Philadelphia’s Rail Park will bring together diverse communities and serve as a focal point for the city for decades to come.

Center City District is working with the City of Philadelphia and the Friends of the Rail Park to convert the defunct Reading Railroad Line into a linear park that will provide three miles of green space and link ten diverse neighborhoods. Construction of Phase 1 commenced in November 2016 and involves converting a portion of the rail line that was purchased by SEPTA in the 1980s as part of the once proposed Schuylkill Valley Metro Line. Construction on Phase 1 will be complete in January 2018. The project is already fostering new investment and major renovation in the Callowhill neighborhood, and will prompt the redevelopment of several major vacant parcels around the area. Later phases will stretch north on elevated tracks into the East Poplar neighborhood and potentially west below ground toward the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Project Details

Infrastructure Type Railway
Status Open / Ongoing
Opening Phase 1: January 2018
Size 3 miles
Design Team Studio Bryan Hanes, Urban Engineers
Management

Base landscape services provided by the City of Philadelphia, Department of Parks and Recreation; cleaning and public safety services provided by Center City District, which will extend its boundaries to include Phase 1 of the Rail Park; Friends of the Rail Park will provide some specialized maintenance services and will be responsible for programming and communications

Latest News / Rail Park

Plan Philly / February 27, 2019

Six ways Philadelphia can create more equitable, imaginative, and inviting spaces

Civic spaces across Philadelphia are changing. The ways these spaces are contributing to a stronger and more inclusive city include: providing compensation to community members who participate in the design process, grounding the design to serve local needs, supporting equitable growth measures when civic assets increase property and real estate values.

CityLab / December 26, 2018

2018 was the year of the aspirational park

High-impact design was a recurring theme for parks that opened in 2018, and so was the hope that parks can unite and invigorate cities. Tulsa’s Gathering Place, Toronto’s Bentway, and Detroit’s Riverfront Conservancy are all being transformed into green spaces exhibiting the latest in equitable and resilient design.

Curbed / December 18, 2018

Rail Park wins 2018 engineering award

Urban Engineers, the group behind the Rail Park, announced that they’ve won the 2018 award for Outstanding Engineering Achievement from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers’ Philly Chapter.