Wilmington station (Delaware) Article

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Wilmington Station from parking garage, July 2014.JPG
The Wilmington station in July 2014
Location100 South French Street
Wilmington, Delaware
United States
Coordinates 39°44′12″N 75°33′04″W / 39.736759°N 75.551093°W / 39.736759; -75.551093

39°44′12″N 75°33′04″W / 39.736759°N 75.551093°W / 39.736759; -75.551093
Owned by Amtrak
Line(s) Northeast Corridor
Platforms2 side platforms, 1 island platform
Connections Intercity Bus Thruway Motorcoach
Local Transit DART First State
ParkingGarages and side street parking
Bicycle facilitiesIn parking garage on French Street
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeWIL (Amtrak)
Fare zone4 ( SEPTA)
Previous namesFrench Street
Wilmington Pennsylvania Station
Passengers (2016)691,694 annually [1]Decrease 1.2% (Amtrak)
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
Acela Express
toward  Boston South
toward  St. Albans
toward  Chicago
toward  New York
toward  Charlotte
toward  New Orleans
toward  Savannah
Northeast Regional
toward  Miami
Silver Meteor
toward  New York
Silver Star
toward  Newark
Wilmington/​Newark Line
Former services
Preceding station   Pennsylvania Railroad   Following station
Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad
Terminus Wilmington Line
toward  Cape Charles
Delmarva DivisionTerminus
BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak
toward  Newport News
toward  Boston South
toward  Montreal
Wilmington Station
Area2 buildings and 1 structure on 3.3 acres (1.3 ha)
Architect Furness, Evans & Co.
Architectural style Romanesque Revival
NRHP reference # 76000581 [2]
Added to NRHPNovember 21, 1976

Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station, also known as Wilmington, is a passenger rail station in Wilmington, Delaware. One of Amtrak's busiest stops, it serves nine Amtrak trains and is part of the Northeast Corridor. It also serves SEPTA commuter trains on the Wilmington/Newark Line as well as DART First State local buses and Greyhound Lines intercity buses.

Built in 1907 as Pennsylvania Station, the station was renamed in 2011 for then-Vice President and former U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., an advocate for passenger rail who routinely took the train from Wilmington to Washington, D.C. [3] Located on Front Street between French and Walnut Streets in downtown Wilmington, the station has one inside level with stores, a cafe, ticket offices for Amtrak and SEPTA/DART First State, a car rental office, and a post office. Passengers board their trains on the second-story train platforms.


The station from above in a 1977 Historic American Engineering Record survey photo
The station in 2010 during renovation

The station replaced an earlier station erected by the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. [4]

It was built in 1907 for $300,000 by the PW&B successor, the Pennsylvania Railroad. [5] It was designed by renowned architect Frank Furness, who also designed the adjacent Pennsylvania Railroad Building (which housed the offices for the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad) and the nearby Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's Water Street Station. (The Pennsylvania Railroad Building has since been renovated; as of 2014, it holds the offices of ING Direct United States.) [5]

Admired for his use of new and innovative materials and his forceful architectural statements, Furness chose to have the trains move right through the second floor of the station, with room for a ticketing and retail concourse at ground level underneath the tracks. [4] This unconventional arrangement celebrated the power of the locomotive and America's industrial strength. The north end of the station has a four-faced rectangular clock tower that rises an extra story above the main roof. It is decorated with stone and terra cotta work that is repeated in plainer form throughout the station. [4]

Wilmington Station has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976. [6] A renovation project was conducted in 1984. [5] The National Register added the adjacent railroad viaduct in 1999. SEPTA has been running to Wilmington since 1989. [7]

In 2009, the station began a two-year restoration; about two-thirds of the $37.7 million in funding came from United States government stimulus funds. [3] [5] During construction, customer operations, including platform access, were moved to a temporary station next door. [5] The station reopened on December 6, 2010, and final work was completed in March 2011. [3] [8]

On March 19, 2011, the station's name was changed from Wilmington Station to Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Railroad Station. The ceremony honored U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who took over 7,000 round trips from the station during his U.S. Senate career and was noted as an advocate for Amtrak and passenger rail more generally. [3] [9] On January 20, 2017, within an hour after completing his tenure as Vice President, Biden boarded an Amtrak Acela train in DC bound for his namesake station. [10]

Trains and local transit

A northbound Amtrak Northeast Regional train stops at Wilmington station

The station is served by Amtrak Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains along the Northeast Corridor going south to Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and going north to Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. It is also served by several long distance trains including the Cardinal to Chicago, the Carolinian to Charlotte, the Crescent to New Orleans, the Palmetto to Savannah, the Silver Star and the Silver Meteor to Florida, and the Vermonter to Vermont. Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach service is provided through the station to Dover and Seaford, Delaware, and Salisbury, Maryland. It is also served by SEPTA Regional Rail's Wilmington/Newark Line with service to Center City Philadelphia and Newark, Delaware. Like all stations in Delaware, SEPTA service is provided under contract and funded through DART First State, which also provides extensive local bus service as they have since 1994.

DART First State bus routes serving Wilmington station include 2, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 28, 31, 33, 35, 38, 40, 45, 48, 52, 54, 55, 59, 301, and 305 (seasonally). Buses stop along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at French Street.

See also


  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2016, State of Delaware" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  2. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. ^ a b c d Travers, Karen (March 16, 2011). "'Amtrak Joe' Biden Gets His Own Train Station". ABC News. Archived from the original on March 19, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Great American Stations. Accessed March 8, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Taylor, Adam (April 3, 2010), "Delaware transportation: For now, it's a headache on all sides of the tracks", The News Journal (delawareonline), Wilmington: Gannett, retrieved December 9, 2010 (subscription required)
  6. ^ New Castle County Listings at the National Register of Historic Places (Building – #76000581)
  7. ^ New Castle County Listings at the National Register of Historic Places (Structure – #99001276)
  8. ^ "Historic Wilmington Train Station Re-Opens" (PDF) (Press release). Amtrak. December 6, 2010. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  9. ^ Bothum, Kelly (March 19, 2011). "Biden: 'I don't deserve' Amtrak station honor". The News Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Cherry, Amy (January 20, 2017). "VIDEO: Crowd cheers, chants 'Welcome Home Joe' for the homecoming of Delaware's own". Wilmington, DE: WDEL. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

Further reading

  • Dilts, James D. (Fall–Winter 2010). "Three Amtrak Stations Take Different Roads to Rehabilitation". Railroad History (203): 46–50. JSTOR  43525153.

External links