Guide to the Main Line

Photo of a traditional Main Line communityWHAT IS THE MAIN LINE?

The Main Line is a collection of affluent towns that extend northwest from the city of Philadelphia. This collection of western Philadelphia suburbs garnered its name from the Pennsylvania railroad of the same name. The traditional Main Line communities were constructed around this Main Line railroad, currently called the Septa R5 line.


The Main Line is frequently cited as one of the best places to live in the Northeast. It is known for its sprawling estates, top notch public and private schools and world class shopping. It is one of the most beautiful and desirable areas to live in the Philadelphia suburbs.


Some of the earliest Main Line communities built along the R5 line were Overbrook, Merion, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr. The Main Line has continued to expand upon the R5 line to extend to Rosemont, Villanova, Radnor, St. David’s, Wayne, Strafford, Devon, Berwyn, Daylesford, Paoli and Malvern. The Main Line proper has also since expanded to include communities such as Bala Cynwyd, Gladwyne, and Penn Valley, which are not geographically part of the original Main Line as they are not on the original R5 rail line, but by being adjacent to other Main Line communities have gained characteristics similar to other Main Line communities and as such are now considered bona fide Main Line towns. to learn about getting around using the Septa R5 Line.


Real estate on the Main Line tends to be expensive and did not suffer as much deflation as other areas during the most recent market slump. Gladwyne and Villanova tend to have the most expensive homes on average, with the mean listing price approximately $2 million dollars. Narberth and Ardmore average in the mid to high $400′s, with other communities falling somewhere in between. Email me with your questions at