Incorporating the The Germantown Chronicle & The Northwest Independent

6661 Germantown Ave • Philadelphia, PA 19119 • 215-438-4000 •


Wayne Junction Transit Complex Reopens After Four-Year Rebuild

The largest and most active Philadelphia rail transit interchange, Wayne Junction, which served Germantown and surrounding neighborhoods since the 1880s, reopened on Friday November 13th after a four year $31 million dollar renovation that included buildings, platforms and signaling upgrades.

Considered the busiest train junction in the nation when opened, trains connecting to New York City and Washington were routine runs, and travelers could get to any city in the country from there with first class service.  Best known premier Baltimore and Ohio passenger train “The Royal Blue” from New York to our capital stopped there every day until 1958.

Electrified in 1933, almost every Reading Railroad commuter line also ran through this junction and it is now SEPTA’s busiest interchange with both their storage and car maintenance shops on either end of the station complex. 

With intent to retain the historic aspect of the standing buildings, but modernize and increase easy and accessibility, the platforms were raised to high level versions while maintaining the original structures and rebuilding them with much of the original flavor and appearance in place.  New  platform shelters replaced the long deteriorated wooden ones and lighting and elevators with handicap access have turned a dark, long-neglected and uninviting example of urban blight into a quality example of accessibility and historic preservation.

The project was completed within expected budget parameters according to Bob Lund SEPTA Assistant General Manager, although it was about a year behind schedule.  The funding was a combination of a $4 million Federal Livability grant, some local funding and the majority of the $31 million in federally backed SEPTA bonds.

Mixed use projects have sprung up already during the construction phase on the Nicetown side of the station along Germantown Avenue.  It is anticipated that similar revitalization will take place working north through Germantown.

Part way thought this project another major upgrade of the original  electrical substation adjacent to the tracks was begun.  This federally funding project will cost $51 million when completed.

Editor’s note:  While all in Northwest Philadelphia welcome this long-overdue revitalization it was noted that at the ribbon cutting the politicians and transit officials were frank in reporting that the station had been actually collapsing and was dangerous for years.  This station was taken over by government run agencies many years ago and one cannot blame anyone but the political class for allowing it to be left to decay in the same manner much of lower Germantown has been neglected for the last 25-30 years.

Jim Foster