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The Cynwyd Line at Wynnefield Avenue in July 2005
|System||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Termini|| Suburban Station |
|Operator(s)||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Rolling stock||Electric Multiple Units|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
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[ citation needed ]. It is by far the least ridden and least trafficked SEPTA Regional Rail Line. It is fully grade-separated.
Since April 9, 2020, the line has been suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cynwyd Line is the shortest and has the lowest ridership of all of the SEPTA Regional Rail lines. It runs from Suburban Station to the 52nd Street Junction, where it diverges from Amtrak's Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line and makes three station stops (Wynnefield Avenue, Bala, and Cynwyd) before stopping just short of the Schuylkill River.
The Cynwyd Line is the truncated remnant of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Schuylkill Branch, which ran from Philadelphia to Pottsville, Pennsylvania. [ citation needed ]Electrified service was opened between Philadelphia and Norristown (Haws Avenue) on June 20, 1930. Plans for electrification beyond Norristown, to Phoenixville, were not carried out. Passenger service ended between Manayunk and Norristown on October 29, 1960 and the line beyond Manayunk was de-electrified, although the pylons remain.
In 1980 SEPTA extended service from Manayunk to a new park-and-ride station at Ivy Ridge.[ citation needed ] Service beyond Cynwyd was suspended on May 27, 1986, because of poor track conditions and concerns about the Manayunk Bridge over the Schuylkill River.[ citation needed ]
Between 1984–2010 the route was designated R6 Ivy Ridge (later R6 Cynwyd) as part of SEPTA's diametrical reorganization of its lines. Ivy Ridge Line trains operated through the city center to the Manayunk/Norristown Line on the ex-Reading side of the system.The R-number naming system was dropped on July 25, 2010.
In the late 1990s and up to 2003, SEPTA funded a study called the Schuylkill Valley Metro which included plans to extend both sides of the R6 line to Pottstown, Reading and Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. The project suffered a major setback when it was rejected by the FTA New Starts program, which cited doubts about the ridership projections and financing assumptions used by the study.
Though there have been repeated calls to restore the "temporarily" discontinued service between Cynwyd and Ivy Ridge, SEPTA permanently dropped plans for restoration in 2008 when all trackage north of Cynwyd to Ivy Ridge was removed between 2008 and June 2010 to make way for the Cynwyd Heritage Trailand Ivy Ridge Trail.
On October 29, 2010, the Cynwyd Line was where the Silverliner V rail cars made their first run in revenue service, [ citation needed ]and, on June 29, 2012, where the final Silverliner IIs and IIIs ran in revenue service before being fully retired.
SEPTA activated positive train control on the Cynwyd Line on November 21, 2016.
The Cynwyd Line includes the following stations north of 30th Street Station; stations indicated with gray background are closed.
|Zone||Location||Station|| Miles (km) |
from Center City
|Connections / notes|
|C||Parkside, Philadelphia||52nd Street||4.0 (6.4)||Closed August 23, 1980|
|1||Wynnefield, Philadelphia||Wynnefield Avenue||4.9 (7.9)||SEPTA City Bus: 40|
|2||Bala Cynwyd|| Bala ||5.7 (9.2)||SEPTA City Bus: 1 , 44 , 52 , 65|
| Cynwyd ||6.1 (9.8)||SEPTA City Bus: 52 , 44|
|Barmouth||6.8 (10.9)||Closed May 27, 1986|
|Manayunk, Philadelphia||Manayunk West||7.8 (12.6)||Closed May 27, 1986|
|Roxborough, Philadelphia||Ivy Ridge||8.5 (13.7)||Closed May 27, 1986|
Between FY 2008–FY 2018 yearly ridership on the Cynwyd Line has ranged between 148,000–184,000, peaking in FY 2014 at 184,138. Ridership dipped to 122,510 in FF 2017 but recovered the following year.
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.
Norristown Transportation Center is a two-level multimodal public transportation regional hub located in Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA, operated by SEPTA. It opened in 1989 to replace the older Norristown High Speed Line terminus one block away at Main and Swede Streets, and integrated the former Reading Company DeKalb Street Norristown railroad station into its structure. A plaque embedded in the sidewalk commemorates the location of one of the columns of the dismantled segment of the Philadelphia and Western Railroad (P&W) trestle.
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.
The Schuylkill Valley Metro (SVM) was a proposal for a 62-mile railway system that would link Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with the city of Reading, Pennsylvania in central Berks County, using the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line and Cynwyd Line, plus two Norfolk Southern Railway freight-only lines. The proposal was rejected by the Federal Transit Administration; there are no plans to move forward with the project.
Manayunk station is a station located along the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown rail line. It is located at Cresson and Carson Streets in the Manayunk neighborhood of northwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In FY 2013, Manayunk station had a weekday average of 654 boardings and 563 alightings.
Ivy Ridge station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located at Umbria Street and Parker Avenue in Northwest Philadelphia, it serves the Manayunk/Norristown Line. The initial station was built in a minimalist design similar to that of Elm Street, Norristown. The current station has a 204-space parking lot. In FY 2013, Ivy Ridge station had a weekday average of 602 boardings and 582 alightings.
Conshohocken station is a station located along the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line. The station, located below Fayette Street, at Washington and Harry Streets in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, includes a 95-space parking lot. In FY 2013, Conshohocken station had a weekday average of 646 boardings and 682 alightings.
The Schuylkill Branch was a rail line owned and operated by the former Pennsylvania Railroad in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The line ran from the Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line at 52nd Street in Philadelphia north via Norristown, Reading, and Pottsville to Delano Junction. From Delano Junction, the PRR had trackage rights over the Lehigh Valley Railroad's Hazleton Branch and Tomhicken Branch to Tomhicken, where the PRR's Catawissa Branch began. In conjunction with the Catawissa Branch, Nescopeck Branch, and Wilkes-Barre Branch, the Schuylkill Branch gave the PRR a direct line from Philadelphia to Wilkes-Barre.
The Manayunk Bridge is an S-shaped former railroad bridge over the Schuylkill River, Schuylkill Canal and Schuylkill Expressway, that connects Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County and the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Closed to rail traffic in 1986, it is now an extension of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail and connects to the Schuylkill River Trail.
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 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 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.
Manayunk West, often just Manayunk, was a SEPTA Regional Rail station in Manayunk, Philadelphia. It was located on ex-Pennsylvania Railroad Schuylkill Branch and served by SEPTA's Ivy Ridge Line commuter trains. The station stood at the corner of Dupont and High, a short distance from the ex-Reading Company station at Manayunk. SEPTA suspended service beyond Cynwyd on May 27, 1986, because of poor track conditions and concerns about the Manayunk Bridge. The station has since been demolished.