“Train Stations of Chestnut Hill West”

Join the Conservancy for Discovering Chestnut Hill: “Train Stations of Chestnut Hill West,” a self-guided walk delving into the rich history and current stewardship of three stops along the Chestnut Hill West line.
Date: Saturday, April 20, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Locations: Chestnut Hill West (9 West Evergreen Avenue), Highland (8412 Seminole Avenue at Highland Avenue), and St. Martins (311 West Springfield Avenue)
Registration: Click HERE
Admission: Registration is free, but all donations will be contributed to the Save the Train campaign.
Immerse yourself in the past and present as you visit Chestnut Hill West, Highland, and St. Martins train stations. Engage with knowledgeable Conservancy docents stationed at each location, offering insights into the station’s historical significance, along with its current stewardship and landscape.

During this two-hour window from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, you’re invited to engage with knowledgeable docents stationed at each location. They’ll offer insights into the historical significance, present-day stewardship, and captivating landscape of these cherished landmarks.

Feel free to wander at your own pace, strolling easily from station to station. Or, if you time it just right, why not hop aboard the train itself for a truly immersive experience?

Volunteers from the Save the Train coalition will be on hand to offer valuable insights into the significance of boosting public transportation ridership. Additionally, each station will feature dedicated stewards who spearhead preservation efforts and maintain the surrounding landscape, including the St. Martins Station Committee and the Chestnut Hill Train Stations Native Gardens Group.

Learn more about the line’s history
Chestnut Hill West


Chestnut Hill West Station c.1880-1900. 

Chestnut Hill West, the line’s terminus since 1884, underwent significant changes
over time. The main station building, designed by architect Washington Bleddyn
Powell, originally had a spire; this was removed at an unknown date.

Platforms, initially wooden and track-level, had canopies, including a large one over
the tracks, removed during electrification in 1918. As shown in the circa 1905 photo,
a large canopy also existed over the tracks. The waiting room, once in the building,
became repurposed as a bank in the early 1980s. The signal tower, built circa 1915,
stands nearby, its purpose mostly unknown. The former railroad yard now serves as the station’s parking lot, replacing the turntable once used for locomotive engine turnaround before electrification in 1918.



Highland Station, men waiting on the platform and grade is raised. Date unknown.

Highland station, once located outbound on Highland Avenue, underwent significant changes post-electrification in 1918. The station building stood on the outbound side of the tracks, and on the north side of Highland Avenue, adjacent to 309 West Highland Avenue, which is visible at the right in this circa 1900 photo.

The road elevation increased while the railroad grade decreased, eliminating the existing grade crossing. The original Washington Bleddyn Powell-designed
station, akin to St. Martins, was razed, replaced by a wood waiting shelter on the inbound platform. Approximately 35 years ago, this shelter burned down and was substituted with a Plexiglas bus shelter. Access points were available from Highland Avenue and West Evergreen Avenue, near Navajo Street. These transformations rendered Highland station unrecognizable from its 1884 incarnation.

St. Martins


St. Martins Station, May 1966.

W. Bleddyn Powell designed the station building at St. Martins, like those at
Chestnut Hill West and Highland. Originally built in 1884 as a one-story
structure, a station master’s apartment was added in 1891. Renamed St. Martins in 1906 from Wissahickon Heights, plans for a line connecting to Wissahickon Inn never materialized. A small railroad yard existed
on the outbound side, later replaced by a parking lot, possibly by World War II.

By the late 1950s, neglect plagued many PRR stations, including St. Martins.
Recognizing the threat of destruction, neighbors formed the St. Martins Station
[and Grounds] Committee in 1962. Since then, members have fundraised and
assisted SEPTA in maintaining the station and grounds, as seen in this 1965 photo.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to explore Chestnut Hill’s railway legacy and learn about the current stewardship efforts while supporting the crucial efforts of the Save the Train campaign. We look forward to welcoming you!

While registration is free, all donations will be contributed to the Save the Train campaign.

Learn more

The rain date for this program is Saturday, April 27.

The Discovering Chestnut Hill series of guided tours and lectures is possible through our members, general and supportive businesses, our event sponsor, John B. Ward & Co. Arborists, and our supporting sponsor, Cawley Masonry.

Support the Conservancy

Your support is a commitment to celebrating and sustaining the history, architecture, and open green space of Chestnut Hill and surrounding communities in the Wissahickon Watershed.




Great architecture is in our nature.

215-247-9329 | 8708 Germantown Avenue, Phila., PA 19118 | info@chconservancy.org 

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