Franklin Square station
|Location||6th & Race Streets
|Owned by||Delaware River Port Authority|
|Platforms||2 inter-connecting side platforms|
|Opened||June 7, 1936|
|Closed||September 9, 1979
(4th time, low ridership)
The station first opened on June 7, 1936, along with 8th Street in Philadelphia and City Hall and Broadway in Camden, New Jersey, as part of Philadelphia Rapid Transit's Bridge Line service. The station was open for several intervals, each time eventually being closed for low ridership. Most recently, the station was refurbished and reopened as a PATCO station in 1976, coinciding with the United States Bicentennial celebration. The station remained open until 1979, when it was closed again due to low ridership. Approximate years of operation were 1936–1939, 1943–1946, 1952–1953, and 1976–1979, with sources varying on the details.[better source needed]
All PATCO trains pass through Franklin Square upon crossing the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and entering Philadelphia. The platform and walkway are visible when looking out of the left side of the train. From the surface, entrances are visible, but sealed by concrete.
|Westbound||← PATCO does not stop here (8th & Market)|
|Side platform, not in service|
|Side platform, not in service|
|Eastbound||→ PATCO does not stop here (City Hall) →|
In 2009, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA, parent agency of PATCO) announced that it was commissioning a design plan for renovating, modernizing and reopening the station. As of December 2016:
"Projections now are at about 1,500 [riders] a day... DRPA's CEO, John Hanson, said a five-year, $28.2 million plan is now in place for the eventual reopening. The DRPA board recently approved moving ahead. Design work will come first, beginning in 2017. Requests for quotations from engineering firms are due near the end of January. Then comes a short list. The project will include a modern design, better lighting, improved security, new tile, replacing and securing waterlines, a new entryway on at Race and 7th Streets and an elevator to the station, likely somewhere in Franklin Square Park. The heavy construction work may not happen until 2020, with the opening the following year."
Possible new service
As part of several transportation options aimed at the Philadelphia/South Jersey area, in 2005 PATCO was considering a new tram/trolley service to begin at the Franklin Square Station and continue to Spring Garden Street and Pier 70 along Columbus Boulevard, that could be extended to the redeveloping Navy Yard area and new stadium complexes in South Philadelphia. This service would cost an estimated $700 million ($157.6 million per mile), offering service every 5 minutes at peak times and every 12 minutes off-peak. Under this proposal, the service could be operated by PATCO, with free transfers between the Speedline and the streetcar/trolley at a reopened Franklin Square Station.
- "PATCO History". National Railway Historical Society, Philadelphia Chapter. June 12, 2002. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "An Archeological Sensitivity Study of Franklin Square" (PDF). John Milner Associates, Inc. 2005. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- "PATCO will reopen ghost train station". Philadelphia Inquirer. May 21, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "DRPA Board Takes First Step Toward Reopening Franklin Square Station" (Press release). PATCO. July 15, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "PATCO plans to reopen dormant Franklin Square station in Philly". PhillyVoice. December 5, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- "Hearings seek input for new PATCO lines". Philadelphia Inquirer. February 22, 2005. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Southern New Jersey to Philadelphia Transit Study, Alternative PA-1: New Streetcar/Trolley to Franklin Square" (PDF). DRPA. October 2005. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Southern New Jersey to Philadelphia Transit Study" (PDF). DRPA. October 2005. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Ghost station: Franklin Square". Story by Paul Nussbaum & photos by Colin Kerrigan. Philadelphia Inquirer. March 19, 2015.