Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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Trolley Tunnel Blitz

Beginning Friday, August 1 at 10:00 p.m. and continuing through Monday, August 18, 2014, 4:00 a.m.

No ordinary project

SEPTA forces will work around the clock, maximizing our time during a 17 day Trolley Tunnel outage, to perform maintenance and construction work that is critical to provide reliable, safe service, and improve your travel environment

(The photos above show stations and areas along the Trolley Tunnel Loop before Trolley Tunnel Blitz)

Why can't the work be done overnight?

Given that the Trolley Tunnel is a 5+ mile long, single track line, the length of our regular service day, and the number of Trolley routes operating through the tunnel it would take many months of night and weekend outages, spread out over the year, to complete the amount of work we have planned during this Blitz. An extended work window, during a traditionally low ridership period, makes it possible for our Track, Power, Communications and Signals, and Bridges and Buildings Maintenance Departments to efficiently complete important construction and maintenance projects that will benefit our customers.

What you need to know about service during Trolley Tunnel Blitz

During the 17-day Tunnel shutdown, Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34, & 36 will temporarily divert to 40th and Market Streets

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

Signs will be placed at Trolley Stations and surrounding areas and customer brochures will be made available to assist you with boarding and service information

LUCY Green (Loop through University City) service will be temporarily detoured. Click here for detour and service information

Updates to service, progress, photos, and videos will be posted here, but for real-time service information on your Trolley Route, please check System Status - any unplanned changes to service will be posted immediately

What will we be doing during the Trolley Tunnel Blitz?

As we mentioned, Trolley Tunnel Blitz is no ordinary Trolley Tunnel shutdown project. SEPTA forces will be installing thousands of feet of new Trolley track, enough overhead wiring to cover a more than 4 mile span, new track switches, and emergency lighting cables - not to mention a massive cleanup program of all the Trolley stations along the Trolley Tunnel Loop. We've listed the specific improvements you'll see below

Track Department:

SEPTA Track Department forces will begin by wielding long rail strings, followed by the installation of 14,140 feet of new rail on the eastbound portion of the Loop from 40th Street Portal to 22nd St.

Workers will replace two concrete embedded track switches at the 40th Street Portal Loop. This includes the demolition of the existing concrete surface, the construction of new track switches, and the pouring of a new concrete service

The Track Department's work also includes the cleaning of track drains and the Tunnel's stormwater system, and the replacement of work track components

Power Department:

SEPTA Power Department forces will replace nearly 24,000 feet - that's more than four miles - of overhead contact wire. The contact wire powers the Trolleys through the Tunnel

Additionally, nearly 5,000 feet of wire support assemblies and protection board - this is the system that attaches the overhead wire to the Tunnel ceiling - will be replaced between 19th St. and 30th St. on the westbound portion of the Loop

Backup and emergency lighting cables will also be tested extensively at night during the shutdown and at the conclusion of service for the adjacent Market-Frankford Line Trains

Communications and Signals Department:

The work performed by the Communications and Signals Department includes maintenance on the signal system throughout the Tunnel, including the area near 34th and Ludlow Streets, where the Route 10 separates from the other Trolley Lines

Bridges and Buildings Department:

Members of the Bridges and Buildings Department will perform heavy cleaning along every station along the Trolley Tunnel Loop, including graffiti removal, painting, and general repairs maintenance

Daytime and evening construction

As Trolley Tunnel Blitz work is completed, neighbors and customers in the area of the 40th St. Portal may hear construction noise throughout the day and in the evening, especially during the track replacement and wielded rail work phases of the project.

Customers at all times should be alert for construction vehicles and activities around the Trolley Tunnel Loop and stay out of active work areas.

Rebuilding for the Future

Passage of the Act 89 dedicated funding bill by Harrisburg, provides the resources needed for SEPTA to begin Rebuilding for the Future. The Trolley Tunnel Blitz is part of a comprehensive infrastructure and revitalization program that tackles a $5 billion backlog of projects, including bridge replacements, substation, overhauls, and station improvements.

Stay Connected

Track the progress of the Trolley Tunnel Blitz by following your Trolley Route on Twitter:


Download the Trolley Tunnel Blitz brochure here

Click on the icon below to download the official SEPTA app for iPhone or click here to learn more about it.

Learn about other SEPTA projects here.