SEPTA Releases Info on Weather-Related Travel Issues For the Week

The transit authority provides information about train and trolley speeds during rush hour, adding extra staff and more.

SEPTA train. Patch file photo
SEPTA train. Patch file photo

The following is an announcement from SEPTA:

The extreme temperatures forecast to return to the region on Tuesday, January 28, will present a number of challenges for SEPTA, particularly to some of the transit system’s older vehicles and infrastructure. However, tomorrow and for the rest of this week SEPTA plans to operate normal weekday service for all modes of travel. Below is a summary of some of the issues SEPTA may face, and steps we’re taking to keep operations on schedule or as close as possible:

Additional Staffing & Monitoring of Conditions: SEPTA will have additional personnel on-hand as of 5:00 am Tuesday at the SEPTA Headquarters Command Center and also in the field to monitor conditions, particularly on Regional Rail.  Yard personnel will be paying close attention to the numerous equipment concerns that arise with extreme cold weather conditions. Track inspectors and maintenance crews, as well as signal maintainers and power crews, will be staged at various locations throughout the system to be available to address issues quickly. By deploying extra staff, SEPTA is in the best position to identify potential problems quickly and take corrective action to minimize the impact to our riders. All hands will be on deck to rescue passengers should any rail cars or buses become stranded without power or heat.

Proactive Measures to Protect Equipment: Train cars for both the Broad Street Line subway and the Market-Frankford Line (subway/elevated) will be stored in subway tunnels overnight to keep the rail cars warmer than they would be if stored at rail yards. Crews will start this process at about 10 p.m. Monday night and continue until subway/subway-elevated service finishes for the day at approximately 12:30 a.m. Regular service on these two key lines starts at approximately 5 a.m., and by storing the rail cars in the tunnels, SEPTA is in the best position possible to roll out service on Tuesday for customers during the morning commute. The Market-Frankford Line has a ridership of approximately 190,000/day and the Broad Street Line approximately 125,000/day, so these are vital components of SEPTA’s daily operation. The first trips of each day on both lines will operate at reduced speed to allow operators to inspect track, third rail, and tunnel conditions. On the Media/Sharon Hill Lines, these inspections will be performed by a special “wire car”.  SEPTA personnel will also monitor buses and trolleys, as well as road conditions to correct any weather related problems.

Restricted Speeds: In an proactive measure to reduce the chance of overhead power line problems, trains and trolleys with overhead power lines will operate at restricted speeds starting at Tuesday’s evening’s rush hour. This speed restriction will remain in place until temperatures stay steadily above 20 degrees.

Communications: SEPTA will use all methods of communication available in an effort to keep customers up-to-date on service status. The best tool for customers is the System Status feature on the SEPTA Website, which provides real-time service status and updates on possible disruptions. SEPTA will have additional staff on-hand to do their best to keep these online tools updated with the latest information. To access System Status, customers can go directly tohttp://www.septa.org/realtime/status/system-status.shtml , or go to our homepage, www.septa.org and click on the System Status icon on the left-hand side. This tool is also available on the SEPTA iPhone App. In addition, all service advisories will be sent out via Twitter, with simultaneous notices sent to local news outlets by the SEPTA Media Relations staff. Customers are strongly urged to check the status of the SEPTA services they will be using online and/or by monitoring the local news. Riders can also call (215) 580-7800 to speak to SEPTA Customer Service representatives.

For more information, such as schedules and trip-planning tools, customers can visit www.septa.org.



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