Posted on April 2, 2015 by Jesi Kim
Everyone in town knew the excitement that was involved with going to the train station. The place contained a sense of adventure and hope that would lead to new discoveries. Trains were ubiquitous and a convenient mode of transportation.
Built in 1902, the Bryn Athyn Station was the central location of the town, providing a mode of transportation while also providing a place for townspeople to gather to catch up on current events. Everyone in town knew each other, and the train station was an especially hectic place with people constantly coming in and out.
However, on a cold night in December of 1921 this station became the site of the Reading Railroad’s deadliest accident at that time. Twenty seven people died and 70 were injured. Most of the victims were burned to death. The once popular station was no longer visited by many, and it housed painful memories for quite a few. Despite the fact that this crash led to positive changes such as the federal Interstate Commerce Commission requiring that all railway cars be built of steel, its popularity began to wane. Finally, the station closed.
Being afraid of unleashing painful memories, people would not even speak of the place. The beautiful memories of the station started fading, and the once elegant and booming train station was merely an empty building.
It has been since reformed into a post office. Although it is not like it was before, people have started to visit this forgotten building. Despite the lack of a train station, once in a while people still come waiting for the next train to take them to their final destination.
Photography and Text by Jesi Kim, Copyright 2015
About the Author: Jesi Kim is a senior enrolled in the Engineering School of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015.