Chestnut Hill East Line
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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|
30th Street Station
|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 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 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. 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.
The Chestnut Hill East makes the following station stops after leaving the Center City Commuter Connection; stations indicated with italics are closed. Weekday boardings are from FY 2013; data for Temple University and Wayne Junction include all lines serving those stations. All stations are located within Philadelphia.:95–96
|C||2.1||Temple University||3,028||All SEPTA Regional Rail lines|
|2||7.7||Walnut Lane[note 1]|
|10.8||Chestnut Hill East||229||Two blocks from Chestnut Hill West|
- Station closed and replaced by Washington Lane
- Station closed and replaced by Stenton before 1910
- Also called Mermaid Avenue. Built in 1877; Station closed for grade separation project on or about April 1, 1930; passengers to use rebuilt Wyndmoor station
- "Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- Historical data compiled from record papers of Reading Company preserved at Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware.
- Williams, Gerry (1998). Trains, Trolleys & Transit: A Guide to Philadelphia Area Rail Transit. Piscataway, NJ: Railpace Company. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-9621541-7-1. OCLC 43543368.
- Vuchic, Vukan; Kikuchi, Shinya (1984). General Operations Plan for the SEPTA Regional High Speed System. Philadelphia: SEPTA. pp. 2–8.
- Lustig, David (November 2010). "SEPTA makeover". Trains Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing: 26.
- Old image of Mermaid Avenue Reading Station (Existing Railroad Stations in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania)
- "Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2014. p. 60. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2013. p. 44. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2012. p. 55. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. July 2011. p. 94. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2010. p. 70. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "FY 2010 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2009. p. 63. Retrieved August 13, 2016.