||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (December 2013)|
|This article is outdated. (December 2013)|
|Locale||Upper Schuylkill Valley, Pennsylvania|
|Owner||Norfolk Southern Railway|
|Line length||18 miles (29 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The Greenline is a proposed $138 million mass transit line for the Upper Schuylkill Valley region in southeastern Pennsylvania in the United States. It is still in the planning stages and its construction is not guaranteed. The line is being advocated by a group called Citizens for the Train. No operator has been selected.
Citizens for the Train is currently spearheading the Greenline's planning stages, and concluded a preliminary study (performed by engineering firm Gannett Fleming Inc.) to determine the feasibility of the project. The group is putting together $250,000 for an alternative analysis to see if a different transportation project, such as widening roads or adding bus routes, would work better. The study was slated for completion by the end of 2009.
Citizens for the Train will pursue an estimated $1.5 million for an environmental and engineering study. When approved, funding for the project will be sought from both public and private sources.
Due to the ill-fated $2 billion Schuylkill Valley Metro (SVM) project, the Greenline proposal has received overwhelming support from regional politicians and businesses alike. The Greenline is currently part of the Chester County Transportation Improvements Inventory (TII) document for 2009-2010. No funding has been allocated for design or construction.
The proposed route will originate in Oaks, Pennsylvania, with the Oaks terminal situated at the new Greater Philadelphia Expo Center At Oaks. The route will utilize Norfolk Southern Railway's (NS) disused 11-mile Phoenixville Industrial Track, with an additional seven miles of new railway construction to be built between end-of-track in Devault (where trains will be stored) and the current Amtrak/SEPTA Paoli Station.
The bulk of the route is the Phoenixville Industrial Track. Never a prominent line for former tenant, the Pennsylvania Railroad, the route gained momentum in its later years. With the help of PennDOT, the single-track line received a substantial infrastructure upgrade via Conrail in the late 1980s. New wooden ties were laid, and drainage was significantly improved. In addition, grade crossings received additional protective hardware, including flashers and gates. Freight service continued through 2004, when sole customer American Sweetener Corporation, whose plant was located at the end of the line in Devault, closed its doors. NS applied to officially discontinue rail service on the line in October 2007, which became effective that December. Since minimal track improvements are needed due to the recent upgrade, the Greenline essentially has a ready-made railway awaiting it, which Citizens for the Train plans to purchase from NS.
Relief for Paoli Station
The route will transverse the Pickering Valley region, ultimately terminating at SEPTA's heavily used Paoli/Thorndale Line of commuter rail. Paoli Station also hosts Amtrak's Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian, serving trains en route to Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and New York City.
Notable towns that the Greenline will serve are listed below:
Several options for train equipment are being considered. One is the Stadler GTW-built diesel-electric DMU (diesel multiple unit) cars used on New Jersey Transit's successful River LINE that operates between the towns of Camden and Trenton, New Jersey. Equipment will be stored at the unused depot at the end of track in Devault; these tracks were previously used to store freight cars when the Maslo paper company received shipment via rail.
The RiverLINE's unique rail cars offer a tighter turning radius than typical main line light rail vehicles, and thus are capable of the street running needed on Morehall Road. The rail cars are also used regularly in Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
The Greenline would be only the second light rail operation in the United States to utilize these units; the River LINE marked the first.
Another less expensive option would be to utilize refurbished Budd Rail Diesel Cars, which last carried passengers through Phoenixville in July 1981 when SEPTA terminated all diesel trains between Pottsville and Philadelphia.
List of proposed stations
- Oaks Park-Ride/Route 422 Marketplace/Greater Philadelphia Expo Center At Oaks.
- Longford Road
- Port Providence
- Mont Clare
- Phoenixville Transportation Center
- Franklin Street
- Wilmer (Pothouse Road)
- Commons at Great Valley
- Great Valley Parkway
- Valley Stream West
- Valley Stream East
- Swedesford Road
- Paoli Transportation Center
- Schuylkill Valley Metro
- Paoli/Thorndale Line, a commuter rail line operating between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and adjacent Philadelphia suburbs.
- Citizens for the Train; website detailing all aspects of the Greenline project
- Main Street Phoenixville; contains details of Greenline as it pertains to Phoenixville
- "New rail line proposed in Chester County" - 6 ABC news report
- Greenline page at PA-TEC.org
- Greenline assessment
- "Idea on line: Oaks-Great Valley by train"; article featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal
- Citizens for the Train
- philadelphia.bizjournals.com; Retrieved March 2, 2009
- Chester County Transportation Improvements Inventory, p. 2
- Greenline assessment prepared by Gannett Fleming Inc.
- "Surface transportation Board Discontinuance of Service Exemption". Retrieved February 20, 2010.
- Maslo Paper Company