Driving in Center City Philadelphia is not my idea of a good time. So when I go downtown, I take the train whenever possible. It’s easy from Eastern University‘s main campus which is located near three train stations-Radnor, Wayne, and St. Davids-on the historic Pennsylvania RR Main Line.
Back in the glory days of railroading, one of the ponds on what is now Eastern’s campus was used to supply water for steam locomotives. Now, SEPTA‘s Paoli-Thorndale line (formerly the R-5) trundles along the old Main Line route. Cleaner running but way less glamorous than the gleaming steam engines made at the Baldwin factory in Eddystone, Delaware County, SEPTA trains offer the commuter a means of getting downtown (or to other towns) that is greener, cheaper, and WAY less stressful than sitting in traffic on the Schuykill Expressway.
Get off at 30th Street Station and you’re near University City. You can make connections there to go to the airport via SEPTA, or hop an AMTRAK train for just about anywhere in the country. (NOTE: I love AMTRAK. Love it. Take the Acela to Washington D.C. Or take the Auto Train from Lorton, VA or Sanford, FL. You’ll see why.)
The next stop, Suburban Station, is literally across the street from Eastern’s Center City site at 18th and JFK. How convenient is that?! (Speaking of Suburban Station, let’s give a ‘shout out’ to Chris and the rest of the kind people who work the evening shift at SEPTA’s Passenger Services Office there.)
The Market East Station stop lands you near Chinatown and the Convention Center–a great way to get to the annual Flower Show and other events.
The next time you are headed to Center City, do yourself and the planet a favor. Support public transportation. Take the train!