Cynwyd Line

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Cynwyd Line
Wynnefield Avenue SEPTA Station.jpg
The Cynwyd Line at Wynnefield Avenue station in July 2005
Type Commuter rail line
System SEPTA
Status Operating
Termini Suburban Station
Stations 3
Services 1
Daily ridership 722[1]:94
Operator(s) SEPTA Regional Rail
Rolling stock Electric Multiple Units
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification Catenary
Route map
Manayunk/Norristown Line
to Elm Street
Ivy Ridge Closed 1986
Manayunk West Closed 1986
Manayunk/Norristown Line
to 30th Street Station
Manayunk Bridge over Schuylkill River
Barmouth Closed 1986
Fare Zone
Wynnefield Avenue
Paoli/Thorndale Line
to Thorndale
52nd Street Closed 1980
Fare Zone
Center City
30th Street StationAmtrak New Jersey Transit
Suburban Station

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, 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 and has the lowest ridership of all of the SEPTA Regional Rail lines. It diverges from Amtrak's Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line and makes three station stops before stopping just short of the Schuylkill River.


R6 Cynwyd.gif

The Cynwyd Line is the truncated remnant of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Schuylkill Branch, which ran from Philadelphia to Pottsville, Pennsylvania.[2] Electrified service was opened between Philadelphia and Norristown (Haws Avenue) on June 20, 1930. Plans for electrification beyond Norristown, to Phoenixville, were not carried out. Passenger service ended between Manayunk and Norristown on October 29, 1960 and the line beyond Manayunk was de-electrified, although the pylons remain.[citation needed]

In 1980 SEPTA extended service from Manayunk to a new park-and-ride station at Ivy Ridge.[citation needed] Service beyond Cynwyd was suspended on May 27, 1986, because of poor track conditions[3] and concerns about the Manayunk Bridge over the Schuylkill River.[citation needed]

Between 1984–2010 the route was designated R6 Ivy Ridge (later R6 Cynwyd) as part of SEPTA's diametrical reorganization of its lines. Ivy Ridge Line trains operated through the city center to the Manayunk/Norristown Line on the ex-Reading side of the system.[4]The R-number naming system was dropped on July 25, 2010.[5]

In the late 1990s and up to 2003, SEPTA funded a study called the Schuylkill Valley Metro which included plans to extend both sides of the R6 line to Pottstown, Reading and Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. The project suffered a major setback when it was rejected by the FTA New Starts program, which cited doubts about the ridership projections and financing assumptions used by the study.[6]

Though there have been repeated calls to restore the "temporarily" discontinued service between Cynwyd and Ivy Ridge, SEPTA permanently dropped plans for restoration in 2008 when all trackage north of Cynwyd to Ivy Ridge was removed between 2008 and June 2010 to make way for the Cynwyd Heritage Trail[7] and Ivy Ridge Trail.[8]

On October 29, 2010, the Cynwyd Line was where the Silverliner V rail cars made their first run in revenue service; [9] and on June 29, 2012, where the final Silverliner II's and III's ran in revenue service before being fully retired.[citation needed]


Cynwyd has been the terminus of the line since 1986

The Cynwyd Line includes the following stations north of 30th Street Station; stations indicated with italics are closed. Weekday boardings are from FY 2013.[1]:95–96

Zone Milepost Station Boardings City/Township County Connections
1 4.0 52nd Street Philadelphia Philadelphia
4.9 Wynnefield Avenue 79
2 5.7 Bala 115 Lower Merion Montgomery
6.1 Cynwyd 112
Service beyond Cynwyd suspended since 1986
2 6.8 Barmouth Lower Merion Montgomery
7.8 Manayunk West Philadelphia Philadelphia
8.5 Ivy Ridge Manayunk/Norristown Line


Between FY 2008–FY 2014 yearly ridership on the Cynwyd Line has ranged between 153,000–184,000, peaking in FY 2014 at 184,138.[1]:94[10][11][12][13][14][15]

FY 2008
FY 2009
FY 2010
FY 2011
FY 2012
FY 2013
FY 2014


  1. ^ a b c "Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Eastern Region, Philadelphia Terminal Division, Schuylkill Branch Map Showing Switching Districts As Shown On General Notice No. 503 2-14-1950" (PDF). 1950. Retrieved August 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ Baer, Christopher T. (April 2015). "A GENERAL CHRONOLOGY OF THE SUCCESSORS OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY AND THEIR HISTORICAL CONTEXT: 1980-1989" (PDF). Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society. 
  4. ^ Vuchic, Vukan; Kikuchi, Shinya (1984). General Operations Plan for the SEPTA Regional High Speed System. Philadelphia: SEPTA. pp. 2–8. 
  5. ^ Lustig, David (November 2010). "SEPTA makeover". Trains Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing: 26. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Ivy Ridge Green
  9. ^ Geringer, Dan (October 30, 2010). "Mass appeal for SEPTA's new Silverliner V train". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2014. p. 60. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2013. p. 44. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2012. p. 55. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. July 2011. p. 94. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2010. p. 70. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  15. ^ "FY 2010 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2009. p. 63. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 

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