Philadelphia – Streetcars to Return Soon
Rail Transit Online, May 2003
Restoration of the
streetcar infrastructure in the Route 15-Girard Avenue corridor will soon be
completed in preparation for the return of rail service during 2004.
Operated by buses since 1992 when streetcars were “temporarily” withdrawn,
Route 15 runs from Overbrook on the west end of the line to Port Richmond on
the east. Track has been replaced, new signals installed, island platforms
for passenger loading built and a new modular substation installed at the
Callowhill Maintenance Shop. Route 15 will be operated with 18 upgraded and
restored PCC cars, all of which are now at the Brookville Equipment Co.
facility in central Pennsylvania. Each car will be completely stripped and
rebuilt with mostly new components including air conditioning and heating,
propulsion and electrical systems and trucks and suspensions. Other
subsystems are being remanufactured and a wheelchair lift will be fitted to
each car. The first completed unit is scheduled for delivery to SEPTA this
month, with the remaining cars to be returned by December. Streetcars will
run every eight minutes compared with the current bus headway of 12 min.,
providing a link to more than 20 SEPTA routes, including the Broad Street
and Market Frankford rapid transit lines.