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Regional Rail

Emergency Repairs | Union Avenue Rail Grade Crossing

January 9, 2023

In late December 2022 - a car attempting to circumvent the grade crossing arm was struck by a SEPTA Media/Wawa Line train. The crossing arm and signal infrastructure were severely damaged - making the crossing inoperable and the extensive damage will require the crossing gate to be completely rebuilt. While much of the work will be performed off-site - the crossing should be considered an active construction site at all times.

In the interest of community safety and the safety of SEPTA personnel - the highway-rail grade crossing where Union Avenue crosses the Media/Wawa Line in Lansdowne Borough will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic for approximately two months beginning Monday, January 9, 2023 to allow for emergency repair work to be completed. Trains will continue to operate through the crossing at reduced speed and will still sound their horn while approaching and occupying the crossing.

When a rail grade crossing is out of service - the train must come to a complete stop and the conductor must:

1. Exit the train to manually stop traffic

2. Flag the train through the crossing and then reboard the train 

This places the conductor in the flow of traffic at all hours of the day and weather conditions, does not provide motorists and pedestrians with the level of protection that a signalized crossing provides, and delays train service which has a cascading effect on the rest of the Regional Rail system. Due to the extended length of the crossing outage - closing the crossing to vehicles is the safest course of action for all.

During this time - concrete barriers will be placed on either side of the crossing to block traffic and vehicles will be detoured from Union Ave. to the Lansdowne Ave. crossing. Detour signage is being placed on Union Ave. on both approaches to the crossing as well as along the posted detour route. Residents living on the detour route will experience higher traffic volumes - including vehicles of larger size. Residents living on those streets and adjacent roads are asked to use additional caution when driving and walking.

SEPTA reminds customers and residents to be alert, follow all posted signs and warnings, and “Make the Safe Choice” when traveling on or near SEPTA Bus, Trolley, Subway and Regional Rail service.

  • Stop as soon as possible when you see and hear activated flashers, bells, and gates

  • Never assume the train is going to slow down or stop because there is a station next to the crossing

  • Trains approaching a highway grade crossing are traveling at their normal speeds

  • Never travel into a crossing until the flashing lights go out completely

  • Walking along the track right of way or crossing the tracks is illegal and dangerous

More info about the project here.