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Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

Route of the Week - Media/Elwyn Line

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SEPTA's Media/Elwyn Line, formerly known as the R3, is a Regional Rail Line that runs between Center City Philadelphia and Elwyn, PA.

The Media/Elwyn Line was originally built and operated by the West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad beginning in 1853. In 1881, the Pennsylvania Railroad gained control of the line and it became known as the West Chester Branch. Decades later in 1984, SEPTA took over operations and the West Chester Branch became a commuter line named the R3. In 1986, SEPTA ended service west of Elwyn.

A WC&P Railroad ticket from 1864.

The Media/Elwyn Line operates seven days a week from approximately 5:30AM to 1:00AM. On a typical day, the route carries over 11.000 passengers and travels 1,271 miles. Media/Elwyn trains use anywhere between two to seven cars. There are 19 stops along the line, terminating at Temple University Station.

The Media/Elwyn Line has benefited greatly from the recent state transportation funding. The Crum Creek Viaduct Project was completed in September 2016 and was made possible by Act 89, Pennsylvania’s transportation funding bill. Crum Creek Viaduct is a railroad bridge located in Swarthmore that carries Media/Elwyn trains travelling between Swarthmore and Wallingford stations. Its replacement ensures safe and efficient rail service for the nearly 11,000 riders who rely on the Media/Elwyn Line each day.

The Media/Elwyn Line's new and improved Crum Creek Viaduct.

SEPTA will restore service on the Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line from its current terminus at Elwyn Station to Wawa, PA (service beyond Elwyn was discontinued in the early 1980s). An early action phase to stabilize embankments on sections of this line was completed in 2010. The next component of this 3-mile service restoration will involve significant infrastructure renewal, including retaining walls and the rehabilitation or replacement of track, catenary and structures, and signals. The last component of this project is the construction of a new station, a 600 car parking deck, and an intermodal connection. The budget is $150.5M. Construction is scheduled to start in Spring 2018 and end in Summer 2021.

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