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30th Street Station

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Title: 30th Street Station  
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Subject: Trenton Transit Center, Atlantic City Rail Terminal, Fox Chase Line, Lansdale/Doylestown Line, Jefferson Station (Philadelphia)
Collection: Amtrak Stations in Pennsylvania, Art Deco Railway Stations, Historic American Engineering Record in Pennsylvania, New Jersey Transit Stations, Pennsylvania State Historical Marker Significations, Railway Stations on the National Register of Historic Places in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Railway Stations Opened in 1933, Septa Regional Rail Stations, Stations Along Pennsylvania Railroad Lines, Stations Along Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington Railroad Lines, Transit Centers in the United States, Transit Hubs Serving New Jersey, University City, Philadelphia
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30th Street Station


The 30th Street Station is the main railroad station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States and one of the seven stations in Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA) Center City fare zone. It is also a major stop on Amtrak's (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) Northeast and Keystone Corridors.

Contents

  • Description 1
  • History 2
    • "Ben Franklin Station" 2.1
    • Renaming 2.2
  • Present day 3
    • Busiest station 3.1
    • Street access 3.2
    • Rail access 3.3
    • Cira Centre 3.4
    • Amtrak maintenance facilities 3.5
  • Station facilities 4
    • ClubAcela 4.1
    • Rental cars and car sharing 4.2
  • Gallery 5
  • In popular culture 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Description

The station's address is 2955 Market Street.[1] It sits across from the United States Post Office-Main Branch. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Amtrak's code for the station is PHL.[1] Its IATA Airport Code is ZFV on United because Amtrak's service to Newark Liberty International Airport is codeshared with United Airlines.

Of the 24 Pennsylvania stations served by Amtrak, the 30th Street Station was by far the busiest for the Fiscal Year 2013, boarding or detraining an average of approximately 11,303 passengers daily (almost twice the number of passengers of the other 23 Pennsylvania stations combined) and is Amtrak's overall 3rd-busiest station.[2]

History

The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), which was headquartered in Philadelphia, acquired tunnel rights from the Schuylkill River to 15th Street from the city of Philadelphia in return for land that the city needed to construct the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This allowed the company to build both Suburban Station and the 30th Street Station,[3] which replaced Broad Street Station as the latter was too small. Broad St. Station was a stub-end terminal in Center City and through trains had to back in and out, and the company wanted a location which would accommodate trains between New York City and Washington. D.C. Broad St. Station also handled a large commuter operation, which the new underground Suburban Station was built to handle. (Because of the Depression and World War II, Broad St. Station didn't close until 1952.)[4]

The Chicago architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, the successor to D.H. Burnham & Company,[3] designed the structure, originally known as Pennsylvania Station–30th Street in accord with the naming style of other Pennsylvania Stations. Its design was influenced by the Northeast Corridor electrification that allowed trains to pass beneath the station without exposing passengers to soot as steam engines of earlier times had. The station had a number of innovative features, including a pneumatic tube system, an electronic intercom, and a reinforced roof with space for small aircraft to land,[5] and contained a mortuary, a chapel and more than 3,000 square feet of hospital space.[3]

Construction began in 1927 and the station opened in 1933, starting with two platform tracks.[6] The vast waiting room is faced with travertine and the coffered ceiling is painted gold, red and cream. The building's exterior has columned porte-cocheres on the west and east facade, and shows a balance between classical and modern architectural styles.[3]

"Ben Franklin Station"

In 2005, Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trust asked Amtrak to change the name of 30th Street Station to "Ben Franklin Station"[7] as part of the celebration of Ben Franklin's 300th birthday in January 2006. The cost of replacing signs at the station was estimated at $3 million.

In January, Philadelphia Mayor John Street threw his support behind the name change, but others had mixed reactions to the proposal. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a former mayor of Philadelphia, was lukewarm, while Amtrak officials worried that a "Ben" station could be confused with its other three "Penn" stations.[8] On January 25, 2006, Pew abandoned the campaign, giving no reason.[8]

Renaming

In August 2014, a local law was passed that will change the name of the station to the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station in honor of the late congressman. 6ABC, a local news station reported at the time that the change would happen "in the next few months".[9]

Present day

Overview of the lines serving 30th Street.

The building is owned by Amtrak and houses many Amtrak corporate offices, although Amtrak is officially headquartered at Union Station in Washington, D.C. The 562,000 ft² (52,000 m²) facility features a cavernous main passenger concourse with ornate Art Deco decor.

Prominently displayed is the Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial, which honors Pennsylvania Railroad employees killed in World War II. It consists of a bronze statue of the archangel Michael lifting the body of a dead soldier out of the flames of war, and was sculpted by Walker Hancock in 1950. On the four sides of the base of that sculpture are the 1,307 names of those employees in alphabetical order.

The building was restored in 1991 by Dan Peter Kopple & Associates.[3] When the station was renovated, updated retail amenities were added. They include several shops, a large food court, car rental facilities, Saxbys Coffee, Dunkin' Donuts, and others.

The Amtrak 30th Street Parking Garage was designed by BLT Architects and completed in 2004. This nine-level, double helix garage provides 2,100 parking spaces and glass enclosed stair tower and elevator to offer views of Philadelphia.[10][11] The following year (2005) the Arch Street Pedestrian Bridge was completed and designed with contribution from BLT Architects. The Arch Street Pedestrian Bridge provides direct access for pedestrians from 30th Street Station to the parking garage and Cira Centre; this prevents pedestrians from interacting with heavy traffic from PA 3 and I-76.[12]

Busiest station

The station is one of the busiest intercity passenger railroad facilities in the United States. The station also has extensive local and regional passenger volume; it is one of SEPTA's three primary regional rail hubs. It is within walking distance of various attractions in West Philadelphia, notably the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and the University City Science Center, all in University City.

Street access

Many important highways and streets pass next to or near the station. Vehicles and taxicabs can easily access the station from various major routes, including Market Street (PA 3), Interstate 76 (more commonly known as the Schuylkill Expressway in the Philadelphia area), and Interstate 676 (more commonly known as the Vine Street Expressway in the city of Philadelphia).[5] The John F. Kennedy Boulevard Bridge is just east of the station.

Rail access

Trains from SEPTA, Amtrak, and New Jersey Transit serve the station. The three east-west Upper Level platforms serve SEPTA Regional Rail suburban trains. The north-south Lower Level platforms serve Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains.

SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line (also known as the "El") and all of SEPTA's Subway-Surface Lines stop at the 30th Street subway station, less than 1/2 block (< 1/10 mile) from the southwest entrance to 30th Street Station. A tunnel connecting the underground subway station and 30th Street Station was closed due to crime and vagrancy concerns.

A number of the SEPTA system's bus lines include stops at the station on their routes.

Cira Centre

Cira Centre, a 28-story glass-and-steel office tower opened in October 2005, is across Arch Street to the north and is connected by a skyway at the station's mezzanine level next to the upper-level SEPTA Regional Rail platforms. The tower is owned by Philadelphia-based Brandywine Realty Trust, was designed by architect César Pelli and BLT Architects,[10][11] and sits on land leased from Amtrak. César Pelli is best known for the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A collection of equipment at Race Street in 2000

Amtrak maintenance facilities

Amtrak owns and operates the Penn Coach Yard and Race Street Engine House equipment repair and maintenance facility at the 30th Street Station.

Station facilities

ClubAcela

The station has one of Amtrak's four ClubAcelas, which are open to Amtrak Guest Rewards members with a ClubAcela pass, Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus and Select Executive members, Acela Express first-class passengers, sleeping car passengers on overnight trains, and United Airlines United Club members.

Rental cars and car sharing

Budget Rent a Car, National, Avis, Alamo, and Hertz Rent A Car rent cars at counters in 30th Street Station.

Zipcar and PhillyCarShare vehicles are outside 30th Street Station, mostly in reserved parking spaces on the south side of the station or, during construction, in the controlled-access parking lot outside Cira Centre.

Gallery

In popular culture

The station was featured in the 1981 film Blow Out, the 1983 film Trading Places, the 1985 film Witness starring Harrison Ford, the 2010 videogame Heavy Rain, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 7.

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ a b "Philadelphia, PA (PHL): 30th Street Station". Amtrak.com.  
  2. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2014, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" (PDF). amtrak.com.  
  3. ^ a b c d e Gallery, John Andrew, ed. (2004). Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Foundation for Architecture.  , p.106
  4. ^ Kyriakodis, Harry (9 Feb 2007). "The Subways, Railways and Stations of Philly: Written Material to Accompany a Mostly-Underground Tour from 30th Street Station to Market East Station". prrths.com.  
  5. ^ a b Dunson, Edward (3 Feb 1978). "30th Street Station" National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form". dot7.state.pa.us. Retrieved 15 Nov 2014. 
  6. ^ Teitelman, Edward & Longstreth, Richard W. (1981). Architecture in Philadelphia: A Guide. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.  :186
  7. ^ Saffron, Inga (25 Dec 2005). "Proposal calls for Ben Station: Renaming the 30th St. depot to honor Franklin is on the table".  
  8. ^ a b "Family Entertainment Guide". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  9. ^ "30TH STREET STATION RENAMED FOR LATE CONGRESSMAN". 6abc.com.  
  10. ^ a b [1]
  11. ^ a b [2]
  12. ^ [3]

External links

  • Amtrak – Stations – 30th Street Station
  • NJT rail station information page for 30th Street Station
  • DepartureVision real time train information for 30th Street Station
  • Atlantic City Line schedule
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)--Great American Stations (Amtrak)
  • Philadelphia (30th Street) Amtrak Station (USA Rail Guide -- TrainWeb)
  • 30th Street Station on subwaynut.com
  • Graham, Anderson, Probst & White Homepage – see "Historical Architectural Projects" pages
  • Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. PA-404-A, "Thirtieth Street Station, Power Director Center"
  • HAER No. PA-404-B, "Thirtieth Street Station, Load Dispatch Center"
  • Bing Mpas aerial perspective photo
  • Station Building from 30th Street from Google Maps Street View
  • Station Building from Market Street from Google Maps Street View
  • Upper Level (SEPTA) platforms from Google Maps Street View
  • High-resolution 1932 aerial photo of station and surroundings
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL) (Amtrak's Great American Stations)
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