Trying to outrun Amtrak | Morning Newsletter

trying to outrun amtrak | morning newsletter

Villanova hosted Hoops Mania on Saturday to kick off the upcoming season for the men’s and women’s teams. After the first basket of a men’s scrimmage, blue and white streamers were thrown onto the court to honor a former Big 5 tradition. Members of the dance team and women’s team help clear the court.

Expect more rain today.

In today’s newsletter, an enterprising start-up thinks it can, thinks it can, thinks it can (Thomas reference!) run the Northeast Corridor better than Amtrak, and we get into whether that tracks.

And it’s the season for pumpkin pitching and corn mazes, so we have a full guide to the best of fall.

If you see this 🔑 in today’s newsletter, that means we’re highlighting our exclusive journalism. You need to be a subscriber to read these stories.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_AshleyHoffman,

This start-up thinks it can run the Northeast Corridor better than Amtrak

🎤 Now I’m handing the microphone to Thomas Fitzgerald.

I’m fascinated by the dreamers, the iconoclasts, the people who ask “Is this any way to run a railroad?”

Meet Scott R. Spencer. His passenger-rail start-up has a plan to supercharge Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service. There would be a single fleet of high-speed trains carrying coach, business and first-class passengers between Washington and Boston, with more frequent runs and extended Amtrak service to 30 new stops adjacent to the corridor — including Jenkintown and Center City.

It’s all based on railroad logistics Spencer helped develop working on SEPTA’s Center City commuter tunnel project nearly 40 years ago. It united two regional rail systems and enabled Philadelphia to be the first U.S. city to run commuter trains through downtown. Could it work? Amtrak says no. Take a ride and see what you think.

24 spots near Philly for pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn mazes

If we must say goodbye to summer, we may well get the gang together and head to one of the Philly-area farms for pumpkins, hayrides, and the best of the fests.

🌽 Mild frights: There’s a scarecrow festival, a miniature railroad to ride, and new this year: a two-acre corn maze to lose yourself in at Bountiful Acres Garden Center.

🎃 All pumpkin everything:There’s pumpkin bowling, pumpkin ring toss, straw mountain you can slide down, and a patch you can pick your pumpkin out of at Charlann Farms.

🍎Very close to Philly: Pumpkinland is back here and there’s apple picking, hayrides, corn and straw bale mazes at my personal favorite, Linvilla Orchards.

Keep reading for the full list of the best of fall shenanigans in Berks, Bucks, Burlington, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Hunterdon, Lancaster, Mercer, and Montgomery Counties. To the full best of fall guide.

What you should know today

  • With the death toll from Hurricane Ian rising and hundreds of thousands of people without power, U.S. officials vow to unleash an unprecedented amount of federal disaster aid.
  • The Eagles are the only undefeated team in the NFL with their rain-soaked, wind-ravaged, 29-21 win against the Jaguars.
  • We’ve got an update to bring more cheer to the picture. With a little help from their fans, the George Washington cheerleaders we told you about are headed to nationals.
  • 76ers coach Doc Rivers says he hasn’t decided how to deploy his starters in today’s preseason opener.
  • What do the Philadelphia Museum of Art workers want? These are the five key issues at the heart of their strike.
  • Local coronavirus numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.

рџ§  Philly Trivia Time рџ§

Know your squares. What’s not one of the Philadelphia squares?

A) Franklin Square

B) Logan Square

C) Rittenhouse Square

D) Fitler Square

Find out if you know the answer.


Philly’s own former Prince of Pessimism said it. “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

Hint: Everyone’s always raving about him in October.


Think you know? Send your guess our way at We’ll give a shout-out to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shout-out goes to Julie Delany in Wenonah, Gloucester County, who correctly guessed Taco Heart as Sunday’s answer.

Photo of the Day

👋The one and only Taylor Allen returns to your inbox tomorrow! Can anyone out there recommend a fall walk to me?

©2022 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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