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SEPTA Moves Proactively To Combat Cold, Keep System Running

SEPTA riders at the Norristown Transportation Center wait in frigid temperatures for a Regional Rail train. (Credit: Jim Melwert)

SEPTA riders at the Norristown Transportation Center wait in frigid temperatures for a Regional Rail train. (Credit: Jim Melwert)

Jim Melwert Jim Melwert
Jim is a "morning drive" reporter for KYW Newsradio 1060, bringing...
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By Jim Melwert

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – With the frigid temperatures, SEPTA is taking steps to try to keep the system moving.

SEPTA says they’re running their normal weekday schedules all week, but they add these temperatures can pose challenges to some of the system’s older vehicles and infrastructure. So, they’re taking several proactive measures. For example, all trains and trolleys with overhead wires with speed restrictions, and they say that will continue until temperatures return to over 20 degrees.

There have certainly been delays due to weather over the past couple of weeks. But, considering the circumstances, most riders give SEPTA decent marks during the polar plunge. “I’d say eight out of 10,” says one rider, “because they’re actually done really good. And then there are some days when they’re really really late. I’ve had my train canceled and then I turned around and the train showed up. So, I can’t complain too much.”

Aviann from Upper Darby agrees, “I expect some delays due to overhead wires being frozen. You know, you kind of deal with it.”

Riders like Lisa say Regional Rail is still their pick, “I mean if they stop running, of course, I’ll do what I need to do, but I try the train first. I would much rather just wait for a train than to have to battle the Schuylkill.”

SEPTA also has extra staffing, track inspectors, maintenance crews posted along the routes, signal maintainers, and power crews.

In the city, SEPTA says they’re storing trains on the Market Frankford Line and the Broad Street Line in the tunnels overnight to try to keep them warmer. The first trips of the morning during the cold snap will be slower, so operators can check for any problems.

In New Jersey, PATCO is also dealing with the weather. They canceled some trains yesterday morning because of freezing temperatures, causing the trains that were running to be packed to the gills.

For the latest on transit conditions, check the CBS Philly Travel Guide.


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