Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center

Station improvements transform rail travel and boost regional development

As the busiest station on the most-used regional rail line in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) system, Paoli Station serves approximately 740,000 SEPTA passengers and 201,000 Amtrak passengers each year. A significant effort to enhance the station has created the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center. This stunning new facility drives community revitalization and completely transforms a low-level platform station originally built in 1883 and modified in the 1950s, enabling it to better meet the needs of the traveling public, now and in the future.

Gannett Fleming provided design and construction-phase services for the new facility. Our firm’s careful evaluation of site alternatives and station concepts resulted in a plan for the new station that successfully addressed all stakeholder needs. A creative approach to design enabled construction between and adjacent to active railroad tracks and catenary wires—all while maintaining passenger service and minimizing travel impacts.

What We Did

A key component of the project was a single high-level platform between the tracks that serve both eastbound and westbound travelers. The central location enhances traveler safety and convenience by connecting the platform to both sides of the station via a glass-enclosed overpass with wide stairways and elevators. To build the platform in the constrained site, the team focused on minimizing excavation requirements, reducing the project’s footprint, and minimizing the need to create access for heavy equipment. The new platform’s height allows commuters to step directly onto trains without using stairs, making boarding easier, quicker, and safer for all riders.

The steel truss framing system for the overpass, including much of the metal roof and floor decking, was fabricated off-site then erected in a parking lot adjacent to the station. The team designed the overpass so its large, glass storefronts could be installed from inside the structure, reducing the need for extensive track and catenary outages during installation. Completing the improvement project puts into place the cornerstone of community plans for boosting economic development and enhancing the area’s quality of life.

Key Features

  • Center high-level platform reduces train delays by making boarding quicker and switching trains more convenient.
  • Multistory pedestrian overpass streamlines passage through the facility.
  • Expanded bus and shuttle service space reduces traffic congestion, making commuting safer and more efficient.
  • New wayfinding makes traveler movement easier and more convenient.
More Project Details
OUTCOMES

Enhanced comfort and convenience for nearly 1 million passengers annually.

New transportation center provides regional economic boost.

Full compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.