Greenline (Pennsylvania)

The Greenline was a proposed $138 million mass transit line for the Upper Schuylkill Valley region in southeastern Pennsylvania in the United States. The line was advocated by the group Citizens for the Train. Grant money needed to fund a feasibility study was not successfully obtained. Since 2014, there have been no plans to move forward with the project.[1][2]

OwnerNorfolk Southern Railway
LocaleUpper Schuylkill Valley, Pennsylvania
TerminiOaks, Pennsylvania
Paoli, Pennsylvania
Line length18 miles (29 kilometres)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Route map

Paoli Transportation Center
Swedesford Road
Valley Stream East
Valley Stream West
Great Valley Parkway
Commons at Great Valley
Franklin Street
Phoenixville Transportation Center
Mont Clare
Port Providence
Longford Road
Oaks Park-Ride/
Route 422 Marketplace


Citizens for the Train spearheaded the Greenline's planning stages, and concluded a preliminary study (performed by engineering firm Gannett Fleming Inc.) to determine the feasibility of the project. The group compiled $250,000 for an alternative analysis to see if a different transportation project, such as widening roads or adding bus routes, would work better. The study was slated for completion by the end of 2009.[3]

Citizens for the Train pursued an estimated $1.5 million for an environmental and engineering study. Funding for the project was sought from both public and private sources.[3]

Due to the ill-fated $2 billion Schuylkill Valley Metro (SVM) project, the Greenline proposal received support from regional politicians and businesses.[3] The Greenline remains part of the Chester County Transportation Improvements Inventory (TII) document for 2009-2010.[4] No funding has been allocated for design or construction.


The proposed route was to originate in Oaks, Pennsylvania, with the Oaks terminal situated at the new Greater Philadelphia Expo Center At Oaks.[5] The route would utilize Norfolk Southern Railway's (NS) out of service and derelict 11-mile Phoenixville Industrial Track (former Pennsylvania Railroad Frazer Branch), with an additional seven miles of new railway construction built between end-of-track in Devault (where trains will be stored) and the current Amtrak/SEPTA Paoli Station.

The bulk of the route is the Phoenixville Industrial Track. Never a prominent line, the route gained momentum in its later years. With aid from PennDOT, the single-track line received a substantial infrastructure upgrade via Conrail in the late 1980s. New wooden ties were laid, new ballast was added and drainage was significantly improved. In addition, grade crossings received additional protective hardware, including flashers bells and gates.[6] However over time industries along the line either closed or switched to trucks. Freight service continued through 2004, when the last customer American Sweetener Corporation, whose plant was located at the end of the line in Devault, closed its doors. NS applied to officially discontinue rail service on the line in October 2007, which became effective that December.[7][8]

The route transverses the Pickering Valley region, terminating at SEPTA's heavily used Paoli/Thorndale Line of commuter rail. Paoli Station also hosts Amtrak's Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian, serving trains en route to Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and New York City.[8]


Diesel-electric diesel multiple unit cars currently used on New Jersey Transit's River LINE were considered for the Greenline

Diesel-electric DMUsEdit

Several options for train equipment were being considered. One is the Stadler GTW-built diesel-electric DMU (diesel multiple unit) cars used on New Jersey Transit's River LINE.[3] Equipment was to be stored at the unused depot in Devault; these tracks were previously used by the Maslo paper company.[9]

Refurbished RDC unit currently operating on Cape May Seashore Lines in Cape May, New Jersey

The RiverLINE's unique rail cars offer a tighter turning radius than typical main line light rail vehicles, and thus are capable of the street running needed on Morehall Road. The rail cars are also used regularly in Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.


Another less expensive option was refurbished Budd Rail Diesel Cars, which last carried passengers through Phoenixville in July 1981 when SEPTA terminated all diesel trains between Pottsville and Philadelphia.

List of proposed stationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Citizens for the Train". Citizens for the Train. 2014. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Blog: Is Phoenixville Moving Forward Or Not?". 24 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d; Retrieved March 2, 2009
  4. ^ "Chester County, PA - Official Website - Official Website" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "- The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center".
  6. ^ "Greenline assessment prepared by [[Gannett Fleming Inc.]]" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  7. ^ "Surface transportation Board Discontinuance of Service Exemption". Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Citizens for the Train". Archived from the original on 2009-09-29.
  9. ^ Maslo Paper Company

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit