PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – SEPTA announced late Wednesday morning that Regional Rail train service would remain suspended from Malvern to Thorndale through the Wednesday evening rush hour period.
Septa said that it had crews working on a wire problem on the Thorndale-Paoli Line (the former “R5″), but added that there was a “strong possibility” that service would be suspended between Malvern and Thorndale through the evening rush due to the ongoing wire problems caused by a down tree.
Around noon, a Septa spokeswoman said that high winds had taken a half-mile of wires down near Downingtown, making it unlikely that service would be restored by Wednesday evening. And at 3:30 PM, cancellation of that portion of service on the line was confirmed by the transit agency.
Service between center city Philadelphia and Malvern, Pa. was not initially affected, but shortly before noon Septa shut down the entire line in both directions for about two hours. Service between center city and Malvern resumed about 2 PM.
The four affected stations between Malvern and the end of the line — Exton, Whitford, Downingtown, and Thorndale — serve approximately 1,700 riders daily. Septa urged those passengers to make alternate transportation plans for their homeward trip (see below).
Septa spokesman Andrew Busch noted that riders traveling to Exton, Downingtown, and Thorndale may be able to transfer to one of four Amtrak trains at the Paoli Station for no additional charge. Passengers traveling to the Whitford Station must transfer to a bus at the Paoli Station, he said. Other travel alternatives were detailed in a document distributed Wednesday afternoon by Septa (see below).
All Regional Rail lines were experiencing some delays on Wednesday due to slippery rail conditions.
Septa’s plan for Wednesday afternoon Regional Rail problem on Paoli-Thorndale line:
Paoli/Thorndale: Inbound Service to Center City Philadelphia
Inbound service from Thorndale, Downingtown, Whitford and Exton is suspended.
Inbound service is available from Malvern Station to Philadelphia
Inbound service from Malvern Station will commence with Train #568 (Malvern Station departure time: 3:00pm)
Paoli/Thorndale: Outbound Service toward Paoli/Thorndale
Passengers riding to Exton, Whitford, Downingtown and Thorndale Stations must exit at Paoli for connecting service, passengers riding to Malvern should remain on train. All trains will terminate at Malvern Station.
Outbound service to Malvern Station will commence with Train #541 (Suburban Station departure time: 3:15pm).
All SEPTA outbound service will terminate at Malvern Station, except:
SEPTA’s Great Valley Flyer – Train #9561 (Suburban Station departure time: 5:08pm), which will operate to Thorndale with up to 30 min delays after departing Center City.
Passengers on other outbound SEPTA trains may transfer to an AMTRAK train at Paoli Station for service to Exton, Downingtown and Thorndale Station. AMTRAK will honor all SEPTA passes. If AMTRAK trains are at capacity, extra buses will be available for travel to destination.
Scheduled AMTRAK train arrivals at Paoli Station:
AMTRAK 647 scheduled at Paoli Station at 4:09pm
AMTRAK 649 scheduled at Paoli Station at 5:11pm
AMTRAK 651 scheduled at Paoli Station at 6:01pm
AMTRAK 653 scheduled at Paoli Station at 7:07pm
WHITFORD STATION PASSENGERS: Passengers traveling to Whitford Station must transfer to a SEPTA Bus at Paoli Station.
Due to lengthy transfer times to AMTRAK Trains, passengers that normally board Trains #553 and #1565, destined for Exton, Whitford, Downingtown and Thorndale Stations are encouraged to ride: The Great Valley Flyer – Train #9561 (Suburban Station departure time: 5:08pm).
Stay tuned to KYW Newsradio 1060 for updates during “Traffic and Transit on the Twos,” throughout the day.
Reported by Ed Fischer, KYW Newsradio.