85 miles to New York City. Let me tell you about a line called the SEPTA R8, the line that almost became a main line from Philadelphia to NYC. The line was chartered as the Philadelphia and Newtown Railroad in 1860 and opened on June 14th, 1876, between Newtown, PA (just NE of Trenton, NJ) and Newtown Junction in NE Philadelphia. Hoping to end a feared monopoly of Phila. to NY traffic by the expanding PRR, the line is renamed as the Philadelphia, Newtown and New York Railroad in 1873. In 1879 the line failed and came under control of the North Pennsylvania Railroad which, at one point, comes under control of the PRR in an effort by the PRR to thwart competition of it's monopoly on Philly to NY traffic gained when it leased, on December 1, 1871, the United New Jersey Railroad and Canal Company. That line included the original Camden & Amboy Railroad from Camden, NJ (across the Delaware River from Philadelphia) to South Amboy, NJ (across Raritan Bay from New York City), as well as a newer line from Philadelphia to Jersey City, NJ, much closer to New York, via Trenton, NJ. In 1874 the North Pennsylvania approved the construction of the Delaware River Branch, splitting from the main line at Jenkintown (near Philly) and running to the Delaware River at Yardley (Near W.Trenton). With this move, a new route to NY was eminent and the PRR no longer had a need for it's line and consequently the Reading Company gained control of both the line and the North Pennsylvania Railroad. In doing so, the Reading gained access to the Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad in 1879. Later, in 1901 the Reading gained a controlling interest in the Central Railroad of New Jersey thereby allowing it to offer seamless rides from Reading Terminal in Philadelphia to the CNJ's Jersey City Communipaw Terminal by way by way of a new N. PRR line from Philadelphia to Yardley, PA (near Trenton, NJ and now part of the SEPTA R3
and CSX's Trenton Line). On January 14, 1983, 107 years of rail service between Newtown and Center City Philadelphia ends due to SEPTA's insistence that traffic does not warrant keeping the line in service . If you have corrections or further questions, I'm in room 17 of the psychiatric ward... Caution; further research may lead the mind to oblivion, however - it may be worth it. Hope you enjoyed the ball of yarn I've unraveled!