Monday, February 06, 2017

Philadephia Freedom

I used to be a rolling stone you know
If a cause was right
I'd leave to find the answer on the road
I used to be a heart beating for someone
- "Philadelphia Freedom", Elton John / Bernie Taupin

While looking through my Lightroom catalog for Amtrak images, I stumbled across some photos I took when I was in Philadelphia, PA back in April 2005.

I've never blogged about this trip before, because this was a few months before I started blogging!

This was the only time I've been in Philadelphia (to date) although I have been in Pittsburgh a few times.


I went to Philadelphia for work, for a conference. I did some research and determined that you could take a train from the Philadelphia International Airport via SEPTA, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

I arrived at PHL and took this train. It was a pretty short trip on the Airport Regional Line to Jefferson Station downtown, maybe 30 minutes.

I'm pretty sure I was staying at the Marriott where the conference was, and it was a short walk from Jefferson station to the hotel. I stowed my bags and took a short walk to the 30th Street Amtrak station.

Amtrak's Station

Amtrak's 30th Street train station in Philadelphia
Columns at Amtrak station
This imposing structure was built for the Pennsylvania Railroad and opened in 1933. It is the busiest Amtrak station in Pennsylvania, being situated on the Northeast Corridor and serving more than 10,000 passengers a day.

Amtrak trains like the Acela Express, Vermonter, Cardinal and Keystone Service stop here. It also sees many SEPTA trains and NJ Transit's Atlantic City Line starts here.

I walked through the large Art Deco waiting room and looked around for a bit. I was a lot more self-conscious about my railfanning in 2005 than I am now, so I didn't do much exploring and I definitely didn't try to go on the platforms. I did notice that there were some great views available from the parking garage...
The cavernous interior of the Amtrak 30th Street station

Return to Amtrak

I went back to the Amtrak station on the 5th after the day's activities ended. I went straight to the parking garage to take some photos of the engine servicing area.

Amtrak yard, Philadelphia
Notice the collection of ballast hoppers on the left side. A little closer view...
Amtrak 200 and ballast hoppers
I was intrigued by the loco in the distance and zoomed in even farther.
AMTK 723 in Philadelphia
Apparently AMTK 723 is a GP38-3, originally built for the Penn Central as GP38 PC 7758. From photos it looks like it is used for yard and maintenance service.

Sister AMTK 724 was nearby with an electric locomotive on the next track.
AMTK 724 in Philadelphia
I took a little bit of video too.
Later that night, I had to have a Philadelphia standard... a hoagie. It's the "official sandwich of Philadelphia", after all!
Mmmmm... hoagie.
It was pretty delicious.

SEPTA Transit Museum

On the 6th I visited the SEPTA Transit Museum briefly. I didn't have a lot of time but it's a small museum, just up the street, so it was all good.

They have a restored PCC trolley car there, #2733. She's a beauty!
PCC car 2733 in Philadelphia
It's pretty nice inside.
Streetcar interior, Philadelphia
I liked the nose of this transit car sticking out of the wall.
Part of car 1312
There was a model train display there as well.
Mmmm, three rail


To wrap up, here are a few miscellaneous photos I took while I was there. My apologies for the poor photo quality of some of the photos. These were taken with a 1 megapixel digital camera...
Part of the Philly skyline

Mural below the Jefferson station

The Liberty Bell and I

See Also


Jenn said...

Great photos Steve! Those huge train stations are very cool!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, Jenn! I wish I had spent more time at the station but I'm glad I was there at all :)