I found a map that has both a PRR connection (from the current
NEC) to the Newtown line as well as one from the Reading North Penn RR.
http://www.davidrumsey.com/detail?id=1- ... ladelphia.
The map is from 1891, published 1897.
If you click on the map in the link and have the right viewer you can see these connections at the very top. The PRR (current NEC) comes across horitzontally, and in the neighborhood of N 5th st (highlighted in red on the map) you see a branch off of the PRR going north which goes to the Newtown line (which itself is just off the north end of the map). On the North Penn RR (which runs north/south in this part of the map just east of the PRR junction mentioned above) there is a connection going to the Newton line just north of Erie Ave St'n. Note there is also a connection in the NW quadrant between the PRR and the North Penn RR, and this area on the PRR is labelled North Penn Jct.
I could be dead wrong about this but I think the Fairhill Jct was to allow PRR trains to access their line that ran north to the Naval Depot on Martin's Mill road.As a kid I seem to remember trains working the depot, crossing Oxford Ave. to a small yard and laying over there. Perhaps someone from the PRR site would know this
The PRR Oxford Ave brach seems not to have been built when this map came out -- it would also branch north off of the PRR, about 2 blocks east of where the Newtown connection is.
As mentioned in other posts, I think "Fairhill junction" is a bit further south where the Reading Port RIchmond line crossed the North Penn RR, not where the PRR Oxford Rd branch (which I think might also have another name) came off the PRR.
Look at the West side of the tall warehouse on the South side of Sedgely Ave. where it splits from Erie Ave. There may still be an oval yellow "Close Side Clearance" sign for the connecting track.
On a "1916-1929" Sanborn insurance map, the PRR connection is broken, with the stub ends from north and south leading to industry sidings in the area. One goes right past the west side of what appears to be this building referred to above. The Reading connection is still in place.
I also found more about the Newtown line
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelph ... k_Railroad
It opened in 1878 connecting to the PRR (The "Connecting RR" is the current NEC in this area), but by 1879 the Reading North Penn RR had already taken over, so presumably the connection to the North Penn RR dates from then already.