Market East Station
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Market East Station is an underground SEPTA Regional Rail station located in the Market East neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its official SEPTA address is 12th and Filbert streets. It is the easternmost of the three Center City stations on the SEPTA Regional Rail system, and is part of the Center City Commuter Connection, which connects the former Penn Central commuter lines with the former Reading Railroad commuter lines. The station opened in November 1984, is owned and maintained by SEPTA, and replaced the former Reading Terminal, which a small part of the station is directly under. (The old terminal became part of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.)
The station is part of the Gallery at Market East, a shopping mall built as part of an urban renewal project in the late 1970s and early 1980s. There are several entrances to the station, including several on the concourse level to the "Gallery II" part of the mall. After the Convention Center was opened, a new entrance was built in the Reading Terminal headhouse on Market Street.
Architecturally, the design of Market East station is integrated with the Gallery mall. Stainless steel and large plate-glass windows are a major design element, with large color tile murals (depicting the four seasons) adorning the walls and the extensive use of tile for flooring. The upper seating area has recently been renovated with metal benches facing the windows that look down onto the tracks. The large windows are used both for exterior windows, where they admit light from street level down to track level like a clerestory, and for separating the concourse level from the track level. Because this is an underground station and the clerestory section is only a small part of the station, artificial lighting is used throughout the station.
The station extends under three city blocks and the platforms are along the northern edge of the blocks. The tracks here are the deepest ones in Philadelphia.
There are several monitors which show the status of the trains at these entrances, as well as near the ticket windows and at the tops of the escalators to the track level. At least one of the ticket windows, which are located on the concourse level, is open daily.
There are two wide island platforms and four tracks, with each platform serving two tracks. Each platform is divided into an "A" section and a "B" section so that trains on different routes stop at different spots along the platform length. This allows waiting passengers to be dispersed along the platform rather than congregating.
Overhead electric catenary wires supply power to the trains. Regularly scheduled diesel-operated train are forbidden to enter the station, as SEPTA omitted provisions for ventilation fans when designing the Center City Tunnel. The Delaware Valley Association of Railroad Passengers advocated for the inclusion of ventilation fans that would allow diesel exhaust fumes to exit tunnels and stations. SEPTA deemed the option unfeasible throughout the planning process. On occasion, SEPTA diesel work trains will pass through the station without stopping. In this situation, the track must be clear through the tunnel before the diesel train is allowed through.
To the west, the tracks have a set of cross-over tracks that allow trains to change tracks before they reach Suburban Station. To the east, there is a sharp curve north where trains are limited to about 20 to 25 mph (32 to 40 km/h), and then another set of cross-overs before climbing an incline of over 2.5% to Temple University Station. Market East Station is approximately 0.5 miles (0.80 km) from Suburban Station.
Market East Station is served by all Regional Rail lines except the limited-service Cynwyd Line, which terminates at Suburban Station. In FY 2005, the average total weekday boardings at this station was 11,848, making it the second busiest station in the Regional Rail system. Market East Station has also been identified as Amtrak's preferred Philadelphia station for future high-speed rail lines in the Northeastern Corridor.
The station is connected underground to SEPTA's heavy rail Market-Frankford Line and Broad-Ridge Spur and also the PATCO High Speed Line at their shared 8th Street station. There is also below-ground pedestrian connections to the Market-Frankford Line's 11th Street, 13th Street, and 15th Street stations. Market East Station is adjacent to various SEPTA and New Jersey Transit bus routes that travel on Market Street. Finally, the Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal is immediately north of the station across Filbert Street.
Media related to Market East Station at Wikimedia Commons
- SEPTA – Market East Station
- 11th Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
- Filbert Street and 10th Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
- 10th Street entrance to Gallery Mall from Google Maps Street View