An Airport Line train bound for Center City Philadelphia stops at the Airport Terminal A station
|System||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Termini|| Philadelphia International Airport Terminals |
|Daily ridership||5,542 (FY 2018)|
|Operator(s)||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Rolling stock||Electric Multiple Units|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The Airport Line (formerly the R1 Airport) is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail commuter rail system in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which officially runs between Philadelphia International Airport through Center City to Temple University station. In practice, however, only a few trains originate or terminate at Temple; most are through routed with lines to the north, primarily the Warminster Line, with some through-routed trains originating and terminating at Glenside.
The line between Center City and the airport runs seven days a week from 5:00 AM to midnight with trains every 30 minutes. The trip length from Suburban Station to the airport is 19 to 24 minutes. The line is fully grade-separated.
While geographically on the former Pennsylvania Railroad side of the Regional Rail System, the route consists of new construction, a reconstructed industrial branch of the former Pennsylvania Railroad, and a shared Conrail (formerly Reading Company) freight branch. The Airport Line opened on April 28, 1985, as SEPTA R1, providing service from Center City to the Philadelphia International Airport. By its twentieth anniversary in 2005, the line had carried over 20 million passengers to and from the airport. The line splits from Amtrak's Northeast Corridor north of Darby and passes over it via a flying junction. West of the airport, the line breaks from the old right-of-way and a new bridge carries it over I-95 and into the airport terminals between the baggage claim (arrivals) and the check-in counters (departures).
The line stops at four stations which are directly connected to each airport terminal by escalators and elevators which rise one level to the walkways between the arrival and departure areas. All airport stations feature high-level platforms to make it easier to board and alight from the train with luggage. Some stations can be accessed directly from the arrivals concourse by crossing Commercial Vehicles Road. The line ends between Terminals E and F at their combined station.
As of 2018 [update] , most weekday Airport Line trains are through routed with the Warminster Line and alternate between terminating in Glenside and Warminster. Most weekend trains either continue on to Warminster or terminate at Temple University.
The Airport Line makes the following station stops, after leaving the Center City Commuter Connection.
|Zone||Location||Station|| Miles (km) |
from Center City
|Connections / notes|
|C||University City, Philadelphia|| Penn Medicine ||1.8 (2.9)|| SEPTA Regional Rail: Manayunk/Norristown, Media/Elwyn, Warminster, West Trenton, and Wilmington/Newark lines|
SEPTA City Bus: 40 , LUCY
|1||Eastwick, Philadelphia|| Eastwick ||7.2 (11.6)||SEPTA City Bus: 37 , 68 |
SEPTA Suburban Bus: 108 , 115
|4||Philadelphia International Airport|| Terminal A ||9.1 (14.6)||SEPTA City Bus: 37 |
SEPTA Suburban Bus: 108 , 115
| Terminal B ||SEPTA City Bus: 37 |
SEPTA Suburban Bus: 108 , 115
| Terminals C & D ||9.3 (15.0)||SEPTA City Bus: 37 |
SEPTA Suburban Bus: 108 , 115
| Terminals E & F ||9.4 (15.1)||SEPTA City Bus: 37 |
SEPTA Suburban Bus: 108 , 115
The line south of the Northeast Corridor was originally part of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad main line, opened on January 17, 1838. The connection between the NEC and the original PW&B is made however by the later 60th Street Branch. A new alignment of the PW&B (now the NEC) opened November 18, 1872, and on July 1, 1873, the Philadelphia and Reading Railway, later the Reading Company, leased the old line for 999 years. Connection was made over the PRR's Junction Railroad and later the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad. However, as a condition of the sale, no passenger service was provided. The line passed into Conrail in 1976 and SEPTA in 1983, with passenger service to the Philadelphia International Airport beginning on April 28, 1985.
Infill stations were planned from the beginning of service, two of which were on the Airport Line proper: one at 70th Street, the other one at 84th Street. The latter station was opened in 1997 as Eastwick, while 70th Street was never built, and has since disappeared from maps. Additionally, University City station (proposed as "Civic Center", now Penn Medicine station) opened in April 1995 to serve all R1, R2 and R3 trains passing it. All these stations appeared on 1984 SEPTA informational maps, the first ones to show the Center City Commuter Connection and the Airport Line.
SEPTA activated positive train control on the Airport Line on October 10, 2016.
Between FY 2008-FY 2018 annual ridership on the Airport Line peaked at 2,457,743 during FY 2015, but fell to 1,902,127 by FY 2018.
The SEPTA Regional Rail system is a commuter rail network owned by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and serving the Philadelphia Metropolitan area. The system has 13 branches and more than 150 active stations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, its suburbs and satellite towns and cities. It is the fifth-busiest commuter railroad in the United States, and the busiest outside of the New York and Chicago metropolitan areas. In 2016, the Regional Rail system had an average of 132,000 daily riders.
The Trenton Line is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail system. The route serves the northeastern suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with service in Bucks County along the Delaware River to Trenton, New Jersey.
The Wilmington/Newark Line is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail commuter rail system in the Philadelphia area. The line serves southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware, with stations in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, Wilmington, Delaware, and Newark, Delaware. It is the longest of the 13 SEPTA Regional Rail lines.
Warminster station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station in Warminster, Pennsylvania. It serves as the North end of the Warminster Line. The station is occasionally served by passenger trains operated by the New Hope Railroad, which has an interchange just North of the station with Pennsylvania Northeastern Railroad. Original electrification from Hatboro was extended to Warminster on July 29, 1974, replacing the former Reading Company Bonair and Johnsville stations. This station is wheelchair ADA accessible.
Hatboro station is a rail station on SEPTA Regional Rail's Warminster Line, formerly the Reading Railroad's New Hope Branch, in Hatboro, Pennsylvania and once terminus for electrified MUs. Electrification was extended to Warminster in 1974. It is located at the intersection of Byberry Road and Penn Street. The station features a passing siding for handling multiple trains as well as a 100-space parking lot. The current brick construction station stands at 20' x 55' and was built in 1935. An original wood construction freight station was completed in 1871 but no longer stands at the site.
Willow Grove station is a station on the SEPTA Warminster Line, located in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. The station, located on York Road and Davisville Roads, features a 190-space parking lot. Willow Grove station was originally built in 1886 by the Reading Railroad, and replaced by a stone structure built in 1939. The station house was closed in 1965, but continues to serve passengers.
Ardsley station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station in Ardsley, Pennsylvania. It serves the Warminster Line and is located at the intersection of Jenkintown Road and Edge Hill Road. In FY 2013, Ardsley station had a weekday average of 175 boardings and 175 alightings. The station has a parking lot with 45 spaces.
Glenside station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station along the SEPTA Main Line, located at the intersection of Easton Road and Glenside Avenue in Glenside, Pennsylvania. It is served by the Warminster Line and the Lansdale/Doylestown Line, both of which split at Carmel Junction immediately west of Glenside station. The station is not wheelchair accessible, but has a ticket office. The first train from the station departs at 4:29 A.M, while the last train arrives at the station at 1:03 A.M. The station is relatively busy with a train arriving at least every 30 minutes, even at non-peak hours.
Elkins Park station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station located in the Elkins Park neighborhood of Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The station building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its notable architecture. The station is located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Spring Avenue. Elkins Park station is served by the Warminster Line, West Trenton Line, and Lansdale/Doylestown Line.
The Fern Rock Transportation Center is a SEPTA rail and bus station located at 10th Street and Nedro Avenue in the Fern Rock neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fern Rock serves as the northern terminus and yard for SEPTA's Broad Street Line, as well as a stop for SEPTA Regional Rail's Lansdale/Doylestown Line, Warminster Line, and West Trenton Line.
The Warminster Line is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail commuter rail system. It serves stations between its namesake town, Warminster, and Center City, Philadelphia. Half of the route is shared by other lines, including the Lansdale/Doylestown Line, West Trenton Line, Fox Chase Line, Chestnut Hill East Line, and Manayunk/Norristown Line. The great majority of trains continue as part of the Airport Line.
The West Trenton Line is a SEPTA Regional Rail line connecting Center City Philadelphia to the West Trenton section of Ewing Township, New Jersey.
The Media/Elwyn Line is a SEPTA Regional Rail line that runs from Center City Philadelphia west to Elwyn in Delaware County.
The Lansdale/Doylestown Line is a SEPTA Regional Rail line connecting Center City Philadelphia to Doylestown in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Until 1981, diesel-powered trains continued on the Bethlehem Branch from Lansdale to Quakertown, Bethlehem, and Allentown. Restored service has been proposed, but is not planned by SEPTA. The line is currently used by the East Penn Railroad, serving Quakertown's industrial complexes and distribution centers.
The Paoli/Thorndale Line, commonly known as the Main Line, is a SEPTA Regional Rail service running from Center City Philadelphia to Thorndale in Chester County. It operates on Amtrak's Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line, which in turn was once the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad and is now part of the Keystone Corridor, a federally-designated high-speed rail corridor.
The Cynwyd Line is a SEPTA Regional Rail line running from Center City Philadelphia to Cynwyd in Montgomery County. Originally known as the Ivy Ridge Line, service was truncated on May 27, 1986, at its current terminus at Cynwyd. Track between Cynwyd and Ivy Ridge was dismantled between 2008 and 2010 for conversion as an interim rail trail, preventing service restoration for the foreseeable future. The Cynwyd line is the shortest of the SEPTA regional rail lines, and is the second shortest regional rail line in the United States, with only the New Jersey Transit Princeton Branch being shorter. It is by far the least ridden and least trafficked SEPTA Regional Rail Line. It is fully grade-separated.
The Manayunk/Norristown Line is a commuter rail line in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and one of the 13 lines in SEPTA's Regional Rail network.
The Fox Chase Line is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail system. The Fox Chase Line branches from the SEPTA Main Line at Newtown Junction, north of the Wayne Junction station. It runs entirely within the city of Philadelphia. The line is fully grade-separated, except for one grade crossing on Oxford Avenue. Under the Reading Company service continued north to Newtown, but this ended in January 1983. Various proposals to resume this service have failed, and the line within Montgomery County was converted into a rail trail in 2008 and 2014, respectively, ending any chance of resumed passenger service for the foreseeable future.
The Chestnut Hill East Line is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail system. The route serves the northwestern section of Philadelphia with service to Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill. It is one of two lines that serve Chestnut Hill, the other one being the Chestnut Hill West Line. The line is fully grade-separated.
The Chestnut Hill West Line is a commuter rail line in the SEPTA Regional Rail network. It connects Northwest Philadelphia, including the eponymous neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, as well as West Mount Airy and Germantown, to Center City.
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