Penn Station, First Train Out

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.

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