Presbyterian College > Academic Web Server > Jon Bell > Transit > (Cities | Types) > Philadelphia > Broad Street Subway

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
The Broad Street Subway


The Broad Street Subway is operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). It is one of Philadelphia's three "heavy rail" rapid-transit lines, the other two being the Market-Frankford Subway-Elevated and the PATCO line to New Jersey. It is actually in two parts:

The Broad Street Line is one of only two rapid-transit lines in the U.S., outside of New York City, with express and local trains on a four-track line. (The other one is in Chicago.) The four-track portion of the tunnel runs from Olney in the north to Walnut-Locust in the south.


These pictures were taken on 7 March 2000. There aren't very many of them, because almost all of the line is underground and I wasn't prepared for low-light photography; besides, the subway wasn't the main focus of this trip.

[picture] Fern Rock, at the northern end of the line, is the only above-ground station. It has a large parking lot, and behind it is a Regional Rail station where passengers can transfer to and from commuter trains that serve more distant locations. Beyond the right edge of the picture are maintainance facilities and a yard. Trains leave the subway, proceed counterclockwise around a loop that encloses the parking lot, shops and yard, pass through the station heading towards the camera, and re-enter the subway near the camera location.

[picture] The platform at Fern Rock. An express train arrives on the left while a local waits on the right.

[picture] This view is from the other end of the platform at Fern Rock, looking down the ramp that leads from the Regional Rail station.

[picture] This train has just left the subway and is starting its trip around the Fern Rock loop, going away from the camera.

[picture] At the opposite (southern) end of the line is the Pattison station. The trains are underground, of course, so we can't see them, but we can see two of the entrance buildings, the Philadelphia Phillies baseball stadium next door, and the Center City skyline in the distance. The line was extended here in 1973 specifically to serve a cluster of sports facilities; the station has two levels of tracks and four entrance buildings, to accommodate the crowds.

This page was last updated on 13 July 2000, and reviewed on 24 September 2007.

Presbyterian College > Academic Web Server > Jon Bell > Transit > (Cities | Types) > Philadelphia > Broad Street Subway

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