RDG to Trenton?

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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RDG to Trenton?

Postby tgolanos » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:48 pm

I missed my connecting train today at Wayne Junction so I had some time to explore the underpasses. On the wall near the stairs to the Chestnut Hill platform it said 'Out-Bound trains to New York, Trenton, Bethlehem, Lansdale, Doylestown, Hatboro...' There was no mention of Fox Chase or Newtown, but I assume that was just because time had taken its toll on the writing (there was clearly what was left of an X on the wall).

New York made sense, because trains went beyond West Trenton back in the day. But Trenton? There was no mention of West Trenton, nor did it appear that the word West was ever on the wall. Did the RDG ever enter Trenton proper? Or could this have been a B&O service that somehow went via Wayne Junction?
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby Kaback9 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:07 pm

tgolanos wrote:I missed my connecting train today at Wayne Junction so I had some time to explore the underpasses. On the wall near the stairs to the Chestnut Hill platform it said 'Out-Bound trains to New York, Trenton, Bethlehem, Lansdale, Doylestown, Hatboro...' There was no mention of Fox Chase or Newtown, but I assume that was just because time had taken its toll on the writing (there was clearly what was left of an X on the wall).

New York made sense, because trains went beyond West Trenton back in the day. But Trenton? There was no mention of West Trenton, nor did it appear that the word West was ever on the wall. Did the RDG ever enter Trenton proper? Or could this have been a B&O service that somehow went via Wayne Junction?



Yes the Reading did enter Trenton proper. I do not know much about the history of their operations in around the area, however I do know they did go into Trenton by evidence of the WYE still in place at WT along with the track that comes off it now known as the Trenton Industrial. Someone can correct me if I am wrong but I believe West Trenton was also known as Trenton Junction.
Last edited by Kaback9 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby amtrakhogger » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:46 pm

Kaback9 wrote:
tgolanos wrote:I missed my connecting train today at Wayne Junction so I had some time to explore the underpasses. On the wall near the stairs to the Chestnut Hill platform it said 'Out-Bound trains to New York, Trenton, Bethlehem, Lansdale, Doylestown, Hatboro...' There was no mention of Fox Chase or Newtown, but I assume that was just because time had taken its toll on the writing (there was clearly what was left of an X on the wall).

New York made sense, because trains went beyond West Trenton back in the day. But Trenton? There was no mention of West Trenton, nor did it appear that the word West was ever on the wall. Did the RDG ever enter Trenton proper? Or could this have been a B&O service that somehow went via Wayne Junction?



Yes the Reading did enter Trenton proper. I do not know much about the history of their operations in around the area, however I do know they did go into Trenton by evidence of the WYE still in place at WT along with the track that comes off it now know as the Trenton Industrial. Someone can correct me if I am wrong but I believe West Trenton was also known as Trenton Junction.


Yes, West Trenton was known as Trenton Junction a some point. I believe the name change came after the electrification was completed around 1930.
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby tgolanos » Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:08 pm

Thank you both for the information. I thought the Trenton Industrial track may have had something to do with it. I just found another RR.net forum that dealt with the old station in Trenton (viewtopic.php?f=127&t=57818), but now I'm curious to find out if there were any other stations along the line, what service was like, and when service ended. Looks like I have some research to do.
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:07 pm

The basic answer is that upon electrification, Trenton trains were cut back to West Trenton (Trenton Jct.), Ivyland trains were cut back to Hatboro, and the Byberry - Trevose loop trains became Neshaminy Falls trains via Jenkentown. I don't know if there was an Oil Electric shuttle for a short time, but later, Reading Co. tickets to Trenton were honored on Trenton Transit Co. buses. I'll check a 1934 Employees' Timetable.
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby Franklin Gowen » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:25 pm

My 1898 New York Branch public timetable shows obvious shuttle service between Trenton and "Trenton Junction" (future West Trenton), but no intermediate passenger stations at all. That is perplexing, as I know a few existed but do not know why they don't show on the shuttle part of the New York Branch timetable. After all, there are plenty of other local trains shown in the paperwork; it isn't just the expresses and limiteds.

Some Philly-bound local trains actually started their run at Trenton and ran through to Reading Terminal, while some outbound local trains also made the Trenton Junction stop but ran through to Trenton and terminated there.

Typical trip times between Trenton and Trenton Junction were right around 21 minutes, but there is considerable variation in that schedule; some trips took as long as 25 to 27 minutes.

I'm sure that between Jim Boylan and myself we can unearth the various mysteries of Trenton Branch passenger service in more detail. If I can find my 1949 New York Branch public timetable sometime this weekend, it will shed light on service during the late steam era / early diesel era.That PTT had a surprisingly deep level of detail about the service, including the highway buses used to supplement the rail shuttle.

JimBoylan wrote:and the Byberry - Trevose loop trains became Neshaminy Falls trains via Jenkentown.

Oh, you have got to tell me more about this tantalizing subject..... :-D

I do know that a full wye ("SY" interlocking) near Neshaminy Falls once joined the New York Branch with the New York Short Line, but I never knew it hosted a passenger "loop" service. Please expand upon this, would you?
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:54 pm

I think that local station on the Trenton Branch would be in abound Brook or Trenton timetable, and not in a New York timetable. Trenton terminal times would be in a New York timetable to show connections that could be used to compete against the PRR for New York traffic.

Cross post from the Pennsylvania RR section of this Group:
Re: Connection between ex-PRR and ex-RDG NYC lines?
Postby ExCon90 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:34 pm
limejuice wrote:
delvyrails wrote:Can you imagine the possibility that it was intended to operate steam-powered commuter trains out of Broad Street Station via the Oxford Road line and returning via Holmesburg Junction, just like they once looped via West Chester?

I believe the Reading did just that via a wye at Neshaminy Falls and the NY short line until the Great Depression.

I checked the Official Guide for February 1926, and the service is there, although spread over two timetables. The through table from Bound Brook via Trenton Jct. (as it then was) shows a couple of locals apparently originating out of nowhere at Trevose (and opposing trains dropping off the table at Trevose), while the Newtown table shows two branch-line stations of Bustleton and Byberry, with similar trains apparently originating and terminating at Byberry. Putting the times together produces the following (daily except Sun.):

Lv Rdg. Term. ....*... 4.45 pm, 5.38 pm.
Ar Trevose ....*... 5.44 pm, 6.37 pm.
Lv Byberry 8.09 am*, 5.59 pm, 6.57 pm.
Ar Rdg. Term. 8.43 am* 6.42 pm, 7.35 pm.

Lv Rdg. Term. 7.10 am, 2.08 pm, 5.04 pm.
Ar Byberry 7.50 am, 2.49 pm, 5.48 pm.
Lv Trevose 8.03 am, 3.05 pm, 6.09 pm.
Ar Rdg. Term. 8.52 am, 4.04 pm, 7.14 pm.

*Can't find an outbound to Trevose; I presume a deadhead move.

Sunday service consisted of 2 round trips in each direction. By Jan. 1930 most of it was gone, and by Jan. 1934, there were no trains originating or terminating at Trevose, and Bustleton and Byberry were gone from the Newtown schedule. I never heard of that operation before.
There were also Langhorne electric locals, which could have been another replacement for the loop trains
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby David Hutchinson » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:18 am

Gas Electrics ran from Trenton proper to Bound Brook. I have heard that Bound Brook had a turntable, but have never been able to confirm this.
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby westernfalls » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:51 pm

tgolanos wrote:...I'm curious to find out if there were any other stations along the line, what service was like...


Here's a snapshot-in-time from the fall of 1930. The 5xx series trains went to Reading Terminal while the 9xx series trains continued as Bound Brook Locals.
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby CarterB » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:43 am

Map below showing approx locations of the commuter stations along the line. Correction/s welcome!! Long URL, copy the ENTIRE thing, not just what is in blue. D= West Trenton L= Ajax Park F= Agasote O= Hillcrest Ave. B= Prospect St. P=Trenton Station? (see http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njmer ... tation.htm) Also, if you go to http://www.historicaerials.com and put in "tucker and warren, trenton, nj" and look at the 1940 overlay, you can see the station and trace the entire line out to Trenton Jct.

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=40.23643,-74 ... carbondale\%2C%20pa&marker1=40.23105%2C-74.77407%2C2.6%20km%20NxNE%20of%20Morrisville%20PA&marker2=40.03611%2C-75.16111%2Cwister%20station\%2C%20PA&marker3=40.25779%2C-74.81530%2C3.0%20km%20ExNE%20of%20Yardley%20PA&marker4=41.69449%2C-73.93490%2C45%20Reade%20Place\%2C%20poughkeepsie\%2C%20ny&marker5=40.25673%2C-74.80054%2C4.1%20km%20ExNE%20of%20Yardley%20PA&marker6=43.18007%2C-73.74429%2Cwilton\%2C%20ny&marker7=40.51500%2C74.32506%2Cn%2040.51500631987805%20w%20-74.32506322860718&marker8=40.10526%2C-75.15944%2C0.7%20km%20WxNW%20of%20Glenside%20PA&marker9=41.93507%2C-73.91288%2C6511%20Springbrook%20Avenue\%2C%20rhinebeck\%2C%20ny&marker10=43.08286%2C-73.80575%2C26%20Station%20Lane%20Saratoga%20Springs\%2C%20NY12866\%2C%20saratoga%20springs\%2C%20ny&marker11=40.26152%2C-74.81016%2C3.6%20km%20ExNE%20of%20Yardley%20PA&marker12=40.51500%2C-74.32507%2Cn%2040.51500631987805%20w%2074.32506322860718&marker13=41.97592%2C-75.26684%2CCADOSIA\%2C%20NY&marker14=40.24193%2C-74.78527%2C3.6%20km%20N%20of%20Morrisville%20PA&marker15=40.22561%2C-74.76606%2C2.2%20km%20WxNW%20of%20Trenton%20NJ&marker16=40.51667%2C-74.30556%2C1070%20Riverside%20Dr\%2C%20KeasbEy\%2C%20NJ&marker17=29.76288%2C-95.38306%2C10234%20LUCOR%20ST\%2C%20HOUSTON\%2C%20TX&marker18=40.05832%2C-74.40566%2C1070%20Riverside%20Dr\%2C%20Keasby\%2C%20NJ&marker19=41.38421%2C-73.66323%2C670%20STONELEIGH%20AVE\%2C%20carmel\%2C%20ny&marker20=41.81369%2C-75.44796%2CORSON\%2C%20PA
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:27 pm

Did the Reading issue a timetable folder showing the entire Byberry-Trevose loop service, or did the trains merely show up at their respective times on the West Trenton and Newtown schedules, as they did in the Official Guide? For that matter, did the trains carry passengers around the wye, or was that just for operating purposes to position the equipment? Could someone buy a ticket and ride, say, from Bustleton around the loop to Jenkintown?
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby Bethlehem Jct. » Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:52 pm

westernfalls wrote:
tgolanos wrote:...I'm curious to find out if there were any other stations along the line, what service was like...


Here's a snapshot-in-time from the fall of 1930. The 5xx series trains went to Reading Terminal while the 9xx series trains continued as Bound Brook Locals.


Cool. That also helps narrow down when the name was changed to West Trenton station. In the Jan. 1930 official guide, the station is still listed as "Trenton Jct." So it was sometime during 1930 the name was changed.
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:28 pm

The old Hillcrest Station on the West trenton to Trenton line is still standing on Hillcrest Avenue. I believe its now a garage or auto body place. Go during the day, its rough around there at night...
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Yesterday's tracks on Today's Tom Tom

Postby xdamo » Wed May 02, 2012 10:35 pm

The ROW for the "loop" connection between the current SEPTA West Trenton Line and the old Reading NY Short Line is still there and a very popular dirt bike trail. My kids nearly got run over when they found it years ago. No track but some remains of ties on the ROW as well as telephone poles in the woods. There are also some pretty substational concrete foundations and walls still there too. But what is significant is that it shows up as active track on the GPS in my car. (TomTom). Being the curious type, i drove around NE philadelphia to see what else showed up. The tom tom still has the tracks crossing US1 (Rosevelt Blvd) on the old PRR Busleton line (Between Grant and Welsh); The PRR Oxford line to Levick Street (which was torn out in 1979) and the spur into the Naval Depot on Oxford ave. Does anybody know what maps they are using? I'd love to get my hands on them because i love to explore the old lines
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Re: RDG to Trenton?

Postby cr5290 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:17 am

Hillcrest Station seen on 09/02/2017:

http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=4789081
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