Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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When this website launched, the goal to consistently achieve 90% or better On Time Performance was being materially impacted by events including the Silverliner V car situation, implementation of the Positive Train Control Safety system, and SEPTA operations on Amtrak territory and we responded with a crisis action plan to address service reliability.

While improving service reliability is our business commitment to customers we will never make any change that sacrifices on safety. Through this comprehensive Regional Rail Service Improvement Program we are focused on maintaining that balance - enhancing reliability while ensuring the safety of our customers and employees.

RRD On-Time Performance

October 2017: Slippery rail delays (217 train delays). Also, the Jenkintown Catenary Project "split" the railroad North and South for 3 consecutive weekends. Busing between FRTC and Glenside and train delays. AMTRAK experienced several infrastructure incidents including two major power losses between Philadelphia and New York (10/10 and 10/24). We also had two trespasser fatalities (10/19 and 10/20) that shut down the SEPTA Main Line for the PM rush hour.

November 2017: Slippery rail delays (497 train delays). Several incidents of trees down and blocking the railroad over the course of the month caused many delays. Also a significant loss of overhead power event on (11/30) resulted in line suspensions and many delays.

December 2017: Weather conditions had a significant impact on December OTP and played a part in several temporary line suspensions over the course of the month. In addition, slippery rail delays continued into first 2 weeks (265 train delays). Also, an unoccupied automobile struck by a train near Jenkintown (12/12) had a significant impact on service for that day. Both SEPTA (12/18 and 12/28) and AMTRAK (12/15 and 12/21) experienced power problems that caused numerous delays. The extremely low temperatures also forced lower train speeds resulting several delays.

Slippery rail season always negatively impacts railroad on-time performance. Historically, September through the end of November are the worst months for slippery rail. In 2017, slippery rail season arrived later than normal, and the result was significantly more slippery rail delays into mid-December, and combined with the extremely low temperatures, autos on the tracks and incidents of infrastructure failure on both AMTRAK and SEPTA territory, the on-time percentage performance for December 2017 was that much more negatively impacted and prohibited us meeting our 90% on-time performance goal.

October November December
SEPTA Territory
Amtrak Territory
% Difference
9.7% 8.6% 10.1%

As a side by side comparison (shown above), the challenge to achieve 90% OTP overall continues to be thwarted by the performance of our service - Paoli/Thorndale, Trenton, and Wilmington/Newark Lines - that operates on Amtrak territory. The December statistics, already bad overall, became especially disappointing and frustrating for us and tough on our customers because of the 10% difference in performance between service on SEPTA territory and service on Amtrak territory.

SEPTA On Time Performance Committee

With On Time Performance (OTP) now reaching the 90% goal range, Regional Rail reinstituted its On-Time Performance Committee. This group is systematically analyzing and review current delay and schedule issues to improve individual train performance and overall service OTP. Based on their evaluation and recommendations, important schedule changes were implemented for our 3 Amtrak territory routes -Paoli/Thorndale, Trenton, and Wilmington/Newark that went into effect January 14, 2018, and they will monitor performance with the new timetables and recommend further changes, as indicated. They will also look at future plans and schedules in anticipation of the delivery of the new ACS 64 locomotives and multi-level rail cars.