Chestnut Hill East Line

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Chestnut Hill East Line
Chestnut Hill East Station.jpg
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
Status Operating
Termini Chestnut Hill
30th Street Station
Daily ridership 5,852
Operator(s) SEPTA
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification Catenary
Route map
30th Street StationAmtrak New Jersey Transit
Suburban Station
Jefferson Station
Temple University
Fare Zone 1
Manayunk/Norristown Line
Wayne Junction
Lansdale/Doylestown, Fox Chase,
Warminster and West Trenton Lines
Fishersclosed 1992
Wister(old location) closed
formerly Chelten Avenue
Fare Zone 2
Walnut Laneclosed
Washington Lane
Mount Airy
Mermaidclosed 1930
Chestnut Hill East

The Chestnut Hill East Line (formerly called R7 Chestnut Hill East), 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.[1]

Name change[edit]

R7 CHE.gif

On July 25, 2010 SEPTA renamed the service from the R7 Chestnut Hill East to simply the Chestnut Hill East 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 R7 Trenton/R7 Chestnut Hill East service.[2]

List of stations[edit]

All of the stations on this line are within the City of Philadelphia. Boarding data is from FY2013, and includes all lines that serve that station. Stations on this line include:

Zone Milepost Station Boardings[3] City Notes
C 0.8 Spring Garden Street 0 Philadelphia station closed
2.1 Temple University 3,028 moved to its present location in 1992
1 4.0 Tioga 0 station closed
4.3 Nicetown 0 station closed
5.1 Wayne Junction 527 Warminster Line, West Trenton Line, Lansdale/Doylestown Line, Chestnut Hill East Line and Fox Chase Line
5.7 Fishers 0 station closed
6.1 Wister 55
6.5 Wingohocking 0 station closed
6.8 Germantown 102 Originally called Germantown Junction as original Germantown terminal at Germantown Avenue and Price Street was still in use when opened. Also once called Chelten Avenue (not to be confused with Chelten Avenue station on the Chestnut Hill West Line)
2 7.7 Walnut Lane 0 station closed and replaced by Washington Lane
7.8 Washington Lane 163
8.6 Stenton 430
8.7 Gorgas 0 station closed and replaced by Stenton before 1910
8.9 Sedgwick 225 Station was originally called Mount Pleasant; renamed for Sedgwick Farms development
9.3 Mount Airy 193
9.8 Mermaid 0 Station closed for grade separation project on or about April 1, 1930; passengers to use rebuilt Wyndmoor station
10.0 Wyndmoor 471
10.3 Gravers 124
10.8 Chestnut Hill East 229 Station two blocks from Chestnut Hill West Line station


Fiscal year Average weekday Annual passengers
FY 2013 5,490 1,566,286[4]
FY 2012 5,621 1,603,551[5]
FY 2011 5,118 1,480,288[6]
FY 2010 5,852 1,681,865[7]
FY 2009 5,840 1,679,405[8]
FY 2008 5,770 1,658,300[9]
FY 2005 4,481 1,258,100
FY 2004 3,937 1,105,040
FY 2003 4,027 1,290,700
FY 2001 n/a 1,321,000
FY 2000 n/a 1,373,000
FY 1999 n/a 1,292,000
FY 1997 n/a 1,248,242
FY 1996 n/a 1,329,326
FY 1995 4,388 1,353,094
FY 1994 4,598 932,917
FY 1993 3,547 602,621
Note: n/a = not available


External links[edit]