City Branch Rail Tunnel

The City Branch is an abandoned stretch of submerged track which runs from Broad Street to 27th Street in the Art Museum area of Philadelphia. The since removed rail line is open to the sky as it runs parallel to Callowhill Street, but then becomes a covered tunnel at 22nd Street, where it turns northwest along Pennsylvania Avenue.

This section of track was used for freight and serviced companies such as Knickerbocker Ice Co., Bement-Pond, Rush & Muhlenberg, Wm. Sellers, the Philadelphia Grain Elevator Co., A. Whitney & Sons Car Wheel, and Baldwin Locomotive Works.

In 1900, Reading completed the depression of the City Branch, which eliminated numerous dangerous grade crossings. The City Branch continued to transport freight until 1992, when the Philadelphia Inquirer at Broad and Callowhill streets, stopped printing the newspaper.

After this, the rails were removed and nature was allowed to return to the area. Several sections have been cleared for parking in recent years, however the tunnel remains vacant.

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