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Market-Frankford Line

The Frankford Elevated

October 27, 2023

On November 10, 2022 - SEPTA recognized the 100th Anniversary of the Frankford section of the Market-Frankford Line via a celebration and press conference at Frankford Transportation Center.

The Frankford Elevated officially opened for service on November 5, 1922. 

Construction of the long-awaited Frankford section began on September 13, 1915. It took seven years to build at a cost $11.6 million - equivalent to more than $200 million today. The extension stretched the line approximately 7.5 miles from Old City to Bridge Street in Northeast Philadelphia. The line boasted innovations like concrete in the support beams to reduce vibration and noise from passing trains as well as railcar doors that automatically retracted if they bumped a passenger.

And for the first time - people living in Northeast Philadelphia had access to Center City in an hour or less.

SEPTA commemorated the 100 year milestone with signage at Frankford Transportation Center and along the line. 

We also hosted a book signing event at SEPTA Headquarters with Harry Garforth - former SEPTA employee and author of “Frankford’s Elevated Railway and its Predecessors”. This beautiful and informative book is a cooperative effort by Harry, The Historical Society of Frankford, and the Philadelphia chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. The book features numerous previously unpublished from HSF's extensive photograph collection and traces the history of rail transportation in Frankford leading to the construction and operation of the Frankford El. And in case you missed it - the book is available for purchase at The SEPTA Store!

At the celebration on November 10, 2022 - SEPTA vowed to continue to make improvements on the line. One such improvement project kicked off in early 2023 and aims to give this section of the line a much-needed facelift!

This project includes sandblasting and painting the steel girders and steel support structures along the east end of the Market-Frankford Elevated Line. All areas are being painted SEPTA Blue.

Work is being done in two segments. The first segment runs along Front Street from its intersection with Wildey Street to the intersection of Kensington Avenue and York Street and along Kensington Avenue to Womrath Street.

The second segment - which extends from Womrath Street to Frankford Transportation Center - is part of a separate project to be announced at a future date.

There have been concerns raised by residents since the painting project began including fumes and noise on Front Street between Montgomery Avenue and Jefferson Street. To help mitigate concerns - SEPTA's contractor installed sound barriers around its blasting/recycling machine to help reduce the noise level. Additional filters were also added.

Even with a few complaints – the work will be worth it in the end. The new paint and primer will breathe new life into the structures and last approximately 20 to 30 years.

The Market-Frankford Line remains SEPTA’s busiest mode of transportation and is considered the “workhorse” of the system.

We are committed to keeping this historic line safe, reliable, and accessible thanks to more projects and updates. Twenty-five of the 28 stations on the line are ADA accessible with the goal of making all stations ADA accessible. And this year SEPTA issued a request for proposal to replace all MFL rail cars which will help sustain a safe and reliable fleet for future generations. 

We look forward to serving the community for another 100 years!

Want a commemorative MFL 100 button? They are available FOR FREE (while supplies last) at The SEPTA Store located at SEPTA Headquarters