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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Elwyn to Wawa Service Restoration

Burns delivered design- and construction-phase services to support SEPTA revitalize and reopen a 35-year-old rail station.

The 3.5-mile Elwyn-to-Wawa extension restores rail service to Middletown Township, Delaware County, connecting riders to downtown Philadelphia.

After decades without train service, resuming service at the Wawa Regional Rail station involved improving site conditions, upgrading right-of-way infrastructure, and constructing a modern, efficient and accessible station.

Supporting AECOM, Burns worked hand-in-hand with SEPTA throughout the project’s design. Burns’ role included:

  • Structural analysis and design for replacement of two railroad bridges and the rehabilitation and plate lining of a masonry arch culvert.
  • Complete replacement design for the extension’s Overhead Catenary System (OCS) as well as structural assessment and design of supporting steel frames and foundations.
  • Communications, electrical, lighting, and OCS design for the new Lenni train storage yard.
  • Structural and electrical design for platforms and foundations at the Lenni yard’s signal tower and signal house.
  • Integration of signals and communications systems at new signal and communication houses and other right-of-way infrastructure.
  • Structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting, plumbing, fire protection, communications, and security designs for the Wawa station — including the station platform, canopies, pedestrian tunnel, and parking garage — as well as the welfare/crew building and maintenance buildings.
  • Construction-phase engineering and review services, assisting AECOM and SEPTA resolve complex construction and field-condition issues to ensure project success.

In a separate role, Burns served as the prime design consultant for the extension’s Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation. Burns developed the designs and provided integration of the Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System (ACSES) updates required for the Elwyn-to-Wawa extension, seamlessly integrating the new service with the rest of SEPTA’s PTC system.

Rail service began operation in August 2022. Project recognition includes the March of Dimes’ 29th Annual Transportation, Building & Construction Awards’ Project of the Year for the Greater Philadelphia/ South Jersey region.

Burns is a long-time solutions provider for SEPTA. Similar projects include the 5th Street Station Rehabilitation, Media/Elwyn Line Overhead Catenary System Replacement, and Positive Train Control implementation.


Philadelphia, PA


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

Learn more about Burns' railroad and transit services

Railroad + Transit

Key team members on the project

Henry Mercaldo, Jr., PE

Railroad & Transit Project Manager