While some might find it confusing that a structure in the heart of Philadelphia carries the name Suburban Station, there is a good reason for it that can be found in Montgomery County, writes Katherine Nails for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Broad Street Suburban Station opened at 16th Street and Pennsylvania Boulevard on September 28, 1930.
It was the city’s terminus for suburban electric trains operated by Pennsylvania Railroad. Instead of being named for where the trains ended up, it was named for where the trains arrived from.
Several stops on the Main Line fed the station, including Norristown, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford. The trains came from other suburban towns in surrounding counties as well, such as Villanova, Paoli, Malvern, and Devon. People in the suburbs could hop the train for a quick shopping trip to the city.
Now, it’s a way of life. Especially if you are a commuter.
These lines were a precursor to SEPTA’s Regional Rail system, which has kept its hub-and spoke-model largely unchanged since the early 1900s. The routes remain the same as they were 100 years ago, with the sole exception of a commuter rail tunnel added under Center City in 1984.
To this day, Suburban Station continues to serve as one of the central hubs in Philadelphia for commuter trains.
Read more about the Suburban Station in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Navigating Suburban Station, with SEPTA’s help.