West Chester Borough Council has thrown its full support behind the proposal to restore SEPTA’s passenger rail service connecting the borough to Philadelphia, writes Kenny Cooper for WHYY.
The borough council voted to approve a resolution that allows the Railroad Restoration Committee to start seeking funding that would help re-establish passenger rail service from Wawa, Delaware County, to West Chester. The service has been shut down since 1986.
The plan is called the Metro Concept.
“It’s a less costly and more achievable approach to returning rail service using battery-operated cars, and what we’d like to do is lease the cars for two years as a pilot project to show that we can attract riders,” said Railroad Restoration Committee chairperson Jo Ann Kelton.
The goal is to reopen four stations. Two would be in West Chester, one in Westtown Township, and one near Cheyney University. Passengers would transfer over to regular SEPTA cars from the battery-operated cars at Wawa station.
The plan would cost $16.4 million, which is only 4 percent of an estimated $380 million presented in the West Chester Line Restoration Feasibility Study published by PennDOT in 2018.
Read more about the rail service plans in WHYY.
Classy Wale describes the West Chester Railroad as a pretty normal tourist railroad, except for its very recent past as a SEPTA branch. In fact, riders of the Media/Elwyn line may be surprised to find out that their trains share tracks with idyllic rail excursions, separated by only five miles!