History of the now-abandoned Fox Chase/Newtown Railroad in Huntingdon Valley

The photos above and below show the abandoned Huntingdon Valley station at Welsh and Terwood roads in Lower Moreland Township.

Now known as the Pennypack Trail, the railway served the Fox Chase/Newtown Railroad which allowed diesel-powered trains to head south towards Philadelphia.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, SEPTA closed line north of Fox Chase on January 18, 1983, due to failing diesel train equipment SEPTA had no desire to repair. The shelter was subsequently demolished.

Surviving tracks were removed by Montgomery County in summer 2014 for the construction of the $2 million Pennypack Trail extension.

The Newtown Branch

According to the Facebook group Abandoned Rails, the railroad was founded in 1876 and the house dates to the late 1700s. A nearby plaque states that it was home to a Civil War general, quarry workers and other Huntingdon Valley residents.

A comment holds that on the morning of Saturday, January 2, 1982, a few miles up the same line in Upper Southampton Township, a Reading Railroad train collided with a fully loaded ARCO gasoline tanker crossing the grade. The engineer was killed in the accident, which was the only fatality.

According to the commenter, the single car was not equipped with the shunts to trip the signals and barricades in time.

The photos below show the bridge crossing over the Pennypack Creek next to Terwood Road, once part of the Reading Lines’ Newtown Branch in Huntingdon Valley. The older photo is from the 1940s; the newer photo is from 2019.

According to the accompanying comment, the line was originally built by the Philadelphia Newtown and New York railroads in the 1870s, subsequently leased to the North Pennsylvania Railroad in 1879.

The line later became the Reading Lines and became a SEPTA commuter line until 1983. The very last train to Huntington Valley was in 1985 in the form of a test-run utilizing a British rail-bus.

Another photo of the former Newtown Branch of the Reading Railroad in Huntingdon Valley:

The photos below show the Newtown Branch train between Huntingdon Pike and Moredon Road in April 1965 and 2022.

For more history of the Newtown Branch, you can click here.

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Photos: Abandoned Rails