"The day after the storm, the day after the rain stopped, everything was flooded from down at our Miquon Station, almost all the way down to Norristown," said David Montvydas, Chief Engineer, Maintenance of Way, in the engineering maintenance and construction division for SEPTA.
The line runs adjacent to the Schuylkill River.
"It was fairly spectacular to see that," said Scott Sauer, Assistant General Manager Operations for SEPTA.
Crews have restored service from Center City to Spring Mill, but the rest of the line ending in Norristown is still down, which means four stations are closed: Conshohocken, Norristown Transportation Center, Main Street and Elm Street. Those stations are set to be open Monday, according to SEPTA.
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On Thursday, crews were working on the railroad crossing signals. There are more than 100 different pieces of electrical equipment in the signal huts that crews have to repair or replace.
"To try to think that we have to fix everything that's broken underneath all that water, without even seeing it, is a bit overwhelming," said Montvydas. "After the water subsided to see how high it had gotten, five, six feet above where our trains normally run on the rails... definitely overwhelming."
SEPTA estimates around 3,500 people currently use the line a day. However, even more people could have used the train service since close to 200 cars in Conshohocken flooded according to the office of emergency management.
"They're telling us when can the trains come back, cause we don't have our automobiles anymore, and that's why this is so important for us to get this done," said Sauer.
While service resumed between Spring Mill Station and Center City on September 7, service between Spring Mill and Elm Street Station in Norristown has been suspended as crews make repairs.
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The work is estimated to take about six to eight weeks to complete. SEPTA is partnering with officials from Norristown, Conshohocken and Whitemarsh Township, to close select railroad crossings in those municipalities beginning on Sunday, September 12 at 12 p.m.:
- Harry Street
- Poplar Street
- Cherry St
- End/Lee St
Ash Street will remain open with flaggers to accommodate pedestrian traffic. The road closures will allow trains to safely stop at all stations along the Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail Line.
Riders should check the temporary schedule that will be posted at SEPTA.org.