LOWER MAKEFIELD >> For approximately four weeks beginning Monday, June 10 SEPTA will be working on the West Trenton line between Woodbourne Station and the West Trenton yard.
SEPTA Power Department personnel will be working Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. from a wire train (which uses a diesel locomotive) removing old power catenary wires from the track that SEPTA previously shared with CSX.
Residents and motorists are advised that at various times throughout the day, individual grade crossings may be blocked for up to a half hour at a time, and per Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rules, trains will sound their horns as they pass the work train.
Grade Crossing Notice
The catenary removal work also will require the intermittent closures of grade crossings to allow crews to safely perform their work.
Based on the current work schedule, crossings at Township Line/Big Oak, Heacock Road, Stony Hill Road and Edgewood Road could be affected for brief periods on the following days: Monday, June 10 – Township Line; Tuesday, June 11 – Township Line and Heacock; Wednesday, June 12 – Heacock and Stony Hill; Thursday, June 13 – Heacock and Stony Hill; and Tuesday, June 18 – Edgewood.
These dates are estimates and are subject to change based on work progress.
SEPTA said it is working with township police to coordinate closures and direct traffic to other crossings when roads are closed. There will be no temporary closures between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. during morning rush-hour.
According to SEPTA, when the wire train is moving through a crossing either CSX personnel will be on site to manually operate crossing gates to allow the train to safely move through, or SEPTA personnel will flag the train through crossings.
Motorists may see the wire train staged near a crossing or slowly approaching a crossing with the gates up.
"Residents have previously voiced concern when seeing this procedure, but it is a safety measure put in place to ensure that a slow-moving train does not enter a crossing before the gates come down and that a work train does not trigger a false activation," said SEPTA.
The wire train is slower than a normal SEPTA train, and the public is asked to be patient when waiting at crossings.
SEPTA anticipates operating normal service throughout this period of work. The SEPTA grade crossings at Township Line Road, Heacock Road, Stony Hill Road and Edgewood Road are expected to remain in service. SEPTA trains will approach crossings at typical speeds and will activate crossing gates in their usual fashion.
During this work period (6 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day), it is likely that residents will hear train horns. FRA safety rules require trains to sound horns when passing stopped equipment and to alert railway road workers of approaching trains. Residents are reminded that engineers can sound train horns at their discretion for safety and other purposes, even in a quiet zone.
Make the Safe Choice
SEPTA customers and members of the general public are reminded that train tracks should be considered active at all times and in all directions.
There are precautions motorists should take when driving near train tracks and through grade crossings. The closing gates, warning bells and flashing lights indicate that the train is approaching and has the right of way. Drivers that pass through flashers or crossing gates are in violation of motor vehicle laws and are subject to heavy fines. Road markers indicate the safest distance for vehicles to stop from the grade crossing when the gates are down.
For more information about SEPTA safety and to download PDFs of safety tips for all SEPTA modes, visit www.septa.org/safety/tips/.