SEPTA

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

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The Tools That Keep Us Moving

High-rail vehicles have been an integral part of the Construction Department for several years providing workers with the tools to complete complicated work quickly, safely and effectively. The versatility of these trucks enables work crews to inspect, repair and replace overhead catenary wires, clear brush, lay miles of track, and other demanding tasks on the Regional Rail, Broad Street, Market-Frankford El, and Subway-Surface Lines. The tasks require a vehicle with flexibility and range of mobility.

Capable of transitioning from road surface to rail bed with four retractable iron wheels, the vehicles are designed to operate along regional or subway-surface rail gauges easily. These adaptable vehicles are essential to completing detailed work without significantly impacting scheduled service. Whether outfitted with a boom and basket, a hydraulic platform, a crane for moving heavy material or a dump truck, high-rail vehicles are an integral tool in the maintenance and upkeep of the vast and aging infrastructure.

Although typically seen maintaining areas on the regional rail infrastructure, high-rail vehicles have become even more valuable working in several different capacities on numerous capital construction and federal ARRA stimulus projects in the five county area.

The vehicles are being used extensively on the Media/Sharon Hill (MSHL) Reconstruction Project where rail, overhead wire, and communication cable are being installed. High-rail trucks are also extremely important equipment in the renovation of the Girard/Spring Garden Project stations on the Broad Street Subway.

"The high-rail vehicles have been an invaluable tool to help us get job tasks done quickly," said SEPTA MSHL Project Manager, Brian Woodburn. "Work crews have limited track outage time to resolve a problem and it is essential for our teams to be able to move from one area to another quickly and safely. They are a vital tool since some of the areas are very difficult to get to by conventional work vehicles. The high-rail vehicles allow workers to accomplish their jobs and keep the stimulus projects on schedule; they keep us moving so we can keep our passengers moving."


A high-rail truck quickly and easily deposits track ballast to secure rail bedding



Emergency crews work atop a high-rail vehicle after a tree came down on wires blocking a trolley



A specialized high-rail vehicle laying track



High-rail vehicles are adaptable and can assist ground crews performing demanding work