SEPTA Makes Track Repairs Following Old City Derailment

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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A Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train partially derailed the evening of Feb. 4 on the Market-Frankford Line as it traveled north out of Old City, officials said.

According to SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch, no injuries were reported, and passengers were evacuated to shuttle buses. The incident occurred around midnight, and service was interrupted as transit crews investigated what went wrong, a local news report said. 

Crews found and fixed a crack in one of the rails while working on a repair overnight, according to Busch. The service, which regularly stops between 1 and 5 a.m., restarted a few hours late the morning of Feb. 5, with trains running shortly after 10 a.m.

Federal Railroad Administration data shows five derailments have occurred on SEPTA tracks in Philadelphia throughout the past decade, the report said. According to Busch, the cause of what happened in Old City has not yet been determined, and the transit authority has notified the National Transportation Safety Board.

The partial derailment took place between the 2nd Street Station and the Spring Garden Station, a local report said. The location is where the route curves northward and passes under the Ben Franklin Bridge on its way to the Frankford Transportation Center.

Busch said the train was a standard six-car train, with the third car slipping off the track. SEPTA’s train cars belong to the M4 design class and have been in use for about 25 years, a report said. SEPTA is currently bidding on a contract to build an M5-class car fleet for the Market-Frankford Line.

Roughly 100 passengers were aboard the affected train, and SEPTA has reported that there were no injuries. However, a Fox29 reporter shared via Twitter that a woman was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with knee pain.

In the meantime, shuttle buses were substituted to run between 5th Street and Huntingdon Station, which a local report said impacted service for late-night commuters. 

“We still have more work to do to determine exactly what caused this,” Busch told a local news outlet. 

The train involved in the derailment is now in the rail yard and is being inspected for clues as to why the derailment occurred, Busch said.