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

December 12, 2017

Enhancing Bus Service With a More ‘Direct’ Way to Travel

As part of an initiative to improve bus travel for riders in Philadelphia, SEPTA and the City’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure have partnered on the Greater Philadelphia region’s first direct bus route, the “Boulevard Direct.”

December 5, 2017

How and How Not To Contract For Better Transit Service

After enjoying a long period of ridership growth and expansions of rail and bus networks, American transit has found itself in a mess. Transit ridership fell in all but two cities in 2016, local budgets are stagnant, and riders are demanding higher quality services. While there are some domestic examples of how agencies are innovating, agencies must begin looking beyond the border.

November 28, 2017

The Evolution of 'Transit Deserts' and How to Achieve Transit Equity, Mobility

On a Friday night, after class, one of my students was hit by a car, while riding her bike home. Fortunately, she was okay with just a few bruises, although her bike was mangled. This incident is par for the course, as we live in a city with no public transit...

November 7, 2017

‘Precarious’ Transit Workforce Needs Data, Research to Help Fill the Void

As experienced workers retire, the pool of people to hire away has dried up. In recent years, it has become clear that talent needs to be developed rather than poached.

October 31, 2017

Autonomous shuttles could end commuting woes

Public transit options haven't provided commuters with enough first-mile/last-mile solutions, but a driverless shuttle could be what wins drivers over.

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