More than 700,000 people use Wilmington Station every year, and it’s easy to see why. This historic train station, which has stood since 1908, represents an important hub for travelers in the Philadelphia and Wilmington areas. While a ground transportation company like Eagle can help travelers get to and from the station, for business travelers who make use of Delaware’s rail system we’d like to offer this guide to the station, past and present.
The Origin and History of Wilmington Station
When the Pennsylvania Railroad needed a regional headquarters between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., it turned to architects Allen Evans and Frank Furness.
The architects created a cutting-edge station renowned for a unique design that allows trains to drive through the station’s second floor. The station is a landmark of industrial America, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1976.
In 2009, Vice President Joe Biden partnered with Amtrak to spearhead a major restoration project. During the course of the project, the station’s Grand Staircase was repaired, terrazzo floors were added to the concourse, and modern touches—such as free public WiFi—capped the restoration efforts. Following the completion of the project, the station was renamed the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station, in honor of the vice president.
The Station Today
Wilmington Station stands apart from other train stations by virtue of its architecture. Large glass and metal canopies surround the entrances, and passengers in the ticketing area often marvel at the imposing exposed steel beams that support the station. At the corner of Front and French streets sits the station’s elegant clock tower.
Amtrak currently operates the station, and the company has added numerous amenities, including enclosed waiting areas, wheelchair-accessible elevators and restrooms, and automated ticket kiosks. Visitors to the station report that the free public WiFi is reliable, and that the station includes many power outlets to charge various devices.
Travelers who find themselves in need of Wilmington’s rail services may want to arrive at the station a little early. There’s plenty to be seen in this historic building, and a lot to do while one waits. Even travelers who don’t need to hop on a train may want to ask their chauffeurs to take a quick detour by the station; even on a drive by the station is a site worth seeing.