New PATCO schedule starts Sunday

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File: A PATCO train pulls into the Westmont Station during the morning rush hour. (Tom Gralish/Staff Photographer)

PATCO riders will face a new schedule with 24/7 single-tracking starting Sunday, as the agency tries to finish its rail replacement project by the end of the year.

PATCO officials said Tuesday that all trains, both eastbound and westbound, will operate on the south track over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge between Sunday and Labor Day.

The north track outage means trains will be single-tracking 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the two-month period.

The agency says the schedule change means the $103 million project to rehabilitate the tracks over the bridge can be finished by the end of December, rather than stretching through April.

The work slated to be completed by Labor Day also means passengers will face fewer service gaps in the busier and colder months.

"This phase of the construction has been timed to take place during the summer, when ridership is lower, with many people on vacation and schools not in session," John Rink, PATCO's general manager, said in a statement.

Since February, trains have been operating on the north track only on Thursdays and Fridays.

The new schedule, similar to the one the agency used between last August and October, means riders will face longer waits on more days of the week, but they will be shorter and less frequent than the current service gaps on Thursdays and Fridays.

PATCO employees are slated to hand out new timetables and answer questions at stations on Tuesday afternoon, as well as Wednesday morning and afternoon.

Commuters can download the new schedule here.


Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillydotcom on Twitter.