New PATCO Trains Got Rid of Beloved Front Seats

The end of an era.

Here’s what the newly refurbished PATCO trains look like.

RefurbishedRailCar2


 

And:

RefurbishedRailCar1

 

Looks real nice, but as PATCO spokesperson Tim Ireland confirms, "There are front seats, but they don't face out the front window." In other words, either a conductor will stand in the front compartment, closing it off to passengers, or passengers can sit there, but the seats will face sideways. In other words, the very best aspect of PATCO trains has been taken away. Here's what you can't do anymore. Without craning your neck, at least.

  • DRPA

    Simon, I was mistaken. The seats actually do face forward, but that’s a moot point. As I told you when we spoke on the phone, the frontmost seats will be accessible only in the cars behind the operator’s car. When the operator is working from the first car in the train, the frontmost seats in that car will be closed to the public. So while your larger point is correct — that you won’t be able to watch the tracks from the front of the train anymore — nobody’s neck will be strained regardless of which direction the seats face. I understand why people might miss access to the seat in the front of the train; I’ll miss it, too. But the new arrangement is more secure for the operator and passengers. Thanks, Tim Ireland

  • thegreengrass

    Correction: The best aspect of Patco is that you can live in a wonderful old suburban town with charcter and get into Center City 24 hours a day without worrying about where you’re going to park your car.

  • David Evan

    I’m glad that the new trains are coming. If there’s any seat that faces sideways instead of forward I will use that since I am tall and I like to get work done on the train which I find nearly impossible now. In fact I’ve taken to using the AC line from Pennsauken because a) there’s room and b) it actually connects to SEPTA Regional Rail.