Southampton station (Pennsylvania)
|Former railroad station|
April 28, 2012
|Location||Second Street Pike and Knowles Avenue
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Closed||January 14, 1983|
Southampton station is a former railroad station in Southampton, Pennsylvania. Built by the Reading Railroad in 1892, it later served SEPTA Regional Rail's Fox Chase/Newtown Line. SEPTA closed the station along with several others in 1983. It is located on Second Street Pike (PA-232) near Knowles Avenue.
Built in 1892, Southampton station was a stop on the Reading Railroad's Newtown Line. It later became a part of SEPTA's Fox Chase Rapid Transit Line. The station, and all of those north of Fox Chase station, was closed on January 14, 1983, due to failing diesel train equipment (RDCs).
In addition, a labor dispute began within the SEPTA organization when the transit operator inherited 1,700 displaced employees from Conrail. SEPTA insisted on utilizing transit operators from the Broad Street Subway to operate Fox Chase-Newtown diesel trains, while Conrail requested that railroad motormen run the service. When a federal court ruled that SEPTA had to use Conrail employees in order to offer job assurance, SEPTA cancelled Fox Chase-Newtown trains. Service in the diesel-only territory north of Fox Chase was cancelled at that time, and Southampton Station still appears in publicly posted tariffs.
Although rail service was initially replaced with a Fox Chase-Newtown shuttle bus, patronage remained light, and the Fox Chase-Newtown shuttle bus service ended in 1999.
Three months after SEPTA assumed operations, on January 2, 1982, the crossing at Second Street Pike south of Southampton Station was the site of a fiery crash between a train (Rail Diesel Car #9164, a self-propelled passenger car) , an ARCO gasoline truck, and a car. Motorman Donald Williams died from multiple burns. Five people were also injured; the accident caused flames to rise fifty feet in the air and created a plume of black smoke visible for miles. Photographs appear to indicate the crossing signal equipment was working properly, with warning lights continuing to warn motorists after the collision occurred, but a report by the National Transportation Safety Board suggested the lights were intermittently working as the tank truck approached the crossing, as mentioned by eyewitnesses.  SEPTA was using a single RDC #9164 which was not equipped with signal excitation equipment required for single-car operation. The Reading Railroad had two RDC's equipped for single car operation (#9151 & 9152), which were transferred to SEPTA, neither of which were in use on this holiday weekend when rail traffic was especially light. Also, due to the acute angle of the railroad crossing and the buildings nearby, the truck driver could not see the RDC approaching from his right until it was too late to stop short of a collision. SEPTA general manager David L. Gunn ordered additional safety precautions, but service ceased just over a year after the accident.
- newtownline.pa-tec.org/history Archived 2011-05-11 at the Wayback Machine.
- Tulsky, Fredric N. (January 29, 1982). "Conrail Staff Must Run Trains: court ruling bars SEPTA takeover". The Philadelphia Inquirer.SEPTA must use Conrail workers rather than its own personnel to run trains over the region's 13 commuter lines, a special federal court has ruled in a decision that offers some job assurance for 1,700 Conrail employees next year. The special court, in an opinion issued Wednesday, ruled that SEPTA had acted legally in October when it replaced Conrail workers with its former subway operators on the line.
- SEPTA Tariff No. 154; effective July 1, 2009 Archived May 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Halsey, III, Ashley (January 3, 1982). "5 Hurt in Fiery Rail Collision". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Stecklow, Steve (January 4, 1982). "Clues Sought in Crash of Train, Truck". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Tulsky, Frederic N. (January 7, 1982). "SEPTA Stiffens Rail Safety Rules". The Philadelphia Inquirer.