My high school buddy John and I decided to visit the Suburban Station's
photo ID office to renew our senior citizen card. This card is perhaps
one of the greatest bargains out there for senior citizens, for it allows
"us" to ride on anything SEPTA
has for free, including (as of about 2020?), commuter rail!!!
So we drove up to Wilmington DE, drove around for a bit so I could get
pictures for another page I was updating on the Wilmington Shops, and then
boarded a SEPTA commuter train into Philadelphia, getting off at the
Suburban Station in Central Philadelphia.
Wilmington to Trenton is 55 air miles, so figure we covered about 115-120
miles by train over the course of the day.
Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:
Good shots can be had from the parking garage across the street from the
Part 1 - Wilmington to Suburban Station/SEPTA Commuter Rail
100 South French Street
GPS Coordinates: 39.73675, -75.55110
The proper name of the Wilmington station is the Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Railroad Station, the station's name was changed on March 19, 2011.
The station was completed in 1907, and replaced an earlier structure. It was
designed by the renowned "railroad station" architect Frank Furness, who also
designed the Pennsy station a quarter of a mile from me here in
Wilmington is the 7th busiest in the Mid-Atlantic region, and 13th overall
in the states. SEPTA started running to the station in 1989. A
~$40mil renovation was done 2009-2011. Track 1 is for SEPTA trains,
and tracks 2 & 3 are for Amtrak trains. SB SEPTA trains have to cross
all 4 tracks in order to get into the station, and the interlocking and
crossovers are just north of the station.
Lv: Ar: Train #2508
Amtrak train #79, the southbound (SB) Carolinian pulling into the Wilmington
At Suburban Station and on the Streets
Part 2 - Suburban Station to Trenton/SEPTA Commuter Rail
Nice ride, as the train had cars with "picture windows" on the ends,
altho the crew keeps the two front rows roped off, darn-it. On a NB
train, such as this one was, the old Pennsy Towers will be mostly on the
A Very Short Stop in Trenton
I took a few pictures down on the platform, then we went upstairs to
check on a connecting light rail train, and we only had about seven minutes
to spare - fortunately, the light rail station is right across the
street.... don't forget to VALIDATE your ticket, which we got inside the
Part 3 - Trenton to Camden/NJT River Line Light Rail
This part of the trip cost us 75 cents, dunno why they even bother
charging seniors. There is much to see along the roughly 30 mile
route, and sitting on either side of the train will provide you with an
abundance of a variety of things to look at. I sat on the right side
going down, except for when we got to the light rail shops, then quickly got
back to the other side for a few shots going thru Pavonia Yard. The
light rail shares the R-O-W with Conrail Shared
Assets, and you will see both CSX and NS engines.
A Very Short Stop in Camden
The only way to "get back" to the other side of the river once in
Camden, is to take the PATCO line at the Walter Rand Transportation Center.
This little shuffle is probably the crummiest transfer on the whole trip
(safety wise), but at least there is plenty of police presence!
Part 4 - Camden to Philly 8th St on PATCO Heavy Rail
Part 5 - 8th St to 15th St on the Market-Frankford EL
A short three station hop to get us from the PATCO line to Suburban
Station. The M-F is literally 100 feet from the exit gate of the PATCO
line, in a mixture of something more akin to New York! :-) If you're
looking for a souvenir of riding PATCO, you will have to buy a second
ticket, because the gates eat the spent ticket and you have nothing left,
unlike the New York Subway system.
Part 6 - Suburban Station to 30th St Station/SEPTA Commuter Rail
We decided not to stay at Suburban Station for long, because there is
more activity, and better shots to be had at 30th St Station.
At 30th Street Station
Part 7 - 30th St Station to Wilmington/SEPTA Commuter Rail
If you sit on the left side of the train, you will catch glimpses of the
former Pennsy towers, the river front, and the Wilmington Shops just before
coming into the Wilmington Station.
Back in Wilmington....
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while
trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.