This week's Route of the Week is the Norristown High Speed Line! The NHSL is unique in its combination of technologies. Back in the day it was originally chartered as a “steam” railroad – now all of the power comes from a third rail. The NHSL has high-level platforms common to many rapid transit systems, however, its frequent stops (22 stops over 13.4 miles) is similar to a light rail system.
The NHSL began service in 1907 as The Philadelphia and Western Railroad (P&W), which ran from 69th Street Transportation Center to a converted farmhouse on the Main Line. However, in 1911 the line was extended to Norristown Transportation Center, its current terminus.
On a typical weekday, the Norristown High Speed Line carries 10,525 passengers and travels 3,524 miles.
The NHSL connects with numerous Colleges and Universities on the Main Line, including Villanova University, Haverford College, Rosemont College, and Bryn Mawr College. The NHSL is an easy alternative to riding SEPTA's Paoli/Thorndale Line to Center City. Instead of heading to a Regional Rail Station, look for the closest NHSL station to you on the map above. You can also find the latest schedule here. Once you have that figured out, just hop the NHSL to SEPTA's 69th Street Transportation Center, which is the end of the line. Then, follow the blue signs for SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line, your direct route into Center City!