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|Chestnut Hill East Line|
The Chestnut Hill East station as seen in October 2012. The station depot, constructed by the Reading Company, is visible on the left.
|Type||Commuter rail line|
|System||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Termini|| Chestnut Hill |
30th Street Station
|Daily ridership||4,944 (FY 2018)|
|Rolling stock||Electric Multiple Units|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The Chestnut Hill East Line is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail (commuter 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.
Since April 9, 2020, the line has been suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic,though Temple University and Wayne Junction stations are being served by other rail services.
The Chestnut Hill East Line uses the Reading Company right-of-way, which was originally constructed by the Philadelphia, Germantown, and Norristown (PG&N) railroad before the American Civil War. The PG&N intended to build a railroad from Philadelphia to Norristown but stopped when construction reached Germantown due to the hilly nature of the terrain west of Germantown and along the Wissahickon Creek, which they would have had to cross to reach Norristown. The PG&N decided to change course and build another railroad line close to the Schuylkill River. This line would become SEPTA's Manayunk/Norristown Line. The original railroad line that ended in Germantown was then extended north with a sharp right hand turn and then northwest to its present terminus in Chestnut Hill (where the Chestnut Hill West Line also has a terminus only a few hundred yards away).
The Chestnut Hill Railroad Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania on July 11, 1851 to own the railroad planned for Chestnut Hill. An eastern and western route were surveyed to Chestnut Hill in 1848 by William E. Morris, and the eastern route was chosen for the line. The railroad was opened to traffic on December 1, 1854. It was operated by the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad Company (PG&N) from December 1, 1854 until November 30, 1870, under a lease dated March 17, 1852. By agreement dated November 10, 1870, the lease was assigned by the PG&N to The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company. By indenture dated November 30, 1870, a new lease was made by the Chestnut Hill Railroad Company to The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company for 999 years from December 1, 1870. The obligation of The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company was assumed by the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company on December 1, 1896, and the lease was amended in certain respects by Agreement dated January 27, 1897.
The Reading RR station building from the late 1800s, of stone construction, was located on the east side of the Bethlehem Pike, slightly north of its intersection with East Chestnut Hill Avenue. The station had two platforms serving three short tracks, long enough for three passenger coaches. Adjacent to the station on its north side was a small, five-stall roundhouse with its back wall facing the Bethlehem Pike. There was also a short turntable and water tank to service the small steam locomotives used in that era. The double-track line from downtown Philadelphia approached the Chestnut Hill Terminal through a cut, passing under East Summit Avenue then turning left into the terminal. Six photographs of the old buildings and a track plan were published in the book MODEL TAILROADS by Edwin P. Alexander, originally published in 1940 by W. W. Norton & Company of New York. All the buildings were demolished circa 1932 prior to the electrification of the Chestnut Hill Branch Line.
The line was elevated in 1930. Electrified service to Chestnut Hill (and to Norristown) was opened on February 5, 1933. By order dated March 23, 1940, in Finance Docket No. 12749, the Interstate Commerce Commission authorized Reading Company to acquire control of the Chestnut Hill Railroad Company by purchase of additional shares of capital stock. On December 31, 1948, the Chestnut Hill Railroad Company was merged into Reading Company. The line continued to be operated as part of the Reading Company's passenger lines up until April 1, 1976, when the Reading's passenger lines were conveyed to SEPTA as part of the company's bankruptcy reorganization.
Until 1984 Chestnut Hill East trains used the Reading Viaduct to reach Spring Garden Street and the Reading Terminal; this ended with the opening of the Center City Commuter Connection which routed the trains through the city center and on the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad part of the system. As of 2018 [update] , most Chestnut Hill East Line trains continue through Center City to the Trenton Line.From this point the route was designated R7 Chestnut Hill East as part of SEPTA's diametrical reorganization of its lines; trains continued on to the Trenton Line. The R-number naming system was dropped on July 25, 2010.
SEPTA activated positive train control on the Chestnut Hill East Line on July 25, 2016.
The Chestnut Hill East line makes the following station stops after leaving the Center City Commuter Connection; stations indicated with a gray background are closed.
|Zone||Location||Station|| Miles (km) |
from Center City
|Connections / notes|
|C||Temple University|| Temple University ||2.1 (3.4)||SEPTA Regional Rail: all lines|
|Nicetown||Closed November 14, 1988 due to fire damage (average daily boarding of 1 at the time)|
|1|| Wayne Junction ||5.1 (8.2)||SEPTA Regional Rail: Fox Chase, Lansdale/Doylestown, Warminster, and West Trenton lines|
SEPTA City Bus: 2 , 23 , 53 , 75
|Fishers||5.7 (9.2)||Closed October 4, 1992|
|Wister||6.1 (9.8)||SEPTA City Bus: J|
|East Germantown, Philadelphia|
|Germantown||6.8 (10.9)||SEPTA City Bus: 26 , J , K|
|2||Walnut Lane||7.7 (12.4)|
|Washington Lane||7.8 (12.6)||SEPTA City Bus: XH|
|East Mount Airy||Stenton||8.6 (13.8)||SEPTA City Bus: 18|
|Sedgwick||8.9 (14.3)||SEPTA City Bus: H|
|Mount Airy||9.3 (15.0)|
|Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia|
|Wyndmoor||10.0 (16.1)||SEPTA City Bus: 77|
|Gravers||10.3 (16.6)||SEPTA City Bus: L|
|Chestnut Hill East||10.8 (17.4)||SEPTA City Bus: L |
SEPTA Suburban Bus: 94
Chestnut Hill West station is two blocks west.
Yearly ridership on the Chestnut Hill East Line between FY 2008–FY 2018 has remained steady around 1.5–1.6 million, save for dips in FY 2011 and FY 2018:
The Norristown High Speed Line is a 13.4-mile (21.6 km) interurban light rapid transit line operated by SEPTA, running between the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby and the Norristown Transportation Center in Norristown, Pennsylvania, United States. The rail line runs entirely on its own right-of-way, inherited from the original Philadelphia and Western Railroad line. In Fiscal Year 2013, the Norristown High Speed Line carried 2,419,500 passengers; this was down from the 2.764 million passengers carried in Fiscal Year 2012, partly due to a two-day service suspension due to Hurricane Sandy. In Fiscal Year 2015, the Norristown High Speed Line carried 3,429,300 passengers, an increase of 9% from FY 2014 when it carried 3,147,209 passengers.
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.
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The Airport Line 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 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.
The SEPTA Main Line is the section of the SEPTA Regional Rail system from the Zoo Interlocking in West Philadelphia to Lansdale Station in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The line is 26.25 miles (42.25 km) long, and serves all 13 SEPTA Regional Rail lines.
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Allegheny station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station located along the Manayunk/Norristown Line located at 22nd Street and Allegheny Avenue in the Swampoodle neighborhood of North Philadelphia. It has also been known in Reading and early SEPTA timetables as 22nd Street or Twenty-Second Street, a name also shared by a former Pennsylvania Railroad station on the Trenton and Chestnut Hill lines. Allegheny station is the first station along SEPTA's Manayunk/Norristown Line not to be shared with any other line. In FY 2013, Allegheny station had a weekday average of 76 boardings and 102 alightings.
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The West Trenton Line is a SEPTA Regional Rail line connecting Center City Philadelphia to the West Trenton section of Ewing Township, New Jersey.
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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 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.
Shawmont is a former train station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is located on Nixon Lane in the Roxborough section of Lower Northwest Philadelphia. Built by the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad, it later became part of the Reading Railroad and ultimately SEPTA Regional Rail's R6 Norristown Line. SEPTA closed the station in 1996. In 2018, $1 million was set aside for repairs and rehabilitation.
The Ninth Street Branch was an elevated railway line in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was operated by the Reading Company; ownership was split between the Reading and its subsidiary the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad. It was a four-tracked main line beginning at the Reading Terminal, the Reading's terminus in Philadelphia, and extending north into the city to a junction with the Bethlehem Branch. After the final bankruptcy of the Reading the line passed to Conrail and later SEPTA. The portion south of the Temple University station was abandoned in 1984 with the opening of the Center City Commuter Connection and is now known as the Reading Viaduct; the portion north is now part of the SEPTA Main Line.