University City SEPTA Tunnel to Close This Weekend for Emergency Repairs

Closure will force SEPTA to detour or substitute buses for trains on three Regional Rail lines December 5th and 6th.

Septa regional rail train

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Emergency repair and maintenance work this weekend will force the closure of the SEPTA Regional Rail tunnel just west of 30th Street Station in University City. The tunnel, which runs under the Drexel University campus beneath 32nd Street and JFK Boulevard, is used by three of SEPTA’s Regional Rail lines that serve points to the southwest of Center City.

The tunnel will be closed so that SEPTA maintenance crews can replace overhead catenary wire that supplies power to the trains in the tunnel. While they’re at it, the crews will also install track improvements in the tunnel and perform routine maintenance, including graffiti removal, clearing of underbrush and overgrown plants, tree trimming and station maintenance, to prepare the right-of-way for the winter season.

As a result, the following changes in service will be in effect all day on December 5th and 6th:

Airport Line trains will be replaced by shuttle buses between 30th Street Station and the airport terminals. The buses will also stop at University City and Eastwick stations. Passengers continuing to the airport from the Warminster or West Trenton lines should transfer to the shuttle buses at 30th Street Station.

Media/Elwyn Line trains will also be replaced by express and local shuttle buses for the entire length of the line. Chestnut Hill East Line riders bound for points on the Media/Elwyn Line should transfer to the shuttle buses at 30th Street Station.

Wilmington/Newark Line trains will operate as regularly scheduled but will pick up and discharge passengers on the lower level tracks at 30th Street Station. Riders continuing to Center City or points on the Manayunk/Norristown Line must transfer to trains on the upper level at 30th Street, and passengers from Center City or the Manayunk/Norristown Line will need to transfer at 30th Street to Wilmington/Newark Line trains on the lower level.

Signs directing riders to the shuttle bus boarding locations will be posted at the affected stations, and signs in 30th Street Station will also direct riders to and from the Wilmington/Newark Line. More information on the tunnel closure and the maintenance projects is available from SEPTA’s website, where riders may also view and download supplemental schedules for the weekend.

Follow Sandy Smith on Twitter.