Tonight's SEPTA R5 Fire

Welcome Lower Merion residents!

We're glad you stopped by. Go ahead and register for a free account to get the benefits of being a member, including:
  • Access to all of our posts and comments
  • Your own profile including an avatar, buddy lists, and other social networking features
  • The ability to send private messages to other users on this site
  • The ability to chat and interact with other citizens and voters in and around Lower Merion.
Creating an account is easy. Register now!

(Don't live in Lower Merion? That's okay. We won't hold it aginst you.)
Tags:
dmuth's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 weeks 8 hours ago
Joined: 2005-09-13 :35
Posts:

Tonight I took the Westbound Paoli/Thorndale train that departed Suburban Station at 6:45 PM. As we pulled into Overbrook station a little after 7 PM, the power suddenly cut out in our car (2nd to last). After a few seconds, the space between our car and the last car began to fill with white smoke. There were no announcements by the conductors (which was kinda understandable, giving the lack of power in the car), but we quickly figured out that smoke == bad and proceeded to exit the train in an orderly fashion.

Here are some videos I shot:







Hundreds of commuters were displaced from the train. The videos capture some of that.

There were no injuries that I was aware of.

I did however, try to hitchhike on a passing train:

Not surprisingly, the train did not pick me up.

5
Average: 5 (4 votes)
Your rating: None

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 weeks 19 hours ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

Police & Fire
Electrical Fire Delays SEPTA Trains Through Wynnewood, Ardmore
The incident happened near the Overbrook station.
By Eric Campbell

Suburbs-bound trains on SEPTA's Paoli-Thorndale Line are running 30 to 40 minutes behind Monday evening after one train was evacuated at a City Avenue station for an electrical fire, an agency official said.

Train 575, scheduled to leave 30th Street Station at 6:49 p.m., stopped just before the Overbrook station, near 63rd Street and City Avenue, with trains 577 (leaving 30th at 7:19) and 579 (7:49) backed up behind it, according to SEPTA.

The fire in the undercarriage of 575's last car was "no flames, just smoke," said Jerri Williams, SEPTA's chief press officer. Passengers were evacuated from the entire train while agency inspectors and fire authorities worked on the problem for about an hour.

Notice how the SEPTA press woman failed to mention that the conductors did nothing - from what Doug said passengers evacuated themselves.

And I love the "just smoke" comment like that alone hasn't killed or harmed people around fires....

Seems SEPTA has some 'splaining to do....

4.8
Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Hugh Gordon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 2009-10-24 :58
Posts:

SEPTA conductors have no means of communicating with passengers, e.g. to give them emergency instructions, if the power fails on a train?????

4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Your rating: None
carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 weeks 19 hours ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

Hugh, I am sure they do, but it's whether they do it or not - maybe someone should be looking at SEPTA's emergency preparedness plans?  After all they get state and federal monies

4.666665
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

carla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 weeks 19 hours ago
Joined: 2008-01-03 :36
Posts:

SEPTA Commuter Train Fire Started in AC Unit
As one car filled with smoke, passengers didn’t need to be told what to do, one commuter said.

By Thomas J. Walsh | Email the author | June 21, 2011
Print

Monday evening’s electrical fire aboard a four-car, rush-hour Paoli-Thorndale commuter train started in the fourth car’s air conditioning unit, a SEPTA spokesman said Tuesday afternoon.

The train, originating at Philadelphia’s Market East station at about 6:40 p.m., was stopped shortly after 7 p.m. at Overbrook station, the first stop west of 30th Street Station and east of Merion, after smoke started to fill the fourth car.

Commuters didn’t need to await instructions, said one Main Line resident who was aboard.

“People seemed to figure out, ‘Hey, smoke equals bad—let’s get off this train,’” said Doug Muth, a regular rider of the train formerly known as the R5, who lives in Ardmore.

There were no announcements made or directions given by SEPTA conductors or employees that Muth recalled. But, “I don’t think they needed to,” he said. “People exited orderly.”....“It all happened so fast—we were pulling into Overbrook, the train was slowing down, and all of a sudden power cuts out,” Muth recalled. “I was in the second to last car, and the last car started filling with smoke. People were looking around, wondering, ‘What’s going on?’”

Perhaps a half minute went by when passengers decided, on their own, to get out, Muth said....

The entire article is worth a read and good job by Doug and Tom Walsh - so maybe the passengers did not need the conductors to get off the train but when SEPTA says they followed their plans by the book I am a little confused as to what the plans actually are or were?

4.75
Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
Your rating: None

"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

dmuth's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 weeks 8 hours ago
Joined: 2005-09-13 :35
Posts:

“People seemed to figure out, ‘Hey, smoke equals bad—let’s get off this train,’”

I still can't believe they printed that! Smiling

4.666665
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Your rating: None
LexoTime5's picture
Offline
Last seen: 45 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2009-04-01 :31
Posts:

I think it's very telling that there's no real intelligible way to identify the trains by name anymore, and reporting stoops to referring to it as "The train formerly known as R5"

When are those color codes coming? So we can start calling it by its rightful color.

4.666665
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Your rating: None
Hugh Gordon's picture
Offline
Last seen: 17 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 2009-10-24 :58
Posts:

The color codes are here.  Unfortunately, there's no good way to describe them.  The line formerly known as R-5 is now a muted blue-green.  Moreover, the color coding only appears on the printed schedules, not on the trains or the platforms or station signs, so it is of limited use.

http://planphilly.com/prominent-transit-planner-criticizes-septa-regional-rail-changes

In an open letter to SEPTA general manager Joe Casey, emeritus engineering professor Vukan Vuchic blasted the elimination of regional rail numbers ― and the simultaneous elimination of separate colors for each of the lines ― calling the changes “destructive to the quality of RRD [regional rail division] services and detrimental to the riding public.”

“Under the pretext that the information system on RRD was confusing,” he wrote, “SEPTA introduced changes which actually eliminated most information, degraded the system’s image and introduced illogical and often directly incorrect information. Bearing in mind the facts that the changes that cost tens of thousands of dollars resulted in the virtual elimination of the concept of diametrical lines in our regional network, produced confusing schedules, reduced the legibility and contents of signs, these 'innovations' have been a real fiasco.”

Of course, SEPTA being a typical corporate bureaucracy, its general manager has to tell us the public loves the new system, it works really well, nobody is confused any more about the routes that run through the tunnel in Center City.

SEPTA general manager Joe Casey shot back at a prominent transportation planner critical of recent regional rail changes. . . .Casey responded with his own letter on Monday, saying that ridership had increased after the implementation of the nomenclature change and that customer satisfaction among regional rail riders was at an all-time high.

http://planphilly.com/news/notebook/casey-responds-transit-planners-criticism

I especially love the complete non sequitur about ridership being up -- could it be that this is a reaction to the price of gas rather than to the new route names?

 

 

4.5
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
Your rating: None
LexoTime5's picture
Offline
Last seen: 45 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 2009-04-01 :31
Posts:

I especially love the complete non sequitur about ridership being up -- could it be that this is a reaction to the price of gas rather than to the new route names?

Nah, I'm sure it's a reaction to the appealing blue-green color.

4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Your rating: None
Kokomo Joe's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-01-06 :07
Posts:

UGH... FIRE BAD!!!

 

4.5
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
Your rating: None
dmuth's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 weeks 8 hours ago
Joined: 2005-09-13 :35
Posts:

UGH... FIRE BAD!!!

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Your rating: None
Kokomo Joe's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-01-06 :07
Posts:

Ha, that was pretty good. And, so true about Metallica. All those fans that bought the tapes and petioned radio stations for airplay...

4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Your rating: None

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.