SEPTA railroad engineers and electrical workers went on strike early Saturday, halting commuter rail service in the Philadelphia region, after last-ditch efforts by federal mediators failed to break an impasse in the long-running labor dispute.
The strike shut down 13 Regional Rail lines that provide 60,000 passengers with 126,000 rides on a typical weekday. That promised to snarl already clogged highways with additional cars and to hamper commuters and their employers throughout the region.
Service on SEPTA’s buses, subways, trolleys and the Norristown High-Speed Line – which carry about 85 percent of SEPTA’s riders – were not affected.
Gov. Corbett was prepared to ask President Obama to quickly appoint a presidential emergency board to mediate the rail labor dispute. Under federal railroad law, the creation of such a board would compel the workers to return to the job for 240 days.