In General
Getting Here


In General

Location / Name:
Coatesville PA, Chester County

What's Here:
Brandywine Valley Railroad
Former PRR Depot
Amtrak Station
High Bridge (Viaduct)
Norfolk Southern

GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 610/484/267
ZIP: 19320

Access by train/transit:
Amtrak (for now, in 2023)
SEPTA may resume service to Coatesville once the new station is finished

The Scoop:

Coatesville is on the former Pennsy line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg PA.  Coatesville is about 36 miles from Philly, and 60 miles from Harrisburg.

The E-W tracks going through Coatesville is part of the Keystone Corridor, and was Pennsylvania Railroad's main line.

From Wikipedia (edited):
The Keystone Corridor is a 349-mile (562 km) railroad corridor between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh PA, that consists of two rail lines:
• Amtrak and SEPTA's electrified Philadelphia-to-Harrisburg main line, which hosts SEPTA's Paoli/Thorndale Line commuter rail service
• Amtrak's Keystone and Pennsylvanian inter-city trains along with the Norfolk Southern Pittsburgh Line.

The corridor was originally the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The line between Philadelphia and Lancaster was four tracks until the 1960s, when the PRR removed two of the tracks west of Paoli. The line is now two tracks from Paoli to Harrisburg, save for a three-track section between the Glen and Park interlockings, and a four-track section between the Downs and Thorn interlockings.

Keystone Service:  The Keystone Service provides frequent regional passenger train service from Amtrak between the Harrisburg Transportation Center in Harrisburg PA, and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, running along the Philadelphia to Harrisburg Main Line (Keystone Corridor). Most trains continue along the Northeast Corridor (NEC) to Penn Station in New York City. Trips between Harrisburg and New York cover 195 miles (314 km) and take approximately 3-1/2 hours, including 1-3/4 hours between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. There are also several express trains that cut both journey times by approximately 15 minutes. end Wiki

Note that there is the Keystone Line, and the Keystone Service - the line runs between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, while the service runs between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

In Coatesville, you will see 14 Keystone trains a day and 2 Pennsylvanian trains a day (one in each direction).  At times, you will also see Norfolk Southern freights rolling through:

• Keystone Service: local service along the Northeast Corridor between New York and Philadelphia, and along the Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Timings vary by day of the week in each direction, and some trains to/from Harrisburg terminate at and start from Philadelphia.

• Pennsylvanian: between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia along the Keystone Corridor and between Philadelphia and New York on the Northeast Corridor.
The closest station where the train stops at is Exton PA, 10.8 miles to the east.

In Philadelphia, the Keystone Corridor joins the North East Corridor at ZOO Interlocking:

The tracks between Harrisburg and Philadelphia are owned and maintained by Amtrak.  According to the Wiki page, this section of the Keystone Corridor was electrified on January 15, 1938.

The four-track section between Overbrook and Paoli is numbered sequentially from the southernmost track (number 1 track) to the northernmost track (number 4 track).

About 18 miles west is the junction with the Strasburg Railroad, and just east of there, is Gap PA, where you have a beautiful curved stretch of track!

In addition, Coatesville has a short line railroad, the Brandywine Valley RR.  More info below and at Wikipedia, whose information is found on at least four or five other sites/pages.

Denver Todd
Kenneth G. Murry, via Pinterest
David DeSimone/city of Coatesville
Brandon Bartolotta / Pinterest
Matt Donnelly /
Jeremiah Cox lots more pictures at the station....
Kevin Lehman via RR Picture Archives dot net
John Danielson via RR Picture Archives dot net
James Anthony via Rail Pictures dot net
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Open Railway and Street Map
Wikipedia - see their pages for references

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:,_Pennsylvania)

Getting Here

Perhaps the easiest way to get here is via US 30.  Use the Manor Road / N 1st Ave exit, and head south 1.45mi on it till you get downtown.
Take a left at Lumber Street after going under the High Bridge Viaduct, then a left at N 3rd Ave, the station will be on your left before the R-O-W.



Brandywine Valley Railroad Co

GPS Coordinates: 39.96781, -75.80435
Not coming up with a good address
Looks like the engines are buried in the yard of a scrap metal recycler off South 1st Avenue, as seen in the map below (at the red "X").
If you want pictures in the yard, forget it - you won't get too far, for there is a gate and guard shack just off 1st Ave (the green check-mark).
Not sure how much activity there is - or when and where you will find trains outside of the yard.
The two pictures below of engines in the yard appear to (maybe) have been taken from Modena Rd using a telephoto lens.

Here is a list of the BVRR engines, found on RR Pictures Archive, dated from 2020:

Former PRR Depot

GPS Coordinates: 39.98575, -75.82099

From Wikipedia: Coatesville station opened in the 1830s on the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, which later became part of the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). The railroad built a two-story Italianate brick depot, now disused, in 1868. Amtrak took over Philadelphia–Harrisburg Silverliner Service (now Keystone Service) from PRR successor Penn Central in 1972. The SEPTA Regional Rail Parkesburg Line served Coatesville from 1990 to 1996, when service was cut back to Downingtown during budget cuts. end Wiki

Amtrak Station

GPS Coordinates: 39.98586, -75.82099
Third Avenue and Fleetwood Street, Coatesville PA 19320

See above for info.

An Amtrak AEM-7 leads a westbound train along the Keystone Route through Coatesville, PA trailing a double rainbow in it's wake. 2014, Matt Donnelly.


The New Station

Construction pictures found here:

Bridges and Tunnels

High Bridge (Viaduct)

GPS Coordinates: 39.98434, -75.82667

From Wikipedia: The first bridge at the site was built by the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad in 1832. It was a single-track wood span on stone piers. The bridge was widened to double-track in 1854. This bridge was replaced by a cast iron bridge in 1867, and that in turn by a wrought iron Pratt truss in 1890. By around the start of the 20th century, however, the double-track bridge was proving to be a bottleneck in the quadruple-track main line on both sides, and plans were made for a bridge that would carry four tracks across the Brandywine Valley.

Work on the bridge began in November 1902, locating it slightly to the south of the double- track bridge. The bridge was completed on 1 September 1904 and the main line was realigned to cross it, abandoning the old bridge. The realignment reduced the curvature in the area and completed the PRR's four-track main line from Philadelphia to the Conestoga River bridge near Lancaster. End Wiki

The stone viaduct is 934 ft (285 m) long, 52 ft (16 m) wide, and 78 ft (24 m) high.

Amtrak 43 - "The Pennsylvanian" crossing the high bridge in Coatesville PA with 2 private cars.  One a Parlor car originally New York Central and PRR's "Alexander Hamilton" taking up the rear.  Nov. 3, 2017, photo by Brandon Bartolotta.

One of the bridges that came before the viaduct....

Over Valley Rd

GPS Coordinates: 39.97351, -75.84756

From Bridgehunter dot com:  This bridge is part of the former Westwood Spur.  This short spur once served an industry at Westwood, adjacent to Coatesville.  It left the former Philadelphia Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Coatesville, and ran to the industry.  While this spur is abandoned today, the industry it served still has railroad service, but from the other direction; where this spur approached from the west, new railroad spurs were constructed from the former Philadelphia & Reading Railroad south of Coatesville, and these approach from the east.  Date of abandonment of this spur is not known.  A comment from a reader gives us this: The track you are referring to as the " Westwood spur" is the former PRR Coatesville Branch, running from Pomeroy east to Coatesville.  It served the west end on the Lukens Steel plant, as well as a few other customers along the way.  In service till the early days of Conrail.

Above map drawn with data from


None in the immediate vicinity. Closest EB signals are ~3,500 feet to the east. Closest WB signals are ~2 miles to the east.

WB Signals

GPS Coordinates: 39.98923, -75.78348
Conveniently located behind Caln Used Car Sales on East Lincoln Hwy.

EB Signals

GPS Coordinates: 39.98203, -75.83154
NOT conveniently located.  Behind properties that don't have access to the R-O-W, plus, the R-O-W is about 50 feet above street level here.
Near W. Chestnut and Mt. Pleasant Sts.








Came across this while trolling Google Maps.... cute....

Historical USGS Maps

Courtesy USGS, click here for their index page.


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


NEW JAN08/23, JAN09/10/11/12/13/14/15/2023
Last Modified 15-Jan-2023