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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, 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 of the SEPTA regional rail lines, and is the second shortest regional rail line in the United States, with only the New Jersey Transit Princeton Shuttle being shorter. It is by far the least ridden and least trafficked SEPTA Regional Rail Line. It is fully grade-separated.
The Cynwyd Line at Wynnefield Avenue in July 2005
|System||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Operator(s)||SEPTA Regional Rail|
|Rolling stock||Electric Multiple Units|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
The Cynwyd Line is the shortest and has the lowest ridership of all of the SEPTA Regional Rail lines. It runs from Suburban Station to the 52nd Street Junction, where it diverges from Amtrak's Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line and makes three station stops (Wynnefield Avenue, Bala, and Cynwyd) before stopping just short of the Schuylkill River.
The Cynwyd Line is the truncated remnant of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Schuylkill Branch, which ran from Philadelphia to Pottsville, Pennsylvania. 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.
In 1980 SEPTA extended service from Manayunk to a new park-and-ride station at Ivy Ridge. Service beyond Cynwyd was suspended on May 27, 1986, because of poor track conditions and concerns about the Manayunk Bridge over the Schuylkill River.
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. The R-number naming system was dropped on July 25, 2010.
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.
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 and Ivy Ridge Trail.
On October 29, 2010, the Cynwyd Line was where the Silverliner V rail cars made their first run in revenue service, and, on June 29, 2012, where the final Silverliner IIs and IIIs ran in revenue service before being fully retired.
The Cynwyd Line includes the following stations north of 30th Street Station; stations indicated with gray background are closed.
from Center City
|Connections / notes|
|C||52nd Street||4.0 miles (6.4 km)||closed August 23, 1980|
|1||Wynnefield Avenue||4.9 miles (7.9 km)||SEPTA City Bus: 40|
|Philadelphia city line|
|2||Bala||5.7 miles (9.2 km)||SEPTA City Bus: 1, 44, 52, 65|
|Cynwyd||6.1 miles (9.8 km)|| SEPTA City Bus: 52, 44|
Service beyond Cynwyd to Ivy Ridge suspended on May 27, 1986.
|Barmouth||6.8 miles (10.9 km)||closed May 27, 1986|
|Philadelphia city line|
|Manayunk West||7.8 miles (12.6 km)||closed May 27, 1986|
|Ivy Ridge||8.5 miles (13.7 km)||closed May 27, 1986|
- "Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
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- Ivy Ridge Green
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- "Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2012. p. 55. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. July 2011. p. 94. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2010. p. 70. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
- "FY 2010 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2009. p. 63. Retrieved August 13, 2016.