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Regional Rail

PHL Airport Platform Rehabilitation Program

September 14, 2022


Source: Benjamin Cromie, Philadelphia International Airport

On Friday, September 9, 2022, SEPTA, the City of Philadelphia Division of Aviation, and local and elected officials gathered on Philadelphia International Airport's (PHL) Terminal D/E Regional Rail platform for a ground-breaking ceremony for the SEPTA Platform Rehabilitation Project.

Joining SEPTA General Manager/CEO Leslie Richards Airport, Airport Interim CEO Keith Brune and Deputy Director of Aviation-Capital Development Api Appulingam were PA State Senator Timothy Kearney (Pa. District 26), State Representative Regina Young (Pa District 185), and Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Joe Heller.

The project received two grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: $500,000 from the PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund and $424,900 from the PennDOT Bureau of Aviation Grant Program.

Construction begins September 19, 2022 and will conclude by summer 2024.

The improvements planned as part of this project will enhance the travel experience for the millions of visitors who fly to Philadelphia each year for tourism and business and create a welcoming new transit gateway for travelers continuing to destinations throughout our region.

The project includes the rehabilitation of the platform surface and canopies, which consists of removing portions of the existing surfaces—such as the glazed curtainwall, epoxy flooring, automatic doors, tactile warning edges, center platform roofing, and north platform polycarbonate canopy panels. The construction team will then install several new features while ensuring that the new surfaces match the existing finish of the platforms and walls. Some of the new features will include:

  • SBS modified bitumen roofing

  • Polycarbonate panels

  • Epoxy flooring

  • The center platform floor finishes

  • The north platform vertical surface finishes

  • Tactile warning edge

  • The aluminum composite panel

  • Metal pan ceilings

Other important reconstruction features to note include significant electrical and HVAC upgrades, which will consist of the replacement of the following:  

  • Lighting fixtures

  • Speakers 

  • Fire alarms

  • HVAC systems

  • Air curtains

  • Fin-tube heaters

  • Roof drains

  • Rainwater conductors

  • Heat trace and insulation

  • New control systems

The project also includes the installation of nearly 700 new LED light fixtures; as a result the platforms will benefit from a 73% reduction in lighting power.

The project is designed to minimize construction effects on SEPTA and PHL’s passengers without affecting the train schedule. SEPTA operates 78 daily weekday trains to and from the Airport every day. Service runs every 30 minutes on weekdays and hourly on weekends.

Most of the work will occur during nighttime shutdowns, thus minimizing daytime work. 

Philadelphia is fortunate to have a rail line that connects directly to our terminals. Only a handful of major airports in the Unites States are able to offer this amenity to its passengers. The Airport Line is also important for bringing employees to work - from Division of Aviation employees that live all over the city - to flight crews and concessions staff. Driving is not possible for many of these folks. Having reliable mass transit makes working at the airport a viable option. 

The four Airport Terminal stations are less than 30-minutes from Center City - and offer seamless connections to every Regional Rail Line, the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, five trolley lines and dozens of SEPTA bus routes - to connect customers to every corner of the Delaware Valley.

As we continue our recovery from the pandemic - the Airport Line is a bright spot for SEPTA.

As of July 2022 - the Airport Line is tracking at 75 percent of pre-pandemic levels - outpacing our overall Regional Rail recovery! This is a great indicator that our recovery as a city and region is underway.

SEPTA’s Airport Line has been a key differentiator for Philadelphia – helping to attract major conferences, sporting events and international gatherings to the City.

When the world comes to Philadelphia in the coming years for the World Cup and other festivities coinciding with the nation’s 250th birthday, many will begin their journey here.

SEPTA will be ready!

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