the Authority's Broad Street Line subway to a young Rail Rodeo attendee.

Rodeo lottery winners were also given the opportunity to ride the newest  addition to SEPTA’s rail fleet — the Silverliner V, — “talk shop” with SEPTA maintenance staff, see demonstrations of the equipment that makes the trains run and get up close views of subway cars on lifts.

“Opening up the Rodeo to our rail fans has been a hit,” said SEPTA GM Joseph Casey. “I think our employees have enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk to people who share their enthusiasm for the rails and our lottery winners have appreciated the recognition SEPTA has given them by inviting them to an ‘Authority only’ event.  Attending the Rodeo gives them terrific bragging rights in the rail fan community.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (8 Comments)

More Transit Dispatches Blog Posts

April 28, 2016

6 Ways High-Speed Rail Will Benefit Texas, Transportation Industry

Ask commuters who drive between Houston and Dallas almost every day and see what they have to say. They are known as “super commuters” – the nearly 50, 000 people traveling back and forth between the two cities at least once a week. That number will increase as the growth in Texas continues to climb. Super commuters and other drivers want another solution to Texas’ traffic-clogged highways. Enter the Texas Central high-speed rail project...

March 30, 2016

Introducing the Next Generation of Engineers, Architects to Careers in Transit

For many college engineering and architecture students, it’s probably a good bet that they have not given much consideration to careers in public transportation. Members of the SEPTA's Engineering, Maintenance and Construction Division have worked closely with Philadelphia-area university students to introduce them to job opportunities in the realm of mass transit.

February 25, 2016

Where are the Super Bowl-esque ads about public transportation?

When it comes to communicating that people have transportation options besides their own drive-alone cars, the transit industry is getting its lunch handed to it, and has been for decades. It must face that it’s a fringe player that wants to become mainstream. And it’s not getting any easier. While we hear so many great stories about options presented by bikeshare systems and technology and Uber, the fact remains that people are buying cars more than ever.

February 24, 2016

How a Multifaceted Plan Helped SEPTA Weather Jonas

Winter Storm Jonas socked Philadelphia with 22.4 inches of snow in January. In some areas of the five-county SEPTA service region, snowfall totals were well over two feet. As a result of forecasted high winds, zero visibility and significant snow, SEPTA suspended service on all modes — with the exception of the Market-Frankford and Broad Street subway-elevated lines, its two busiest routes — beginning at 4 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23.

January 27, 2016

How Wayfinding Tech Makes It Easy to Deliver Transit Info to Customers

Wayfinding — the science of navigation in public spaces and cognitive load — a term used to describe the intellectual pressure that is placed upon a person during decision making situations — are inextricably linked when discussing the successful use of a public transportation network and to understand how they work together...

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (8)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close