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Reading Viaduct



The Reading Viaduct is Philly's answer to the High Line: an abandoned elevated rail line running above the city. It was built by the Reading Railroad, which used to exist outside of the game Monopoly, and abandoned in 1984, when the commuter lines of the Reading Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad were combined. As in New York, an organization is trying to convert it to a park. I kind of like it the way it is.

11:29 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)


This looks like a job for...


Maybe I'll move down there.

As is, I'll have to sift thru all my Boston photos from the past 20 years since their Central Artery (the highway el that ran right thru downtown... Robert Moses was drooling with jealousy) has now been torn down.


Ideally these old rail viaducts should be converted to light rail or even regular el use. I'm not nuts about their being turned into yuppie talismans. Apparently that's the only way to preserve 'em. Pity.


Posted by: Kevin Walsh at December 31, 2004 12:53 AM

All of these photos are amazing... some of the best I've seen by you, but the 3rd one down and the 5th one down just take my breath away.

Was Friends of the High Line the NY organization you were talking about?


Posted by: andy at December 31, 2004 01:29 AM

Where in Philly is this thing? The third picture has a very familiar view of downtown to me... I can't believe I missed something like that in four years there and have been so close.

I've never been on the High Line, but at least I know about it... I used to walk under it every day on my way to work last summer.

Posted by: Jesse at December 31, 2004 03:00 AM

By the way, awesome pictures!

Posted by: Jesse at December 31, 2004 03:00 AM

Nice snaps! Funnily enough, I have been in the Trestle Inn for drinks. It's fun to take a walk on the wild side when you're drunk. Heh!

Posted by: mac at December 31, 2004 10:04 AM

Wonderful! I especially like 7,8, & 9.

Posted by: SpookyRach at December 31, 2004 10:20 AM

To answer Jesse, the Reading Viaduct is just north of Center City Philadelphia in the loft district. They were the tracks that used to lead into the upper level of Reading Terminal. Now the viaduct has been demolished from Arch until north of Vine to make way for the Convention Center and 676. The viaduct runs from a little north of Vine until it merges with the existing SEPTA tracks around 9th street just south of the Temple University Station. Walk around 10th and Spring Garden to get a good view of it and the abandoned Spring Garden station on top of it. Do it in the daytime though.

Posted by: Chris at December 31, 2004 01:26 PM

Yea! Philly! :-)

Posted by: PurpleCar at January 2, 2005 01:05 AM

Wow, that's the most literate graffiti I ever saw!!!

I went to U. Penn and I enjoyed the blast from the past. Next time you have to get some photos of those patriotic "BUY WOOL" signs as the Amtrak/SEPTA trains head north from 30th St to Trenton.

Posted by: Caren at January 2, 2005 01:35 AM

Looks a little like the LIRR Rockaway line near Ozone Park.

Posted by: Mitch45 at January 4, 2005 10:01 AM

Patrick and I also love old things with 'texture'. Your pictures are quite beautiful. Thanks.

Posted by: harriette at January 4, 2005 12:03 PM

Hey, the snaps of the tracks and electrical apparati...I've dreamed about those. Beautiful.

Posted by: anna at January 19, 2005 02:35 AM

It saddens me to see the photos of the 9th St. branch. I used to run MU's in and out of the Reading Terminal in the 70's. I went over to freight service in the late 70's with Conrail and stayed until retiring in 2001. Now living in Fl.
Photo 3 looks like standing on track#1 south of Spring Garden station. Around the next curve to the left was Race St. interlocking and the yawning mouth of the Reading Terminal.

Posted by: Tom at October 15, 2005 06:42 PM

i dug your shots. i love shooting all the grit that philly has to offer. maybe you'll come back and shoot some more. p.s. here's what i've shot on a similar subject.


marc www.manrilla.net/blog/

Posted by: Marc at June 29, 2006 07:07 PM

Two thousand years from now, tomorrow's scientists will be wondering exactly who 'King Kool' was, especially as they excavate the Broad Street Urinal (i.e. Subway).

Posted by: joe at July 8, 2006 09:48 AM

If you ask me it should be repaired and be used for people and trains

Posted by: Kris at January 16, 2008 11:29 AM

Let's get a pettition to ressurect it

Posted by: Kris at January 16, 2008 11:33 AM

Holy Cow... The Trestle Inn! I've had a few beers there, back in the 80's when a white guy could get in (and out) of there. I like Caren's comments about the "Buy Wool" signs. That's my old neighborhood at Frankford Junction, right on the curve, Five Track side Frankford & Sedgley aves.). The building still stand, Caren. I'll take pictures present day and forward them! It's great to see so many comments from people who have interacted with this area of Philadelphia. Thanks for the pictures and all of your comments...neat stuff!

Joe Gillen

Posted by: Joe Gillen at February 19, 2008 02:26 AM

I did a Photography project on the viaduct. Take a look @ some of the pics I took of the Viaduct here:


Posted by: Antonio Jose at December 26, 2009 10:04 PM

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