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Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA progresses ATC plans


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) Market-Frankford Subway Elevated (MFSE) Line opened in 1907; parts of its unidirectional block signal system, which is electrically controlled, automatically activated and interlocked with track switches, are more than 75 years old. And about to be retired.

To modernize the line, SEPTA Oct. 4 announced plans to install 90 to 100 Automatic Train Control (ATC) poles on Market Street between 46th Street and Millbourne stations by year-end to support a low-voltage cable for a new signaling system.

Although the ATC system would be operational while SEPTA crews construct the guideway and improve the stations beginning early next year, the ATC poles are only temporary. The stations will have fiber-optic cables built into their structures to support ATC.

SEPTA now is constructing two ATC buildings at 52nd and 63rd streets for the new system. Once complete, the ATC system is designed to provide train overspeed protection with automatic braking and bi-directional train movements with full signaling.

The entire ATC project is estimated to cost $100 million, in addition to $420 million planned to reconstruct the elevated subway.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/9/2001