It’s full steam ahead for the KOP Rail Line, SEPTA’s billion-dollar plan to connect King of Prussia to Philly and the region via train. In late October, SEPTA released its environmental impact study, and now two more public comment sessions remain.
Efforts to create the KOP Rail Line have been years in the making for an area that’s snarled by traffic. The proposal calls to extend the existing Norristown High Speed Line to King of Prussia, creating a 4.4-mile extension. It would be a one-seat, express route to the town from 69th Street Station or the Norristown Transportation Center.
The KOP Rail Line has the backing of a bunch of businesses and community stakeholders, many of whom are part of the King of Prussia Rail Coalition. Developer and Brandywine Real Estate Trust CEO Jerry Sweeney is the chair, and has said that “Investments like the King of Prussia Rail project are necessary for our region to maintain its competitive.”
But King of Prussia residents have voiced their concerns about the project, specifically that the proposed route—the southern end of the Pennsylvania Turnpike—would run right along their homes. The Inquirer reported though, that at Monday’s first public meeting, SEPTA said alternatives are being considered, such as moving the route about 30 yards to the west of the highway.
There are two more public comment sessions on Tuesday, November 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Upper Darby Municipal Building (100 Garrett Rd, Upper Darby, PA 19082); and Wednesday, November 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Norristown Municipal Building (235 E. Airy Street Norristown). There’s also an online option, which will be open for comments until December 4.
Following the public comment period, a final route proposal will be determined by 2018, according to the Inquirer’s report. Based on SEPTA’s development timeline, it could be another eight years before a rail line is in operation.
Here’s a virtual tour of the proposed KOP Rail Line, via the Inquirer.