Monday, December 15, 2008

Then and Now: the Ardmore Trolley and Llanerch Railway Station, Ardmore

c. 1910-2008

Though Philadelphia's Main Line suburbs came to existence thanks largely to the efforts of the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad, it was not long before the city's rapidly growing streetcar and trolley network made its way into Delaware and Montgomery Counties. The Philadelphia and West Chester Traction Company (later known as the Philadelphia Suburban Transit Company) first brought surburban trolley service to Llanerch and south Ardmore in 1902. Service was extended to Lancaster Pike three years later with the opening of the Ardmore trolley terminal, a short walk from the Pennsylvania Railroad's Ardmore Station.

Unfortunately, trolley service between downtown Ardmore and West Philadelphia did not survive America's postwar public transportation crisis. The Philadelphia Surburban Transit Company ended service to Ardmore in 1966, and the trolley station and tracks were demolished and replaced by a pocket park and (of course) an adjoining parking lot. The pocket park has subsequently been renamed Schauffele Plaza, and underwent a facelift several years ago as part of Ardmore's streetscape improvement project. It the only public park and seating area downtown, and is a stop for several SEPTA bus routes. Three of the PSTC's more fortunate suburban trolley lines are still operated today by SEPTA - routes 101, 102, and the 100 high-speed line.

Source: "Montgomery County: The Second Hundred Years - 1983." 15 Dec. 2008.
Original Image: "Ardmore Trolley and Llanarch Railway Stations, Ardmore." c. 1910. Lower Merion Historical Society Archives. Lower Merion Historical Society. 10 Dec. 2008.

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