The Chestnut Hill Conservancy is thrilled to host a virtual lecture supporting the Save the Train campaign on Tuesday, March 12, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM with Ted Xaras. All proceeds will aid the campaign, exploring the architectural history and legacy of the Chestnut Hill East and West rail lines.
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The “Northwest Philadelphia: Connected by Railways” lecture will delve into the history, architecture, and impact of the rail lines in the Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, and Germantown neighborhoods.

“These railways are more than just modes of transportation; they are functional connections to our past, linking generations and neighborhoods while shaping the very fabric of our communities,” said Lori Salganicoff, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Conservancy. “Had the railroad lines never been established, our neighborhoods would be very different. Our neighborhoods and city will be poorer in every way if they are abandoned.”

To kick off the program, Bob Previdi of Chestnut Hill, who has a background in transit and transport policy, will discuss the Save the Train organization and underscore the importance of revitalizing train ridership in our community. This effort is integral to securing increased SEPTA funding for the future of our transit system.

The program’s main presenter, renowned artist and railroad historian Ted Xaras, will lead the lecture, drawing on his deep passion for locomotives. Attendees will explore the distinct architectural styles of the Reading Railroad (Chestnut Hill East) and Pennsylvania Railroad (Chestnut Hill West) stations, crafted by architects such as Frank Furness and W. Bleddyn Powel. The impact of these architectural treasures on local communities will be examined, highlighting their role in shaping neighborhood identity.

Anne Dicker, President of the West Mt. Airy Neighbors, eloquently captures the essence of these rail lines: “The Chestnut Hill West line is indispensable as the backbone of our Northwest community, seamlessly blending past and present with its utility and charm. Serving as a vital public access point, it connects diverse demographics and profoundly shapes the fabric of our neighborhoods. Recognizing the importance of preserving and utilizing this essential resource is paramount. Our present choices pave the way for its future, underscoring the need for collective action to safeguard its legacy for future generations.”

Please join the Chestnut Hill Conservancy in celebrating these architectural treasures and their timeless legacy. For registration and further details, visit

In addition to our generous sponsors and supportive businesses, the Discovering Chestnut Hill Tour and Lecture Series are sponsored by event sponsor John B. Ward & Co. Arborists and supporting sponsor Cawley Masonry.

Admission: Conservancy Member Admission $15.00, and Non-Member Admission $25.00

All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Save the Train campaign (
Register: HERE.