After two days of travel woes due to the Silverliner V crisis, some patterns have been established in terms of where the worst delays are, and how best to avoid them. This series will be a listing of the best strategies to avoid the worst.
These will all assume an origin or destination in or beyond Center City Philadelphia. Directions will be for inbound travel, and will be reversible unless noted. There will be some assumption made that money is available to exchange for time and/or comfort.
Outer Main Line
Amtrak’s Keystone Service is already the best bet from Paoli, Exton, or Downingtown, but if you are within walking distance of Malvern, Whitford, or Thorndale, you can use SEPTA for local travel to an Amtrak station, and catch America’s Railroad for the trip in. This is actually best for outbound trips in the evening, which are exhibiting greater peakiness of crowding and delays.
West Chester residents used to driving to Exton to catch the train there might want to instead take the 104 bus from Downtown West Chester to 69th Street.
Middle Main Line
Daylesford, Devon, and Berwyn riders might consider a wrong-way trip to Paoli to pick up Amtrak there. Otherwise, riders from east of Paoli and west of the Blue Route should consider taking the train to Radnor or Villanova, getting off there, and walking to the NHSL stations of the same names. Take the NHSL in from there to 69th Street for the El into Center City.
Inner Main Line
As surface transit options proliferate with proximity to Philadelphia, the optimal alternative changes rapidly. For Bryn Mawr and Haverford, I would suggest the 20 minute walk to the NHSL. At Ardmore, Amtrak is making extra stops, but I recommend the 103 bus to Ardmore Junction instead, fulfilling its traditional role from its origin as a Red Arrow trolley. In Narberth, the 44 bus to Center City is likely the best. And in Overbrook, the walk to 63rd and Malvern for the 10 trolley is far better than fighting through the crowds on the train.