Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Will Phoenixville have a rail line to the Great Valley Corporate Center?

This is a great idea Karen - how about posting something on the proposed commuter line from P'ville to Great Valley or the North Side Bridge being out for 2 years!!!


December 4, 2007 1:56:00 PM EST

Here is the Phoenix's newspaper article on the proposed rail line, anonymous.

Posted on Sun, Dec 2, 2007

New commuter rail line studied

By Brian McCarthy, bmccarthy@phoenixvillenews.com

The Phoenixville Main Street Community Development Corporation is working closely with engineering consultants and local planning bodies on a proposed passenger rail line that would extend from Phoenixville to the Great Valley Corporate Center.

Main Street CDC Executive Director Barry Cassidy and Borough Councilman Carlos Ciruelos, D-East, have been working together passenger-rail plan. Unlike previously proposed rail projects such as the Schuylkill Valley Metro, which would run through the Schuylkill River valley from Philadelphia to Reading, this rail would travel from north to south, connecting Phoenixville with Great Valley and the Main Line.

The plan utilizes pre-existing railways that were formerly used by the Norfolk Souther Corporation’s Phoenixville Line that parallels Route 29 and extends from the Borough of Phoenixville to the Great Valley Corporate Center. Norfolk Southern formerly used the track for frieght traffic before it suspended the line in the earlier in the decade.

Ciruelos said engineering consultants with Gannett Fleming, Inc. have been hired to work on the plan, to ensure the existing rail line has the potential for a feasible passenger rail service.
“We didn’t just want to be another group with a pie-in-the sky focus,” Ciruelos said. “[The passenger rail service] is very feasible. Now is the top time to look at this.”

Cassidy was invited by Cassidy to present the passenger rail proposal to a meeting of the Regional Planning Commission on Wednesday, November 28 at the Schuylkill Township Building, where delegates from local municipalities were present discussing the progress of the Phoenixville Regional Plan.

“It was very good news, it’s worth spending time on it,” Schuylkill supervisor Lee Ledbetter said.

Ciruelos said the proposed passenger rail service directly correlates with the regional plan, which would establish a permanent planning commission. It would handle issues and development applications that have a significant impact on the local area.

Currently, East Vincent has yet to adopt the comprehensive plan, while the Borough, Charlestown, East Pikeland, West Vincent, and Schuylkill have all adopted it. Charlestown, Schuylkill and West Vincent have already advanced to the next step of the process by adopting the implementation agreement for the plna.

Main Street CDC and Gannett Fleming are currently in “phase one” of a tentative nine-week schedule for working on the rail plan. Cassidy said they are currently studying the scope of the project and educating local government and planning bodies on the plan.

Both Cassidy and Ciruelos are optimistic about the plan, and believe it will contribute significantly to not only contributing to Phoenixville’s growth, but controlling it as well.

“We’re excited we could triangulate our town as a transportation hub,” Cassidy said. He added that the rail service could potentially be integrated into the Schuylkill Valley Metro, which according to U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-6th, is still being developed by consultants.

“This is the sort of energy we need,” Ciruelos said, explaining the passenger rail line would both get residents to their jobs and bring jobs into Phoenixville.

“People will like to be downtown. We end up becoming a job center and a transportation hub.”

Norfolk Southern declined to comment.


Note: Original post sent to thread on HotSeat's Reeves Park event.


Karen said...

Anonymous, there is no doubt that we need pubic transportation to the main line from Phoenixville.

During my tenure on Council, I was made aware of the hardships experienced by family members who wanted to visit loved ones in Paoli, Bryn Mawr or Lankenau hospitals. Many elderly had to rely on other family members or friends to drive due to the lack of public transportation.

I did have discussions with SEPTA officials regarding bus transportation to and from the Paoli area but the engine that drives the train of any sort of public transportation is usage and need.

The bottom line on any new venture is the answer to the question, "Will this project be profitable?"

I don't know the cost of this proposal or the projected usage, and therein lies the determination as to whether this is a feasible project or not.

I did find it interesting in the article that Norfolk Southern declined to comment.

Anonymous said...

Just because this is stupid does not mean that we have to do it.