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June 19, 2024

SEPTA schedules trolley maintenance blitz next month, with a push toward modernization

Service at all underground stations will be suspended July 12-29 for track repairs, cleaning and other improvements.

Transportation SEPTA
SEPTA trolley blitz Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The annual SEPTA trolley blitz will close the tunnel, affecting Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36. Trolleys will instead drop passengers off at bus stops from July 12 to 29.

SEPTA next month will undergo its annual trolley blitz, where service is suspended on all underground stations for two weeks so the transit agency can do general maintenance, cleaning and other improvements.

This summer's work is scheduled from 10 p.m. on Friday, July 12, to 6 a.m. on Monday, July 29. The subway-surface trolleys at Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will not operate in the 5-mile trolley tunnel from 13th to 40th streets at any time during the blitz, instead picking up and dropping off commuters along diversion routes.

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Eastbound travelers will divert to 40th and Market streets, dropping them off by the Market-Frankford Line station. Commuters can take the Market-Frankford Line to 40th and Market streets and catch westbound trolleys at the intersection. The Night Owl Bus service will also serve late-night travelers.

In the tunnels, SEPTA will replace worn tracks and fix overhead wires, while also working on pipe cleaning, graffiti removal and lighting upgrades.

SEPTA is using this year's blitz to prepare for its trolley modernization plans, which promises faster service through a new fleet of ADA accessible railcars.

The blitz also includes redesigning the trolley tunnel's signal service and updating electrical infrastructure for the incoming new vehicles. SEPTA is continuing the modernization project through 2030, expecting all new trolleys to be in service by 2031.

SEPTA's trolley blitzes began in 2014, with the agency planning them during the summer when ridership is lower and the disruptions affect fewer people.