Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by hammersklavier
Hi everyone, I was looking at aerial imagery around my home city and I stumbled onto what looks like the remains of a former PRR branch line or spur, which I outlined, as best I could, on Google Maps here.

It definitely has a junction on the West Trenton Branch between Yeadon, Lansdowne, and Upper Darby; a ghost catenary pole is in evidence as it crosses Garrett Road (Rts. 101 and 102), implying it was likely electrified; and a likely candidate routing for the PRR spur identified on old 69th Street Station materials is clearly identifiable. The trace is almost certainly railroad-related east of I-476 (the Blue Route). West of it, there is less evidence, but a trace following strangely-placed power lines is still clearly, er, traceable all the way to Newtown Square. An image is shown below, with what I am certain is a former rail line in blue, and what is more provisionally so in red.

This just raises questions. Catenary poles indicating electrification run all the way to Township Line Rd. (Rt. 1), which means that this line once hosted electrified (passenger?) service at least to this point. But if it did, why is there no evidence that this line was in use in materials like the 1980 SEPTA map? Did the PRR abandon this line, or was it the victim of later abandonment? If the line I plotted is correct, there are only two disruptions on the right-of-way: an exurban development in the Newtown Square area, and a suburban-style freestanding Kohl's between Township Line Road and West Chester Pike. (Incidentially, there is a large mural depicting a railroad and a trolley at the corner those two roads meet.) Furthermore, if the line extended beyond Newtown Square, the ROW has since been erased, so where would it have gone? (Also, how do I attach files wider than 800 pixels? The screenshot is approx. 900x500 pixels.)

I am keen for more information on what seems to be a mystery.
  by choess
These are the Newtown Square Branch and Cardington Branch (latter to Millborne Mills). See volumes 7 & 8 of "The High Line," if you can find a copy. The transmission towers were only for high-voltage lines; there was never any overhead catenary. Passenger service was given up early in the 20th Century due to competition from the Red Arrow trolley lines. Cut back from Newtown Square to, I think, Grassland in the 1960s or 1970s and the rails lifted from the rest in the 1980s. The old turnout for the branch is still in place for the spur to the (now defunct?) recycling business in Fernwood.
  by Quinn
Just a note, that branch came off the West Chester line. I remember that back when I was a kid, the railroad bridge in the park over Naylor's Run Creek was still there (just north of where the Newtown Square branch crosses Rts.101/102), but I'm pretty sure that's gone now. The trolley bridge over the railroad was rebuilt and lowered several years ago.

There's a short wikipedia entry: Newtown Square Branch