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

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When customers choose to use Regional Rail or any SEPTA service, our goal is to provide the most pleasant travel experience possible. But that is not enough. We also need to provide a safe riding experience and environment. Safety is one of fundamental principles of the transit industry and SEPTA has committed to establish a safety first corporate culture for our employees and customers.

Customer Safety Programs

This year the annual Make the Safe Choice Customer Safety Day was held on May 2, 2018 with the theme of Be Aware of Your Surroundings. SEPTA employees were out at Regional Rail, Market Frankford, and Broad Street Line Stations talking to customers about the importance of safety on and around the SEPTA system. This year, we called upon the creativity of school students to get the message out to everyone (adults and kids). Their artwork and suggestions for being safe on the system were translated into a bus wrap, safety brochure, and digital ads across the system.

Make the Safety Choice 2018 Customer Safety Day

Make the Safety Choice 2018 Customer Safety Day

Make the Safety Choice 2018 Customer Safety Day Make the Safety Choice 2018 Customer Safety Day

  • Make the Safe Choice established as a safety awareness and education program for customers
    • Conduct annual systemwide Customer Safety Day campaign centered around specific themes
    • Collateral materials support outreach efforts
      • SEPTA meet greet with Customers at stations
      • Brochures
      • Video
      • Children's Games/Educational programming
      • Carcards
  • System Safety regularly conducts Safety Blitz programs at Stations focused around safety issues relevant to location and riders
  • Safety microsite on - repository for important safety tips and information
  • Safety signage installed at stations with issues related to trespassing in active track area and directional guides for crossing at designated areas

Employee Safety Programs

  • Regular and on-going safety training for EmployeesNever too Busy for Safety Employee Safety Program
    • Tool box talks
    • Safety Briefings for Special projects and construction

  • Never Too Busy For Safety - Companion safety awareness program for SEPTA employees
    • Special companywide safety days held twice a year where all work locations gather their employees to talk about general safety issues and topics of specific importance to the activities taking place at that site
    • Regular safety meetings (Location Safety Committee)
    • Elevated Joint Health and Safety Committee to address unresolved safety concerns
    • SEPTA is partnering with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on a Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) that provides a voluntary, non-punitive approach for employees to report certain incidents and close call events that pose the risk of more serious consequences
    • 2018 Employee Safety Day was held on February 21 and October 24, 2018 at work locations across the Authority for all work shifts

Positive Train Control

March 2019 | CBS 60 MINUTES: How Safe Are America's Railroads?

May 1, 2017 was a milestone date for the Authority's overall safety mission and it marked a major achievement to have Positive Train Control (PTC) in operation on our Regional Rail network. On May 1st, SEPTA activated our equipment on the Paoli/Thorndale, Trenton, and Wilmington/Newark Regional Rail Lines and begin operation under Amtrak's Positive Train Control system. For more information about Positive Train Control and this important safety initiative for SEPTA visit our PTC microsite.

Rollout of Positive Train Control

Regional Rail Line Implementation Date
SEPTA Territory
Warminster April 18, 2016
Fox Chase May 23, 2016
Lansdale/Doylestown June 13, 2016
Chestnut Hill East July 25, 2016
Manayunk/Norristown August 15, 2016
Chestnut Hill West August, 22, 2016
Media/Elwyn September 26, 2016
Airport October 10, 2016
West Trenton October 24, 2016
Cynwyd November 21, 2016
Glenside/Fern Rock December 12, 2016
Fern Rock/30th Street January 9, 2017
Amtrak Territory
Paoli/Thorndale May 1, 2017
Trenton May 1, 2017
Wilmington/Newark May 1, 2017

The final major focus to completing PTC is establishing interoperability with the freight lines - CSX and Conrail/Norfolk Southern - operating along portions of SEPTA territory. We continue to work with our freight partners and have achieved the following:


  • All testing for freight line interoperability with Norfolk Southern, Conrail and CSX successfully completed
    • Norfolk Southern Testing successfully completed on the Airport Line track one day ahead of schedule (11.01.18)
    • Additional testing took place using Manayunk/Norristown Line track to complete Interoperability by the December 2018 deadline


  • SEPTA/CSX PTC Interoperability began on 4 lines - Lansdale/Doylestown, Manayunk/Norristown, Warminster, and West Trenton (01.01.19)
  • PTC Interoperability on the Airport Line began for CSX 02.01.19
  • SEPTA submitted request to the FRA for revenue service demonstration for Norfolk Southern/Conrail locomotives
  • Received approval from FRA for alternative schedule and sequence (01.04.19)
    • Interoperability with CSX, Conrail, and Norfolk Southern will be fully operational in 2019

SEPTA was also awarded a $5.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support implementation and maintenance of PTC on the Media/Elwyn Line for the upcoming project to restore service between Elwyn and Wawa.


A PTC compliant system can:

  • Regulate train separation
  • Avoid train-to-train collisions at track crossover locations
  • Enforce line speed continuously including temporary speed restrictions
  • Protect rail worker wayside safety zones
  • Regulate grade crossings that are out of service
  • Prevent a train from running over a mainline switch set in the wrong position

SEPTA is proud to be one of just a few customer Rail systems in the United States to have PTC operating in revenue service. We greatly appreciate the support of our customers and employees as we worked to bring this important safety system to our Regional Rail network.

But safety for the SEPTA system and for the public transportation industry is such an important issue that the work does not end with the installation and operation of the equipment. The Authority has joined with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) to support the efforts of other transit properties in their work to install PTC, and work with governmental authorities including the Federal Railroad Administration to advocate for commuter and freight carrier rail line safety, SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel serves as Chair of the APTA PTC Subcommittee and he led the first APTA workshop or PTC held in Washington, D.C. on May 1-2, 2018.

Regional Rail Lines Operating Under PTC

Warminster Line 04.18.16
Fox Chase Line 05.23.16
Lansdale/Doylestown Line 06.13.16
(Doylestown to Glenside)
Chestnut Hill East Line 07.25.16
Manayunk/Norristown Line 08.15.16
Chestnut Hill West Line 08.22.16
Media/Elwyn Line 09.26.16
Airport Line 10.10.16
West Trenton Line 10.24.16
Cynwyd Line 11.21.16
Main Line Corridor (Glenside/Fern Rock) 12.12.16
Main Line Corridor (Fern Rock to 30th Street) 01.09.17
Paoli/Thorndale 05.01.17
Trenton 05.01.17
Wilmington/Newark 05.01.17