Bryn Mawr 100: Bryn Mawr Train Station
The station has been serving the Main Line for more than 170 years.
As the second most heavily trafficked train station on the region's busiest line, the Bryn Mawr Train Station has been at the nexus of Main Line travel since 1839.
According to Harry Garforth, SEPTA's manager of rail planning and scheduling, 1,900 individual passenger trips end or originate in the Bryn Mawr Station each weekday. These 1,900 trips are made possible by the 82 trains, 12 of them express, that stop at the station each weekday—the most of any station along the Paoli/Thorndale line.
And its history is as rich as its present is busy.
"Service through Bryn Mawr (Humphreysville) to Central Philadelphia commenced in 1839," Garforth told Patch in an email. "A larger station building was constructed on the original alignment at Whitehall in the 1850s. The building later served as the Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Thrift Shop for many years."
Garforth added that by 1870 a new, more direct, line was established—bypassing Whitehall—and necessitating the construction of a larger station. A grand building with a companion freight station was erected later that year and became, by 1905, the largest and busiest station along the Main Line.
"Steam locomotives provided the motive power for trains until 1915 when the line was electrified to Paoli," Garforth said.
In 1963, the original station was replaced with the current iteration.
Five years after the construction and opening of its new building, Bryn Mawr Station, which to that point had been provided train service by Standard Railroad of the World, was taken over by Penn Central. Conrail assumed control of the station in 1976 and maintained it until 1983, when SEPTA established operating control it has since held.
Editor's Note: This is the eighth in a 19-part series profiling the institutions in Bryn Mawr that are more than 100 years old. Check back with Bryn Mawr-Gladwyne Patch for more profiles leading up to the Sept. 10 celebration.