July 07, 2021
Heads up, SEPTA riders; beginning Friday night, the Center City trolley tunnel will shut down for 16 days. Yes, it's time once again for the "Trolley Tunnel Blitz."
From 10 p.m. July 9 through 5 a.m. July 26, SEPTA crews will conduct annual maintenance to reduce the number of outages that occur in the tunnel over the course of the year. The annual shutdown also allows time for upgrades to the trolley system and its stations — in addition to thorough cleaning.
No trolleys will operate in the tunnel during the 16-day stretch. Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will temporarily divert to 40th and Market streets, where riders can transfer to the Market-Frankford Line for service to and from Center City.
"As with previous Blitz campaigns starting in 2014, this work is scheduled during the summer when our ridership is traditionally lower in an effort to impact the fewest number of regular customers," the transit agency said in an update on its website.
During the shutdown, SEPTA said crews will demolish and rebuild the full eastbound platform at the 22nd Street station, including a new track bed and concrete decking. Also on the schedule:
• Replacing 4 miles of overhead contact wire
• Replacing worn track and curved rail at 37th Street eastbound and 15th Street westbound
• Repairing column plates
• Heavy maintenance on Ludlow Switch
• Testing and maintenance on entire tunnel signal system
• Heavy cleaning and maintenance at all stations, including painting, lighting, graffiti removal and drain and pipe cleaning
SEPTA urges riders searching for service information, including station closures, to look for signs posted at the 40th Street Portal and around other stations during the shutdown.
"The Trolley Tunnel is critical to our daily operations, providing thousands of passenger trips underneath heavily congested roadways connecting Center City and University City," SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards said in a news release. "These cleaning and maintenance blitzes allow our crews time to make necessary fixes and prepare us for the year ahead."