SEPTA to close trolley tunnel for more than a week

For 10 days this August, SEPTA will close the tunnel that carries trolley routes 11, 13, 34 and 36 beneath Center City. Those trolleys will begin and end at 40th and Market streets and will not travel between Center City and West Philadelphia. From 40th and Market streets, SEPTA said, passengers can use the Market-Frankford Line to travel to and from Center City. 

The shutdown is scheduled to begin Friday, August 2 at 10 p.m. and end Monday, August 12 at 12:01 a.m. During that time crews will complete necessary overhead wire, track and station improvement projects in the tunnel. 

The project means additional changes for Route 10 Trolley passengers as well. The shuttle busses that are already being used from 63rd Street and Malvern Avenue to 33rd and Market streets in place of Route 10 trolley service will start and end at 40th and Filbert streets instead of 33rd and Market streets. 

“We use the tunnel almost 24 hours a day, which means we have very limited opportunities to obtain track outages for extensive repair work,” said SEPTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Knueppel in a press release. “We are taking advantage of this time to complete several projects that will improve our trolley service through the tunnel.”

The bulk of that work will be replacing approximately 10,000 feet of worn overhead wire and 2,500 feet of the ceiling trough that attaches the overhead wires to the ceiling. SEPTA’s crews will replace worn track components and worn key track switches and will perform maintenance tasks at stations and key stairways. 

Third-party contractors will use the tunnel closure to perform tasks related to the Dilworth Plaza Reconstruction Project. 

About the author

Christine Fisher, Transportation reporter

From 2012-2014 Christine covered transportation, writing about everything from pedestrian concerns to bicycle infrastructure, bridges, trail networks, public transit and more. Her favorite assignments sent her bushwhacking through Philadelphia’s yet-to-be-cleared bike trails, catching a glimpse of SEPTA’s inner workings or pounding the pavement to find out what pedestrians really think. Christine also covered community news for Eyes on the Street, where her work ranged from food sovereignty to public art and urban greening. She first joined PlanPhilly in fall 2011 as an intern through a partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods website. 

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