Part 5 : Progressive Progressive Railroading's Passenger Rail at a Glance 2018: Pennsylvania, Texas, & Washington
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
SEPTA is the nation’s sixth largest public transportation system with an extensive network of fixed route services that include bus, subway, trolley, trackless trolley, high-speed and regional rail serving a 2,202-square-mile service region. That service region includes five Pennsylvania counties (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery) and extends to Trenton, New Jersey and Newark, Delaware. SEPTA employs 9,000 workers, making the agency one of the region’s largest employers.
Service launched: heavy rail, 1968; light rail, 1969; commuter rail, 1983. SEPTA was created by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1964 to consolidate private regional public transportation operators. SEPTA’s predecessor rail agencies began providing passenger service in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The dates shown here reflect the years that SEPTA began operating those modes.
Route miles per mode: Light rail, 42; heavy rail, 47; commuter rail, 280
Rolling stock: locomotives, 8 (average age 27 years); rail cars, 404 (average age 30 years); light-rail vehicles, 167 (average age 35 years)
Cars/locomotives on order: 45 cars, expected delivery 2022; 13 locomotives, expected delivery fall 2018
Annual ridership: light rail, 24,720,500; heavy rail, 93,524,700; commuter rail, 34,355,300
Operating budget: $1.45 billion (FY2018)*
Capital budget: $727.2 million (FY2018)*
Stations: light rail, 8; heavy rail, 75; commuter rail, 154
Major capital improvement projects underway:
• Southwest connection: SEPTA has designed a series of infrastructure improvements near the University City Station. The project includes replacement of 80-year-old catenary, construction or rehabilitation of four interlockings, retiring an interlocking, tie and surface renewal, and signal improvements along a 3-mile segment of SEPTA railroad that’s adjacent to the Northeast Corridor. The improvements are designed to have a positive impact on service on SEPTA’s Airport, Wilmington and Media lines, and will be constructed between now and 2020. In summer 2018, SEPTA performed a two-week shutdown of the commuter railroad to install major interlocking components.
• Elwyn to Wawa service restoration: SEPTA will restore revenue service on the Media-Elwyn Regional Railroad Line from its current terminus at Elwyn Station to Wawa, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. (Service beyond Elwyn was discontinued in the 1980s.) An early action phase to stabilize embankments on sections of this line was completed in 2010. The second component of this 3-mile service restoration started in spring 2018. This phase will involve significant infrastructure renewal, including retaining walls; the rehabilitation of 9 bridges; and the replacement of track, catenary and structures, and signals. The final component of this project is the construction of a new station, a 600-car parking deck and an intermodal connect.
• Substation program: SEPTA has initiated a multiyear program to rehabilitate the 80-year-old traction power substations that provide electricity to propel vehicles on the Regional Railroad. The first substations to be addressed in this program are under construction and include Lenni and Morton on the Media/Elwyn Line and Jenkintown and Ambler (Main Line). Fourteen additional substations will be overhauled or replaced as part of this program. SEPTA also will be constructing a new substation on the West Trenton Line.