Philadelphia’s “High Line Park” dream for repurposed railway is about to come true

High above the Callowhill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the elevated, long-abandoned Reading Viaduct railway bed, there is a swing suspended from the rusted ruins of the catenary wires that once powered trains to North Philly, Germantown, and beyond.

Bundled against a recent wintry morning, Sarah McEneaney sat on that swing as she has many times before, gliding gracefully through the frigid air with a warm smile, happy that her longtime dream will soon come true.

By late spring or early summer, construction is expected to begin on the $9.6 million first phase of the Viaduct Rail Park. It will repurpose an initial quarter-mile section of a three-mile rail bed and turning it into a linear public park, a la Manhattan’s famous High Line Park.

With half the money in hand, thanks to the Center City District, $3 million more expected when the state legislature approves a budget.

What’s more, fund-raisers such as the Bacon Brothers benefit concert on February 4, 2016 at Union Transfer mean that McEneaney’s dream is about to become reality.

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