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SEPTA Fern Rock Yard Renewal

Project Highlights

  • Removed and replaced 13,130 track feet of tangent track with new CWR Removed and replaced 2,910 feet of curved track with new pre-curved restraining rail
  • Removed 10,000 tons of ballast
  • Installed 32 turnouts
  • Replaced about 14,000 linear feet of welded, 150# contact rail
  • Installed 17 hydraulic end-of-track bumpers
  • Coordinated installation of new DC switches and contact rail electrical feeders and returns
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Provided By

RailWorks Track Systems installed more than 16,000 feet of new rail as well as special track work and ties in a $16.2 million project at Fern Rock Yard in Philadelphia, Pa.

Fern Rock Yard is positioned at the northern terminus of SEPTA’s four-track Broad Street Line, also known as the Broad Street Subway. This busy line carries nearly 150,000 riders daily along the 12-mile, mostly underground route extending from the sports complexes in South Philadelphia to the northern terminus at Fern Rock.

Besides removing and replacing more than 13,000 track feet of tangent track with new continuously welded rail (CWR), RailWorks replaced nearly 3,000 feet of curved track with new pre-curved restraining rail and replaced about 14,000 linear feet of welded, 150# contact rail. They also excavated, hauled and disposed of 10,000 tons of ballast. Other work included furnishing and installing 32 turnouts (including one crossover, and a diamond crossover) and 17 hydraulic end-of-track bumpers. Crews coordinated with the electrical subcontractor to install new DC switches and all new contact rail electrical feeders and returns.

The team performed its work over a 22-month duration of the project, funded through federal stimulus money from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Upon its completion, the project was the latest of more than $55 million in work completed for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) over the past 20 years.

Unique Features

The transit yard remained in operation throughout the project, so all work had to be carefully planned. Crews constructed the project in phases to minimize interruptions. It required tremendous coordination between RailWorks, subcontractors and SEPTA.

To perform work in the yard, RailWorks worked closely with SEPTA on daily outages to shut down the track and contact rail. Much of the special track work – where track and turnouts tie into the subway’s main line tracks – was installed during continuous weekend track outages. The RailWorks team completed all work on time during each of the outages and returned the tracks to revenue service when promised.