By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You may find less elbow room on SEPTA regional rail trains, as rail cars are taken out of service for federally required safety upgrades.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: All Adults Eligible For Vaccine On Tuesday, Except Philadelphia Residents
On a given day, seven to ten regional rail cars will be out of service, so SEPTA can meet a federal December 31st deadline to install “positive train control” on its entire 350-car fleet.
“It’s going to impact riders,” says SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams.
PTC is a system designed to help trains avoid collisions like the AMTRAK derailment. Williams says typically, a six-car commuter train may only be five cars long:READ MORE: Firefighters Called To Virtua Memorial Hospital In Mount Holly
“On many of our lines, we are filled to capacity. And so having one car missing could definitely result in overcrowding.”
Williams says with normal inspections and hot-weather repairs, the fleet has been depleted at times:
“We have had some weeks recently where we have had drastic shortages. We think that we’ve got a handle on that now.”MORE NEWS: Man Seriously Injured After Shot In Neck In Philadelphia's Holmesburg Neighborhood
SEPTA on its website asks riders for their patience and understanding.