Track work and weather a bad combination for PATCO

Listen

Riders on the PATCO high speed line are suffering from a double threat as construction and mother nature conspire against them. 

Monday night the second blown electric motor of the day on a PATCO train caused major problems. Spokesman Tim Ireland says smoke from the motor forced conductors to evacuate the train.

“It’s really unusual to have two motors short out on the same day even in the winter, I think that’s more bad luck than it weather,” Ireland said.

The motors are more prone to short out when there is blowing, powdery snow. The problem is, these troubles happened when one of the two tracks across the Ben Franklin Bridge was out of service. And Ireland says this will continue as part of a two-year long construction project.

“Normally it’s not a huge problem,” Ireland said, “but what’s changed now PATCO is on a construction schedule that begins at 11:00 on Friday and ends at 2:30 on Tuesday morning.” 

With two tracks available now, stuck trains are easier to handle and removing passengers is would go more quickly. Ireland says both tracks will be up and running when the next snow storm hits the region Wednesday night.

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.