Already by 1910, the 16 tracks of the station saw 578 arrivals and departures daily9. At the same time, the success of Broad Street Station brought with it a number of problems. While it served well as a final stop for commuter traffic into Center City, it was inconvenient and time consuming for through trains because they were required to retrace their steps to West Philadelphia Station before continuing on their journey. The stub-ended design of Broad Street required arriving locomotives to back up and be turned on a turntable before they could depart, creating additional congestion. A partial solution was provided by the railroad’s electrification, allowing the use of multiple-unit commuter trains which could operate in either direction.
On June 11, 1923, a fire broke out below the station platforms and quickly spread to the train shed, engulfing the entire structure in flames. Within hours of the fire, the Pennsylvania Railroad marshaled a work force of some 3500 men to begin repairing the station. Within five days, all tracks and platforms were restored. The weakened train shed was dismantled and replaced with umbrella shelters10. However, the handwriting was on the wall for Broad Street Station.
Within two years, the Pennsylvania Railroad started drawing up an ambitious plan, referred to as the “Philadelphia Improvements,” that called for the construction of 30th Street Station as the railroad’s main passenger station in Philadelphia, replacing the West Philadelphia station11. The plan also called for the elimination of Broad Street Station, replacing it with an underground station for commuter trains, known as Broad Street Suburban Station (but usually referred to simply as Suburban Station). By 1929, the excavation for the trackwork leading to Suburban Station had begun, parallel to the north side of the Chinese Wall. A year later, the construction of 30th Street Station across the Schuylkill River began, and Broad Street Station’s days were numbered. Surprisingly, the station was used for two more decades before finally closing on April 27, 1952. Aboard the last train from the station rode the Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Eugene Ormandy conducting a rendition of “Auld Lange Syne”12. Within a year, the station was demolished, making way for Penn Plaza and a series of high rise office buildings.
 Pennypacker, Bert (December 1983). “The Grandest Railway Terminal in America”. Trains (Kalmbach Publishing Co.): 40-57. ISSN 0041-0934.
 Albrecht, Harry P.  (1976). Broad Street Station. Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania: Harry P. Albrecht. p. 3.
 Underkofler, Allen P (1987). “The Philadelphia Improvements, Part I”. The High Line (Philadelphia Chapter, Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society) 2 (2 & 3). p. 5.
 Albrecht, p. 3.
 Pennypacker, p. 44.
 Ibid., p. 45.
 Messer, David W. (2000). Triumph III: Philadelphia Terminal 1838-2000. Baltimore, Maryland: Barnard, Roberts & Co. ISBN 0-934118-25-6
 Pennypacker, pp. 46-47.
 Ibid., p. 49.
 Ibid., pp. 51-52.
 Underkofler, pp. 6-15.
 Pennypacker, p. 57.
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