By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “Power problems at Wayne Junction” is a phrase you often hear during KYW transit reports about delays on Septa’s regional rail lines.

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But those words could become a thing of the past, thanks to a nearly $13-million federal grant that Septa has received to upgrade the Wayne Junction substation.

The substation was built in 1931, and has been operating continuously ever since with the majority of its original components.

But when something goes wrong, as passengers know, it can ruin your commute.  A failure at Wayne Junction shuts down six regional rail lines and limits service on seven others.

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But help is on the way.  US transportation secretary Ray LaHood visited the substation today to personally award Septa $12.8 million in federal economic recovery funds.  That’s about half of what Septa needs to renovate the substation.

Septa officials say it’s enough to design and bid the project, and they’ll keep looking for another $12 million to complete the upgrade, which they say will take three years.

The substation work is separate from a previously announced project to rebuild the Wayne Junction passenger station, which is in nearby Germantown.

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