by John Johnstone
Hello, Regarding track 13 at the Reading Terminal: It was used for the City Branch to connect to the B & O and was not electrified. During operation, there was often a gondola with trash in it positioned there at track 13. Until the B & O closed its station at 24th and Market in 1958, Shuttles operated between the Reading Terminal and the 24th Street Station. Also, track 13 was used in 1972 during Hurricane Agnes, when tracks on the Norristown Branch were flooded west of Manayunk and trains to Reading and Pottsville had to travel via the City Branch at about 5 mph and onto the Main Line, running through Fairmount Park, past Gladwyne and Bridgeport and making its first stop at Valley Forge. I was fortunate enough to ride from track 13 on this train. At the time, my Father worked in the Reading Terminal building and the trains ran from track 13 until repairs were complete on the Norristown line. After the Reading Terminal closed in 1985, the City Branch was used to haul trash out of the Terminal while the new Convention Center was being built. I worked near there and saw many of those trash trains riding below Calowhill Street. I don't know the date of the last train from track 13, but I imagine it was around 1987.