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Passenger Trains > Circle trips on SEPTA


Date: 06/10/19 08:22
Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: njmidland

SEPTA is the agency that operates the former commuter lines of the PRR and the Reading, the ex-Philadelphia & Western (Norristown High Speed Line), trolleys and subways in the Philadelphia area.  For $13 you can buy a one day pass that allows you to ride any and all of these lines (extra charge if you ride the town lines into New Jersey).  I have done this several times, the most recent being last week to pick up a few lines I had not been on before - the Chestnut Hill West (ex-PRR) and Chestnut Hill East (ex-Reading) lines.

Photo 1: The day started on the SEPTA level of 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.  As you can see, the area has fencing and a lot of SEPTA personnel - you must have a ticket to gain access to the platforms.
Photo 2: Waiting on Track 3 for the Chestnut Hill West train to arrive
Photo 3: Chestnut Hill West train.








Date: 06/10/19 08:27
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: njmidland

Photo 4: Arrrival at the Chestnut Hill West station.
The Chestnut Hill West and Chestnut Hill East stations are about 6 blocks apart.  There appeared to be a SEPTA bus running on the street (Bethlehem Pike), but I had almost an hour to make the connection and the weather was nice so I walked it.
Photo 5: The Reading station building at Chestnut Hill East
Photo 6: The train at Chestnut Hill East - there are 3 tracks available for trains plus a small yard just beyond.








Date: 06/10/19 08:36
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: njmidland

Once I was on the Chestnut Hill East train, I thought about connecting to a Norristown train.  Then I would have used the Norritown High Speed line to 69th Street and then one of the trolley lines out of there.  However, the Norristown train was due to arrive at Temple University station (the first common station both trains would stop) 2 minutes before my train.  I got off there anyway in case the Norristown train was running late - it wasn't.

So my next plan was to ride the Media/Elwyn line to the end.  In previous trips, I had gone as far as Media.  This branch went to West Chester until it was cut back by SEPTA in the 1980's.  I did ride a trip on the tourist West Chester Railroad, so I wanted to fill the small gap between Media and Elwyn.

Photo 7: Media/Elwyn line train arriving at Temple University.
Photo 8: At Elwyn.
I had about a 45 minute layover until the train left Elwyn (there is nothing at Elwyn other thn parking and a few newspaper machines).  I then took the train back towards Philadelphia and got off at Clifton-Aldan.
Photo 9: ex-PRR Clifton-Aldan station.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/19 08:37 by njmidland.








Date: 06/10/19 08:39
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: cricketer8for9

Nice to see rover tickets or what we in London would know as travelcards available on US metro systems. Is this to case elsewhere? 

Ticketing is is an underestimated facet of railroading. When I was a boy in the suburban London of the 1970s we didn’t go into the centre of town too often as a separate underground ticket would need to be bought, and queued for, at the main line terminal. Then someone invented the travel card. Buy one ticket at your suburban station and, so long as you use the underground or a bus a couple of times you save money. Patronage went up and my not interested in transport mother found herself going up to town much more often. Her transport interested son explored bits of London he would never otherwise have reached. It’s all done electronically now, but the principle remains - make tricketing easy and passenger numbers will increase. 



Date: 06/10/19 08:43
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: njmidland

At Clifton-Alden the 102 Sharon Hill trolley line runs underneath.  The stop is less than a block from the ex-PRR station.
Photo 9: The 102 trolley heading towards Sharon Hill, just beyond Clifton-Alden.
I made a quick food stop in a shop across the street.  I came out just in time to catch an inbound 102, thus miss a change to photograph it.
Photo 10: The 102 trolley has arrived at 69th Street.
I thought about taking the Norristown High Speed line on to Norristown, but it looked like I would miss a connection there and have to wait over an hour.  I decided to take the Market Street subway line instead.
Photo 11: Market Steet subway at 69th Street.








Date: 06/10/19 08:49
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: njmidland

Photo 12: I'm off the subway at 30th Street station.
The subway station is across the street from 30th Street Station.  I walk across the street and:
Photo 13: The main (Amtrak) concourse at 30th Street Station.
With today's trip I have now covered all of SEPTA's current heavy rail routes.  It is easy to do several of these multi-line trips in a single day on a single pass, but you have to do a little research first as with esstentially hourly service on each line, you can lose a lot of time wating between trains if you don't plan ahead.

 






Date: 06/10/19 09:00
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: CPR_4000

For sure, a fun way to spend the day. I really like the Chestnut Hill East line ... double track, steeply graded, and lots of curves. Media/Elwyn was kind of a drag ... stations are so close together they never seem to get up much speed. I still have to do the Chestnut Hill West, Norristown, and Trenton lines, plus Norristown High Speed, the subway, and the trolleys.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/19 12:18 by CPR_4000.



Date: 06/10/19 11:46
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: King_Coal

Nice trip. Lots of neat stations left in Philly. I suppose none have ticket clerks any more.



Date: 06/10/19 12:15
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: njmidland

King_Coal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice trip. Lots of neat stations left in Philly. I
> suppose none have ticket clerks any more.

Chestnut Hill East had an agent on duty when I went through.



Date: 06/10/19 19:11
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: kpcmcpkva

Boston, Massachuesetts has a "Charlie" card that can be purchased for a day and one that can be purchased for a week.
Charlie card comes from the folk group the Kingston Trio song "Charlie on the MTA."   The card is good on the Green line 
street cars, (light rail), Rail lines on the rapid transit Blue, Orange, Red and Silver rapid transit lines and surface bus lines. It can also be used on
Commuter Rail service leaving from both North and South staions, service is limited to the first or second stations out from the commuter terminals.
Look up Charlie Card on wkiepedia.     



Date: 06/11/19 00:36
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: GenePoon

King_Coal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice trip. Lots of neat stations left in Philly. I
> suppose none have ticket clerks any more.

=============================================

Quite a few SEPTA stations besides the obvious ones in Center City do have ticket agents.



Date: 06/11/19 08:25
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: Rdg170

Now that I've achieved senior status, I take advantage of free travel on SEPTA to use regional rail and surface lines (trolleys/subway-elevated) to travel about the system. My favorite is the Media loop. I like taking the West Trenton line (Philmont) to 30th St., then catch a train to Media, walk up Orange St. to catch the Route 102 trolley to 69th St., then a Market-Frankford train to 30th St. I've even taken the Norristown High Speed Line to Norristown Transportation Center to ride the train back to Temple U to make a connection back to Philmont.  

Doug Rowland
Philadelphia, PA



Date: 06/11/19 13:50
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: cricketer8for9

Nice to hear it for Boston, though over here “Charlie” is slang for a refined product traditionally arriving from Colombia, though other South American countries may also produce it.



Date: 06/11/19 22:40
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: GenePoon

Rdg170 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Now that I've achieved senior status, I take
> advantage of free travel on SEPTA to use regional
> rail and surface lines (trolleys/subway-elevated)
> to travel about the system. My favorite is the
> Media loop. I like taking the West Trenton line
> (Philmont) to 30th St., then catch a train to
> Media, walk up Orange St. to catch the Route 102
> trolley to 69th St., then a Market-Frankford train
> to 30th St. I've even taken the Norristown High
> Speed Line to Norristown Transportation Center to
> ride the train back to Temple U to make a
> connection back to Philmont.  


As you get older, you'd do it in reverse...from the Route 102 trolley to the R3 (Media-Elwyn line) is downhill!

 



Date: 06/13/19 19:36
Re: Circle trips on SEPTA
Author: DNRY122

On a couple of occasions, I've visited Philly and done a quick circle tour while staying in Media.  Media Red Arrow to 69th, Norristown High Speed to Norristown, ex-Reading to downtown, Blue Line elevated to 69th and Media line to Media.  The first time I visited SEPTA Land (1971), I took the Norristown Reading line to the old Reading Terminal.  Since I did what the Monopoly card said, by taking "A Ride on the Reading", but did not pass GO and thus did not collect $200, I had to leave town and head back to California before my money ran out.








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