Manayunk/Norristown Line

Manayunk/Norristown Line

A Manayunk/Norristown train at Main Street station
Type Commuter rail line
System SEPTA
Status Operating
Termini 30th Street Station
Elm Street, Norristown
Stations 16
Daily ridership 11,038[1]:94
Line number Formerly R6
Owner SEPTA Regional Rail
Operator(s) SEPTA Regional Rail
Rolling stock Electric Multiple Units
Line length 18.1 mi (29.1 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification Catenary
Route map
Pottsville Schuylkill Transportation System
Schuylkill Haven
Outer Station
Reading Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority
Pottstown Colebrookdale Railroad Pottstown Area Rapid Transit
Valley Forge
Port Kennedy
Elm Street
Lansdale/Doylestown Line
to Doylestown

Lansdale/Doylestown Line
to 30th Street Station
West Point
UpperRight arrow Stony Creek Branch
Marshall Street
Main Street
NS Harrisburg Line
Norristown Trans-
portation Center
Norristown High Speed Line
NS Trenton Cutoff
Ivy Rock
Spring Mill
Fare Zone

Ivy Ridge
Cynwyd Line
to 30th Street Station


Viaduct over Lincoln Drive
and Wissahickon Creek

Fare Zone
East Falls
SEPTA Main Line
North Broad
Fare Zone
Center City
Temple University
Spring Garden Street
Reading Terminal
Jefferson Station
Suburban Station

30th Street Station Amtrak New Jersey Transit
SEPTA Regional Rail
New Jersey Transit & Amtrak

The Manayunk/Norristown Line is a SEPTA Regional Rail line running from Center City Philadelphia to the Elm Street station in Norristown, Montgomery County.


The route originates from the Center City Rail tunnel, and the two-track line splits off from the "SEPTA Main Line" north of North Broad Station. It then goes through Philadelphia's East Falls and Manayunk neighborhoods and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania before reaching Norristown. At Norristown Transportation Center, commuters can transfer to regular SEPTA surface buses or the SEPTA Norristown High Speed Line to 69th Street Terminal. From Norristown Transportation Center, the electrified line follows the single track Stony Creek branch to terminate at Elm Street, while the double tracked main line continues to Reading. The Reading main west of Norristown currently carries no passenger service, and is owned and operated by the Norfolk Southern Railway.


The Manayunk/Norristown Line was the Reading Company's Norristown Branch from Philadelphia to Reading, Pennsylvania. Electrified service to Norristown and Chestnut Hill East began on February 5, 1933.[2] Steam (and later diesel)-operated intercity services continued to operate beyond Norristown. By the 1960s Budd Rail Diesel Cars handled most of the Reading's diesel services, although the Reading's EMD FP7 locomotives, displaced from the Crusader, saw regular use on the Philadelphia–Reading run.[3] SEPTA discontinued services beyond Norristown on July 26, 1981.[4]

Between 1984–2010 the route was designated R6 Norristown as part of SEPTA's diametrical reorganization of its lines. Manayunk/Norristown Line trains operated through the city center to the Ivy Ridge Line (later Cynwyd) on the ex-Pennsylvania side of the system.[5]The R-number naming system was dropped on July 25, 2010.[6]

Like the Cynwyd Line, the Manayunk/Norristown Line was slated to become part of the planned new Schuylkill Valley Metro, but was to serve the King of Prussia Mall complex and the former Pennsylvania Railroad's Trenton Cut-Off line to Frazer, Pennsylvania. This was referred to by planners as the "Cross-County Segment." An extension of the Manayunk/Norristown Line, called the Norristown Extension, to Wyomissing is currently proposed, with funding to come through new tolls on U.S. Route 422.[7][8]

Early in 2013, SEPTA began to undertake major operational improvements and physical rehabilitation on the Manayunk/Norristown Line. Central to this project is the replacement of the 80-year-old wayside automatic block signal system with one that displays only in the operating cab, and operates in both directions on both tracks, thereby allowing greater operational flexibility. Two new remotely controlled interlockings are being constructed to facilitate bidirectional operation, one at Miquon, the other in Norristown between the main station and the Ford Street crossing. An electrified storage track is also being constructed at Miquon to allow for temporary turnback of trains at that station, as the line is periodically subjected to flooding from the Schuylkill River around Spring Mill and Conshohocken. Ongoing replacement of the line's overhead catenary, most of which is 80 years old, will continue along with the signal replacement. Also occurring in conjunction with these projects are the replacement of crossties, renewal of grade crossing surfaces, and trimming of brush and trees alongside the right-of-way.[9] The entire program is scheduled for completion in fall 2015, tying in with the FRA-mandated nationwide implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) on American railroads by the end of 2015.[10]


The Norristown Transportation Center is a major hub
Miquon station

The Manayunk/Norristown Line makes the following station stops after leaving 30th Street Station; stations indicated with italics are closed. Weekday boardings are from FY 2013; data for Temple University and North Broad include all lines serving those stations.[1]:95–96

Zone Milepost Station Boardings City/Township County Connections
C Spring Garden Street Philadelphia
2.1 Temple University 3,028 All SEPTA Regional Rail lines
2.9 North Broad 103
1 4.0 Allegheny 76
5.5 East Falls 625
2 6.4 Wissahickon 410
7.6 Manayunk 654
8.4 Ivy Ridge 602
9.4 Shawmont
10.7 Miquon 483 Whitemarsh Montgomery
3 12.3 Spring Mill 378
13.5 Conshohocken 646 Conshohocken
15.3 Ivy Rock Plymouth
15.8 Mogees[note 1]
17.2 Norristown Transportation Center 848 Norristown Norristown High Speed Line
17.7 Main Street 181
17.9 Marshall Street
18.1 Elm Street 300

Former diesel service

Prior to July 26, 1981, RDC diesel trains operated north of Norristown to Reading and Pottsville. Until 2011, SEPTA had considering restoring service as far as Reading as part of the Schuylkill Valley Metro project. These plans are currently on hold. The following is a list of stations formerly served by SEPTA.

Zone Milepost Station City/Township County
4 21.5 Valley Forge Valley Forge Montgomery
5 27.7 Phoenixville Phoenixville Chester
32.0 Royersford Royersford Montgomery
6 39.1 Pottstown Pottstown
7 49.5 Birdsboro Birdsboro Berks
8 58.1 Franklin Street Reading
66.3 Leesport Leesport
68.6 Mohrsville Mohrsville
70.0 Shoemakersville Shoemakersville
75.3 Hamburg Hamburg
9 83.5 Auburn Auburn Schuylkill
10 89.1 Schuylkill Haven Schuylkill Haven
93.6 Pottsville Pottsville


Between FY 2008–FY 2014 yearly ridership on the Manayunk/Norristown Line has ranged between 2.9 million–3.1 million.[1]:94[11][12][13][14][15][16]

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


  1. Station closed October 4, 1992


  1. 1 2 3 "Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  2. Baer, Christopher T. (April 2015). "A GENERAL CHRONOLOGY OF THE SUCCESSORS OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY AND THEIR HISTORICAL CONTEXT: 1933" (PDF). Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society.
  3. Woodland, Dale W. (December 2003). "SEPTA's Diesels". Railpace Newsmagazine. pp. 21–22.
  4. Williams, Gerry (1998). Trains, Trolleys & Transit: A Guide to Philadelphia Area Rail Transit. Piscataway, NJ: Railpace Company. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-9621541-7-1. OCLC 43543368.
  5. Vuchic, Vukan; Kikuchi, Shinya (1984). General Operations Plan for the SEPTA Regional High Speed System. Philadelphia: SEPTA. pp. 2–8.
  6. Lustig, David (November 2010). "SEPTA makeover". Trains Magazine. Kalmbach Publishing: 26.
  7. Hambright, Brett (December 12, 2010). "Decision near on Route 422 tolls". Reading Eagle. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  8. Hambright, Brett (August 10, 2010). "Technology is making tolls (almost) painless". Reading Eagle. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  9. "Manayunk/Norristown Line Shuttle Busing: An Explanation". SEPTA. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  10. "SEPTA's Capital Program:Regional Rail Signal System Modernization Program" (PDF). Fiscal Year 2014 Capital Budget Proposal. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  11. "Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2014. p. 60. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  12. "Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2013. p. 44. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  13. "Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. May 2012. p. 55. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  14. "Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. July 2011. p. 94. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  15. "Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2010. p. 70. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  16. "FY 2010 Annual Service Plan" (PDF). SEPTA. June 2009. p. 63. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
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