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- For the surface (bus, formerly streetcar) line in Newark, New Jersey, see Broad Street Line (Newark).
The Broad Street Line (BSL) (also known as the Broad Street Subway (BSS) or Orange Line) is a rapid transit line operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority that runs from Fern Rock Transportation Center in northern Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia, adjacent to several stadiums. It is named for Broad Street, the street under which it runs for almost its entire length. The express tracks run south only to Walnut-Locust. SEPTA also runs 'Sports Express Service' for events at the stadiums at Pattison Avenue, generally referred to as "Special" trains in Septa documentation; these switch to the local tracks at Walnut-Locust. The trains themselves are actually owned by the City of Philadelphia and operated by SEPTA, as noted by the city seals mounted to the sides of the subway cars.
Broad-Ridge Spur[edit | edit source]
A spur of the Broad Street Line, known as the Broad-Ridge Spur, takes trains from the northern terminus of the BSS to 8th and Market Streets via a split from the main line at Fairmount. At its southern terminus at 8th and Market, a transfer is available to the Market-Frankford Line and the PATCO Speedline. The name comes from the street above the line, Ridge Avenue. It was originally known as the Ridge-8th Street Subway, and at one time continued south and west along the Locust Street Subway, which is now used by the PATCO Speedline. It was also used by the Delaware River Port Authority when it operated its old "Bridge Line" subway service between Camden's city hall and Philadelphia, before being phased out and replace with the current PATCO service. The spur was originally intended to be a subway loop throughout Center City; however, city officials decided against it due to lack of funding, therefore the "loop" only runs from Broad & Fairmont to 8th & Market with 2 cars of Broad Ridge Spur.
History[edit | edit source]
Service on the northern half of the Broad Street Line between City Hall and Olney Avenue opened on September 1, 1928. Service south to Snyder Avenue began on September 18, 1938. Service to Fern Rock began in 1956, and the line was extended to Pattison in 1973.  Although the Broad Street Line north of Walnut-Locust was built for four tracks, only the sections between Walnut-Locust and Girard, and Olney and the Fern Rock shops, were equipped with four tracks at the time of opening. The two express tracks were extended from Girard to Erie in 1959, and from Erie to Olney in 1991. Two stations that have been closed are Spring Garden St. on the Broad-Ridge Line and Franklin Square on the former Camden, now PATCO, line.
Outside of New York City, the Broad Street Line is one of two rapid transit lines in the United States to use separate local and express tracks for a significant length, the other being Chicago's Red Line.
Service[edit | edit source]
Four different types of trains run along the Broad Street Line:
- Local (L) — trains show white marker lights; stops at all stations
- Express (E) — trains show green marker lights; stops at select stations between Fern Rock and Walnut-Locust
- Broad-Ridge Spur (R) — trains show yellow marker lights; features service via Ridge Ave to 8th & Market from Monday-Saturday
- Special (S) — trains show blue marker lights; features service from all express stations to Pattison for sporting and entertainment events
A local trip along the entire line takes about 35 minutes. Trains run from approximately 5:00 am to 1:00 am, and a bus service replaces the subway throughout the night, stopping at the same locations as the subway trains.
|Service||Start Time||End Time|
|Northbound train||5:02 am||12:55 am|
|Southbound train||5:00 am||12:41 am|
|Northbound Night Owl bus||12:20 am||5:36 am|
|Southbound Night Owl bus||12:09 am||5:35 am|
|Northbound Broad-Ridge Spur (M-F)||5:45 am||9:15 pm|
|Southbound Broad-Ridge Spur (M-F)||5:25 am||8:48 pm|
|Northbound Broad-Ridge Spur (Sat)||6:38 am||9:22 pm|
|Southbound Broad-Ridge Spur (Sat)||6:15 am||9:02 pm|
Stations[edit | edit source]
All stations are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Stations along the Broad-Ridge Spur itself are shaded in gray.
|Fern Rock Transportation Center||L E R S|
|Olney Transportation Center||L E R S||
|Erie||L E R S||
|North Philadelphia||L R||
|Cecil B. Moore
|Girard||L E R S||
|Spring Garden||L E S||
|Race-Vine||L E S||
|City Hall||L E S||
|Walnut-Locust||L E S|
Sports & Entertainment Complex
Timeline[edit | edit source]
- September 1, 1928: Original section of subway opens from City Hall to Olney Avenue. Fare is 15 cents.
- 1930: Subway extended to South Street.
- 1938: Subway extended south to Snyder Avenue.
- 1956: Subway extended from Olney to Fern Rock (over existing tracks to Fern Rock shops).
- 1959: Express service begins following installation of second pair of tracks north to Erie.
- 1967: Roosevelt Boulevard subway station built at Adams Avenue in anticipation of extending the subway along the Roosevelt Boulevard.
- 1969: Locust St.-Camden tracks separated from BSL to form PATCO Line.
- 1973: Subway extended to Pattison Avenue sports complex.
- 1991: Express Tracks extended from Erie to Olney.
[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
|Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority|
|City Transit Division||Market-Frankford Line - Broad Street Line - Subway-Surface Lines - Girard Avenue Trolley (Route 15) - City surface routes|
|Suburban Division||Norristown High Speed Line (Route 100) - Suburban Trolley Lines (Routes 101 & 102) - Suburban bus routes|
|Regional Rail||R1 - R2 - R3 - R5 - R6 - R7 - R8|
|Major Stations||Frankford Transportation Center - Market East Station - Suburban Station - 30th Street Station - 69th Street Terminal|