When the subway under downtown was constructed in
the early 1980s, there were two routes diverging from what is now
named Steel Plaza
station. The main traffic route went to Gateway.
A second route was built to reach one stop to Penn Station,
utilizing a former Pennsylvania Railroad tunnel and approach. It
never saw much of a passenger load, notwithstanding a major
busway close by at the final stop. Light rail service on the
Penn Station line was
truncated to just two weekday trips in each direction, all in the
evening rush hour, at the time of this photo in 2004. Within a
year and a half or so all service ceased. It is the only
portion of a line anywhere in the country built in the new era of
light rail that is no longer carrying passengers.
In this now historic view the first outbound train
of the afternoon will
be leaving in a few minutes, and there will be plenty of seats
available. The recently arrived train displays the original
terminal station name, Penn Park.