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Patco High Speed Line: Locust-lindenwold

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by MetrolinkF125#916, May 23, 2020.

  1. MetrolinkF125#916

    MetrolinkF125#916 Well-Known Member

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    PATCO. A rapid transit route. No. Not German. American. Very short imo, but, not to worry, you’ll see why down below. In cooperation with DTribbs, I’m suggesting this route as yet another American passenger route, similar to the NYC subway, but it has it differences:). If you live in Philly or NJ, you’re probably familiar with this line, if you’re not, then stay on this forum, don’t leave, yes you, don’t leave. Keep reading to find out more about this line and why this is a very interesting route, not just train wise, but everything wise;).

    Part 1: The Route Itself
    The Port Authority Transit Corporation, or better known as the PATCO speed line, is a rapid transit commuter system based in the grand city of Philly and Camden County, NJ. Before you ask, sorry, but there’s no NJ transit or SEPTA trains involved, although they do run close to the line. But you won’t be seeing them from the cab window. It’s a 14.2 mile long route:/. Short, ik, but in that range, crammed in are 13 stations, very interesting trains, and a unique cab signaling system, in link with the railroad signals, almost as unique as the R&FP! The line was constructed in 1932, but it wasn’t modernized for 750v dc operation until 1969, in which that same year, in January 4, it saw its first service run, and the line began operations. Currently, it carries up to 38,000 passengers daily, and, in 2012, reached a record of over 10,000,000 passengers! The system operates between 15/16th and Locust station, and Lindenwold station. The line runs underground, at surface level, and above ground, with a max line speed of 65 mph on surface and above level sections, and 40 mph on the subway portion. Now, one quick fun fact: the trains are automatically operated! Now there are drivers to drive trains on regular service and in emergencies, but most drivers prefer the train to drive itself. It uses ATO, automatic train operation, with cab signaling displaying either a 20 mph, 30, 40, 65 mph, or stop (0 mph). The trains suffer from frequent wheel slip in rainy or snowy conditions, so in that case the operator drives the train full service. On express services, the operator must override the auto stop function to keep the train on time, so don’t worry, you still have to pay attention to the line and operate your train, so don’t go checking insta the whole service! Of course, for example when you just gotta go irl, you can just let the train drive itself and chill out. Below is an attached image of the PATCO route map.
    upload_2020-5-23_12-32-25.jpeg

    Part 2: Rolling Stock
    Now, to the second interesting part, the trains. What rolling stock will be included you ask? Well, of course, since this is an electrified network running 3rd rail instead of catenary, we need some third rail EMUs. Those trains include the PATCO class I cars (or known as the PATCO I) acquired in 1968 from the Budd company, and the PATCO II cars, more modern since they were purchased in 1980, built by Vickers Canada under Budd licensing. These cars were refurbished by Alstom in 2009, and provide a LIRR like riding experience since the LIRR M1/M3 used similar riding components as the PATCO cars. The trains run in 2, 4, and 6 car configurations, and 3 or 5 cars when the average number can’t meet the load line. 7/8 car trains run only for the annual “Santa Train” for kids.
    The first gen PATCO cars
    upload_2020-5-23_12-55-58.jpeg
    The rebuilt cars
    upload_2020-5-23_12-56-34.jpeg

    BONUS! Part 2.5: Signaling System
    Now, the line actually features a very interesting signaling system. It is governed by a pulse code cab signal system, which sends metered pulses along rails in an AC track circuit operating at a chosen frequency, according to Wikipedia. The regular railroad signals are located only at interlockings and have 2 lamps on one signal head, lunar white and red. Red, as always, means to stop, white, to proceed on the line under cab signals, and flashing white, to proceed under cab signals on a diverging route. The cab signals inside the cab tell the operator the indicated speed at which to proceed, which are red (stop), yellow over red (20 mph), yellow (30mph), yellow over green (40 mph), and green (65mph). According to Wikipedia, even if the ATO isn’t enabled the cab signal control function is still in use so if a driver exceeds the maximum permitted speed, kinda like PTC (positive train control, if u don’t know what it is), the power is cut and the brakes are applied until the train slows back to line speed. There are fixed signs on the route as well, which are displayed like this:
    H: blow horn.
    T: Trigger sign, basically trains not stopping at the upcoming stations must cancel auto stop function.
    AB: Approach block: so trains without cab signaling or cab signaling off must prepare to stop.
    Speed “X” MPH: tells speed limit in tunnel or bridge.
    Clear #: a train of x car lengths has cleared a tight curve.


    Final Thoughts:
    There would be no dlc for this route, unfortunately, since PATCO owns only the cars mentioned above. So, in conclusion, have I convinced you yet? I know it’s a very short route, shorter than the current routes, but it has so much to offer! The signaling system is kinda challenging, but hey, it’s very interesting. Imo, I think this would be a great route in TSW. Feel free to give your opinion in the comments below. :)

     
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  2. DTribbs

    DTribbs New Member

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    Yay!
     
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  3. TrainSim_Fan

    TrainSim_Fan Well-Known Member

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    Sounds quite nice although I wish it would be longer.
     
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  4. DTribbs

    DTribbs New Member

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    I wish too but it’s such a great route!
     
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