Thursday, March 04, 2004


Officials in Parkesburg are considering relocating the Amtrak station from its present location in hopes of bringing R5 service back to the western fringes of Chester County. A new station is only part of a comprehensive revitalization plan repoted by the Daily Local News in Wednesday's editions. R5 service last operated to Parkesburg in 1997, when it was eliminated as part of a round of service cuts.

The one problem for SEPTA restoration of service to Parkesburg is the lack of a nearby cross-over; when service was discontinued, trains were forced to dead-head from Parkesburg to Lancaster to turn around before returning back to Frazer Yard in East Whiteland, which undoubtedly was a main reason for cutting service back to Downingtown. Service was restored to Thorndale just a few years ago. Chester County officials have been lobbying SEPTA and PennDOT (which manages Amtrak's Harrisburg to Philadelphia rail service) to install a cross-over east of Parkesburg station, which would allow SEPTA to turn trains at Parkesburg instead of Lancaster.

Last year, officials in Coatesville were also contemplating renovations to the train station in the city's east end, also as a possible precursor to improved Amtrak or restored SEPTA service.

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