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End of the Line - Last Passenger Train to Reading

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On June 30, 1981, the last scheduled passenger train providing service on the Pottsville-Reading-Norristown line inched slowly into the Franklin Street Station on its last scheduled run.

The train left the Reading Terminal at 12th and Market in Philadelphia at 5:59 p.m.

Approximately 70 commuters boarded the two-car train for the journey through the Philadelphia suburbs to Norristown's DeKalb station where travelers continuing on the line had to debark and board another train headed for Pottstown and finally Reading.

Scheduled arrival time at Reading was 7:40. A small crowd had gathered to greet the train as it eased into the station at 10 mph. At 7:55, cars 9166 and 9167 came into the station and about 25 people descended from the train. At 8:01, spectators gazed at the smoke gray two-car diesel, getting one last glimpse of the empty train before it moved off on its final journey to Conrail's shops on North Sixth Street.

SEPTA took over the rail service in April 1976 from the bankrupt Reading Co. and authorized Conrail to continue day-to-day passenger operations.

At 12:01 a.m., July 1, 1981, Conrail's contract with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to operate the commuter service was formally terminated because the authority claimed it was losing an average of $2 million dollars a year. The end of a great era for the city of Reading, made famous by a railroad, had actually come to pass.

Passenger rail service to Reading and its coal-region neighbor Pottsville, was gone. The train had reached the END OF THE LINE!

June 30, 1981 - last scheduled passenger train providing service on the Pottsville-Reading-Norristown line departs Reading's Franklin Street Station for the Conrail shops along 6th Street in Reading.

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