SEPTA’s tram tunnel closed for 16 days for maintenance “blitz” in 2021
Look up, SEPTA riders; starting Friday night, the Center City tram tunnel will be closed for 16 days. Yes, it’s time for the “Tram Tunnel Blitz” again.
From 10pm on July 9th to 5am on July 26th, SEPTA staff will conduct annual maintenance to reduce the number of power outages that occur throughout the year in the tunnel. In addition to thorough cleaning, the annual shutdown also allows time for the upgrade of the trolley system and its site.
During the 16-day period, there will be no trolleys operating in the tunnel. Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will be temporarily diverted to 40th Street and Market Street, where passengers can transfer to the Market-Frankfurt Line to and from the city center.
“Like the previous blitz event that started in 2014, this work was scheduled in the summer when our passenger volume was traditionally low to affect the minimum number of regular customers,” the transport agency said in an update on its website.
During the closure, SEPTA stated that staff will demolish and rebuild the complete eastbound platform of the 22nd Street Station, including the new track bed and concrete deck. Also in the plan:
• Replace the 4 mile overhead contact wire
• Replacement of worn tracks and curved tracks on Eastbound 37th Street and Westbound 15th Street
• Repair the column plate
• Extensive maintenance of Ludlow Switch
• Testing and maintenance of the entire tunnel signal system
• Extensive cleaning and maintenance of all stations, including painting, lighting, graffiti removal, and drain and pipe cleaning
SEPTA urges passengers searching for service information (including station closures) to look for signs posted around 40th Street Portal and other stations during the closure.
“The tram tunnel is essential to our daily operations. It provides thousands of passengers on the heavily congested roads connecting Central City and University City,” said Leslie S. Richards, General Manager and CEO of SEPTA. Said at the press conference. “These cleaning and maintenance blitzes give our staff time to make the necessary repairs and prepare for the coming year.”