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March 08, 2019

SEPTA plans return of Regional Rail service to Coatesville on Paoli/Thorndale line

SEPTA Regional Rail
Stock_Carroll - SEPTA Regional Rail Train Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A SEPTA regional rail train between Philadelphia's 30th Street Station and Suburban Station.

The Paoli/Thorndale Regional Rail line may have to go by a different name soon, as plans are underway to extend service to Coatesville, Chester Country.

It's been nearly 23 years since the train line last serviced Coatesville. The train – then known as the R5 – traveled between Center City and through the Main Line and other western suburbs. Service to Coatesville ceased in 1996 due to low ridership, but the area's growing population and local advocacy have resulted in the station's revival.

SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel announced the service change during a community meeting Thursday, the Daily Local reported, joined by the Chester County Commissioners. Knueppel noted that the population in Coatesville has grown by 20 percent since 2000.

“Given this growth, we believe the time is right to take a fresh look at SEPTA service here," Knueppel said.

Officials are now designing the new Coatesville Train Station for the renewed service, though PennDOT estimates the project will take about three years to complete. The undertaking also includes a parking garage project as part of the train station, and county commissioners have offered $1 million in funding to help with the developments.

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