Both days will be what I call "rolling meets".
Saturday starts out on the Market Frankford subway, going in the westbound direction towards 69th Street. I have times listed at 11th Street (adjacent to Market East for those staying in Center City hotels) and 30th Street (for those connecting from Amtrak and other trains there). Obviously some may be closer to subway stations at 8th, 13th, or 15th Streets, so adjust accordingly. If I take PATCO in, I may very well be originating from 8th Street. No matter where you board, let's try to get up in the front car so we can find each other. I think that AT&T has the subway tunnel wired for cell service, but other carriers may not -- so don't count on contacting one another down there. Be at one of the westbound stations in advance of the time in the itinerary, and hopefully we'll connect in the first car. The important thing to remember is that you may not find a group of our members assembled at the stations where you choose to board -- they may be at another station or already on the train.
Don't forget that at 30th Street, there is no direct connection to the subway, so you have to go outside at 30th & Market (by the large Wells Fargo ATM machines) and cross 30th Street staying on the same side of Market to enter the subway. The station at 30th is shared with the trolleys, however the subway has an island platform there in between the two subway tracks which are in turn flanked by the trolley tracks.
Sunday we meet aboard a SEPTA Regional Rail train. Again you can board at 30th Street Station (upper level) or Market East at the indicated times, or you can also get on at Suburban Station at a time in between those for the other stations. Make sure you're on the train to Chestnut Hill EAST. These trains do run eastbound at all three downtown stations. Ensure that you are standing in the correct place on the station platform, as trains serve only "A" or "B" sections of the platforms. Again let's take the front car, front section, so that we can face forward and also be able to meet others en route.
One can join or leave the group anytime during the day, but please let me know if you do, just so that we don't think we lost anyone.
SEPTA TRAINS DO NOT HAVE RESTROOMS! That includes subways, trolleys, and Regional Rail. Plan ahead before you start out for the day, and make sure you take care of business at our lunch stops. Also don't expect restrooms to be open and available at the various transportation centers we will be passing through. If they exist and are open on the weekend, it's a bonus. Since we have so many "locals" from the Philly area involved, they may be able to provide some guidance here as to what might be available.
If you survive both days on SEPTA, the quickie Amtrak Paoli round trip does have rest rooms but not food service.
Ample time has been allowed at the outer transfer points to go from one mode to another. There will be some walking, a few times even uphill, between trains at Chestnut Hill and Media. Should we arrive late, it may have to be more of a sprint than a walk.
Dress appropriately for January. It's supposed to be comfortable for this time of year, but things can change quickly. There may be some waits for trains or trolleys with no protection from the elements. Lucky for us, no snow or ice should be on the ground to hamper our walking.
The Saturday evening trip on the Broad Street Subway was intentionally planned for last so that it happens after dark, since it's always dark in the subway. A few may leave us before that trip, so there won't be many of us left. I may get off at Walnut-Locust if I'm catching PATCO back to NJ.
On Sunday we should finish up before 4 PM giving you ample time to get home if one of the few from out of town.
Overall, have fun and enjoy riding the rails!