This station has an almost…enigmatic feel to it. When you’re inside it, it’s like being inside this mysterious place that appeared out of nowhere and hasn’t been changed in years. Such is the nature of the Haverford Regional Rail station.
Haverford Station is located right in the community’s small downtown, but there still manages to be some parking slotted in around the station building and between some houses and the tracks. It adds up to 169 spaces (80 $1 daily ones and 89 $25/month permit ones). Aside from that, three bike racks are provided next to the station building, while shelterless bus stops on Lancaster Ave provide connections to the 105 and 106 buses to 69th Street.
Ah, but now we enter the station and the enigma of it becomes clearer! This place is just…bizarre. The way the walls are molded and painted feels like you’re in a house, but the way everything’s cracking and falling apart turns it into a haunted house. A dank, moist tunnel with exposed brick beneath the peeling paint takes you underneath the tracks, where you’ll find a painting…of a…stormy arch desert (?)…just…on the wall. It’s eerie in the neatest way possible. Oh, also, there was an antique furniture store accessible from down here (again, bizarre), but it seems to have shut its doors for good.
Coming out of the tunnel on the outbound side, the outside wall of the building has some beautiful little details and a bit of ivy growing. The inbound building is okay, but this outbound one is truly a work of art. We’ve got some more parking lots on this side, again both outside the building and across the street. It’s worth noting that in neither case are crosswalks provided to get across…it’s jaywalking time.
Once you’re on the platform itself, it feels like any other Main Line station. Still, it is very nice: most of it is sheltered, and the outbound side provides a bench right alongside the beautiful building exterior. Nifty staircases lead from the platform directly to the lots across the street from the buildings.
The inbound side doesn’t have any benches, though, probably because the waiting room is on this side. Given how well-designed the rest of the station is, though, it’s a shame that this waiting room is just a long, narrow bench and a ticket office in what feels like a 1950s office lobby. It’s only open from 6 AM to 11 AM on weekdays only, too, so most of the time, you’re out of luck when it comes to seating.
Ridership: This one gets pretty standard Regional Rail ridership with 404 boardings per day, but given that it’s sandwiched between the powerhouses of Bryn Mawr and Ardmore, I’d say that’s pretty good! Certainly a large portion of the ridership here is heading for the station’s namesake school, but the parking lots regularly filling up indicates that plenty of people commute from here to Philly, too.
Pros: Look, the fact that the paint in that hallway is chipping is ostensibly not a good thing, but I don’t want it to change. I’m not a believer in ghosts or anything like that, but the hallway here just has a certain aura that I am really drawn to. The mysterious painting helps a lot. Uhhh, but okay, other than that, we’ve got some parking (nice for a downtown station), a good location, and mostly sheltered platforms.
Cons: Argh, it’s not accessible. Darn it. And the lack of benches on the inbound side is rough, especially when this station probably does get a bunch of off-peak ridership from college students.
Nearby and Noteworthy: A bookstore dedicated exclusive to children’s books? YES! AMAZING!
Final Verdict: 6/10
Probably the highest score I can give to a station that’s not wheelchair accessible. And look, I know that when this station gets upgraded to be accessible however many years down the line, it’s probably gonna lose a lot of the aspects that give it such a cool energy. It’ll certainly be a necessary upgrade, but I’m also gonna appreciate what we have now, because this station really is something special.
Latest SEPTA News: Service Updates
I’m back in Boston due to Penn kicking us out due to coronavirus! It shouldn’t affect the stuff that gets posted (boy, is my SEPTA backlog long), but just figured I’d let you all know.