Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

Trolley Blitz 2017

6.19.17 trolleytunnelportal

The Blitz is back.

Runs 10p on Friday, July 7 at 10:00p thru 5a on Monday, July 17.

SEPTA forces will work around the clock for nine days, tackling aggressive cleaning and maintenance efforts, completing painting and tile replacement at stations and making critical track and power upgrades as part of the 2017 Trolley Tunnel Blitz.

Changes to Service


Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34, and 36 will temporarily divert to 40th & Market Streets.

Customers may transfer at 40th Street to the Market-Frankford Line for service to/from Center City.

Tents will be available as a temporary shelter for customers transferring from Trolleys/Market-Frankford Line.

For late night travel, customers can transfer to Market-Frankford Line Weekday Night Owl Bus Service or the all-night Train service on weekends while this work takes place.

Please look for signs posted at 40th St. Portal and throughout the system for service information. Directional signage will help you navigate the system during the Blitz, with tips on how to access the system during construction, the closures of stairways and stations, and boarding information.

Here's what we're doing during the 2017 Blitz

IN THE TRACK RIGHT OF WAY: Replacing the Trolley Tunnel track curved rail and rail clamps at nine locations on the Eastbound and Westbound sides (this helps to reduce the noise you hear when the Trolley travels through the Tunnel); replacing the rails at Chester and Woodland Avenue, which has sustained damage over time due to vehicular traffic and harsh weather conditions; switch testing and maintenance at Ludlow Street interlocking; testing emergency generators and lighting and thorough cleaning - including tunnel drain and track bed cleaning, painting, and graffiti removal along the length of the tunnel.

OVERHEAD: The Power Department will be replacing 1,000 feet of wood protection boards on the westbound side of tunnel between 19th and 22nd Street Stations. This infrastructure covers the catenary wire and helps to improve service reliability; installing track wires in newly installed rail; and install new trolley wire between 22nd and 30th Streets.

AT STATIONS: SEPTA crews will work on a heavy cleaning, maintenance, and improvement campaign at all stations including painting, tile repairs, station signage refresh, graffiti removal, and a new wax application to improve platform durability at 33rd, 36th, and 37th Street Stations.

AT SUBSTATIONS: Cleaning and maintenance work.

Why is the Blitz Still Needed?

On average, 700 vehicles operate through the five-mile Trolley Tunnel every day. As with previous Blitz campaigns in 2014, 2015, and 2016, this work is scheduled during the summer when our ridership is traditionally lower in an effort to impact the fewest number of regular customers. Giving SEPTA forces the opportunity to tackle maintenance, track construction, station facility and safety improvement work in a concentrated period of time reduces the number of late night and weekend outages over the course of the year.

We thank you for your cooperation and your patience while we continue our work to improve service, safety, and travel comfort in the Trolley Tunnel.

Your Safety During the Blitz

ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings and LOOK for signage posted at stations for boarding information. DO NOT enter areas that are gated or blocked off at any time. WE are committed to providing YOU with a safe riding experience and environment.

University City District Construction at 40th St. Portal

Please also be aware of construction activity at the 40th St. Portal, which is part of a University City District improvement project. Look for UCD signs for information about this effort.

Feel free to comment below. We love hearing from you!

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