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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Media/Elwyn Line, Overhead Catenary System Replacement

SEPTA is renewing the Overhead Contact System (OCS) on its Media/Elwyn Line, a 15-mile-long, two-track commuter rail line extending from 30th Street Station to Elwyn Station.

The line was originally electrified by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1930 and includes a unique catenary design utilizing Pennsylvania Railroad hardware not used in the catenary on the other SEPTA lines.  As a result, replacement components are not readily available in practical quantities which has led to a quality of maintenance and reliability below that of the other lines.

The purpose of this project is to provide the design for the replacement of the OCS conductors and assemblies, utilizing the new SEPTA catenary assemblies on existing catenary structures to the fullest extent possible.

Burns is providing design, analysis, calculations, plans, specifications and construction phasing for the replacement of the catenary system in three independent sections while SEPTA is designing two others.  Design elements include the following:

  • Catenary alignments and profiles
  • New catenary structure and foundation design and calculations including guy wire supports
  • Analysis and design for modifications of existing catenary structures and foundations affected by the work
  • Catenary construction phasing plans
  • Pantograph security analysis


Philadelphia, PA


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

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