Broad Street Station was opened on December 5, 1881, and for many years after its construction was the largest passenger terminal in the world. Its record of service spanned three wars, and it arose from the ashes of two spectacular fires to speedily begin new eras of usefulness to travelers.
The original Broad Street Station, a four-story Gothic brick structure, was con- sidered a stupendous undertaking, both from engineering and financial viewpoints. It was served by eight tracks on the elevated wall structure which were covered by two arched sheds. The first timetable showed that Broad Street Station was used by 80 inbound and 80 outbound trains daily. Soon after the station was completed, Wilmington,Baltimore, and West Chester traffic was taken into it, bringing a sharp increase in the number of passenger trains operated in and out of the terminal, and additional facilities were required.
In 1890, the station was enlarged and the number of tracks increased to 12; two years later, four additional tracks were added, and the massive train shed covering more than four acres was completed. In connection with the general improvements, an enlarged office building was constructed, and on July 9, 1894, the Company's General Offices were transferred from 233 South Fourth Street to Broad Street Station.
The train shed was destroyed by fire on June 11, 1923, in one of the most serious blazes in Philadelphia's history. Another fire which gutted a block-square track and platform area immediately adjacent to Broad Street Station was experienced on Sep- tember 13, 1943.
Broad Street Station has served the City of Philadelphia well during the past seventy (70) years. It is an old landmark that many of us will dislike seeing go-but remember-it is being replaced by one of the most modern, practical and beautiful passenger terminals in the world.
Prior to the opening of Suburban Station on September 28, 1930, some four hundred fifty ( 450 ) odd trains a day operated in and out of Broad Street Station. The ninety ( 90 ) remaining trains now operating in and out of Broad Street Station will be handled at Suburban Station or Pennsylvania Station-30th Street. The gen- eral idea is that all "MU" suburban trains will operate in and out of the Suburban Station, and all other trains will operate in and out of the Lower Level, Pennsyl- vania Station-30th Street.
The prohibition of coal-burning locomotives under the Suburban Station and the Lower Level at Pennsylvania Station-30th Street presents a problem to which the two-level plan for the operation of P. R. S. L. trains seems to offer the best solu- tion. Outward trains to the P. R. S. L. will be set up at the extreme north end of Pennsylvania Station 30th Street, on the Lower Level, with the locomotive cou- pling to train outside the station. Inbound trains will arrive on Tracks 1, 2, 3 or 4 on
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