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Trolley Tunnel Blitz

Regular Trolley Tunnel Service Returns On Schedule Monday, August 18, 2014 at 5:00 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)

Scroll down to learn more about the project or click here for project updates and photos

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

Suburban and 15th Street Stations: Stairway 6 will be closed. For access to Suburban Station and the Concourse, customers should use Stairway 4 to the Market-Frankford Line and Free Interchange. For access to the Broad Street Line, customers should enter the Market-Frankford Line at 15th St. and use the Free Interchange. Signs will be posted in these areas for additional direction.

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.

Trolley Tunnel Facts

662: Number of Trolleys that service the Tunnel on a typical weekday

203,684: Number of Trolleys that service the Tunnel every year

54: Maximum number of scheduled Trolleys per peak hour (8 a.m. - 9 a.m.)

5 Track Miles: Length of the Tunnel

250: Estimated number of SEPTA workers involved in Trolley Tunnel Blitz

30 Years: Age of rail being replaced during Trolley Tunnel Blitz

8 Years: Age of overhead contact wire being replaced during Trolley Tunnel Blitz

15th Street Plaza

During Trolley Tunnel Blitz, SEPTA forces, along with 3rd party contractors, will work on a project to replace the flooring along the eastbound and westbound platforms and the concourse areas of the 15th Street Plaza. Although some parts of the improvement project will take place before and after the 17 day outage, a large portion of the project will take place during the Blitz. All of the work is scheduled to be completed by Monday, September 1.

Trolley, Market-Frankford, and Broad Street Line service will not be impacted by this project.

The following work will take place:

Westbound Platform:

Installation of a new epoxy quartz flooring system, which includes new epoxy floor paint. This will provide the station with a cleaner floor surface, made of environmentally friendly materials that is more durable, longer lasting, and offers a safe footing for customers.

New outdoor LED lighting and stainless steel benches will be installed near the Market Street Oculus. General maintenance and a major cleaning project will also take place in this area, with forces working to clean glazed wall tile, stairs, the existing turnstiles, and the station Cashier Booths will be painted and cleaned.

Eastbound Platform Area:

Along with the new epoxy flooring system, crews will install a new stainless steel bench, and trash and recycling receptacles, clean wall tile around the station, and install LED lighting along the platform.

Concourse Areas:

As work takes place on the new epoxy flooring system, the concourse stairs and star treads will be cleaned and new guardrails and handrails will be reconfigured.

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.

Trolley Tunnel Blitz: Project Update Monday, August 4 - Friday, August 8

SEPTA forces preparing to demolish the concrete apron at 40th Street Apron to get area ready for switch renewal work

The Buildings and Bridges Department scheduled to begin painting the Tunnel in the area of 36th Street on Friday

Epoxy floor surface application continues at 15th Street Station, with portions already applied along the 15th St. Westbound platform

Track Department: By Friday morning, workers had nearly finished the installation of the new rail strings along the eastbound track. They are right on schedule and plan to finish this portion of the project by the end of the day. The demolition work at 40th Street is scheduled to begin Friday evening.

Buildings and Bridges Department: Crews are working at several stations at the same time completing maintenance, painting, and heavy cleaning projects.

15th Street Station: Earlier in the week, crews worked to prepare the surface for the new epoxy flooring. Click here to learn more about the benefits of the new epoxy flooring.

Power Department: Crews continue to install the roof cable support system along the westbound track - they have completed the work up to 22nd St. This follows work to change out the contact wire throughout the Tunnel.

Scroll down for previous updates

Trolley Tunnel Blitz Weekend Roundup, Update Friday, August 1 - Monday, August 4

Power Department forces replaced the overhead wire that powers Trolleys through the Tunnel Loop between 15th and 40th Streets

Several stages of rail welding were completed

Westbound platform floor of 15th Street Station was prepped for its new flooring system

(click the link to learn more about each department)

Communications and Signals Update: With the last Trolley entering the Tunnel shortly before 10 p.m. Friday night, Communications and Signals workers began removing track circuit leads on the eastbound side of the Tunnel between 40th and 22nd Streets. This work serves as preparation to allow track crews to begin the installation process for more than 14,000 feet of new rail.

Track Department: Late Friday night, Track crews began to weld rail and, by the end of the weekend, rail strings between 30th and 22nd Streets on the Eastbound side of the Tunnel were installed. Welding will continue Monday at 40th Street Portal.

Power Department: The process of installing more than 4 miles of contact wire is also underway. Over the weekend, Power Department workers replaced the wire up to 30th Street. By Monday morning, new contact wire was replaced up to 40th Street, making way for the tensioning process.

15th St. Plaza: As of Monday, the westbound floor surface was prepped for the installation of new epoxy flooring.

Learn about other SEPTA projects here.