Philadelphia Studying Reuse of Defunct Underground Rail Line

Ryan Briggs reports on the planning study bringing new hope to efforts to activate or repurpose the "City Branch," a dormant subterranean rail line in Philadelphia.

October 14, 2014, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Plans for how to reuse or incorporate the City Branch—which last moved a train in 1992—have come and gone since the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) purchased the line. But a recent planning effort is reviving hopes of remaking the picturesque ruin for public benefit: "Last year, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) entered the fray, initiating a new study that aimed to, hopefully, provide a clear vision for tunnel," report Ryan Briggs. The "City Branch Transit Feasibility Assessment," as its called, was "initiated at the request of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and SEPTA."

That development is full of political promise because "[as] one of several metropolitan planning agencies that present recommendations for the direction of federal transit dollars, the DVRPC’s studies are an important first step for financing major transportation or public works projects."

Briggs shares the possibilities under consideration by the DVRPC planning process, although no specific recommendations are, as yet, on the table. 

Monday, October 13, 2014 in Next City

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