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PURPOSE

King of Prussia (KOP) is the Greater Philadelphia Region’s third largest employment center and attracts thousands of people to restaurants, shopping centers, and entertainment venues each day. While rapid growth and development have occurred in and around KOP over the past 50 years, the existing transportation network has been unable to keep pace with increasing travel demands. Major roadways and interstates in the area—including I-76, I-676, and U.S. 202—experience frequent congestion, despite a series of capacity-adding projects intended to provide relief to drivers. As a result, SEPTA is partnering with state and local officials, business leaders, and the community to advance a sustainable alternative to traditional roadway widening projects. Through the King of Prussia Rail Project (KOP Rail), SEPTA will connect the Greater Philadelphia region to KOP with frequent, convenient, and reliable service.

SEPTA’s five-year strategic plan, SEPTA Forward, is transforming our system to serve the Greater Philadelphia region through the 21st century and is building towards one unified, equitable network serving all types of trips, no matter where you are or what mode you choose. This vision for a stronger future depends on KOP Rail and SEPTA’s other projects of regional significance, like Trolley Modernization and Bus Revolution. Together, these projects will drive a resilient, prosperous, and equitable future.

SEPTA performed a rigorous Alternatives Analysis process that looked at almost 30 different potential routes between the existing Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) and destinations in KOP, including train service to KOP Town Center via Gulph Road, alternative bus service, and a no-build option. It was determined that none of these options would provide the desired traffic relief, improved connectivity, or other passenger benefits of KOP Rail.

BENEFITS

KOP Rail will provide a “one-seat” ride from any station along the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL), including Norristown Transportation Center in Norristown, 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, and the planned First and Moore/Valley Forge Station in KOP.

With the addition of KOP Rail to SEPTA’s transportation network, Greater Philadelphia area commuters, shoppers, students, and visitors will be able to travel between KOP and Center City in 45 minutes. This is less than a typical trip on I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway), which can take upwards of 75 minutes.

By providing a congestion-free transit connection between the Delaware Valley’s three largest employment centers—Center City, University City, and KOP—KOP Rail will help drive growth and opportunity for the Greater Philadelphia region, including stimulating 5.3 million square feet of new development, $2.5 billion in property values across the region, 8,000 permanent jobs, and $636 million in additional annual earnings across southeastern Pennsylvania.

KOP Rail’s frequent, convenient, and reliable service will offer a variety of benefits to residents, businesses, commuters, and visitors in the KOP area.

Cost and Funding

The estimated capital cost of KOP Rail is $2 billion. This is similar to other new rail projects around the country for cost per mile, like Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Green Line Extension in the Boston area.

Operating and Maintenance (O&M) costs have been estimated to be approximately $5 million per year. This includes regular maintenance and operations tasks, such as station and vehicle cleaning, policing, and minor improvements to track, power, and station facilities over the life of the improvement.

As with all major transportation investments, KOP Rail will be funded with a combination of federal, state, and regional funds; private investment; and innovative finance options. Up to 50% of costs could be funded from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts Program. New Starts is a competitive grant program that provides approximately $2.3 billion per year in funding to light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail, streetcar, and bus rapid transit projects across the United States, including extensions to existing systems like the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL).

SEPTA is competing against projects across the United States for these funds. By receiving New Starts funds, SEPTA will be bringing federal investments to the Greater Philadelphia region as opposed to the funds benefiting another region. SEPTA is seeking federal funding for KOP Rail separate from other transit projects and is not redirecting federal money from Philadelphia transportation needs or potential projects.

TIMELINE

KOP Rail is currently in the Project Development phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts Program, a competitive federal grant that could fund up to 50% of costs. The Project Development phase will be complete by Winter 2022. At that time, KOP Rail will apply to enter into FTA’s Engineering phase. SEPTA anticipates construction on KOP Rail will begin in late 2024 with completion of the project in late 2027.

You can view the full project schedule on the Project Schedule.

Project Delivery

KOP Rail will be constructed using Design-Bid-Build. For more information, please visit Procurement page.

Design

KOP Rail is a 4-mile, five station extension of the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) into KOP. The extension will go west starting from a point between the existing NHSL Hughes Park and DeKalb Street stations, and end at First Avenue and Moore Road in Moore Park KOP.

Explore KOP Rail’s route on the interactive web map.

KOP Rail will have five stations located in KOP. Traveling from east to west, the descriptions below detail the locations of KOP Rail’s stations.

Henderson Road Station
Henderson Road station, which will bridge over Henderson Road, will be located just south of Saulin Boulevard near the Henderson Square shopping center.

Allendale Road Station
The Allendale Road station will be located on the north side of the King of Prussia Mall (KOP Mall). The Allendale Road Station platform will bridge over Allendale Road, just south of the intersection with Wills Boulevard.

Mall Boulevard Station
The Mall Boulevard Station will be located on the north side of Mall Boulevard adjacent to the existing Capital Grille Restaurant.

First & American Station
The First & American station will be located on the north side of First Avenue and the linear park in Moore Park KOP.

First & Moore Road/Valley Forge Station
First & Moore/Valley Forge station, the terminal station, will be located at First Avenue and Moore Avenue in Moore Park KOP.

Explore KOP Rail’s stations on the interactive web map.

All five KOP Rail stations will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All stations will have passenger drop-off/pick-up (kiss-and-ride), ride-hailing accessibility, bike parking, and connections to shuttle service.

Each station will have benches, trash cans, real-time arrival information, and shelter.

Connections to SEPTA bus service will be available at the Henderson Road, Mall Boulevard, and First & Moore/Valley Forge stations.

Allendale Road station will feature a pedestrian connection to KOP Mall.

First Avenue Linear Park, a bike/walking trail, will be accessible from the First & Moore/Valley Forge and First & American stations.

The proposed Chester Valley Trail extension will be accessible from Henderson Road station.

Explore KOP Rail’s stations on the interactive web map.

KOP Rail will have two parking areas strategically located to capture motorists before they would need to drive through the congested roadways of Upper Merion Township. One parking area with approximately 200 spaces will be located at Henderson Road Station. A parking garage with up to 500 spaces will be located at First & Moore/Valley Forge Station. The final parking space numbers are yet to be determined.

All KOP Rail stations will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes elevators that access sidewalks on either side of each station.

While changes to bus service will likely occur as a result of this project, the goal is to improve mobility for all transit riders. Changes to existing bus routes will be finalized later in the process and in coordination with the public to accommodate and connect with KOP Rail.

There is no plan to extend KOP Rail west of KOP at this time, however the design does not preclude that from happening in the future.

RIDING KOP RAIL

Following the bike policy for the Norristown High Speed Line, bikes will be allowed on all KOP Rail cars at all times of day.

Like the Norristown High Speed Line, KOP Rail will run from 5:00 AM to 1:00 AM, seven days a week. There will be weekday peak periods with more frequent train service from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 2:15 PM to 6:45 PM.

UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP EFFECTS

A detailed noise and vibration study was conducted in accordance with the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment Manual. The study determined that no severe noise impacts are predicated to occur as part of the project. SEPTA has committed to continuing to assess the potential for noise impacts as the project progresses and to evaluate the need for and design of mitigation.

Please view the Noise and Vibration Study.

The bottom of the guideway structure—which is the portion of the elevated structure that includes the rails—will generally be at least 17 feet above roadways to provide clearance for vehicles, including tractor trailers and emergency services, traveling on roadways beneath the rail line. There will be some areas where the guideway structure height will be higher due to the generally hilly nature of the KOP area. The guideway structure will be supported by a series of columns designed to minimize the project’s overall visual impact.

Traffic patterns in the area are likely to change after the project is built. New rail service will provide more travel choices for area residents, employees, and visitors. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s travel demand model forecasts 14.6 to 18.4 million fewer vehicle miles will be traveled in the region due to increased transit ridership. In addition, land use changes will result in new traffic patterns over the long‐term. As part of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, SEPTA conducted a traffic impact study to potential traffic impacts associated with the planned stations. This study will be updated as the design progresses further.

Please view the Traffic Impact Study.

SEPTA is working closely with the elected officials, the business community, and other key strategic partners in the region to ensure coordination as necessary.

Upper Merion Township Comprehensive Plan

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania’s MontCo 2040 Comprehensive Plan

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Connections 2050

The construction plan for the King of Prussia Rail project is not finalized. When developing the construction plan, SEPTA will strive to maintain access to businesses at all times. There may be occasions when it is necessary to temporarily close a driveway to perform project-related work. Whenever this is necessary, the project team will coordinate with the property owner in advance to minimize impacts.

How to Stay Informed

SEPTA provides several opportunities for the public to stay up-to-date on KOP Rail’s progress as well as to ask questions and provide comments to the project team:

To stay up-to-date:

To submit a question or comment:

  • Submit it online: Contact Us
  • Email the project team at info@kingofprussiarail.com
  • Mail a letter to the following address:

SEPTA King of Prussia Rail Project
c/o McCormick Taylor, Inc. ATTN: ELM
1818 Market Street, 16th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103