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Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

Line of the Week: Paoli/Thorndale Line

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This blog post marks the beginning of our new series: Line of the Week. Each week, we'll explore a different line and what makes it notable. This week, we'll be taking a look at the Paoli/Thorndale Line which is the workhorse of our Regional Rail Lines. Follow us on Instagram to make sure you don't miss the next one!

This week, we'll be taking a look at the Paoli/Thorndale Line. The Paoli/Thorndale Line is the workhorse of our Regional Rail Lines. It runs between Temple University to Thorndale and serves the Main Line, including Rosemont, Wayne, and Malvern. It connects to 30th Street Station, Suburban Station, and Jefferson Station, so it's a vital route for many who work in Center City.

Service begins on this line at about 4:45a every morning. It operates about every 30 minutes Monday thru Friday from about 7a to 6:30p and then every hour from 6:30p to about midnight, making it one of the most frequent Regional Rail Lines in all of SEPTA. The current schedule has been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it still runs very frequently. It travels 37.9 miles one way. It stops at 26 stations along the way:

  • Temple Station

  • Jefferson Station

  • Suburban Station

  • 30th Street Station

  • Overbrook Station

  • Merion Station

  • Narberth Station

  • Wynnewood Station 

  • Ardmore Station

  • Haverford Station

  • Bryn Mawr Station

  • Rosemont Station

  • Villanova Station

  • Radnor Station

  • St. David Station

  • Wayne Station

  • Strafford Station

  • Devon Station

  • Berwyn Station

  • Daylesford Station

  • Paoli Station

  • Malvern Station

  • Exton Station

  • Downingtown Station

  • Thorndale Station

Throughout the day, there are a number of trips that begin and terminate at Malvern Station.

The Paoli/Thorndale Line is a great route for college students. Along with Temple, it connects to a number of colleges and universities, including Villanova University, Bryn Mawr College, St. Joseph's University, Rosemount College, and Haverford College.

Electrified service began on the Paoli/Thorndale Line just over 105 years ago, on September 11, 1915. This made it the first local commuter and long-distance line to be electrified using overhead catenary wires. The only other commuter line to be electrified at this time was the Long Island Rail Road in New York, but this used a third rail as opposed to overhead wires. Service ended in Downingtown until 1999, when the Thorndale Station opened. Until July 25, 2010, this line was known as the ""R5."

In March, SEPTA unveiled the new and improved Exton Station. These renovations have improved the commute of those who come through that station. These improvements included the installation of accessible ramps and stairs to both platforms and the bridge underpass and construction of a new station building with restrooms for customers.

SEPTA also completed an update to Paoli Station on September 23, 2019. Among other renovations, the construction saw the installation of ramps and a new overpass over the tracks. Not only that, but Ardmore Station is currently undergoing some work. The elevated platforms, footbridge, and covered parking deck are set to be complete in 2022.

Now that Travel Wallet is available on Regional Rail, riding couldn't be easier! All you have to do is tap your SEPTA Key on the platform or turnstile validator at your boarding station. This opens your trip. Then sit back and enjoy your ride! When you exit, tap off at the platform or turnstile validator before you leave the station. This closes out the trip. Again, all you have to do is Tap, Ride, Tap! You can read about the most up-to-date fare information here!

And before you head out, don't forget to mask up! Wearing a mask and maintaining social distance between you and other riders is vital to keeping yourself and those around you safe!

So whether you're headed out to the Main Line, Center City, or anywhere in between, hop the Paoli/Thorndale Line and let SEPTA get you where you need to be!

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