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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[citation needed]. It is by far the least ridden and least trafficked SEPTA Regional Rail Line. It is fully grade-separated.

Cynwyd Line
Wynnefield Avenue SEPTA Station.jpg
The Cynwyd Line at Wynnefield Avenue in July 2005
TypeCommuter rail
SystemSEPTA Regional Rail
TerminiSuburban Station
Daily ridership722[1]:94
Operator(s)SEPTA Regional Rail
Rolling stockElectric Multiple Units
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map

11.1 mi
17.9 km
former service text
11.1 mi
17.9 km
Ivy Ridge
6.1 mi
9.8 km
5.7 mi
9.2 km
4.9 mi
7.9 km
Wynnefield Avenue
52nd Street
0.9 mi
1.4 km
30th Street
SEPTA_subway–surface_trolley_lines MFL Atlantic City Line Amtrak
0 mi
0 km


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.[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 IIs and IIIs ran in revenue service before being fully retired.[citation needed]

SEPTA activated positive train control on the Cynwyd Line on November 21, 2016.[10]


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 gray background are closed.

Station Miles (km)
from Center City
Connections / notes
C 52nd Street 4.0 miles (6.4 km) closed August 23, 1980[3]
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.[3]
Barmouth 6.8 miles (10.9 km) closed May 27, 1986[3]
Philadelphia city line
Manayunk West 7.8 miles (12.6 km) closed May 27, 1986[3]
Ivy Ridge 8.5 miles (13.7 km) closed May 27, 1986[3]


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[12][13][14][15][16][17]

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


  1. ^ a b "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. ^ a b c d e f 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. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  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. ^ "Positive Train Control Update". SEPTA. May 1, 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "Cynwyd Line Timetable" (PDF). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. September 10, 2017. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  12. ^ "Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2014. p. 60. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2013. p. 44. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2012. p. 55. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. July 2011. p. 94. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2010. p. 70. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  17. ^ "FY 2010 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2009. p. 63. Retrieved August 13, 2016.

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