PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — PATCO trains will once again be picking up passengers at the historic station soon. The Franklin Square PATCO Station at 7th and Race Streets has been shuttered for decades, but a new, multi-million dollar project will breathe new life into the old infrastructure.
The Franklin Train Station was originally built in 1936. It reopened several times in the decades that followed but has been closed for 40 years.
The station shows its age and lack of use, but a $12.6 million project will soon make the PATCO high-speed line operable again — with state of the art renovations.
“It’s been closed since 1979, now you have the opportunity with economic growth in Camden,” said Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.
Williams was on hand to unveil the plans to repair, rebuild and revitalize the station.
Renderings show what the completed project will look like in 2023 with improved electrical, plumbing, and security systems and the inclusion of WiFi.
“This is one of the 55 projects in 35 states across the country that the secretary announced last week and it represents $900 million in infrastructure investment,” said Williams.
The Franklin Square Station sits in Congressman Brendan Boyle’s district.
He sees the project as a boost to Philadelphia and neighboring Camden.
“This is part of a billion dollar program called Bill Grants that I voted for, as well as a number of my colleagues, and now we’re able to apply for and receive funding from that overall grant program to make sure we will have a new PATCO Station,” said Boyle.
The PATCO high-speed line serves nearly 40,000 riders a day to and from Philadelphia and Camden.
Officials say renovating and reopening the Franklin Square Station will allow more riders to utilize the much needed service.