America Through Time Philadelphia's Suburban Red Arrow Trolley Heritage

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Philadelphia's Suburban Red Arrow Trolley Heritage is a photographic essay of suburban Philadelphia's Red Arrow system and operation by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). By 1899, the Philadelphia & West Chester Traction Company operated trolley service to West Chester. In 1902, the Ardmore & Llanerch Street Railway Company began service to Ardmore. Philadelphia & Garrettford Street Railway Company reached Media in 1913 and Sharon Hill in 1917. These companies consolidated into the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (PSTC) in 1936, becoming known as Red Arrow Lines. Philadelphia & Western Railway Company (P&W) merged into PSTC in 1953. Pennsylvania State Highway Department plans to widen a portion of West Chester Pike resulted in buses replacing trolleys between West Chester and West Gate Hills in 1954. Rush hour trolley service continued between 69th Street Terminal and West Gate Hills until bus replacement in 1958. Buses took over Strafford Line in 1956 and Ardmore Line in 1966. SEPTA acquired PSTC in 1970 and purchased new rail cars for Media, Sharon Hill, and Norristown Lines. Philadelphia's Suburban Red Arrow Trolley Heritage documents Philadelphia's western suburbs trolley history.

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