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Over the Top: SEPTA 2021 Trolley Tunnel Blitz

by Bill Monaghan/photos by the author

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s subway-surface trolley tunnel under downtown and University City in Philadelphia, Pa., was closed to rail traffic from Friday, July 9, to Monday, July 26, 2021, for the authority’s annual “Trolley Tunnel Blitz.” During this time, SEPTA employees worked around-the-clock replacing worn track and overhead, completing station upgrades, painting, and making improvements to the signal system during the program. Connecting the city’s two largest business districts, the Trolley Tunnel provides passage for thousands of commuters daily, reducing congestion and smog on city streets.

With the tunnel closed, SEPTA’s subway-surface trolley routes that would normally continue east under Market Street to loop beneath City Hall used diversion trackage to loop in the University City neighborhood. This routing over surface streets takes the trolley lines past the 40th Street subway station on the Market-Frankford line, where passengers are allowed free interchange to continue their journeys east into Center City or west toward the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby…

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This article was posted on: September 28, 2021