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Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

2019 Trolley Blitz

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The blitz is back! Starts Friday, August 9, 2019 at 10p and runs thru 5a on Monday, August 19, 2019.

SEPTA will work around the clock tackling critical track and power maintenance and upgrades, station upgrades and painting, tile replacement, and maintenance work; and intensive tunnel, track area, and station cleaning as part of the 2019 Trolley Tunnel Blitz

Because of this work, SEPTA Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will not operate in the Center City tunnel from 10p on Friday, August 9 through 5a on Monday, August 19.

Trolley service will begin and end at 40th and Market Streets; trolleys will use their alternate diversion service routing to connect to SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line at 40th and Market Streets. Trolley passengers can board the Market-Frankford Line at 40th Street Station for travel to-and-from Center City, as the work efforts will not affect that service.

This is the sixth consecutive summer SEPTA has held the Trolley Tunnel Blitz. Because the trolley tunnel is used 24 hours a day, it makes it difficult for our crews to get productive work windows to complete necessary repairs and improvements. The tunnel closure gives 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.

On average, 700 vehicles operate through the five-mile Trolley Tunnel every day. As with previous Blitzes, this work is scheduled during the summer when our ridership is traditionally lower in an effort to impact the fewest number of regular customers

Here's what we're doing during the 2019 Blitz:

Replacing Trolley Tunnel track curved rail along the Eastbound and Westbound sides of the Tunnel at 15th St and 36th Streets, and the Eastbound side at the 40th St portal (this helps to reduce the noise you hear when the Trolley travels through the Tunnel); Replacing the switch at the 40th St. Portal; aggressive cleaning campaign that includes vacuuming the entire track bed and drainage system and power washing the entire track bed at all stations and all of the track right of way.

Replacing old low pressure sodium light fixtures with new, high efficiency LED light fixtures in the tunnel between 36th & 37th Street Stations; Heavy cleaning, inspection, and maintenance at all stations including plumbing, tile, railings and partition screen repairs; painting; graffiti removal; and a major beam repair at 19th St. Station.

Working in coordination with the Track Department, C&S will replace and upgrade track circuit and signal wires associated with the track work. They will inspect and complete maintenance on the entire signal system while replacing old incandescent lamps with new, higher efficiency LED lamps. C&S will also perform full maintenance on the track switches in the tunnel.

Removing almost one mile of retired steel piping and communications cable in the tunnel between 19th and 22nd Streets. Replacing about one quarter mile of old wood overhead protection boards with a new fiberglass protection board system between 19th & 22nd Street. Working in coordination with the Track Department, Power will replace and upgrade rail return wires associated with the track work. Power will also perform heavy substation maintenance and cleaning; replacing all overhead section insulators in the tunnel; and testing and maintaining the emergency lighting backup power generation system.

Installing and testing a new leak prevention method at two locations: near 33rd St. Westbound and between 36th and 37th Street Westbound Stations; and installing shielding at the roof of the tunnel to support future improvements at the 30th Street Market-Frankford Station. The SEPTA Key project will be installing and testing equipment at 33rd, 36th, & 37th Street Stations.

SEPTA’s Trolley Tunnel Blitz is part of the Authority’s “Rebuilding the SEPTA System”capital program and funded through Pennsylvania Act 89. For more information, including Market-Frankford Line schedules, please contact SEPTA Customer Service at 215-580-7800, visit www.septa.org/blitz/.

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!

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