Philadelphia Unveils First Quarter-Mile of Newly Illuminated Rail Park

rail park grand opening 2018 philadelphia

On June 14, 2018, hundreds of Philadelphians gathered to see the completed first phase of the city’s new Rail Park, a quarter-mile public trail that stretches from 13th and Noble Streets to the 1100 block of Callowhill Street. The elevated park offers expansive views of Philadelphia as well as benches, swings, and green space.

The Lighting Practice designed a lighting system that illuminates the Rail Park to provide safety and beauty without disrupting evening views of the city. TLP was involved in designing the general lighting for the public areas of the entries, gathering spaces, seating, and stairs into the park. The team also designed the accent lighting of the hardscape/landscape in the public areas as well as accent lighting for the underpasses located at Callowhill, 12th and 13th Streets. TLP participated in all phases of the project from schematic design through construction.

Ten years in the making, the trail runs along the abandoned Reading Viaduct, a former pedestrian and freight train line. “The whole purpose was proof of concept,” said Paul Levy, Director of Center City Districts. “Could we actually renovate this rail line?” By reimagining this space into a public park, the once abandoned viaduct has been reclaimed “for Callowhill, for Chinatown, and for the whole region.”

The completed project will total three miles and will link Philadelphia’s Chinatown to Brewerytown. As part of the design team for this project (and as Philadelphia residents and commuters), we look forward to enjoying the Rail Park and seeing subsequent phases come to life.

Philadelphia Rail Park: From Photoshop to reality

WHYY | June 2018

On a breezy, beautiful morning close to one thousand Philadelphians gathered together to inaugurate the first quarter mile of the Philadelphia Rail Park. Located just past Callowhill at 13th and Noble streets, the once-abandoned rail line has been reclaimed “for Callowhill, for Chinatown, and for the whole region” as Director of Center City Districts, Paul Levy, put it.

Read the full WHYY article here.


Photography by Emily Cohen for WHYY

Master plan rail park philadelphia pa

Top of the rail park phase 1

Philadelphia elevated new park 2018

The Rail Park Phase I philadelphia pa

Renderings by Studio Bryan Hanes