List of ghost transit stations
This is a list of unused, abandoned, and/or partially constructed transit stations in Philadelphia. It includes neglected stops on the Broad Street Subway, PATCO Bridge Line, Subway-surface trolley lines, and commuter rail lines formerly controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Reading Railroad, and later the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA).
On the Broad Street Subway
In the 1950's, a subway station was dug out beneath the Roosevelt Boulevard in the vicinity of Adams Avenue, in anticipation of the Boulevard extension of the Broad Street Subway. The station was constructed around the same time as a Sears department store that was expected to attract thousands of shoppers to the intersection.
The proposed subway extension was never built, and the entrance to the station was subsequently sealed; however, there are rumors that the cavern dug for the station still exists below Adams Avenue.
Spring Garden (Ridge Spur)
This station, located beneath the intersection of 12th Street, Spring Garden Street, and Ridge Avenue, is perhaps the best-known of Philadelphia's ghost transit stops, as its platforms are still visible to riders of SEPTA's Broad-Ridge Spur trains.
The station was closed by SEPTA in the mid-1980's due to low usage and concerns about safety in the area. It is unsurprising that the station was underutilized, as it is located only two blocks away from the larger, busier, and more convenient Spring Garden Station on the Broad Street Line.
Pattison Station (lower level)
When SEPTA extended the Broad Street Line to Pattison Avenue in the early 1970s, a lower level platform was constructed to accommodate increased train traffic during concerts and sporting events at The Spectrum, RFK Stadium and Veterans Stadium.
On the PATCO Speedline
The Franklin Square station, located near 7th and Race Streets beneath Franklin Square, is another well-known ghost station whose dimly lit platforms are still visible to passengers on the PATCO Bridge Line. Built in the 1930's, the station has experienced several periods of use and disuse, and last saw passengers in 1976.
As of May 2015, the Delaware River Port Authority is seeking over $22 million in federal transportation grants to reopen the station due to an increase of development and commuter demand in the area around Franklin Square.
When originally constructed, the Bridge Line was intended to extend at least as far west as 19th and Locust Streets at Rittenhouse Square; however, the neighborhood's wealthy and well-connected residents blocked the construction of the station, which they feared would bring "undesirable elements" to the area.
While platforms were never built, subway tunnel and tracks extend beneath Rittenhouse Square. This tunnel is used as a "turnback" for trains at PATCO's Western Terminus.
Ghost Stations Built for Subway-Surface Trolleys
Trolley hub inside the pylon of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge
A huge cavern exists inside of and beneath the massive granite pylon of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge near Race Street and Christopher Columbus Boulevard. This cavern was initially designed as a station where passengers could board any of the numerous trolleys whose routes terminated at the waterfront during the early twentieth century. An elevator was planned to allow riders to transfer between these trolley lines and a planned Bridge Line station that would be located directly above on the span of the bridge.
The project proved to ambitious to be feasible and the massive chamber was abandoned before any tracks were laid. While sealed off behind a locked door, the chamber is still accessible today.
Trolley Hub near 5th and Callowhill Streets
There are rumors of a partially constructed trolley hub beneath 5th and 6th Streets, somewhere near Callowhill Street in Old City. in the mid twentieth century, many of the trolley lines between Center City, North Philadelphia and the River Wards intersected near this area, and the Philadelphia Transportation Company planned an underground hub for these lines beneath the bulwark of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. It is not commonly known whether or not construction on this project actually commenced or if there are any remnants of this tunnel today.
Along Former Reading Railroad Commuter Lines
Fisher's Station, Named after nearby Fishers Street, is an abandoned train station near Wister Woods Park and Bellfield Avenue in the Logan neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia. The crumbling remnants of its platform and shelter are easily visible to passengers on SEPTA's Chestnut Hill East line between the Wayne Junction and Wister stops. Fisher's Station was closed in the 1980's due to low usage.
Logan Station was formerly a major station stop along the Reading Railroad's main line, located at the intersection of Broad Street and Lindley Avenue, where The Newtown-Fox Chase Line joins the main stem. The station and platforms were completely demolished after it was made redundant by nearby rail hubs at Wayne Junction and the Fern Rock Transportation Center.
The Broad Street Subway station at this location was named "Logan Station" to signal to passengers that this was their transfer stop for the train to the suburbs. The stop retains this name today, in deviation from the usual pattern of naming subway stations after the intersecting streets that cross Broad at the location of the platform. This subtle nod to the station is one of the few remaining clues to its existence.
Shawmont Station is an abandoned stop along the Manayunk-Norristown Regional Rail line, located between the Ivy Ridge and Miquon Stations in the Roxborough section of the city. It was closed due to low ridership. The station building still stands and is easily visible along the tracks.
Spring Garden Station
Spring Garden Station was a stop along the Reading Railroad main line. It was located near 9th and Spring Garden Streets on the now abandoned Reading Viaduct. The ornate station building remained standing for many years after the viaduct was abandoned in favor of the SEPTA Commuter Connection tunnel, but has recently been torn down.
Along Former Pennsylvania Railroad Commuter Lines
52nd Street Station
52nd Street Station was once a heavily used station stop along the Pennsylvania Railroad's Main Line, now the route of the SEPTA Paoli-Thorndale line and Westbound Amtrak trains. The station was built at 52nd Street and Lancaster Avenue to allow access to the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, held by the nearby Belmont Plateau on the west side of Fairmount Park. It was the last point of transfer between the Main Line and the Ivy Ridge Spur (now the SEPTA Cynwyd Line).
The station fell into disuse as the Parkside area experienced urban blight in the mid twentieth century. The abandoned station lingered as a hulking wooden structure along and above the tracks before it was demolished in the 1990s.
Ivy Ridge Station (upper platform)
The Pennsylvania Railroad's Ivy Ridge Station, located on the side of a ridge just above the Reading Railroad's station of the same name, was a stop along the Pennsy's Schuylkill River Line, which was built to compete with the Reading Railroad's service between Philadelphia and Reading and closely paralleled that route. The line was a failure, but SEPTA retained the right-of-way as far as Manayunk, using Ivy Ridge as it's terminal station.
After SEPTA took over both Railroad companies' former right-of-ways, there was no longer competition between the two Ivy Ridge Stations and renovations were undertaken to connect the upper and lower levels. The stations functioned as an interconnected transfer point between the Ivy Ridge and Manayunk-Norristown lines until the former was scaled back in the 1990's, now extending only as far as Cynwyd. SEPTA initially planned to refurbish the line and re-extend it to Ivy Ridge, but the plans never materialized and the right-of-way between Cynwyd and Ivy Ridge is now being converted to a hiking and biking trail. The old station building is still intact along Umbria Street; the former platform area is now a parking lot.
Philadelphia Zoo Station
The Philadelphia Zoo Station was located near Girard and 38th Streets, just west of the Columbia Rail Bridge and just northeast of the Zoo Interlocking Junction on the Pennsylvania Railroad's Northeast Corridor. It provided rail access to the nearby Philadelphia Zoo.
There has recently been some discussion of rebuilding the station due to increasing traffic congestion along I-76 and Girard Avenue on warm spring and summer days that is largely attributed to families from the suburbs visiting the zoo.