Making the Most of the Main Line: SEPTA Train Guide

Chloe Miller

Have you ever walked past the train station on your way to West campus and felt extremely overwhelmed by how to use it? This is a common experience for freshmen and upperclassmen alike. 

There are 11 stops on the Paoli/Thorndale line on the way to Center City Philadelphia. To use the SEPTA, all one has to do is bring some cash. To get to Ardmore, it is four dollars, and all the way to 30th Street Station is seven dollars, but the conductors will always have change. Monthly and weekly passes are also available to buy on the SEPTA website but are not necessary if one is just going on a one-day trip. The train to Center City is the platform closest to Main Campus. Below is a brief description of the first four stops, along with the shops, things to do and places to see right outside each station on your way to Philadelphia.

First stop, Rosemont. Although Rosemont is within reasonable walking distance of campus, if the weather is bad or you are just not in the walking mood, you can easily take the train the short way to Rosemont. It brings riders right to the McDonalds and Insomnia Cookies, perfect for late-night snacks. The stop is also close to the CVS and MOM’s Organic Market for groceries and other necessities. Additionally, restaurants like Lovebird, Samurai and Vic’s Sushi are all close by in Rosemont. If looking for breakfast or something on the healthier side, one can also stop by Juicepod, which has smoothies, acai bowls and more. 

Second stop, Bryn Mawr. The Bryn Mawr stop is around a 35-minute walk from main campus and is close to many more restaurants, such as Up-Ryes bagel shop, Zoe’s Kitchen, a Mediterranean restaurant and La Colombe for one’s coffee fixes. Right by the station is also Bryn Mawr Farmers Market, which is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The farmers market is a perfect Saturday activity to do with friends or just stock up on some fresh produce, rather than relying on the dining hall. Also near Bryn Mawr station is a Staples, if there are any school supplies one might need that the bookstore does not have. Another important spot near the station is a U.S. Post Office, which can be a necessity if one ever wants to ship or send anything from campus. 

Third Stop, Haverford. The Haverford station is mainly known for its close proximity to Haverford College. The college is right off of the station and is easily accessible if one has friends to visit there. Additionally, there is the fan-favorite White Dog Cafe, an American restaurant known for its local and seasonal brunch, lunch and dinner menus.

“White Dog is definitely the best restaurant to stop by for a birthday brunch or whenever your parents come into town,” sophomore Maggie Winston said.

If one is looking for a new coffee shop, Green Engine is also close to Haverford Station. It is a quaint neighborhood coffee shop known for its cute decor and fantastic coffee. There are also a few boutiques to shop at, such as Talbot’s, Elizabeth Maar and Stacey Lee Boutique. 

Fourth Stop, Ardmore. Ardmore is one of the most popular stops for Villanova students, as it drops passengers off right at Suburban Square, a large outdoor shopping venue with plenty of shops, restaurants and stores. If you want to avoid the overwhelming atmosphere of King of Prussia mall, Suburban Square has shops like Urban Outfitters, Free People, Gap, Lululemon, Madewell and much more. It is perfect for a dinner out with friends at restaurants such as Not Your Average Joe’s, Lola’s Garden and more casual options like Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, CAVA or Kilwins. There are plenty of options to choose from at the Ardmore stop if one wants a break from the dining hall. Suburban Square is also a great place to get groceries. There is a Trader Joe’s in the back of the shopping area, along with the Ardmore Farmers Market, which opens every day at 8 a.m. Beyond Suburban Square, the Ardmore stop has more to offer with thrift stores such as Pennywise Thrift and Junior League Thrift. There is also a Soulcycle and Orangetheory nearby for those who enjoy workout classes. 

“Suburban Square is all-around one of the best day trips to do near school,” sophomore Alex Tessendorf said. “You can easily spend your whole day shopping, eating, and relaxing while with friends.”

 The first four stops closest to Villanova Station are an easy, cheap and quick ride away on the SEPTA train. The University is located in a central area near many shopping centers, and the train can be the best way to take advantage of these places. Stay tuned for part two on what to do at the stations beyond Villanova to Ardmore.