Millions in Federal Grants Will Help Modernize, Reopen PATCO's Long Closed Franklin Square Station

Franklin Square Station in Philadelphia has been closed since 1979.

What to Know

  • A $12.58-million federal grant is being used to help the DRPA finally reopen PATCO's Franklin Square Station.
  • The station near the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia has been closed for four decades.
  • The plan is to open the modernized and accessible station in the summer of 2023.

A long-shuttered train station in the heart of Philadelphia is getting a multimillion-dollar face-lift so that it can finally be open and accessible to everyone.

PATCO is using federal grant money to help rebuild the Franklin Square Station in Philadelphia.

The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) announced Tuesday its plan to use a $12.58 million Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the U. S. Department of Transportation to “revitalize and reopen” the station near the foot of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

For years, the DRPA has been seeking money to rebuild the dimly lit "ghost station" that trains between Philly and Camden pass every day. The total amount of the project to reopen the station, which first opened in 1936 and closed in 1979, comes in around $30 million. The money combines the federal BUILD grant with DRPA funds.

“This BUILD grant will help the Delaware River Port Authority to reopen Franklin Square Station, giving Philadelphians more transit options,” U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said. “The funding will contribute to necessary upgrades for the station and will serve new residential and commercial growth in the area.”

PATCO announced last year its plans to reopen the station below Franklin Square Park on the edge of Old City.

“The project will address improvements to the station’s civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical systems,” PATCO said in a news release.

Part of the upgrades include meeting Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

Riders looking for the new stop between Camden City Hall in New Jersey and 8th and Market streets in Philadelphia will have to wait.

The project still needs to be bid on and isn't expected to begin until Fall 2020. The plan is to complete the work, including a modern head house building near 7th and Race streets, in time for a summer of 2023 opening, the DRPA said.

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