Top of Page
Search the Site

Elmwood District Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary

October 14, 2021

As a tribute and homage to the history of the Elmwood District and to the people who served and continue to serve there - SEPTA is celebrating Elmwood District's 40th Anniversary.

SEPTA's Elmwood District was completed on October 15, 1981 to replace the Woodland Carhouse - which suffered a devastating fire on October 23, 1975. Construction began in April of 1980. The total cost to build the facility was $23 million. It was part of a $137 million Light Rail System upgrading program.

The facility was built with the concerns of the citizens of Southwest Philly in mind. Noise is minimized by a wall extension placed at the end of the car wash inside the building. Along the top of the reinforced earth wall, a 3-foot-high solid parapet absorbs noise generated from undercar equipment and improved vehicle components further decrease noise levels. This 20 foot high wall acts as a retainer along Island Avenue.

Located on Elmwood & Island Avenue - Elmwood District functions as a Subway-Service Trolley Carhouse with a maintenance and transportation facility and an inspection center. It has a storage capacity of 120 Light Rail Vehicles (LRV's) and provides centralized repair and overhaul services for streetcar components.

The facility services Trolley Lines 11, 13, 34, and 36. Route 10 was housed at Elmwood from September 1992 to September 2005 until it was returned home to Callowhill District.

At the time of the opening of Elmwood - it was the first complete upgrading of the subway-surface fleet in 40 years and the first updating of SEPTA's Light Rail support shops in almost a century.

To commemorate this anniversary - SEPTA unveiled a trolley wrapped to honor Elmwood District's 40 years on September 15, 2021.

If you see this trolley rolling by in the coming days and months - make sure to snap a pic!