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The SEPTA Main Line is the section of the SEPTA Regional Rail system from the Zoo Interlocking in West Philadelphia to Lansdale Station in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The line is 26.25 miles (42.25 km) long, and serves all 13 SEPTA Regional Rail lines.[1]

Glenside Combined
SEPTA GE Silverliner IV 308.jpg
A train operating on the SEPTA Main Line arrives at Fern Rock Transportation Center
Overview
TypeCommuter rail line
SystemSEPTA Regional Rail
StatusOperating
TerminiZoo Interlocking
Lansdale Station
Stations20
Websitesepta.org
Operation
Operator(s)SEPTA Regional Rail
Technical
Line length26.25 miles (42.25 km)
Number of tracks2–4
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
ElectrificationCatenary
Route map

DOY
24.4 mi
39.3 km
Lansdale
24.2 mi
38.9 km
23.5 mi
37.8 km
Pennbrook
22.4 mi
36 km
North Wales
Zone
 4 
3
20.0 mi
32.2 km
Gwynedd Valley
18.8 mi
30.3 km
Penllyn
17.2 mi
27.7 km
Ambler
15.9 mi
25.6 km
Fort Washington
13.8 mi
22.2 km
Oreland
13.0 mi
20.9 km
North Hills
12.1 mi
19.5 km
WAR
11.9 mi
19.2 km
Glenside
10.8 mi
17.4 km
WTR
10.7 mi
17.2 km
Jenkintown–Wyncote
Zone
 3 
2
9.2 mi
14.8 km
Elkins Park
8.4 mi
13.5 km
Melrose Park
Zone
 2 
1
7.0 mi
11.3 km
Fern Rock
6.2 mi
10 km
FOX
5.2 mi
8.4 km
Wayne Junction
5.1 mi
8.2 km
CHE
3.5 mi
5.6 km
CHW
3.5 mi
5.6 km
NOR
3.2 mi
5.1 km
2.9 mi
4.7 km
North Broad
Zone
 1 
C
2.1 mi
3.4 km
Temple University
MFL
0.5 mi
0.8 km
Jefferson
BSL
to NRG
0 mi
0 km
Suburban
0.76 mi
1.22 km
0.90 mi
1.45 km
30th Street
Atlantic City Line Amtrak |SEPTA subway–surface trolley lines MFL
1.17 mi
1.88 km
AIR ELW NWK
1.90 mi
3.06 km

Current serviceEdit

Service on the Main Line segment between Glenside and Center City is given a special combined public timetable known as the Glenside Combined, allowing riders to see the schedules of all trains on the Main Line without having to look at multiple schedules. This is a partial legacy of the former SEPTA route number designations, which had the R1 Glenside designation for trains that turned at the station, paired with the Airport Line. That few trains actually terminated there and instead continued on to stations farther out was a contributing factor to the elimination of the route designators.

As of 2017, most northbound trains on the Main Line continue as Lansdale/Doylestown Line, Warminster Line, or West Trenton Line trains. Those that do not terminate at Glenside.[2]

HistoryEdit

The Main Line was mostly built by the North Pennsylvania Railroad. However, the oldest section was part of the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad (PG&N), the first railroad in Philadelphia. The first section of it opened on June 7, 1832, from downtown to Germantown (now on the Chestnut Hill East Line). Later a new alignment was built to Norristown, leaving the old route from North Philadelphia to Germantown as a branch; this is now the Manayunk/Norristown Line. The PG&N south of Wayne Junction, the Ninth Street Branch, is now part of the Main Line.

The North Pennsylvania Railroad (North Penn) opened south of Gwynedd (north of Glenside) on July 2, 1855, and the continuation to Lansdale (including the branch to Doylestown, now the Lansdale/Doylestown Line) opened October 7. The short part of the Main Line from Wayne Junction northeast to north of Newtown Junction was built as a connection to the PG&N at Wayne Junction.

On December 1, 1870, the Philadelphia and Reading Railway (later the Reading Company) leased the PG&N. The North Penn was leased May 1, 1879, placing the future "Reading side" of the SEPTA Main Line under Reading control. Electrification to Glenside, Hatboro, Lansdale, Doylestown and West Trenton was completed on July 26, 1931. In 1976 Conrail took over the Reading, and in 1983 SEPTA gained control of the commuter operations. The Center City Commuter Connection was tied into the former Reading main line on November 12, 1984, completing the SEPTA Main Line as it is defined today.

SEPTA activated positive train control on the Main Line from Glenside to Fern Rock on December 12, 2016 and from Fern Rock to 30th Street on January 9, 2017.[3]

Other usesEdit

The term "Main Line" is also sometimes used on the SEPTA Regional Rail system to refer to the Paoli/Thorndale Line, which runs along the original main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which is now Amtrak's Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line.

External linksEdit

  • "SEPTA - Glenside Combined schedule" (PDF).

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hanratty, R. J. Jr. (April 6, 2008). "Railroad Division: Timetable No. 4". SEPTA. pp. 49–58. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
  2. ^ "Glenside Combined" (PDF). SEPTA. April 23, 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "Positive Train Control Update". SEPTA. May 1, 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017.