Heat slows down SEPTA trains

    Conductors may announce “hot weather slow orders”

    Rising temperatures are slowing some of Philadelphia’s trains.

    SEPTA spokesperson Richard Maloney says when the temperature climbs, “Hot weather slow orders” go into effect.

    He says SEPTA takes the precaution because on the regional rail and trolley systems, copper overhead wires expand or contract with the weather.

    “In the hot weather they expand and sag, so whenever the temperature goes over 90 degrees throughout our rail system we issue what are called slow orders. Which is essentially slowing down the trains from their normal maximum speed of 60 miles an hour to about 50 miles an hour. The structure on top of the trains – can get hooked up in the overhead electrical wire if it’s sagging and tears those wires down.”

    Maloney says by having the trains pass more slowly the wires are less likely to be pulled down – stranding trains.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.