170 Years In The Making: Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor In West Philly

September 8, 2015 | by Bradley Peniston


Today’s American railroads are the products of hundreds of mergers and combinations of earlier lines, so it’s a good bet that there is a good story behind any particular stretch of track. The route of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (and the SEPTA and freight lines that share, run parallel, and cross it) is no different. Here is the tangled tale of the route followed by NEC and SEPTA trains as they head south from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. Take note of the Newkirk Viaduct Monument and its role in the routes.



About the Author

Bradley Peniston Bradley Peniston is deputy editor of Defense One, a publication of Atlantic Media. He has written two books about the U.S. Navy. He also launched Pecha Kucha Night Philadelphia. Find him at navybook.com.


  1. James says:

    It would be nice to move the 15 foot marble obelisk to 30th Street Station where it will be seen by thousands using the trains vice leaving it where the woods covers it up.

    1. There is a proposal afoot to move it to the Bartram’s Mile section of the Schuylkill Banks trail, which is now in the planning stages: http://hiddencityphila.org/2013/03/who-moved-the-newkirk-viaduct-monument/

  2. bigreddog says:

    very well done, the over view helped get a sense of how the different lines related to each other.
    When the West Chester line was built, where did it go as it continued into Philly, was this the start of 30th St. as a station area?

  3. Matt says:

    Thank You for posting this! As a RR history nut this explains a lot

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