As part of the Southwest Connection Improvement Program, SEPTA will work from August 4 through August 19 to rebuild the mainline infrastructure on the Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line between 30th Street Station and Arsenal Interlocking just below University City Station. This section of track also supports the Wilmington/Newark and Airport Lines.
During construction, special timetables will be in effect for the Airport, Media/Elwyn and Wilmington/Newark Lines. This will include shuttle busing on a portion of the Media/Elwyn Line and on the entire Airport Line.
Overall Program Scope
During this multi-stage reconstruction program that continues through 2020, crews will:
- Reconfigure and replace the existing Arsenal Interlocking (area of switches)
- Remove the existing Walnut Interlocking and realign rail
- Create a new interlocking and turn back track near University City Station
- Repair/upgrade retaining walls and structural elements inside Walnut Street Tunnel
- Repair drainage structures.
Scheduled Work for 2018
- At Arsenal Interlocking:
- Replace three high-speed track turnouts and adjust track alignment
- Replace and realign catenary wire to match track adjustments
- Communications and signal prep work (for later phases of the program)
- Along Airport Line: Inspection and heavy maintenance along track area, including debris removal, brush cutting, painting and bridge inspection.
- Woodland Avenue Bridge Project: Ongoing construction work to replace bridge spanning Media/Elwyn Line tracks.
The Southwest Connection Improvement Program was made possible, thanks to Pennsylvania Act 89, which provides capital funds for critical transportation infrastructure projects across the Commonwealth. The project area is a critical part of the Regional Rail system with approximately 200 trains passing through on a typical weekday. Portions of this track area date back to the 1830’s. Some sections of track slated for infrastructure improvements under this multi-phase program date back to Pennsylvania Railroad’s 86-year-old, 30th Street Station construction project and have been used for train operations since that time. Other portions of the infrastructure in the project area were replaced by Conrail in the 1980’s but have reached their useful service life.
Airport, Media/Elwyn, and Wilmington/Newark Line customers should look for the printed construction timetables with the Southwest Connection Improvement Program logo and August 4 – 19 effective date. A summary of the service adjustments during Southwest Connection Improvement Program construction is as follows:
All University City Lines
There will be no train service to University City Station for the Airport, Media/Elwyn or Wilmington/Newark Lines. Media/Elwyn Line customers can transfer from trains to shuttle buses at 49th Street Station to complete their trips to University City and 30th Street Stations. The shuttle bus stop for University City Station is located at 33rd & Spruce Sts. For Wilmington and Airport Line customers, train service will operate between 30th Street Station and University City every 30 minutes. Airport Line shuttle buses will not stop at University City Station.
Shuttle buses will operate in place of train service between Eastwick, Airport Terminals and 30th Street Station. Airport Line customers should look for bus boarding location signage as shuttle buses will board from Zone 8 on South Commercial Roadway. Shuttle buses departing from 30th Street will board on JFK Boulevard. Buses will not make stops at University City Station. Customers should also plan for extra time onto their trips, due to traffic congestion on area roads.
Trains service will operate between Elwyn and 49th Street Stations and will follow the special Southwest Connection Improvement Program timetable. Shuttle buses will operate in place of train service between 49th Street and 30th Street Stations. Customers continuing to Center City stations will board shuttle buses at 49th Street. During peak travel periods, customers traveling into Center City can also board express shuttle buses at 49th Street Station for direct service to 30th Street Station. Customers can also access the Market/Frankford Line and Trolley Routes 11, 13 or 36 at SEPTA’s 30th Street Station (across the street from Amtrak 30th St. Station) to complete their trips into Center City. As an alternate, customers can exit trains at 49th Street Station and take SEPTA Route 11, 13 or 36 Trolleys to complete their trips to University City, 30th Street and Center City Stations.
Train service will operate between Newark and 30th Street Stations and will follow the special Southwest Connection Improvement Program timetable. All Wilmington/Newark Line trains will arrive and depart from Amtrak Main Terminal, lower-level platforms (9 and 10) at 30th Street Station. There will be no Wilmington/Newark Line service to or from Suburban, Jefferson or Temple University Stations. Customers continuing to Center City from 30th Street Station can take any Regional Rail train headed towards Suburban Station. Customers can also access the Market/Frankford Line and Trolley Routes, 11, 13 or 36 at SEPTA’s 30th Street Station (across the street from Amtrak 30th St. Station) to complete their trips into Center City.
SEPTA Key farelines will be in operation at all Center City Stations (Temple, Jefferson, Suburban, 30th St. and University City) during Southwest Connection Improvement Program work. Fare collection will take place when customers begin their trips and when transferring from between SEPTA service modes. Customers should take single trip tickets, quick trip tickets (if traveling on the Airport Line) and cash fare receipts with them when exiting from shuttle buses. For more information about Fare collection for the Airport, Media/Elwyn and Wilmington/Newark Lines between August 4 – 19, customers should visit: https://www.septa.org/southwestconnection/fare-collection.html.
SEPTA Ambassadors and Transportation Staff will be available at stations to provide assistance and answer questions. Directional signage to shuttle bus boarding locations will be posted at stations. SEPTA encourages Regional Rail passengers with iPhone or Android devices to sign up for the SEPTA App. The special Southwest Connection Improvement Program schedule will be reflected in the App. Current SEPTA App users can update the iPhone app by tapping “Settings” and then “Update”. Customers with Android devices should visit the Google Play Store to update the App. Riders can also contact SEPTA Customer Service representatives at (215) 580-7800 for more information and can stay connected by following their Regional Rail Lines at www.septa.org or on Twitter:@SEPTA_AIR, @SEPTA_ELW and @SEPTA_WILM.