News and Updates
SEPTA is preparing to reroute the
east end of the Route 15-Girard Ave. streetcar for a period of up to two years while
PennDOT rebuilds the I-95 Girard Ave expressway interchange. In
late December the APTA Streetcar Subcommittee visited the
construction site for the new trackage along Frankford Ave.,
including the terminus loop in front of the new Sugarhouse Casino
here for a description of the proposed waterfront streetcar project from
From 1982 to 1995, a Vintage Trolley operation was in
service along the Delaware River waterfront under the Ben
Franklin bridge. The line shared a freight spur in the
median of Delaware Ave. (now Christopher Columbus Blvd.),
about a mile of which was electrified. Click
here for a pdf of a 1987 brochure.
line was a cooperative effort between the City of
Philadelphia and the non-profit Buckingham Valley Trolley
Association. This article
on PlanPhilly.com has more details on the operation. The
line closed in 1996 when the pier that was used as the
operations base was sold for redevelopment. The BVTA
subsequently moved their collection to a new home adjacent
to the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton,
Pennsylvania where they operate today as the Electric
City Trolley Museum Association.
March 2010, the Delaware River Port Authority approved a
$6.5 million contract for environmental studies and
preliminary design for a new waterfront rail line. The work,
expected to take about two years, is to prepare the way for
a proposed $500 million light-rail line in the middle of
Columbus Boulevard between Pier 70 and Girard Avenue. The
line, which could be operated by SEPTA or PATCO, would be
designed to improve transportation and spur development on
the Philadelphia waterfront. It also would provide service
between two casinos planned for the riverfront, Foxwoods to
the south and SugarHouse to the north. Click
here for the news article from Philly.com.
Landing Trolley in operation in 1995. John
early view of the operation. Philadelphia Area
Blvd. today, looking towards the Ben Franklin
bridge. The median has been narrowed, but the track
remains. Darkstar photo.
from the pier
Service begins! Regular service began as scheduled on September
4. A scheduled trip over the 8.2 mile line varies from about
45 minutes to just over one hour during peak periods. 24/7 service
is provided, with 10 to 15 minute headways during the day, and up
to 30 minute headways in the overnight hours. Click
here for the Route 15 schedule. Thanks to Bob Vogel for the
The $82M Girard Ave. Light Rail project is scheduled to begin carrying passengers in
September 2005. A local political standoff over parking spaces
adjacent to a short section of the route delayed the start of
service for over a year. This article
in the Philadelphia Daily News has the full story.
The first remanufactured PCC car from Brookville Equipment was
received in Philadelphia in September. While retaining the same
general appearance of the PCC, the end product is almost a new
vehicle, having been stripped to a frame and completely rebuilt.
The new cars feature all new propulsion equipment including new
trucks with AC motors, air conditioning, and new interiors. The
remaining 17 rebuilt cars are expected in the next few months.
Although all 18 of the newly remanufactured "PCC-II"
cars have been delivered to SEPTA, trolley service has not yet
resumed on Route 15 / Girard Ave. Service was scheduled to begin
in June of 2004, but a delay has resulted due to a standoff with
local residents concerning parking on one of the streets that the
route uses to access the Callowhill Depot. Click
here for the story.
of the proposed new streetcar route on the Transport Politic
Description for new streetcar on Columbus Blvd.
of photos of the new PCC-II cars in Philadelphia
page on the APTA Heritage Trolley web site
of Philadelphia Trolleys
for a trolley in Philly" from the New Colonist web site
Light Rail Prevail?" from Philadelphia Citypaper.net
Trolley Tracks web site
Essays on Route 15 from PTT web site
page was last updated on 12/23/10