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SEPTA Reaches Out To Trenton and West Trenton Line Riders

Jerri Williams
SEPTA Director of Media Relations

In the days following Hurricane Irene, flooding along the Amtrak rails at the Trenton Transit Center and damage to CSX infrastructure at Edgewood Road near Yardley Station have caused rail customers to experience service suspensions to Trenton and delays on the West Trenton Line. In both situations, damaged signal houses are the problem.

Signal houses contain the track circuit equipment that allow railway signaling systems to display signals for trains to slow down or stop in the presence of occupied track ahead of them. They are crucial to the safe operation of any rail system.

The floor of the Amtrak signal house near the Trenton Transit Center flooded with two feet of water from the swollen Assunpink Creek, causing damage to the signal equipment and cabling at this location. Repairs to the signal equipment at Trenton are proceeding rapidly, but this system is still not capable of providing safe and reliable operations for SEPTA trains switching from track to track as they are turned around for return to Pennsylvania. Regional Rail service on the Trenton Line, therefore, must originate and terminate at the Levittown Station. Amtrak and NJ Transit trains do not need to switch from track to track as they pass through the Trenton Transit Center and are not affected.

The damage to a CSX signal hut near the Edgewood grade crossing was caused by a tree falling on a 24,000-volt feeder line and PECO wires. The end result was a fire in the nearby signal house and fire damage to the crossing gates. SEPTA trains travelling through this six-mile area are being dispatched manually and, therefore, must operate at reduced speeds. The line continues to experience delays averaging 20 minutes.

SEPTA apologizes for the continued Amtrak and CSX problems on the Trenton and West Trenton lines. Amtrak is working to repair the damaged signal relays and other equipment in order to restore full service to the Trenton Line. Amtrak's work is expected to be completed by early next week. CSX is in the process of re-wiring a new signal house which, once installed, will allow for normal speeds on the West Trenton Line by the middle or end of next week.

Inside the Trenton Signal House, which went partially under water.

Damage to grade crossing equipment at Edgewood Road. CSX is working on this issue.