Whitford station

Last updated
Whitford
SEPTA.svg
Whitford station from under trestle, January 2013.jpg
Whitford station in January 2013
Location1597 South Whitford Road and Spackmans Lane, Exton, PA 19341 USA
Owned by Amtrak [1]
Operated by SEPTA
Line(s) Keystone Corridor (Main Line)
Platforms2 side platforms
Tracks3
Construction
Parking229 spaces (daily)
Bicycle facilities2 racks (4 spaces)
Other information
Fare zone4
History
Opened1880
Electrified1915
Traffic
Passengers (2011)323 [2] (weekday boardings)
Services
Preceding station SEPTA.svg SEPTA Following station
Downingtown
toward Thorndale
Paoli/Thorndale Line
suspended
Exton
Former services
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Downingtown
toward Harrisburg
Keystone Service
suspended
Exton
toward New York
Preceding station Pennsylvania Railroad Following station
Downingtown
toward Chicago
Main Line Whiteland
Bradford Hills
toward Chicago
Whitford Railroad Station
Whitford R5.JPG
The NRHP-listed station house
USA Pennsylvania location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location405 South Whitford Road
Exton, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°00′53″N75°38′17″W / 40.0147°N 75.6381°W / 40.0147; -75.6381 Coordinates: 40°00′53″N75°38′17″W / 40.0147°N 75.6381°W / 40.0147; -75.6381
Built1880 (1880)
Architectural styleClapboard
NRHP reference No. 84003324
Added to NRHP1984 [3]

Whitford station is a commuter rail and former intercity passenger rail station located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia at South Whitford Road and Spackman Lane, Exton, Pennsylvania. It is served by most SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line trains and until 1998 some of Amtrak's Keystone Service trains.

Contents

On April 9, 2020, Paoli/Thorndale Line service was suspended indefinitely at the station, with trains being truncated to Malvern as part of a service reduction due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. [4] [5]

Whitford Flyover

Whitford station is best known for the abandoned railway bridge that sits directly above the station site. The current station sits along the once-busy former Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) four-track Main Line, which, in its prime, hosted a constant flow of commuter and long distance trains. To circumvent constant bottlenecks near Philadelphia, the PRR constructed a low-grade double-track electrified line in 1906 to host its freight traffic. This was done to bypass the steep grades and busy Philadelphia suburbs. Known as the Philadelphia and Thorndale Branch (or the "High Line"), the line ran alongside the current Paoli/Thorndale Line, crossing (or "flying") over it via a massive truss directly above the Whitford Station. After the sharp decline in rail traffic in the 1970s, the freight line was abandoned outright by Conrail in 1989. In addition, the current passenger line was reduced from four tracks to three in the 1960s. [6]

In its heyday, the PRR produced a series of calendars that included paintings of scenes throughout the extensive rail system. Artist Grif Teller captured a busy moment at Whitford in his "Main LinesFreight and Passenger" painting from 1949, when the overhead trestle was still in use.

Artist Grif Teller's classic Main Lines--Freight and Passenger painting captured Whitford Flyover in its prime, circa 1949. Main Lines--Freight and Passenger by Grif Teller, 1949.jpg
Artist Grif Teller's classic Main LinesFreight and Passenger painting captured Whitford Flyover in its prime, circa 1949.
The station house is just visible under the bridge in this 1904 photograph by William H. Rau. Low grade Crossing at Whitford, Getty 07147701.jpg
The station house is just visible under the bridge in this 1904 photograph by William H. Rau.

Current station

On August 2, 1984, the station house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [7] There is no ticket office at the station. There are 229 parking spaces at the station for daily parking, some of which sit on the abandoned freight line that crosses over the station site.

This station is 28.7 track miles from Philadelphia's Suburban Station. In 2011, the average total weekday boardings at this station was 323, and the average total weekday alightings was 315. [2]

Station layout

Whitford has two low-level side platforms. A center track is not used for passenger service.

P
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Track 2     Paoli/Thorndale Line toward Thorndale (Downingtown)
← Amtrak does not stop here
No service← No regular service →
Track 1 Amtrak does not stop here →
     Paoli/Thorndale Line toward Suburban Station or Temple University (Exton)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
GStreet levelExit/entrance, parking

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References

  1. "Transportation Planning for the Philadelphia–Harrisburg "Keystone" Railroad Corridor" (PDF). Federal Railroad Administration. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 21, 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. pp. 71–72. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  3. Chester County Listings at the National Register of Historic Places
  4. "Service Information". SEPTA . Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  5. "SEPTA Regional Rail & Rail Transit Lifeline Service" (PDF). SEPTA. 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  6. Pennsylvania Railroad Stations Past and Present
  7. NRHP.gov