Callowhill Depot is a bus and trolley barn operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), located in West Philadelphia, near the Delaware County border. It was built in 1913 by the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company (PRT) and was later operated by the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) before being taken over by SEPTA. The depot was constructed as part of the Thomas E. Mitten modernization program. Since its construction, the depot has suffered fire damage and reconstruction in 1949, 1950, and 1995.
The Callowhill Depot is located in the heart of West Philadelphia, located on the southwest corner of the 5900 block of Callowhill Street with the bus and trolley bays across the street. The depot is surrounded by 59th, Vine, 58th & Callowhill Streets. Callowhill Depot was an all trolley depot until May 28, 1955 when Route 70 (52nd Street Line) was converted to bus operation. Callowhill Depot was home to all streetcar trolley lines that operated in West Philadelphia until National City Lines converted most of the Philadelphia Trolley Routes into Bus Lines. The depot is accessible only to SEPTA Employees; however, Trolley fans often come by to photograph streetcars pulling in and out. And for safety reason the SEPTA Transit Police Department will stop and question anyone found on the property without a reason or authorization.
Callowhill Depot is home to two SEPTA Trolley Routes and Eleven Bus Routes. The depot's trolley bays are #2, #3 and #4; Bay #3 is used by Route 10, Bay #4 is used by Route 15, and Bay #2 is the Rail Shop. These routes that run out of Callowhill Depot all operate in West Philadelphia with their eastern terminus being either in downtown Center City Philadelphia, Southwest or North Philadelphia.
The Following Routes Include:
- Route 10 Overbrook to Center City via Lancaster Avenue & Subway-Surface Tunnel (Subway-Surface Trolley Line)
- Route 15 Port Richmond & Northern Liberties to Haddington via Girard Avenue & Richmond Street (Surface Trolley Line)
- Route 21 69th Street Transportation Center to Penns Landing via Chestnut & Walnut Streets (Bus Route)
- Route 30 69th Street Transportation Center to 30th Street Station (30th & Market Streets) via Haverford Avenue (Bus Route)
- Route 31 Overbrook Park to Center City via Market Street (Bus Route)
- Route 38 Wissahickon Transportation Center to Center City via Belmont Avenue, Market & Chestnut Streets (Bus Route)
- Route 40 West Park/Wynnefield to Society Hill via 40th, 41st, Lombard & South Streets (Monday - Thursday) & Eastbound on Pine Street (Weekends Only) (Bus Route)
- Route 42 Wycombe and West Philadelphia to Penn's Landing via Spruce, Chestnut and Walnut Streets (Bus Route)
- Route 43 Parkside to Northern Liberties/Port Richmond via Spring Garden Street & Columbus Boulevard (Bus Route)
- Route 44 Ardmore/Gladwyne to Center City via Montgomery Avenue, City Avenue, Schuylkill Expressway & Market Street (Bus Route)
- Route 46 Overbrook to Angora via 60th Street (Bus Route)
- Route 52 Gladwyne/Wynnefield to Southwest Philadelphia vis 52nd & 54th Streets (Bus Route)
- Route 65 69th Street Transportation Center to Germantown/Mount Airy via City Line Avenue & Walnut Lane (Bus Route). This route is also shared with Allegheny Depot.
- Philadelphia Trolley Tracks:Girard Avenue Light Rail Progress - August 8-9, 2001 Photos (PhillyTrolley.org)
- SEPTA Route 15 images (WorldNYCSubway.org)
- The New PCC II Cars For Girard Avenue SEPTA Route 15 (September 4, 2005)
- Philadelphia NRHS
- SEPTA Bus Roster (Philadelphia Transit Vehicles)