Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line

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For the Norfolk Southern (formerly Reading Company) line, see Harrisburg Line.
Amtrak and SEPTA regional rail service share operations over the Main Line grade between Philadelphia and Thorndale.

The Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line is a rail line owned and operated by Amtrak in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. This is the only electrified Amtrak service outside of the main line of the Northeast Corridor. The line runs from Philadelphia, where it meets the Northeast Corridor at Zoo interlocking (MP 1.9), west to Harrisburg (MP 104.6), where electrification ends. It is part of the longer Keystone Corridor, which continues west to Pittsburgh along the Norfolk Southern Railway's Pittsburgh Line.[1] This section is sometimes referred to as "Keystone East"[2] and is part of Amtrak's Keystone Service.


The line runs along the route of the former Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line and passes through the Philadelphia Main Line, the suburban region named for it. The Pennsylvania Railroad had originally electrified this line in the 1930s, but it fell into disuse in the 1980s under Amtrak.[3][4]

Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation restored electrical service in October, 2006.[5] This allows speeds up to 110 miles per hour.[6]

The line received about $26 million from the 2009 Federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act that was used to eliminate the last three grade crossings, which will advance the goal of 125-mph operations, reduce overall trip times, and improve service reliability. The grade crossing were located in Lancaster county and the last was closed in 2014.[7][8][9][10]

Current Rail Services[edit]

Amtrak's Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian operate over the entire line. SEPTA Regional Rail Paoli/Thorndale Line trains operate east of Thorndale, with the rights to continue revenue service west to Parkesburg and to run west to Cork Interlocking (just east of Amtrak's Lancaster station) to reverse direction.[1]

Freight trackage rights over the whole line are assigned to the Norfolk Southern Railway. The Canadian Pacific Railway also has rights over a small piece near Harrisburg, from the west end to Roy Interlocking in Royalton, to allow CP trains to get from the end of their Sunbury Line or Allentown to Perryville, Maryland.[1]


In the 2000s, there was discussion of commuter rail from Lancaster to Harrisburg (the Capital Red Rose Corridor), but the proposal has subsequently been abandoned.[11]

Stations and interlockings[edit]

Grade crossing and signal bridge (#592) in Leacock Township, east of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

See Keystone Service for more information Key

  • (M) – Block and Interlocking Station (Manned)
  • (T) – Temporary Block Station
  • (X) – Interlocking
  • (D) – DCS Block Limit
  • R- – Remote Control From
  • (Line Name) – Interchange with
Milepost (MP) Station City Amtrak SEPTA Notes
0.0 Suburban Station Philadelphia All
1.0 30th Street Station AE CD CL CS KS NR PA PL SM SS VT All New Jersey Transit Atlantic City Line, all SEPTA commuter rail lines
1.9 ZOO (M)(X)(D) (SEPTA Main Line, Amtrak NEC)
3.5 STILES (X)(D) R-ZOO Tracks 2 and 4 only
4.0 VALLEY (X)(D) R-OVERBROOK (SEPTA Cynwyd line) Tracks 1 and 2 only
4.1 PAXON (X)(D) R-ZOO Track 4 only
5.1 WOODBINE (X)(D) R-ZOO Track 4 only
5.4 Overbrook Paoli/Thorndale (M)(X)(D)
6.0 Merion Lower Merion Paoli/Thorndale
6.8 Narberth Narberth Paoli/Thorndale
7.4 Wynnewood Wynnewood Paoli/Thorndale
8.5 Ardmore Ardmore Keystone Paoli/Thorndale
9.1 Haverford Haverford Paoli/Thorndale
10.1 Bryn Mawr Bryn Mawr Paoli/Thorndale (X)(D) R-PAOLI
10.9 Rosemont Rosemont Paoli/Thorndale
12.0 Villanova Radnor Paoli/Thorndale
13.0 Radnor Paoli/Thorndale
13.7 St. Davids Paoli/Thorndale
14.5 Wayne Paoli/Thorndale
15.4 Strafford Tredyffrin Paoli/Thorndale
16.4 Devon Easttown Paoli/Thorndale
17.5 Berwyn Paoli/Thorndale
18.6 Daylesford Tredyffrin Paoli/Thorndale
19.9 Paoli Paoli Keystone, Pennsylvanian Paoli/Thorndale (M)(X)(D)
21.6 Malvern Malvern Paoli/Thorndale
25.5 GLEN (X)(D) R-THORN (NS Dale Secondary) Tracks 1 and 2 only
27.5 Exton Exton Keystone, Pennsylvanian (trains 42 eastbound only) Paoli/Thorndale
28.3 Whitford Paoli/Thorndale
32.1 DOWNS Downingtown (X)(D) R-THORN
32.4 Downingtown Keystone Paoli/Thorndale
35.0 THORN Thorndale (M)(X)(D)
35.5 Thorndale Paoli/Thorndale
36.6 CALN (X)(D) R-THORN Track 1 and 2 only.
38.4 Coatesville Coatesville Keystone
44.2 Parkesburg Parkesburg Keystone
46.3 PARK (X)(D) R-CORK
Paradise planned future station which will connect with the historic Strasburg Rail Road
67.0 HOLLAND (X)(D) R-CORK Track 4 only (NS New Holland Industrial)
68.0 Lancaster Lancaster Keystone, Pennsylvanian
68.1 CORK (M)(X)(D) (NS Columbia Secondary)
70.0 LITITZ (X)(D) R-CORK Track 2 only (NS Lititz Secondary)
80.1 Mount Joy Mount Joy Keystone
86.8 Elizabethtown Elizabethtown Keystone, Pennsylvanian
94.5 ROY Middletown (X)(D) R-STATE (NS Royalton Branch)
94.7 Middletown Keystone Replacement station to be constructed slightly to the west
104.4 STATE Harrisburg (M)(X)(D)
104.6 Harrisburg Keystone, Pennsylvanian End of electrification.


  1. ^ a b c Federal Railway Administration, "Appendix A: Ownership, Operating Rights and Agreements" (PDF).  (18.0 KiB)
  2. ^ "Frequently-Asked Questions". Plan the Keystone. PennDOT. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Michael, Froio (May 18, 2012). "The Pennsylvania Railroad's Harrisburg Terminal : A Historical Overview". Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Tom, Belden (January 18, 1998). "Orphan Rail Line Scorned No More Penndot And A Startup Company Have Both Made Proposals For Upgrading Amtrak's Keystone Route.". Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Amtrak's Northeast Corridor: FY 2010" (PDF). Amtrak. May 2011. p. 5. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "Northeast Corridor State of Good Repair Spend Plan" (PDF). Amtrak. April 15, 2009. p. 7. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  7. ^ "NEC Projects - The Keystone Corridor". Amtrak. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Congressional Bicameral High - Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus" (PDF). Federal Briefing. WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. August 14, 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Harris, Bernard (July 20, 2014). "New PennDOT bridge could mean faster trains on tracks below" (PDF). Plan the Keystone. Lancaster Online. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Southcentral PA's Multi-Modal Transportation Efforts". Modern Transit Partnership. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  • "The Electrification of the Pennsylvania Railroad from Broad Street Terminal Philadelphia to Paoli." The Electric Journal. Vol. 12, No. 12 (December 1915). (Pittsburgh, PA: The Electric Journal.) pp. 536–541.