PlanPhilly

Train derails on Market Frankford elevated line, few injuries reported

A SEPTA Market Frankford elevated line train derailed Saturday morning near Spring Garden Station.

A SEPTA spokesman said around 30 passengers were on the train at the time it went off the tracks. Philadelphia Fire Department reported that three individuals have been transported to local hospitals with unknown injuries.

The Market Frankford Line is SEPTA’s busiest route, with 187,000 average weekday trips made.

The cause of the derailment was not immediately known. A SEPTA twitter account blamed “equipment issues.” SEPTA is now running shuttle buses between 8th Street and Berks Stations in both directions. A PennDOT traffic camera nearby showed one car on the train so far off the track that it was nearly perpendicular to the rest of the train.

The derailment comes less than a month after a Norristown High Speed Line train collided with another at 69th Street Station, injuring dozens.

2017 has not been a good year for SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line. In February, the transit authority had to pull 40 rail cars out of service after cracks were discovered in bolster beams. That same month, two out-of-service El trains collided at 69th Street Station.

Despite the distressing pattern of incidents emerging this year, train crashes remain relatively rare, especially compared to automobile crashes. In Philadelphia alone, there were 12,190 car crashes reported in 2016, leading to 8,809  injuries and 93 fatalities.

About the author

Jim Saksa, Interim Managing Editor

Jim Saksa is PlanPhilly's multi-modal transportation reporter and interim managing editor. As a reporter, he's focused on how Philly gets bikes, walks, drives, rolls, and rides around the region. 

Jim lives in Point Breeze and has also written for Slate, Philadelphia City Paper, and Technical.ly Philly. He tweets @Saksappeal and you can reach him at jsaksa@whyy.org.



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