Engineers and electricians hit picket lines at the close of the service day last night, marking the first strike against SEPTA Regional Rail since the first year SEPTA operated the service.
Governor Corbett is publicly stating that he will ask President Obama to compel workers back to the negotiating table and back to work, under the terms of the Railway Labor Act.
While it is not clear how long this strike will continue (if Governor Corbett has his ducks in a row, it may not last the day), it’s worth knowing alternatives for service. SEPTA City and Suburban transit is still running: SEPTA has a guide for alternate transit service. DART First State is running express bus shuttles from the four Delaware stations to pAT&Tison Station on South Broad Street, for Monday-Friday traditional-peak service only: the timetable is here. (One would think that DART might want to serve weekend and reverse-commuters as well, especially in light of the I-495 bridge closure, but nobody has accused them lately of outside-the-box thinking.) PATCO is still on a construction schedule, and NJT is running normal service. Amtrak is running normally on the Northeast and Keystone Corridors.
Finally, a safety note: do not assume that just because train service is suspended, that tracks are safe. Inspection trains will run throughout the day so that service can be brought back quickly when engineers return to work. Trespassing on the railroad is still a good way to get yourself killed or traumatically injured. Don’t do that.