SEPTA is celebrating the end of an historic project - the reconstruction of the Market-Frankford Subway-Elevated Line. A fixture of mass transit in the region, SEPTA's busiest and oldest heavy rail line has been fully modernized through a series of initiatives.
"The Market-Frankford Line
has served our region for over 100 years," said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M.
Casey. "With this historic reconstruction, the El is now ready to serve our
customers through the 21st century, and beyond."
To mark this historic
occasion, on Sept. 11 SEPTA held an "Elebration" in West Philadelphia, the
center of the recently completed, $740-million project that transformed the
Market Street portion of the line into a fully modern transit artery. The
community joined SEPTA and local officials for a block party outside The
Enterprise Center at 46th and Market streets.
160,000 riders daily, the El stops at 28 stations along its nearly 13 miles
spanning from the Frankford Transportation Center in Northeast Philadelphia to
the 69th Street Terminal in Delaware County. Tens of thousands of regular SEPTA
riders rely on the convenient connections it provides to all SEPTA’s rail
lines, as well as numerous bus routes.
"The El is the backbone of
our system," Casey said. "With this modernization, our customers can continue
to count on the El to get them where they need to go."
The comprehensive overhaul
of the entire line, done through a series of initiatives in recent years, has
the El ready to take on the future. Highlights of the improvements include new
modern stations with improved lighting and safety features; elevators and
escalators, many replacing 100-year-old stairways; new track throughout the
line; new infrastructures and supports; and new train cars.
These improvements mark the
next chapter in the storied history of the Market-Frankford Line, which traces
its roots to the early 1900s. The Market Street portion opened in 1907, and the
Frankford Elevated Line first transported customers in 1922. The two lines were
later combined to Market-Frankford Subway-Elevated Line – commonly referred to
by riders today as simply the "El."