Skip to main content


This 1952 photo shows the pre-tunnel relationship of the rapid-transit El to the trolley tracks beneath it. One set of tracks continues west; another set bends southwest on Woodland Avenue from its intersection with 32nd and Market streets. Thirtieth Street Station appears upper left. 

Market Street Elevated in 1928, showing street widening near 32nd St.

This 1956 photo shows the demolition of the 32nd St. station of the Market Street El. Removal of above-street tracks extended to 45th St., and the El stations at 36th and 40th streets were taken down.  

This 1956 photo shows a train arriving from the 45th Street portal at the 46th Street station of the Market Street Elevated. Remnant tracks extending east from 45th Street are in the process of removal.  

Nearly 70 years removed from tunnel digging, this photo of the Market Street corridor at 36th Street shows no traces of the trains that rumble below the surface. 

This photo shows the excavation of the Market Street tunnel at 36th Street. Tunnel digging had harmful effects for the surrounding blocks, in this case a majority-African American neighborhood known locally as the Black Bottom. 

Construction of the Market Street rapid transit/subway tunnel began around 1923 at 24th Street. By 1932 the four-lane tunnel under the Schuylkill River had only reached 32nd Street, at which point construction was halted and the tunnel sealed. The Great Depression and Second World War provided ample reasons for postponing the project. Construction began anew in 1948.  

This diagram shows the original plan for construction of the rapid transit/subway tunnel. 

This 1939 aerial photo shows the relationship of the Market Street Bridge and the El between the U.S. Post Office (left) and 30th Street Station (right). Trolley tracks can be seen on the bridge. 

Passengers on the early Market Street Elevated