Warminster Line

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     Warminster Line
Melrose RR Station 02.JPG
Southbound Warminster Line train leaving the Melrose Park station in Cheltenham
Overview
Type Commuter rail line
System SEPTA
Status Operating
Termini University City
Warminster
Stations 17
Daily ridership 9,139
Website septa.org
Operation
Operator(s) SEPTA Regional Rail
Rolling stock Electric Multiple Units
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification Catenary
Route map

The Warminster Line is a route of the SEPTA Regional Rail commuter rail. 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.

History and route[edit]

The Warminster Line uses the SEPTA Main Line between Center City and Glenside, where it branches off onto its own line to Hatboro and Warminster. The tracks continue past Warminster to Ivyland and eventually to New Hope, where the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad runs heritage excursion trains.

North of Glenside the line was built by the Northeast Pennsylvania Railroad, first opened November 9, 1873 from Glenside on the North Pennsylvania Railroad to Ivyland. The rest of the line to New Hope opened April 29, 1891. The North Pennsylvania Railroad was later taken over by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, later Reading Lines (RDG). Electrified service via pantagraph wires opened to Hatboro July 26, 1931 (along with Doylestown on RDG's Doylestown Branch, West Trenton on RDG's New York Division, and Landsdale, a junction where RDG's North Penn Branch and Doylestown Branch merge). In the days of passenger service on what was originally labeled by the RDG as the New Hope Branch, as many as 10 trains a day would make round trips on the line.

In 1952, all passenger service ceased north of Hatboro to New Hope, with every station except Rushland, Wycombe, Lahaska and New Hope being demolished in 1954. Between 1952 and 1966, only freight trains traveled north of Hatboro to serve customers in Warminster, Ivyland, Rushland, Buckingham and New Hope. In 1966, the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad (NHIR) was launched and purchased 16 miles of track from Ivyland to New Hope. After 1966, Ivyland served as a freight interchange between RDG and NHIR and the RDG relabeled their remaining ownership of the line as the Warminster Branch. Not only did they transport freight, but also run scenic heritage excursions, originally from New Hope to Buckingham, but has been cutback to Lahaska in the 1980s. However, passenger service between Warminster and Hatboro was still inactive.

In 1971, RDG filed for bankruptcy after a variety of misfortunes; among them are increased use of trucks and a dwindling economy. The court issued a bankruptcy protection so RDG can still operate. On July 29, 1974, passenger service was reinstated after RDG completed an extension of the electrification from Hatboro (the original electrified terminus) to Warminster. Willow Grove and Warminster stations were also rebuilt in the same year. By that time, executives of RDG didn't see their debt becoming any better. Less than two years later, RDG's rolling stock, right-of-ways, interests and stock were in the hands of Conrail, also known as the Consolidated Rail Corporation, which launched operations on April 1, 1976. In 1983, SEPTA took control of the Warminster Branch.

The Warminster Line becomes a single-track line just north of Ardsley, but was once double-tracked as far north as Roslyn, the original northbound track being removed in 2010. A passing siding exists north of Willow Grove.

The majority of weekday and all weekend Warminster trains operate through the Center City tunnel and run to or from the Airport Line, providing service to University City, Eastwick, and Philadelphia Int'l Airport stations.

Name change[edit]

R2 Warminster.gif

On July 25, 2010 SEPTA renamed the service from the R2 Warminster to simply the Warminster Line as part of system-wide service change that drops the R-number naming and makes the Center City stations the terminus for all lines. This also ended the combined R2 Newark/R2 Warminster service.[1]

Station list[edit]

All stations have low level platforms unless otherwise noted. Boldface indicates a major station.

Zone Milepost Station Boardings[2] City/Township County Notes
C 2.1 Temple University 3,028 Philadelphia Philadelphia all lines; high-level platforms
1 5.1 Wayne Junction 527 also West Trenton Line, Lansdale/Doylestown Line, Chestnut Hill East Line and Fox Chase Line
7.3 Fern Rock Transportation Center 825 also West Trenton Line and Doylestown Line; high-level platforms
2 8.4 Melrose Park 458 Cheltenham Montgomery also West Trenton Line and Doylestown Line
9.2 Elkins Park 632 also West Trenton Line and Doylestown Line
3 10.8 Jenkintown-Wyncote 1,998 Cheltenham/Jenkintown also West Trenton Line and Doylestown Line   Aerial photo
11.9 Glenside 1,068 Cheltenham also Doylestown Line
13.0 Ardsley 175 Abington
14.2 Roslyn 198
15.4 Crestmont 89
16.2 Willow Grove 472 Upper Moreland
Fulmor closed November 10, 1996[3]
4 18.6 Hatboro 457 Hatboro End of electrification until 1974
20.1 Warminster 1,295 Warminster Bucks high level platform

Ridership[edit]

Fiscal year Average weekday Annual passengers
FY 2013 8,580 2,501,832[4]
FY 2012 8,492 2,476,132[5]
FY 2011 9,130 2,662,200[6]
FY 2010 9,139 2,715,105[7]
FY 2009 8,590 2,551,344[8]
FY 2008 8,139 2,418,100[9]
FY 2005 7,161 2,061,395
FY 2004 7,651 2,147,531
FY 2003 7,770 2,048,300
FY 2001 n/a 2,046,000
FY 2000 n/a 2,079,000
FY 1999 n/a 1,794,000
FY 1997 n/a 1,805,371
FY 1996 n/a 1,800,748
FY 1995 6,416 1,757,197
FY 1994 5,866 1,369,173
FY 1993 4,485 1,027,837
Note: n/a = not available

References[edit]

External links[edit]