Reading Company's Wayne Junction Station - reborn!
A set of SEPTA Silverliner V's arrives at the rebuilt Wayne Junction station in Philadelphia, on November 29th, 2019.
Growing up, my mother, myself, and my brother would board a train at Philmont and meet my father here, at Wayne Junction, where we'd drive the rest of the way to visit my grandmother. That's about as much train riding as any of us really ever did - a nice, nostalgic memory. This was in the mid-seventies - after SEPTA, but still riding Reading MU's. The station was worn out and damaged due to age and neglect. A couple of decades later, I returned to see what you see here. Though restored, I was unimpressed not able to visualize this reconstructed station as the station I knew... or thought I knew. Well -a little research sheds some new light:
Built in 1901, this station replaced the original 1881 built station. An old post card once boasted "More trains stop here than at any other station in the world". Imagine that! Though the station saw trains from the Jersey Central and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroads, most of the traffic was from the Reading as it was a junction for many of its own commuter lines, from New Hope, to Jersey City, Bethlehem to Reading and, of course, Philadelphia - just to name a few. The station was reconstructed between January, 2012 and November, 2015. Both the station and head house were extensively rebuilt, the black asphalt roof replaced with red terracotta roof tiles it once had and the red brick walls facade replaced with a sandstone facade, which I believe it originally had. High level platforms came along, unfortunately obscuring the bottom portion of the station and necessitating both raised doors and floors. The old canopy was demolished and replaced with another. So indeed, the 1901 built station survives, perhaps closer in appearance today then during the last 50 years, granted, partially covered by the new high level platforms.
In July 2018, the Pennsylvania state Historic Preservation Review Board approved the Philadelphia Historical Commission's request to create the Wayne Junction National Historical District, a collection of eight large-scale industrial buildings built between the late-19th and mid-20th century surrounding the Station. The eight properties include the Train Station, New Glen Echo Mills, Brown Instrument Company, the Max Levy Autograph, Arguto Oilless Bearing Company, Blaisdell Paper Pencil Company, the Keystone Dry Plate & Film Works and the Moore Push Pin building.