SEPTA Regional Rail riders all experienced an unexpectedly long commute Monday night when dispatchers lost the ability to log into the system that controls signaling on the railroad.
The system's software froze from 6:18 p.m. to 6:38 p.m., said Andrew Busch, a SEPTA spokesman, affecting all 13 of the Regional Rail's lines simultaneously. Signalling systems give trains information on the railroad, including whether a train must stop and what speed it should be traveling.
Dispatchers never lost contact with the trains' operators and were able to track the trains themselves, and ordered all trains to move forward to the nearest station until the problem could be resolved. SEPTA's Regional Rail ridership has dropped somewhat due to car problems over the summer, but the system still services more than 55,000 passengers each work day.
After 20 minutes the signaling software was back online. No injuries or damage to any trains occurred.