Search this site:


October 19, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Amtrak stairway

StairwayAlex Moseson submits a picture taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

This “stairway to nowhere” is on a train platform in Amtrak’s 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It leads directly to… a solid cinderblock wall.

I noted its brokenness to some passersby, one of which happened to be retired from Amtrak. He told me that decades ago, it used to lead to another platform which is now closed. It remains as an odd sight now.


_@_v snail first! - and not broken - cheaper to wall off then tear out. and if they ever need that platform again they just hafta knock down the wall

Posted by: she-snailie_@_v at October 19, 2006 01:22 AM

Someone "obviously" hasn't been watching harry potter.

Posted by: Noremacam at October 19, 2006 06:04 AM

Amtrak is, on the whole, broken. I say this with great sadness as both a train buff and an environmentalist.

As a train buff, I see the broken down remains of a govenment program that never got the attention it required.

As an environmentalist, I see the most energy-efficient (per passenger-mile) means of distance transit disappearing in favour of air travel, which consumes as much fuel per passenger-mile as an SUV, and worse, deposits the resultant emissions high in the atmosphere where they do the most damage.

I then look at Canada's Via Rail system. It, too, was a government program at one time. It was well-funded to start, then gradually rolled back as the railroad became (no pun intended) viable. We think we're so great in America; why can't we do that?

Posted by: Glenn Lasher at October 19, 2006 07:09 AM

...and where exactly do you expect the troll that lives under those stairs to live if you take them out?

Sheesh... some people just have no consideration for our mythological lifeforms these days!

Posted by: Memnon at October 19, 2006 01:03 PM

That is very 4663. :)

Posted by: EricJ2190 at October 19, 2006 07:44 PM

I can imagine some circumstances which might have led to this being intentionally broken:

- There were lots of children running around, and the stairs provide a place for them to sit or to play.

- Buskers needed a place to perform where they'd be visible but out of traffic.

- The place had morbidly serious atmosphere, and an obviously broken feature gives the occupants something to laugh about. The problem is, architectural "jokes" are like humorous remarks in email: they're frequently misinterpreted without additional cues.

- The steps are normally roped off, but the photo was taken at a moment when the rope/sign/whatever was temporarily removed by a cleaning or maintenance crew.

Posted by: Paul Goble at October 20, 2006 11:30 AM

A vending machine could give it purpose... or a restraunt (namely Starbucks).

Posted by: st33med at October 20, 2006 03:13 PM

It's obviously the gateway to platform nine and three quarters... *rolls eyes*

Posted by: Fyre at October 21, 2006 12:21 AM

Comments on this entry are closed

Previous Posts: