Lansdale/Doylestown Line

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Lansdale/Doylestown Line
SEPTA 290 at Jenkintown, November 2013.jpg
Jenkintown-Wyncote station, a major stop on the Lansdale/Doylestown line
Overview
Type Commuter rail
System SEPTA Regional Rail
Status Operating
Locale Philadelphia
Montgomery County
Bucks County
Termini 30th Street Station
Doylestown
Stations 28
Daily ridership 16,267[1]:94
Website septa.org
Operation
Operator(s) SEPTA
Character Grade-separated and At-grade street running
Depot(s) SEPTA Yards and maintenance facilities
Rolling stock Electric multiple units
Events
Electrification July 26, 1931 (1931-07-26)
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification SEPTA's 25 Hz traction power system
Amtrak's 25 Hz traction power system
Route number R5 Doylestown and R5 Lansdale (1984-2010)
Route map
Doylestown
Delaware Valley University
New Britain
Chalfont
Link Belt
Colmar
Fortuna
9th Street
Bethlehem Branch
(freight-only)
Lansdale
Stony Creek Branch
(freight-only)
Pennbrook
North Wales
Fare Zone
4
3
Gwynedd Valley
Penllyn
Ambler
Fort Washington
Oreland
North Hills
Glenside
Jenkintown-Wyncote
Fare Zone
3
2
Elkins Park
Melrose Park
Fare Zone
2
1
Fern Rock
Wayne Junction
North Broad
Metro interchange
Fare Zone
1
C
Temple University
Jefferson Station
Metro interchange
Suburban Station
Metro interchange
30th Street Station
AmtrakNew Jersey TransitMetro interchangeLight rail interchange
Bus interchange Bus connections at all stations
except New Britain, Chalfont, Link Belt,
Colmar, 9th Street and Gwynedd Valley.

The Lansdale/Doylestown Line is a SEPTA Regional Rail line connecting Center City Philadelphia to Doylestown in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Until 1981, diesel-powered trains continued on the Bethlehem Branch from Lansdale to Quakertown, Bethlehem, and Allentown. Restored service has been proposed, but is not planned by SEPTA. The line is currently used by the East Penn Railroad, serving Quakertown's industrial complexes and distribution centers.

History[edit]

The Lansdale/Doylestown Line utilizes what is known as the SEPTA Main Line, a four-track line that has been owned by SEPTA since 1983 (prior to that, by Conrail between 1976 and 1983 and by the Reading Railroad before 1976), and the former Reading Railroad (RDG) Doylestown Branch. Historically, the main part of the line, from Philadelphia north to Lansdale, was part of the Reading Railroad's route from Philadelphia to Bethlehem, and then to Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.

A Reading Company Silverliner II at Doylestown in 1970

Originally arriving and departing at the former Reading Terminal, now part of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the line has, since 1985, been directly connected to the ex-PRR/Penn Central side by the Center City Commuter Rail Tunnel. Unlike the ex-PRR/Penn Central Paoli/Thorndale Line it is often paired with for through-service, the ex-RDG line was not as heavily built, as the RDG segregated its through-freight and passenger movements. While the four-track section between the tunnel and Wayne Junction and the two-track section from Wayne Junction to Jenkintown are grade-separated, the two-track section from Jenkintown to Lansdale and the single track from Lansdale to Doylestown has both at-grade railroad crossings and over- and underpasses.[2]

Electrified service between Philadelphia and Hatboro, Lansdale, Doylestown and West Trenton was opened on July 26, 1931. Equipment consisted of dark green painted electric multiple unit cars built at the Reading's own shops. Some of the cars were rebuilt during the 1960s receiving air conditioning, refreshed interior and a new blue paint scheme resulting in their being referred to as "Blueliners". Today, the line uses the Silverliner family of EMU cars which operate throughout SEPTA's Regional Rail system.[2]

Service to Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley languished due to the post-World War II surge of the automobile as well as the opening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension in 1957. Service north of Lansdale in the non-electrified territory was terminated by SEPTA on July 29, 1981.[2] Trackage north of Quakertown was dismantled after the railbed was leased for use as the interim Saucon Rail Trail.

R5 Lansdale.gif
R5 Doylestown.gif

Between 1984–2010 the route was designated R5 Doylestown and R5 Lansdale as part of SEPTA's diametrical reorganization of its lines. Lansdale and Doylestown trains operated through the city center to the Paoli Line on the ex-Pennsylvania side of the system.[3] The R-number naming system was dropped on July 25, 2010.[4]

On August 29, 2011, SEPTA adjusted the midday service pattern to encourage ridership at Colmar station, which had available parking capacity immediately adjacent to Pennsylvania Route 309. Previously, every other train turned back at Lansdale; those trains now call at Colmar before terminating at Link Belt, providing half-hourly service at Colmar between the morning and afternoon rush hours.[5]

On December 18, 2011, SEPTA eliminated weekend service at Link Belt and New Britain due to low ridership. In the fall of 2012, New Britain was added back to the weekend schedule as a flag stop.

A large parking garage is to be built at Lansdale station. 9th Street station opened nearby on November 15, 2015 as an alternate parking location during construction; it will remain open afterwards to as part of planned transit-oriented development.[6]

SEPTA activated positive train control on the Lansdale/Doylestown Line from Doylestown to Glenside on June 13, 2016. Positive train control was activated from Glenside to Fern Rock on December 12, 2016 and from Fern Rock to 30th Street on January 9, 2017.[7]

Stations[edit]

The Reading Company constructed the current building at Jenkintown–Wyncote station in 1932
Penllyn station opened in 1930
Lansdale station, a major station along the line
Colmar station in 2006
Doylestown station, which serves as the terminus of the Lansdale/Doylestown Line

The Lansdale/Doylestown Line makes the following station stops after leaving the Center City Commuter Connection; stations indicated with a gray background are closed.

Zone
[8]
Station Miles (km)
from Center City
Date
opened
Date
closed
Connections / notes
C Temple University Handicapped/disabled access 2.1 miles (3.4 km)     SEPTA: All Regional Rail lines
1 North Broad Handicapped/disabled access 2.9 miles (4.7 km)     SEPTA: Manayunk/Norristown Line, Broad Street Line, Bus transport 4, 16, 54
Wayne Junction Handicapped/disabled access 5.1 miles (8.2 km)     SEPTA: Chestnut Hill East Line, Fox Chase Line, Warminster Line, West Trenton Line, Bus transport 2, 23, 53, 75
Logan October 4, 1992[9] Logan was one of four stations discontinued by SEPTA on October 4, 1992.[9]
Tabor
Fern Rock Transportation Center Handicapped/disabled access 7.3 miles (11.7 km)     SEPTA: Broad Street Line, Warminster Line, West Trenton Line, Bus transport 4, 28, 57, 70
Philadelphia city line
2 Melrose Park Handicapped/disabled access 8.4 miles (13.5 km)     SEPTA: Warminster Line, West Trenton Line
Elkins Park 9.2 miles (14.8 km)     SEPTA: Warminster Line, West Trenton Line, Bus transport 28
3 Jenkintown–Wyncote 10.8 miles (17.4 km)     SEPTA: Warminster Line, West Trenton Line, Bus transport 77
Glenside 11.9 miles (19.2 km)     SEPTA: Warminster Line, Bus transport 22, 77
North Hills 13.0 miles (20.9 km)    
Oreland 13.9 miles (22.4 km)    
Fellwick 14.8 miles (23.8 km)   November 10, 1996[10]
Fort Washington Handicapped/disabled access 15.9 miles (25.6 km)     SEPTA: Bus transport 94, 95, 201
Ambler Handicapped/disabled access 17.3 miles (27.8 km)     SEPTA: Bus transport 94, 95
Penllyn 18.8 miles (30.3 km)     SEPTA: Bus transport 94
Gwynedd Valley 20.0 miles (32.2 km)    
4 North Wales Handicapped/disabled access 22.4 miles (36.0 km)     SEPTA: Bus transport 96
Pennbrook Handicapped/disabled access 23.5 miles (37.8 km)     SEPTA: Bus transport 94
Lansdale Handicapped/disabled access 24.4 miles (39.3 km)     SEPTA: Bus transport 96, 132
9th Street Handicapped/disabled access 25.0 miles (40.2 km) November 15, 2015[11][12]  
Fortuna Handicapped/disabled access 25.9 miles (41.7 km)     SEPTA: Bus transport 132
Colmar Handicapped/disabled access 26.8 miles (43.1 km)    
Link Belt Handicapped/disabled access 27.5 miles (44.3 km)    
Chalfont Handicapped/disabled access 29.7 miles (47.8 km)    
New Britain Handicapped/disabled access 31.5 miles (50.7 km)    
Delaware Valley University Handicapped/disabled access 32.8 miles (52.8 km)    
Doylestown Handicapped/disabled access 34.4 miles (55.4 km)     SEPTA: Bus transport 55
Trans-Bridge Lines (to New Hope and New York City)

Ridership[edit]

Between FY 2008–FY 2014 yearly ridership on the Lansdale/Doylestown Line has held steady at 4.6 million, save for a brief dip to 4.3 million in FY 2010–2011.[1]:94[13][14][15][16][17][18]

1,000,000
2,000,000
3,000,000
4,000,000
5,000,000
FY 2008
FY 2009
FY 2010
FY 2011
FY 2012
FY 2013
FY 2014

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Williams, Gerry (1998). Trains, Trolleys & Transit: A Guide to Philadelphia Area Rail Transit. Piscataway, NJ: Railpace Company. pp. 80–83. ISBN 978-0-9621541-7-1. OCLC 43543368. 
  3. ^ Vuchic, Vukan; Kikuchi, Shinya (1984). General Operations Plan for the SEPTA Regional High Speed System. Philadelphia: SEPTA. pp. 2–8. 
  4. ^ Lustig, David (November 2010). "SEPTA makeover". Trains Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing: 26. 
  5. ^ "SEPTA adds more Colmar stops". September 1, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ "9th Street Station". Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Positive Train Control Update". SEPTA. May 1, 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Lansdale/Doylestown Line Timetable" (PDF). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. September 10, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "New Rail Schedules Set". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. October 2, 1992. p. 36. Retrieved October 19, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  10. ^ Dougherty, Frank (October 25, 1996). "Septa Board Cuts Service But Oppostion Is Spirited". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved October 24, 2017. 
  11. ^ McQuade, Dan (November 13, 2015). "SEPTA Opening First New Train Station in 20 Years". Philly Magazine. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ Sokil, Dan (November 5, 2015). "SEPTA, Lansdale planning soft opening for Ninth Street rail station". The Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2014. p. 60. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2013. p. 44. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2012. p. 55. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. July 2011. p. 94. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2010. p. 70. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 
  18. ^ "FY 2010 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2009. p. 63. Retrieved August 13, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°14′35″N 75°17′07″W / 40.24305°N 75.28537°W / 40.24305; -75.28537