Yikes, SEPTA, I’m really sorry for covering some of your worst stations in such a short succession. And despite having just witnessed North Philadelphia‘s “apocalyptic decrepitude”, Bridesburg still managed to give me a shock when I stepped off an outbound train here. I mean…
What bothers me about Bridesburg isn’t the bombed-out shelter. It’s not the near-absence of a platform, or the fact that what is there is only long enough to handle one car of a train. No, it’s not any of those things: it’s that the track next to the outbound platform is not a SEPTA track. To board or disembark a train, YOU HAVE TO GET ON AT AT LEAST THE SECOND TRACK OVER. And I don’t know if the platform-side track is active (please enlighten me in the comments!), but wouldn’t it be funny if a SEPTA train tried to stop here but a freight train was in the way? I’m sure that doesn’t happen, but it doesn’t change the fact that you have to cross a track to board a train here!
Stairs take you down to street level (this station isn’t accessible, obviously). Bridesburg has no parking, but bus connections are available to the 73 and 84, whose stops only have signs, as per usual. You have to go under the grungy Northeast Corridor tracks to cross to the other side and use the inbound stairs.
Alright, credit where credit is due: Bridesburg’s inbound platform is better. It’s a real platform this time, with actual ADA strips and a wooden floor. Plus, you can board without having to cross a track, thank goodness. I don’t want to give it too much praise, though: the shelter is still a complete mess, and the platform is still tiny.
Ridership: Very low, at just 164 boardings and alightings per day. I suppose that’s at least representative of the awfulness of the station, but it’s also just a side effect of having a Regional Rail station in an urban neighborhood: Regional Rail isn’t “for” these neighborhoods, at least not with its current fare structure. It also doesn’t help that Frankford Transportation Center is only a mile away – that probably siphons away some of Bridesburg’s ridership.
Pros: Uhh…the inbound side has a real platform…that’s good…
Cons: It should be obvious that nearly everything about Bridesburg is terrible. The platforms are tiny, the pedestrian access to the station is weak (despite the stop not having parking), and the outbound platform is just an absolute mess. Why hasn’t it gotten a renovation like the inbound side? Is it something to do with that extra track you have to cross to board the train? Also, wouldn’t it be a good idea to put bike racks here? Most of the actual neighborhood of Bridesburg is pretty far from here, so a few places to put bikes could help attract new riders. Just a suggestion for once the outbound platform stops being a danger to humanity.
Nearby and Noteworthy: A dive bar called “Fibber McGee’s Pub” is right next to the station? Yup, we’re definitely in Bridesburg!
Final Verdict: 1/10
Some would argue that the inbound platform is passable enough that this station should get a 2. I would argue that the outbound platform is horrible enough that this station is lucky to scrape a 1.
Latest SEPTA News: Service Updates
Oh man. Since the closing of Lamokin Street some years back, Bridesburg has been at the top of my mental list of worst SEPTA stations. And they actually improved the inbound side a few years ago to put up that platform! It used to be just like the outbound side.
That whole stretch of the R7 Trenton line up to Tacony features some terrible stations. Be sure to look out for the abandoned Wissinoming station between Bridesburg and Tacony. It wasn’t much better even when it was in use.
I also believe that the track on the outbound side is still in use for local freights. Tacony station has the same track-crossing arrangement.
So you’re not a fan of stations that frequently make passengers cross busy tracks to board?
I used the Bridesburg station exactly one time during my four years as a college student in Philly in the 90’s. It was during a transit strike…the city transit services were shut down, but the regional rail division was still operating. As a student journalist, I was assigned to cover a press conference in NE Philly near the Frankford terminal. Usually I would have just taken the El, but for the sake of getting the story I hopped on what was then called the R7 and rode to Bridesburg, and had to walk a good 30 minutes or so from there.
I was able to get a ride back to Center City from another journalist (the kind whose employer provided a company vehicle), so my tour of SEPTA’s Bridesburg station was limited only to the outbound platform.