Reading Viaduct in Phila

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Jeff Smith
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Reading Viaduct in Phila

Post by Jeff Smith » Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:38 pm

Saw this on a FB page; more of a rail trail topic, but I'll stick it in here too for my avid Reading fans in case you want to talk about how it looks like the same viaduct from "Unstoppable" :-D and how it was used back in the day, etc.

Philly.com

Picture uploaded from the FB post. Brief, fair-use quote:
Elevated park on rail viaduct finally firming up

Neighborhood volunteers first began cultivating the idea of converting the ruins of the Reading Viaduct into Philadelphia's own elevated park more than a decade ago.

After years of organizing, raising money, and drafting proposals, their efforts - and those of the politicians and professional planners who joined the cause - finally appear ready to bear fruit. Without fanfare, the city and the state have included millions of dollars in their latest budgets toward the first phase of the project: transforming the quarter-mile railroad "spur" that curves through the city's burgeoning Loft District and dead-ends onto North Broad Street.

Turning that section into a park with stunning Center City views is just a small part of the overall vision to "green" abandoned railroad infrastructure, transforming foreboding eyesores into amenities.

A larger, 4/5-mile section of the viaduct stretches with fortresslike walls from Fairmount Avenue to Vine Street. Across Broad, the old railroad line drops below street level, running through a subterranean channel from the former Inquirer and Daily News building to Fairmount Park at Girard Avenue.


Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140 ... a61O1F5.99" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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John Johnstone
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: Reading Viaduct in Phila

Post by John Johnstone » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:31 am

The last time that City Branch was used (closest front in photo) out of the Reading Terminal was around 1986, when they were clearing debris out of the Reading Terminal, using gondolas, pre-Convention Center. The last time it was used for passenger service, was in 1972, for the Reading & Pottsville trains, when there was flooding between Shawmont & Miquon during Hurricane Agnes, so they had to ride on the Main Line, on the West side of the Schuylkill. I was fortunate enough to ride an RDC, which went about 5 mph, noisily and rockingly, until it came out of the tunnel near the Art Museum. Also, a very gnarled Willow Street Branch intersected at street level.

carajul
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Re: Reading Viaduct in Phila

Post by carajul » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:06 pm

So between 1972 and 1986 was the city branch viaduct used at all out of the terminal? I walked the city brand viaduct in winter of 2015 it's all still intact, signals and all. Most of the branch at street level thru Phili is now parking lots but the row is still obvious. Last freight customer was Phili Inquirer closed in 1992. When I walked it, they were turning the city branch viaduct into a park/dog walk. The main pax viaduct was still 'frozen in time'. Signals with colored lenses and catenary poles and stacks of rotting ties laying everywhere.

John Johnstone
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: Reading Viaduct in Phila

Post by John Johnstone » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:46 pm

After Hurricane Agnes in '72, no more passenger trains traveled the City Branch. At the terminal, there was always a gondola (often with trash in it) and sometimes a switcher on track 13. The branch was basically used for hauling out trash.

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