The Schuylkill Branch was a rail line owned and operated by the former Pennsylvania Railroad in the U. S. state of Pennsylvania. The line ran from the Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line at 52nd Street in Philadelphia north via Norristown and Pottsville to Delano Junction. From Delano Junction, the PRR had trackage rights over the Lehigh Valley Railroad's Hazleton Branch and Tomhicken Branch to Tomhicken, where the PRR's Catawissa Branch began. In conjunction with the Catawissa Branch, Nescopeck Branch, Wilkes-Barre Branch, the Schuylkill Branch gave the PRR a direct line from Philadelphia to Wilkes-Barre. Opened in 1884 to compete with the Reading Railroad for Philadelphia–Reading service, when the latter decided to compete with the PRR for Philadelphia-New York service, the Schuylkill Branch service as a commuter rail line between Philadelphia and Norristown, with the lines being within plain sight of each other between Manayunk and Norristown. Service to Pottstown was made available in 1886, an extension to New Boston was opened by the Pottsville and Mahanoy Railroad at around the same time.
The final piece, from New Boston to Delano Junction, had been built by the Lehigh Valley Railroad before 1870, but this was leased by the PRR in 1885. In the 1930s, as part of the extensive electrification project that brought New York–Washington and Harrisburg–Philadelphia intercity passenger and through-freight service under wire, the Schuylkill Branch was electrified from its 52nd Street Junction in Philadelphia to Haws Avenue in Norristown. With the surge in automobile sales and construction of extensions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Interstate Highway System in Pennsylvania in the 1950s, the PRR eliminated commuter rail service in 1960 north of Manayunk, yielding Philadelphia and Reading commuter and through-passenger service to the rival Reading. With the bankruptcies of the PRR's successor Penn Central and the Reading Company, the creation of Conrail in 1976 led to the closure and abandonment of the Schuylkill Valley Branch north of Manayunk. SEPTA, which took over the rail line in 1983, operated the former Conrail service as its Cynwyd Line rail service until 1986, when spalling conditions on the Manayunk Bridge concrete viaduct connecting the line between Bala Cynwyd and Manayunk/Ivy Ridge warranted its closure, forcing SEPTA to scale back service its Cynwyd Station in Bala Cynwyd.
The viaduct has since been repaired and restored to its previous glory, though service has not resumed. SEPTA leased the unused section between Cynwyd and Ivy Ridge to local townships for used as an interim rail trail. While abandoned, since converted to a rail trail connecting Philadelphia with the Valley Forge National Historical Park near King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, a short piece in Norristown is used by Norfolk Southern Railway as part of their Morrisville Connecting Track; the line between Oaks and Phoenixville is part of the dormant NS Phoenixville Industrial Track. The Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad owns the line from Temple north to Hamburg; the line remains intact from Gibraltar, Pennsylvania at Gibraltar Road/PA Route 724 to Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. The PRR-era catenary remains and maintained by Amtrak, as it powers both the Northeast and Keystone Corridors generated by the Safe Harbor Dam located near York, Pennsylvania; the proposed Schuylkill Valley Metro, an electrified rail service that would have restored passenger service connecting Philadelphia and Reading, would have used the ex-PRR/Penn Central tracks from 52nd Street to Ivy Ridge, connecting with the existing ex-Reading Manayunk/Norristown service to Reading.
Because of its rejection by the Federal Railroad Administration due to the high cost, alternate plans on the table only envision the use of the ex-Reading Manayunk/Norristown route only, with partial extension of the electrified service as far as King of Prussia, any service west of King of Prussia requiring the use of push-pull consists using dual-power ALP-45DP locomotives similar to those delivered to New Jersey Transit and Montreal's Exo. Geographic data related to Schuylkill Branch at OpenStreetMap
The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad, established in 1846 and was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was so named; the PRR was the largest railroad by traffic and revenue in the U. S. for the first half of the 20th century. Over the years, it acquired, merged with or owned part of at least 800 other rail lines and companies. At the end of 1925, it operated 10,515 miles of rail line, its only formidable rival was the New York Central, which carried around three-quarters of PRR's ton-miles. By 1882 it had become the largest railroad, the largest transportation enterprise, the largest corporation in the world. With 30,000 miles of track, it had longer mileage than any other country in the world, except Britain and France, its budget was second only to the U. S. government. The corporation still holds the record for the longest continuous dividend history: it paid out annual dividends to shareholders for more than 100 consecutive years. In 1968, PRR merged with rival NYC to form the Penn Central Transportation Company, which filed for bankruptcy within two years.
The viable parts were transferred in 1976 to Conrail, itself broken up in 1999, with 58 percent of the system going to the Norfolk Southern Railway, including nearly all of the former PRR. Amtrak received the electrified segment of the Main Line east of Harrisburg. With the opening of the Erie Canal and the beginnings of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Philadelphia business interests became concerned that the port of Philadelphia would lose traffic; the state legislature was pressed to build a canal across Pennsylvania and thus the Main Line of Public Works was commissioned in 1826. It soon became evident that a single canal would not be practical and a series of railroads, inclined planes, canals was proposed; the route consisted of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, canals up the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, an inclined plane railroad and tunnel across the Allegheny Mountains, canals down the Conemaugh and Allegheny rivers to Pittsburgh on the Ohio River. Because freight and passengers had to change cars several times along the route and canals froze in winter, it soon became apparent that the system was cumbersome and a better way was needed.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted a charter to the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1846 to build a private rail line that would connect Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. The Directors chose John Edgar Thomson, an engineer from the Georgia Railroad, to survey and construct the line, he chose a route that followed the west bank of the Susquehanna River northward to the confluence with the Juniata River, following its banks until the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains were reached at a point that would become Altoona, Pennsylvania. To traverse the mountains, the line climbed a moderate grade for 10 miles until it reached a split of two mountain ravines which were cleverly crossed by building a fill and having the tracks ascend a 220-degree curve known as Horseshoe Curve that limited the grade to less than 2 percent; the crest of the mountain was penetrated by the 3,612-foot Gallitzin Tunnels and descended by a more moderate grade to Johnstown. At the end of its first year of operation, it paid a dividend, continued the dividend without interruption until 1946.
The western end of the line was built from Pittsburgh east along the banks of the Allegheny and Conemaugh rivers to Johnstown. PRR was granted trackage rights over the Philadelphia and Columbia and gained control of the three short lines connecting Lancaster and Harrisburg, instituting an all-rail link between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh by 1854. In 1857, the PRR purchased the Main Line of Public Works from the state of Pennsylvania, abandoned most of its canals and inclined planes; the line was double track from its inception, by the end of the century a third and fourth track were added. Over the next 50 years, PRR expanded by gaining control of other railroads by stock purchases and 999-year leases. Thomson was the entrepreneur who led the PRR from 1852 until his death in 1874, making it the largest business enterprise in the world and a world-class model for technological and managerial innovation, he served as PRR's first Chief Engineer and third President. Thomson's sober, technical and non-ideological personality had an important influence on the Pennsylvania Railroad, which in the mid-19th century was on the technical cutting edge of rail development, while nonetheless reflecting Thomson's personality in its conservatism and its steady growth while avoiding financial risks.
His Pennsylvania Railroad was in his day the largest railroad in the world, with 6,000 miles of track, was famous for steady financial dividends, high quality construction improving equipment, technological advances, innovation in management techniques for a large complex organization. In 1861 the PRR gained control of the Northern Central Railway, giving it access to Baltimore, Maryland, as well as points along the Susquehanna River via connections at Columbia, Pennsylvania or Harrisburg. On December 1, 1871, the PRR leased the United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company, which included the original Camden and Amboy Railroad from Camden, New Jersey to South Amboy, New Jersey, as well as a newer line from Philadelphia to Jersey City, New Je
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government's official list of districts, buildings and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred preserving the property; the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually; the remainder are contributing resources within historic districts. For most of its history the National Register has been administered by the National Park Service, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior, its goals are to help property owners and interest groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate and protect historic sites in the United States.
While National Register listings are symbolic, their recognition of significance provides some financial incentive to owners of listed properties. Protection of the property is not guaranteed. During the nomination process, the property is evaluated in terms of the four criteria for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places; the application of those criteria has been the subject of criticism by academics of history and preservation, as well as the public and politicians. Historic sites outside the country proper, but associated with the United States are listed. Properties can be nominated in a variety of forms, including individual properties, historic districts, multiple property submissions; the Register categorizes general listings into one of five types of properties: district, structure, building, or object. National Register Historic Districts are defined geographical areas consisting of contributing and non-contributing properties; some properties are added automatically to the National Register when they become administered by the National Park Service.
These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks, National Memorials, some National Monuments. On October 15, 1966, the Historic Preservation Act created the National Register of Historic Places and the corresponding State Historic Preservation Offices; the National Register consisted of the National Historic Landmarks designated before the Register's creation, as well as any other historic sites in the National Park system. Approval of the act, amended in 1980 and 1992, represented the first time the United States had a broad-based historic preservation policy; the 1966 act required those agencies to work in conjunction with the SHPO and an independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, to confront adverse effects of federal activities on historic preservation. To administer the newly created National Register of Historic Places, the National Park Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior, with director George B.
Hartzog Jr. established an administrative division named the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation. Hartzog charged OAHP with creating the National Register program mandated by the 1966 law. Ernest Connally was the Office's first director. Within OAHP new divisions were created to deal with the National Register; the division administered several existing programs, including the Historic Sites Survey and the Historic American Buildings Survey, as well as the new National Register and Historic Preservation Fund. The first official Keeper of the Register was an architectural historian. During the Register's earliest years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organization was lax and SHPOs were small and underfunded. However, funds were still being supplied for the Historic Preservation Fund to provide matching grants-in-aid to listed property owners, first for house museums and institutional buildings, but for commercial structures as well. A few years in 1979, the NPS history programs affiliated with both the U.
S. National Parks system and the National Register were categorized formally into two "Assistant Directorates." Established were the Assistant Directorate for Archeology and Historic Preservation and the Assistant Directorate for Park Historic Preservation. From 1978 until 1981, the main agency for the National Register was the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service of the United States Department of the Interior. In February 1983, the two assistant directorates were merged to promote efficiency and recognize the interdependency of their programs. Jerry L. Rogers was selected to direct this newly merged associate directorate, he was described as a skilled administrator, sensitive to the need for the NPS to work with SHPOs, local governments. Although not described in detail in the 1966 act, SHPOs became integral to the process of listing properties on the National Register; the 1980 amendments of the 1966 law further defined the responsibilities of SHPOs concerning the National Register.
Several 1992 amendments of the NHPA added a category to the National Register, known as Traditional Cultural Properties: those properties associated with Native American or Hawaiian groups
Pennsylvania the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle; the Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, New Jersey to the east. Pennsylvania is the 33rd-largest state by area, the 6th-most populous state according to the most recent official U. S. Census count in 2010, it is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh; the state capital and its 10th largest city is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles of waterfront along the Delaware Estuary; the state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States. Part of Pennsylvania, together with the present State of Delaware, had earlier been organized as the Colony of New Sweden.
It was the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, on December 12, 1787. Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted, is located in the state's largest city of Philadelphia. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in the south central region of the state. Valley Forge near Philadelphia was General Washington's headquarters during the bitter winter of 1777–78. Pennsylvania is 170 miles north to south and 283 miles east to west. Of a total 46,055 square miles, 44,817 square miles are land, 490 square miles are inland waters, 749 square miles are waters in Lake Erie, it is the 33rd-largest state in the United States. Pennsylvania has 51 miles of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary. Of the original Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not border the Atlantic Ocean; the boundaries of the state are the Mason–Dixon line to the south, the Twelve-Mile Circle on the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, the Delaware River to the east, 80° 31' W to the west and the 42° N to the north, with the exception of a short segment on the western end, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie.
Cities include Philadelphia, Reading and Lancaster in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, the tri-cities of Allentown and Easton in the central east. The northeast includes the former anthracite coal mining cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton. Erie is located in the northwest. State College serves the central region while Williamsport serves the commonwealth's north-central region as does Chambersburg the south-central region, with York and the state capital Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River in the east-central region of the Commonwealth and Altoona and Johnstown in the west-central region; the state has five geographical regions, namely the Allegheny Plateau and Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Erie Plain. New York Ontario Maryland Delaware West Virginia New Jersey Ohio Pennsylvania's diverse topography produces a variety of climates, though the entire state experiences cold winters and humid summers. Straddling two major zones, the majority of the state, with the exception of the southeastern corner, has a humid continental climate.
The southern portion of the state has a humid subtropical climate. The largest city, has some characteristics of the humid subtropical climate that covers much of Delaware and Maryland to the south. Summers are hot and humid. Moving toward the mountainous interior of the state, the winter climate becomes colder, the number of cloudy days increases, snowfall amounts are greater. Western areas of the state locations near Lake Erie, can receive over 100 inches of snowfall annually, the entire state receives plentiful precipitation throughout the year; the state may be subject to severe weather from spring through summer into fall. Tornadoes occur annually in the state, sometimes in large numbers, such as 30 recorded tornadoes in 2011; as of 1600, the tribes living in Pennsylvania were the Algonquian Lenape, the Iroquoian Susquehannock & Petun and the Siouan Monongahela Culture, who may have been the same as a little known tribe called the Calicua, or Cali. Other tribes who entered the region during the colonial era were the Trockwae, Saponi, Nanticoke, Conoy Piscataway, Iroquois Confederacy—possibly among others.
Other tribes, like the Erie, may have once held some land in Pennsylvania, but no longer did so by the year 1600. Both the Dutch and the English claimed both sides of the Delaware River as part of their colonial lands in America; the Dutch were the first to take possession. By June 3, 1631, the Dutch had begun settling the Delmarva Peninsula by establishing the Zwaanendael Colony on the site of present-day Lewes, Delaware. In 1638, Sweden established the New Sweden Colony, in the region of Fort Christina, on the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (parts of present-day Delaware, New Jersey, Pe
The Manayunk/Norristown Line is a commuter rail line in Southeastern Pennsylvania, one of the 13 lines in SEPTA's Regional Rail network. The route originates from the Center City Rail tunnel, the two-track line splits off from the "SEPTA Main Line" north of North Broad Station, it goes through Philadelphia's East Falls and Manayunk neighborhoods and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania before reaching Norristown. At Norristown Transportation Center, commuters can transfer to regular SEPTA surface buses or the SEPTA Norristown High Speed Line to 69th Street Terminal. From Norristown Transportation Center, the electrified line follows the single track Stony Creek branch to terminate at Elm Street, while the double tracked main line continues to Reading; the Reading main west of Norristown carries no passenger service, is owned and operated by the Norfolk Southern Railway as its Harrisburg Line. As of 2018, most weekday Manayunk/Norristown Line trains terminate at 30th Street Station or continue to various destinations such as Elwyn on the Media/Elwyn Line and Marcus Hook or Wilmington on the Wilmington/Newark Line.
Most weekend Manayunk/Norristown Line trains continue to Marcus Hook or Wilmington on the Wilmington/Newark Line. The Manayunk/Norristown Line was the Reading Company's Norristown Branch from Philadelphia to Reading, Pennsylvania. Electrified service to Norristown and Chestnut Hill East began on February 5, 1933. Steam -operated intercity services continued to operate beyond Norristown. By the 1960s Budd Rail Diesel Cars handled most of the Reading's diesel services, although the Reading's EMD FP7 locomotives, displaced from the Crusader, saw regular use on the Philadelphia–Reading run. SEPTA discontinued services beyond Norristown on July 26, 1981. Between 1984–2010 the route was designated R6 Norristown as part of SEPTA's diametrical reorganization of its lines. Manayunk/Norristown Line trains operated through the city center to the Ivy Ridge Line on the ex-Pennsylvania side of the system; the R-number naming system was dropped on July 25, 2010. Like the Cynwyd Line, the Manayunk/Norristown Line was slated to become part of the planned new Schuylkill Valley Metro, but was to serve the King of Prussia mall complex and the former Pennsylvania Railroad's Trenton Cut-Off line to Frazer, Pennsylvania.
This was referred to by planners as the "Cross-County Segment." An extension of the Manayunk/Norristown Line, called the Norristown Extension, to Wyomissing was proposed, with funding to come through new tolls on U. S. Route 422. Early in 2013, SEPTA began to undertake major operational improvements and physical rehabilitation on the Manayunk/Norristown Line. Central to this project is the replacement of the 80-year-old wayside automatic block signal system with one that displays only in the operating cab, operates in both directions on both tracks, thereby allowing greater operational flexibility. Two new remotely controlled interlockings are being constructed to facilitate bidirectional operation, one at Miquon, the other in Norristown between the main station and the Ford Street crossing. An electrified storage track is being constructed at Miquon to allow for temporary turnback of trains at that station, as the line is periodically subjected to flooding from the Schuylkill River around Spring Mill and Conshohocken.
Ongoing replacement of the line's overhead catenary, most of, 80 years old, will continue along with the signal replacement. Occurring in conjunction with these projects are the replacement of crossties, renewal of grade crossing surfaces, trimming of brush and trees alongside the right-of-way; the entire program is scheduled for completion in fall 2015, tying in with the FRA-mandated nationwide implementation of Positive Train Control on American railroads by the end of 2015. SEPTA activated PTC on the Manayunk/Norristown Line on August 15, 2016; as of mid-2018, the borough of Phoenixville is studying the restoration of SEPTA train service by extending the Manayunk/Norristown Line using old Reading Line track past Norristown used for freight trains by Norfolk Southern. In 2018, a panel led by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance pushed for an extension of the Manayunk/Norristown Line to Reading, with service terminating either at the Franklin Street Station in Reading or in Wyomissing; the proposed extension would utilize existing Norfolk Southern freight railroad tracks.
Before service can be implemented, a study would need to take place. The Manayunk/Norristown Line makes the following station stops after leaving the Center City Commuter Connection. Prior to July 26, 1981, RDC diesel trains operated north of Norristown to Pottsville; until 2011, SEPTA had considering restoring service as far as Reading as part of the Schuylkill Valley Metro project. These plans are on hold; the following is a list of stations served by SEPTA. Between FY 2008–FY 2014 yearly ridership on the Manayunk/Norristown Line has ranged between 2.9 million–3.1 million. "SEPTA – Manayunk/Norristown line schedule"
Manayunk is a neighborhood in the section of Lower Northwest Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania. Located adjacent to the neighborhoods of Roxborough and Wissahickon and on the banks of the Schuylkill River, Manayunk contains the first canal begun in the United States; the area's name is derived from the language of the Lenape Indians. In 1686-dated papers between William Penn and the Lenape, the Lenape referred to the Schuylkill River as "Manaiung", their word for "river", which translates as "place to drink". Although a working class community, in recent years the neighborhood has been gentrified. While there is still a working class population within the neighborhood, the population has shifted to younger, upper middle class professionals and families. Additionally, the nightlife in Manayunk draws visitors from all over the Delaware Valley, as well as international visitors. Manayunk was a community in Roxborough Township, Philadelphia County, situated near the Schuylkill River, south of the Wissahickon Creek.
The land that would become Manayunk was first bought from William Penn in 1685-1686 and transferred to the family of William Levering. A large part of that land was sold to Levering's son, Jacob, in 1716. Soon, the younger Levering built the first house in Manayunk, on the north side of Green Lane, west of Silverwood Street; the growing town was known as Flat Rock in 1810, from a peculiar flat rock lying on the lower side of the bridge. This was subsequently called Flat Rock Bridge; the bridge was part of the Flat Rock Turnpike connecting Roxborough Township with Merion Township. The bridge was demolished in 1850; the settlement got its nineteenth-century identity from the construction of the dam and locks by the Schuylkill Navigation Company. The Manayunk section was finished at the end of 1818. Since the power provided by the water was extensive, the Navigation Company sought lessees of the power for use in mills and factories. In 1819, Capt. John Towers opened the first mill. After that, purchases of water-power and the erection of mills and factories increased.
The area became important as a manufacturing village. It had a large textile industry, built in the 1830s by Joseph Ripka. Inhabitants became dissatisfied with the name "Flat Rock" and held meetings on the topic of changing the name. On one such occasion in 1824, Greek revivalists wanted to call it Udoravia, but this was overturned in favor of the Lenape word for river mëneyung or manaiung. For ease of spelling the "i" was changed to a "y" and the "g" to a "k"; the first Manayunk census was taken by the Rev. C. Vancleaf, pastor of the German Reformed Church, in March 1827, his count indicated 147 families. On June 11, 1840, Manayunk was incorporated as a borough, it was no longer considered part of the "Township or Borough of Rocks". The borough lasted only 14 years. Manayunk and the rest of the boroughs and districts composing Philadelphia County were disbanded and merged into the City of Philadelphia, through the Act of Consolidation, 1854. Although Manayunk was no longer a separate entity, the community maintained its identity as a self-contained neighborhood.
Manayunk continued to be one of the manufacturing centers of Philadelphia for the next 100 years, but in the 1980s, Manayunk suffered from the decline of manufacturing jobs. It had many empty storefronts along its primary commercial district. In the 1990s, Manayunk's revitalization began with the opening of several upscale restaurants on Main Street, which were backed by developers who promoted the neighborhood as a place to visit. Manayunk retained its small-town charm with its small two- and three-story row homes, cobblestone paving, hilly streets. Many who visited decided to renovate the small row homes characteristic of the area. Increasing demand for housing in the area has led to the conversion of former mills into loft apartments, replacement of empty storefronts and mom-and-pop stores with upscale shops. In 2004, a new condominium tower was built on part of Venice Island. In 2005 there were plans to build more condominium towers to replace the closed soap and paper factories. Manayunk has become a popular place of residence for young professionals.
Main Street is most known for its many restaurants. Main Street continues on to Umbria Street. Umbria Street was once known as Washington Street; the name was changed to reflect a large influx of Italian immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century. Italian-American heritage is still evident on storefront signage along the southern side of the neighborhood, such as the well-known Consolo's Bakery on the corner of Hermitage and Smick Streets, now closed, and on Umbria Street, Marchiano's Bakery lies nestled in a row home. Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, a important and internationally acclaimed architectural office, has been headquartered at Main and Rector Sts. in Manayunk since 1979. The Manayunk Main Street Historic District and James Dobson School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the historic district has 91 contributing buildings, 2 contributing sites, 12 contributing structures. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Two U.
S. Navy ships were named USS Manayunk; the first was the monitor USS Manayunk, constructed in Pittsbu
North Broad station
North Broad station, known as North Broad Street until 1992, is a SEPTA Regional Rail station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is located at 2601 North Broad Street in the Cecil B. Moore section of Lower North Philadelphia, serves the Lansdale/Doylestown Line and the Manayunk/Norristown Line; the station has low-level platforms on the outside tracks, with "mini-high" platforms for wheelchair and ADA accessibility. North Broad station is within a few blocks of the North Philadelphia SEPTA-Amtrak station, which serves Amtrak's Keystone Service and Northeast Regional and SEPTA's Trenton Line and Chestnut Hill West Line, the North Philadelphia subway station on SEPTA's Broad Street Line; the Pennsylvania Railroad built the Connecting Railway in 1867 to connect its main line to the Philadelphia and Trenton Railroad. By the early 1870s, New York Junction station was established where the Connecting Railway crossed over the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad mainline in North Philadelphia. By the early 1880s, the Reading established 16th Street station a block to the northwest.
In 1888, the Reading announced plans to add local stations on the line, including one next to the Baker Bowl, which had opened as the home of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1887. By 1891, the company offered service to Huntingdon Street station as well as 16th Street; the station had two side platforms serving the line's four tracks, with a small station building facing Broad Street and Huntingdon Street. 16th Street station was closed in the early 20th century. In 1928, facing competition from the impending completion of the Broad Street Line, the Reading decided to replace Huntingdon Street station with a larger station to rival the PRR's nearby North Philadelphia station. Groundbreaking for Broad Street station was held on July 31, 1928 and demolition of Huntingdon Street station began immediately; the classical revival station, designed by Horace Trumbauer, opened as North Broad Street in 1929. The station featured two island platforms which served all four tracks, connected by an underground walkway to the station and the Broad Street Line's North Philadelphia station.
Its grand design reflected pre-Great Depression optimism and plans for redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood. However, the Great Depression took away passengers and prevented the planned development, the collapse of local industry after World War II further damaged the neighborhood. Ridership at the station dwindled as passengers opted for the more frequent subway; the station building was sold for use as a motel in the 1960s. In 1981, the station was damaged by fire. On April 5, 1992, SEPTA began their 18-month-long RailWorks project, which included two multi-month shutdowns of the Reading mainline from Wayne Junction to Market East for emergency bridge repairs; as part of the project, North Broad Street and Temple University stations were rebuilt. Within two weeks of the closure, demolition of the old platforms was under way; the rebuilt station has two side platforms serving only the outer tracks, which were chosen to straighten the curved tracks around the former island platforms and thus allow higher speeds through the station for express trains.
The pedestrian tunnel was filled. The station, renamed as North Broad, reopened at the end of Railworks on September 5, 1993. Before RailWorks, North Broad Street served 1,200 riders per day, many of whom were transferring to the Broad Street Line or changing for one of the few trains that stopped at Temple. With the addition of Regional Rail platforms at Fern Rock Transportation Center for RailWorks more service to Temple through the Center City tunnel after the conclusion of the project, reduced service due to only having two platform tracks rather than the previous four, the importance of North Broad declined after RailWorks. By 2001, under 300 riders used the station daily. In March 1996, the station building was added to the National Register of Historic Places; that September, Volunteers of America began a $8.3 million renovation to convert the structure into 108 housing units for people transitioning out of homeless shelters. The organization had used part of the first floor for adult rehabilitation and counseling programs, but the structure was so deteriorated that only 18% of the floor space was usable.
The first residents moved into Station House Apartments in August 1997. SEPTA - North Broad Station Broad Street entrance from Google Maps Street View