Proposed KOP rail line begins construction, will complete within 7 years

Mark Abrams
February 09, 2019 - 4:00 am
Artistic rendering of KOP rail

King of Prussia Rail Project

Categories: 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The proposed King of Prussia Rail Project — a 4-and-a-half mile extension of the Norristown High Speed Line — has now moved one giant step closer to reality.

The long-studied extension of SEPTA passenger rail service into the King of Prussia area has begin the critical construction design phase, which Liz Smith, SEPTA director of strategic planning, said is a significant step.

"We'll go out and do the ground surveying, we'll start to make better determinations of the details of the structure type, begin looking at stations," she explained.

If a funding package can be assembled, the trains could be rolling out within seven years. Smith said planners have been taking lots of public input to identify the best locations for stations.

"The first station would where the proposed alternative crosses Henderson Road, and there would be a park-and-ride available at that location," she said. "We would then progress toward the King of Prussia Mall. We envision two stops within the mall area. And then, we turn and head up toward Moore Park, which is the business park area of King of Prussia, with our final two stops located along First Avenue within Moore Park."

The extension on the Norristown High Speed Line is expected to double ridership.

"We already have a lot of existing bus riders that travel out to that area and endure a fairly unreliable ride, since our bus routes have to utilize the Schuylkill Expressway," she added. "So we'll see a lot of that ridership transfer over to the rails and we'll be able to provide them with a much more efficient and reliable ride."

The cost estimate for the line exceeds $1 billion, and there's a committee dedicated to figuring out how to spread the cost over a 20-year span.