Chestnut Hill West Line
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The Chestnut Hill West Line is a commuter rail line in the SEPTA Regional Rail network. It connects Northwest Philadelphia, including the eponymous neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, as well as West Mount Airy and Germantown, to Center City.
|Chestnut Hill West Line|
A Penn Central Silverliner at Chestnut Hill West station in May 1974.
|System||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Termini||Chestnut Hill West|
|Daily ridership||5,651 (2016)|
|Rolling stock||Electric Multiple Units|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Operating speed||50 mph (Chestnut Hill West to North Philadelphia) 70 mph (North Philadelphia to Zoo Interlocking)|
The Chestnut Hill West Line branches off from Amtrak's Northeast Corridor at North Philadelphia station and runs entirely within the City of Philadelphia. Its terminal is named Chestnut Hill West to distinguish it from the end of the Chestnut Hill East Line (a competing line of the Reading Company until 1976, when SEPTA assumed operations). Some stations are less than half a mile apart, a characteristic more commonly seen in an urban rapid transit system rather than a commuter rail line. The line runs roughly parallel to the Chestnut Hill East, and the two terminals are rather close. The line is fully grade-separated.
The line was originally opened June 11, 1884 by the Philadelphia, Germantown and Chestnut Hill Railroad, and was operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad until 1968. Electrified service began on March 30, 1918. The Penn Central operated it until 1976, turning operations over to Conrail until 1983, when SEPTA took over.
Between 1984–2010 the route was designated R8 Chestnut Hill West as part of SEPTA's diametrical reorganization of its lines. Chestnut Hill West trains operated through the city center to the Fox Chase Line. Plans had called for the line to be paired with West Chester/Elwyn Line and designated R3, but this depended on a never-built connection from the Chestnut Hill West Line to the ex-Reading near Wayne Junction. As of 2018[update], most Chestnut Hill West Line trains continue through Center City to the Fox Chase Line.
Between June 26, 1987–December 17, 1989 service terminated at Allen Lane with shuttle buses serving St. Martin's, Highland and Chestnut Hill West because of unsafe conditions on the Cresheim Valley bridge. The original iron bridge dated to 1884 and was replaced with a $7.6 million steel structure financed by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration.
The Chestnut Hill West makes the following station stops after leaving 30th Street Station; stations indicated with gray background are closed. All stations are located within Philadelphia.
from Center City
|Connections / notes|
|C||Zoological Garden||1.9 miles (3.1 km)||1874||November 24, 1901||Station served the Philadelphia Zoo.|
|Engleside||2.8 miles (4.5 km)||April 5, 1903||Engelside was closed as part of the discontinuance of four stations on April 5, 1903.|
|Ridge Avenue||3.2 miles (5.1 km)||April 5, 1903||Ridge Avenue was closed as part of the discontinuance of four stations on April 5, 1903.|
|22nd Street||3.9 miles (6.3 km)|
|1||North Philadelphia||4.5 miles (7.2 km)||Amtrak: Keystone Service, Northeast Regional|
SEPTA: Trenton Line, Broad Street Line, 4, 16
|Westmoreland||5.5 miles (8.9 km)||October 29, 1994|
|Queen Lane||6.8 miles (10.9 km)||SEPTA: K|
|Chelten Avenue||7.4 miles (11.9 km)||June 11, 1884||SEPTA: 26, J|
|2||Tulpehocken||7.9 miles (12.7 km)||June 11, 1884||SEPTA: 53, 65|
|Upsal||8.4 miles (13.5 km)||SEPTA: H|
|Carpenter||9.0 miles (14.5 km)||June 11, 1884|
|Allen Lane||9.4 miles (15.1 km)|
|St. Martins||10.2 miles (16.4 km)|
|Highland||10.7 miles (17.2 km)||June 11, 1884|
|Chestnut Hill West||11.3 miles (18.2 km)||June 11, 1884||SEPTA: 23, 77, 94, 97, L|
Chestnut Hill East station is two blocks north.
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