‘Medium’ storm gave SEPTA no problems

For SEPTA, yesterday morning’s snowfall didn’t cause a major disruption for train, bus and trolley service, but that doesn’t mean it was easy.

The agency deployed about 1,000 workers — employees and third-party contractors combined — across the region for everything from clearing tracks, to operating signals, to laying down salt, according to SEPTA Assistant General Manager and Chief Engineer Jeffrey Knueppel.

“We have 24 contractors for our 150 [Regional Rail] stations,” Knueppel said. “It’s a big effort. It’s also hard to move them up significantly [and] it was a little rough trying to turn and get our contractors in early.”

Officially, most of the city got 4 inches with more falling in the suburbs, but because the lion’s share of snow fell overnight when train service was down it presented more of a challenge, Knueppel said. There was little time before commuters headed out for the morning rush.

“We prefer to have things running. The trains in most cases pull the snow out of a track area,” he noted.

Morning delays on the Regional Rail line averaged 20 minutes, according to SEPTA, and several bus routes were detoured until the afternoon. By the evening rush, service was running on or close to schedule.

“[Tuesday] night’s storm was kind of a medium storm for us. When you get into the heavier storms those get into moving the equipment and the people around,” Knueppel said.

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