|Fox Chase Line|
Fox Chase station in December 2012
|System||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Termini|| Fox Chase |
30th Street Station
|Daily ridership||4,955 (FY 2018)|
|Rolling stock||Electric Multiple Units|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Electrification||12 kV / 25 Hz Catenary|
The Fox Chase Line is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail (commuter 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 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 beyond Newtown Junction was originally opened February 2, 1878, to Newtown as the Philadelphia, Newtown and New York Railroad. The line was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad to block the building of the parallel National Railway (later the Reading Company's main line to New York City). After that failed, it was taken over by the North Pennsylvania Railroad (which had built the National Railway) on November 22, 1879. By then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway, later the Reading Company, had leased the North Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1976 the Reading was merged into Conrail, and in 1983 SEPTA took over commuter rail operations.[ citation needed ]
Between 1984 and 2010 the route was designated R8 Fox Chase as part of SEPTA's diametrical reorganization of its lines. Fox Chase trains operated through the city center to the Chestnut Hill West Line. As of 2018 [update] , most Fox Chase Line trains continue through Center City to the Chestnut Hill West Line.Plans had called for the Fox Chase Line to be paired with a Bryn Mawr local and designated R4, but this depended on a never-built connection from the Chestnut Hill West Line to the ex-Reading near Wayne Junction.
SEPTA activated positive train control on the Fox Chase Line on May 23, 2016.
Under the Reading Company Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs) operated through from the Reading Terminal in downtown Philadelphia to Newtown.The Reading extended electrification to Fox Chase in 1966; limited diesel shuttles from Fox Chase to Newtown continued. SEPTA suspended these shuttles on July 1, 1981, as part of a systemwide discontinuation of non-electrified service. The shuttles returned on October 5 as the Fox Chase Rapid Transit Line. The operation of the line was troubled: the RDCs were in poor mechanical condition, SEPTA's decision to use transit division employees from the Broad Street Subway caused labor issues, and ridership was low. SEPTA suspended service again on January 18, 1983.
Since 1983, there has been interest from Bucks County passengers in resuming service to Newtown. In anticipation of a possible resumption, SEPTA performed extensive track upgrades in 1984. Street crossings in Newtown and Southampton received brand new welded rail, which were secured using sturdy Pandrol clips vs. traditional rail spikes. Though not promoted, this work was done in order to comply with a federal grant.
By March 1985, SEPTA gave into political pressure and made a concerted effort to integrate the non-electrified Fox Chase-Newtown line into the rest of its all-electrified commuter system. A $10 million plan to restore service to Newtown and Pottstown using British Rail-Leyland diesel railbuses was considered, with a test run reaching Newtown on September 3. Though the trial runs were relatively successful, ride quality was lackluster. Burdened with ongoing budgetary problems, SEPTA decided against the purchase of the railbuses.
In March 1987, SEPTA received several bids from private operators interested in running diesel-hauled trains to Newtown (as well as between Norristown and Pottstown). The operators suggested using non-union workers, which SEPTA was against. In addition, funding for these operations was allegedly questionable, and the SEPTA board rejected all offers. [ page needed ]
Beginning in 2009, portions on the line within Montgomery County have been converted into a rail trail. 5.4 miles (8.7 km) along the former line between Rockledge and Byberry Road near Bryn Athyn. Future plans call for the Pennypack Trail to be extended north to County Line Road. Additional trackage was in Upper Southampton was dismantled in October 2018, though several townships along the line are still hoping for resumption of rail service to alleviate traffic congestion on local roads and highways.By 2015, the Pennypack Trail extended
Fox Chase trains make the following station stops after leaving the Center City Commuter Connection. Stations indicated in gray background are closed. Although SEPTA suspended service to all stations north of Fox Chase in 1983 and has since converted most of the northern portion of the line to a rail trail, it continues to list those stations in its public tariff.
|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: Chestnut Hill East, Lansdale/Doylestown, Warminster, West Trenton lines|
SEPTA City Bus: 2 , 23 , 53 , 75
|Olney, Philadelphia|| Olney ||7.3 (11.7)||SEPTA City Bus: 8|
|2||Lawncrest, Philadelphia||Crescentville||Closed March 26, 1978 (average of six daily boardings at the time)|
|Lawndale, Philadelphia|| Lawndale ||9.0 (14.5)|
|Cheltenham|| Cheltenham ||9.7 (15.6)|
|Fox Chase, Philadelphia|| Ryers ||10.1 (16.3)||SEPTA City Bus: 70 , 77|
| Fox Chase ||11.1 (17.9)||SEPTA City Bus: 18 , 24 , 28|
|3||Huntingdon Valley||Walnut Hill||12.8 (20.6)||Closed January 18, 1983|
|Huntingdon Valley||14.4 (23.2)||Closed January 18, 1983|
|Bryn Athyn||Bryn Athyn||15.1 (24.3)||Closed January 18, 1983|
|4||Huntingdon Valley||Woodmont||17.2 (27.7)||Closed 1965|
|Upper Southampton Township||County Line||18.0 (29.0)||Closed January 18, 1983|
|Southampton||18.9 (30.4)||Closed January 18, 1983|
|Churchville||20.8 (33.5)||Closed January 18, 1983|
|Northampton Township||Holland||22.4 (36.0)||Closed January 18, 1983|
|Newtown Township||George School||25.0 (40.2)||Closed January 18, 1983|
|Newtown||Newtown||26.3 (42.3)||Closed January 18, 1983|
Yearly ridership on the Fox Chase Line between FY 2008–FY 2018 has remained steady around 1.4 million:
The SEPTA Regional Rail system is a commuter rail network owned by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) 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 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.
Fox Chase station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located near the intersection of Rhawn Street and Rockwell Avenue in the Fox Chase neighborhood, it is the current terminus of the Fox Chase Line. Fox Chase station, which has the largest number of parking spaces of any on the line (342), is the closest regional rail stop Philadelphia's Fox Chase, Bustleton, and Pine Valley areas, and to Rockledge and Huntingdon Valley in Montgomery County. SEPTA rebuilt the station area and ticket office in Summer 2010, using funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In FY 2013, Fox Chase station was the ninth busiest station, with a weekday average of 1378 boardings and 1327 alightings.
Olney station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located at Mascher Street and Tabor Road in the Olney neighborhood, it serves the Fox Chase Line. The station has a 61-space parking lot. In FY 2013, it had a weekday average of 158 boardings and 156 alightings.
Lawndale station is a station located along SEPTA's Fox Chase Line. It is located at Robbins and Newtown Avenues and serves the Lawndale neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia. The station has a small shelter and has no parking lot. In FY 2013, Lawndale station had a weekday average of 213 boardings and 201 alightings.
Cheltenham station is a SEPTA Regional Rail station in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. Located at Old Soldiers Road and Hasbrook Avenue, it serves the Fox Chase Line. The station has a 17-space parking lot. In FY 2013, Cheltenham station had a weekday average of 267 boardings and 392 alightings.
Huntingdon Valley station is a former SEPTA Regional Rail station in Lower Moreland Township, Pennsylvania. It was located on Terwood Road near Old Welsh Road and served the Fox Chase/Newtown Line. SEPTA closed the station in 1983, and the shelter was subsequently demolished.
Bryn Athyn station is a former railroad station in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. Built by the Reading Railroad, it later served SEPTA's Fox Chase/Newtown Line. It is located on Fetters Mill Road near the Pennypack Creek.
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 on Amtrak's Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line which is part of the Keystone Corridor which in turn was once the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
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 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.
The Pennypack Trail is a rail trail located in eastern Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The trail runs 5.4 miles (8.7 km) from Rockledge north to Byberry Road near Bryn Athyn along the former alignment of SEPTA's Fox Chase-Newtown Line. The trail is maintained by the Montgomery County Division of Parks, Trails, & Historic Sites.
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