Freight on Chestnut Hill Branch

Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

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Freight on Chestnut Hill Branch

Postby kr4bd » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:05 am

Although I never lived in Philadelphia, I spent many summers there in my youth visiting with my aunts/uncles/cousin during the 1950's. One of my cousins and I were young railfans and would often watch the frequent commuter trains from Wister Woods (between the Fishers and Logan St. stations). I remember most of the trains were electric except for a (Mon-Fri) morning and afternoon dieselized passenger train during rush hour. That train was always rather long, maybe 8-10 cars. But...a couple times each week, we would ALSO see an actual freight train pass through during non rush-hour periods. What industry was served by these trains on the Chestnut Hill branch back then? Once SEPTA took over, did the freight trains stop running on this branch? Do any still run today and if so, under what railroad (CSX, NS, etc.)?
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Re: Freight on Chestnut Hill Branch

Postby amtrakhogger » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:40 am

I worked for a Septa from 94-97, and all freight service on CHE had ended by that point in time. There were a few spots where freight sidings were torn out. So I guess the last freights were in the late 80's.
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Re: Freight on Chestnut Hill Branch

Postby westernfalls » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:59 pm

In the era of which you speak there was a good bit of freight being handled on the Chestnut Hill Branch. Two private sidings just beyond Wister station handling coal and metal were active well into the 1960s. The Germantown public delivery tracks generated some traffic as did the coal trestle at Mount Airy and the public delivery tracks at Wyndmoor and Chestnut Hill. The Pio Wine bottlery on Winston Road in Chestnut Hill received tank cars of wine and box cars of glass bottles; there was always a lot of broken glass at the Wyndmoor delivery tracks.
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