Wawa (SEPTA station)
|SEPTA regional rail|
|Location||US 1(Baltimore Pike)
Chester Heights, Pennsylvania.
|Platforms||1 side platform|
|Previous names||Baltimore Central Junction|
Wawa is an abandoned train station adjacent to U.S. Route 1 in Chester Heights, Pennsylvania. The station was a stop on the Pennsylvania Railroad's West Chester Branch (originally called the West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad). It later became a part of SEPTA's R3 West Chester line.
The station, and all of those west of Elwyn, was closed in September 1986, due to deteriorating track conditions and Chester County's desire to expand facilities at Exton Station on SEPTA's Paoli/Thorndale Line. Service was "temporarily suspended" at that time, with substitute bus service provided. Wawa Station still appears in publicly posted tariffs.
The West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad (WC&P) began constructing its rail line from Philadelphia in 1852 and reached Wawa in 1857. The remainder of the line to West Chester was completed in 1858. The WC&P merged with the P&BC in 1881, and both were controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Wawa Station was originally known as the Baltimore Central Junction Station, being the northern terminus of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Central Railroad (P&BC), later called the Octoraro Branch. Wawa Station was demolished shortly after service ended. Some concrete foundations remain, as do the concrete curb for the platform edge, and the pedestrian tunnel under the track.
Wawa Terminal project
Since the early 1990s, SEPTA discussed the prospect of restoring commuter train service from between Elwyn and Wawa. Little was done until June 2005, when engineering and design for the resumption of rail service finally began. SEPTA initially estimated that the cost for the 3-mile extension of service would be $51,327,000; the estimate cited in SEPTA's 2009 Capital Budget is $80 million. The construction project will include new track, catenary, signals, communications equipment, and structures; and a new station at Wawa with a large park-and-ride facility.
Wawa was chosen as the new terminal due to its proximity to the heavily travelled U.S. Route 1. The new ADA-compliant Wawa Station will have high platforms, a sales office, ticket vending machines and passenger waiting room. SEPTA will also construct a new railcar storage facility at the Lenni Facility in Delaware County.
Wawa Station is estimated to have 500 commuters on a typical weekday. The engineering phase of the terminal project began in July 2005. This included preliminary engineering, environmental impact analysis, and final engineering. Shortfalls in funding have delayed completion of this phase indefinitely due to the failing economy. Construction will follow and take 24 to 36 months to complete.
The PRR's former Octoraro Branch heads south from Wawa. This line was built by the P&BC between 1855 and 1868, and originally connected with the Columbia & Port Deposit Railroad in Maryland. Tourist operator Wawa & Concordville Railroad leased the Concordville-Wawa segment in 1967 and 1968 to operated passenger trains. Damage caused by Hurricane Agnes 1972 rendered the line unusable.
- waymarking.com. "Wawa Station." Posted 2009-02-01.
- "R-3 rail line extension on track." Delaware County Times. 2004-10-18.
- "R3 extension expected to ease Elwyn parking." Delaware County Times. 2006-04-06.
- Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). "SEPTA Fiscal Year 2009 Capital Budget and Fiscal Years 2009-2020 Capital Program." p. 45.
- SEPTA. "SEPTA proposed Capital Budget 2010."