SEPTA “Trolley Tunnel Blitz” Starts Tomorrow

The trolley tunnel will close to passenger use for two weeks. But there are alternatives.

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Beginning Friday night, Philly trolley passengers will face detours and longer trips for two weeks while SEPTA shuts down the West Philly trolley tunnel to perform maintenance and construction.

SEPTA announced its 2015 Trolley Tunnel Blitz as part of its “Rebuilding for the Future” infrastructure improvement campaign. The trolley tunnel will be out of service from 10 p.m. Friday until Sunday, August 16th.

Trolley Routes 11, 13, 34 and 36 will divert during the construction period to 40th and Market, and route R0 will reroute to 40th and Filbert. Trolley users can transfer at 40th and Market to the Market-Frankford Line, which SEPTA says will provide service throughout Center City for the two-week period.

In addition, Market-Frankford weekday Night Owl buses and weekend all-night trains will operate.

As part of the service, SEPTA announced, Track Department workers will replace almost 7,500 feet, or just under a mile-and-a-half of track throughout the westbound side of the tunnel, between the 40th Street Portal and 22nd Street Station.

In addition, SEPTA will make improvements to the piece attaching overhead electrical wire to the tunnel roof; platform and stair/ramp repairs at the 13th and 19th Street stations; LED lighting at all stations; and repairs to track drains throughout the system, allowing standing water to drain into the ground.

Other changes as part of the project can be seen on the 2015 Trolley Tunnel Blitz website.

SEPTA says that the blitz is part of an ongoing effort to “tackle a $5 billion backlog of projects,” which include improvements to the tracks, electrical sources, stations, communications and train signals.