SEPTA Trolley Tunnel to Close for Trolley Tunnel Blitz

SEPTA Trolley Tunnel to Close for Trolley Tunnel Blitz

Maintenance and Construction Work to Take Place August 9-19

Due to power, track and station improvement projects, SEPTA Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will not operate in the Center City tunnel from 10 pm. On Friday, August 9, through 4 am on Monday, August 19. Trolley service will begin and end at 40th and Market Streets; trolleys will use their alternate diversion service routing to connect to SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line at 40th and Market Streets. Trolley passengers can board the Market-Frankford Line at 40th Street Station for travel to-and-from Center City, as the work efforts will not affect that service.

This is the seventh consecutive summer SEPTA has held the Trolley Tunnel Blitz. During this year’s nine-day tunnel closure, members of SEPTA’s in-house Engineering, Maintenance & Construction Division crews will work around-the-clock on key maintenance and construction tasks throughout the five-mile, single loop Center City tunnel.

“The Trolley Blitzes allow our crews to get productive work windows to complete necessary repairs and improvements they otherwise would not be able to because the tunnel is used 24 hours a day,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel. “The program we have implemented over the past six summers has vastly improved the Tunnel’s infrastructure and greatly increased trolley service reliability through the tunnel.” To minimize the period of inconvenience on riders, SEPTA holds the Blitzes during the summer, when ridership is lower.

SEPTA’s Track Department will replace the curved rail eastbound and westbound west of 33rd Street Station and perform general track repair at the 37th Street Station eastbound platform and near the station. Members of SEPTA’s Power Department will perform maintenance work in the substation, replace wood protection board (a part of the system attaching overhead wire to the tunnel ceiling) on the westbound side of the tunnel between 19th Street-22nd Street Stations and replace track frogs (the crossing points of two rails) at the Ludlow interlocking.

Other work that will be completed during the tunnel closure includes:

  • Installation of new energy efficient lighting within the tunnel between 36th and 37th Street Stations
  • Performing heavy maintenance tasks at all stations including graffiti removal, tile repair, painting, cleaning the water drainage system, track bed cleaning and heavy cleaning at all stations
  • Testing emergency generators and lighting throughout the tunnel
  • Addressing water leaks at stations and in the tunnel through crack-injection and other rehabilitation improvements
  • Inspecting, testing and maintaining track circuits and other signal aspects (visual indication) at Portals and throughout the tunnel

“The projects we work on during the blitzes improve safety and service reliability throughout the Trolley Tunnel,” said Knueppel. “We thank our customers for their continued support and understanding during these closures. We will work to make this year’s blitz as productive and successful as in previous years.”

SEPTA’s Trolley Tunnel Blitz is part of the authority’s “Rebuilding the SEPTA System” capital program,, and funded through Pennsylvania Act 89. For more information, including Market-Frankford Line schedules, please contact SEPTA Customer Service at 215-580-7800, visit and follow SEPTA service updates on Twitter at @SEPTA.