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9/2/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Everything old is new again: SEPTA restores trolley service in North Philadelphia


This weekend, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will bring back daily trolley service on SEPTA City Transit Division Route 15 after a 13-year hiatus.

Eighteen refurbished 1947 Presidential Conference Committee (PCC) trolley cars will operate on an 8.2-mile line between 63rd Street and Girard Avenue, and Richmond and Westmoreland streets in North Philadelphia.

SEPTA spent $88 million to renew and repair track, upgrade the power and traffic control systems, and build new island platforms along the route.

Trolley cars began operating in Philadelphia during the second half of the 19th century, but most were eventually replaced by buses. PCC cars continued to operate on Route 15 until 1992, when SEPTA closed the line because of the trolley fleet’s deteriorating condition.

The newly refurbished cars will feature a winged insignia and green-and-cream color scheme to resemble the look of SEPTA predecessor Philadelphia Transportation Co.’s cars. The wheelchair-accessible, air-conditioned trolleys will include a new propulsion/braking system, as well as a brighter interior with "art deco" lighting, passenger request signs, a public-address system and upholstered seats.



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