PA, Breakdown on trains causes some to miss ships : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

PA, Breakdown on trains causes some to miss ships By Patrick Kerkstra, and Kathryn Masterson INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF Thousands of rail commuters and tourists bound to see the tall ships turned to buses or car pools or just went home yesterday after service was suspended on three northern SEPTA rail lines during the morning rush hour.

Trains on the R2 Warminster, R3 West Trenton and R5 Lansdale lines were stopped around 7:30 a.m. because of an equipment problem at the Jenkintown station, through which all three lines pass.

Limited service resumed about 11:30 a.m.

"We're very disappointed," said John Anderson of Holland, who was trying to take the R3 to Penn's Landing with his wife and 11-year-old son to see the procession of tall ships up the Delaware River. "We were going to do all sorts of things, and now we can't."

The problems began when the top of a train traveling between Elkins Park and Jenkintown became tangled in power lines, damaging equipment as it moved along, said Jeffrey D. Kneuppel, a SEPTA engineer.

SEPTA was able to make repairs by the afternoon rush period, and trains on the affected lines were running just 15 minutes late by 5 p.m.

Service on SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line also was disrupted between 8:40 and 9:45 a.m. when a woman was struck by a six-car subway train at the 15th Street station in what police said was an attempted suicide.

Her legs were severed above the knees by the train's wheels, and she was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition, police said. Detectives who were trying to learn her identity said she was African American, in her 40s, and wearing a blue flower-print dress.

SEPTA shut power to the tracks while rescue workers were at the scene. Trains in both directions were halted between Spring Garden and 30th Street Stations until about 9:45 a.m.

Shuttle buses were used to ferry passengers between the two locations, a SEPTA spokeswoman said.

But it was the SEPTA train closings that disrupted the most itineraries.

"I thought I'd have to walk," said Lorraine Feldmaine, 83, who was traveling from Center City to Jenkintown for a reunion with a friend. "It was a nightmare. They didn't tell you what was happening."

John Moore, 35, of Langhorne, had planned to get to the city early on the R3 line before starting his shift as a dining supervisor at the downtown Marriott.

"I wanted to jump on the 11 a.m. to get there early to do some shopping," he explained. "Yesterday was payday."

Instead, Moore said, he spent part of the morning at the Langhorne station, waiting for his wife to leave her job in Levittown so she could drive him to a station along the R7 line.

So many riders rely on the out-of-service lines that SEPTA could only offer shuttle bus service to the riders actually aboard the trains when they stopped, spokesman Jim Whitaker said.

But the delays were a business boon for the Petals & Perks cafe at the Jenkintown station.

"It's been very busy today, at least double the business," said owner Shannon Petrilli, of Ambler.

-- Doris (, June 24, 2000

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