Gettysburg Railroad

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Gettysburg spring 09 0523.jpg
The Gettysburg Railroad Station of was used as a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg
Locale Pennsylvania
Dates of operation 1851 (1851)–1870 (1870)
Successor Susquehanna, Gettysburg and Potomac Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Gettysburg Railroad was a railway line in Pennsylvania that operated from 1858-1870 over the 17 mile (27 km) main line from the terminus in Gettysburg to the 1849 Hanover Junction. After becoming the Susquehanna, Gettysburg & Potomac Railway line in 1870, the tracks between Gettysburg and Hanover Junction became part of the Hanover Junction, Hanover and Gettysburg Railroad in 1874, the Baltimore and Harrisburg Railway in 1886, and the Western Maryland Railway in 1917.

History[edit]

For the connecting east-west tracks between Hanover Junction and Hanover, Pennsylvania, see Hanover Branch Railroad.

On March 4, 1851, Robert McCurdy, Josiah Benner, and Henry Myers secured a charter for the Gettysburg Railroad Company.[1] The groundbreaking was on February 22, 1856;[1] the 1st mortgage was issued in 1857,[2] and the railroad opened between Hanover Junction[3] and New Oxford on January 6, 1858[4] (the first passenger train had entered Adams County on September 14, 1857).[1] After construction commenced from New Oxford on June 24, 1858,[4] a locomotive first entered the Gettysburg borough on November 29.[1] Service from Goulden's Station had begun by September 27,[5] the line was "completed" at Gettysburg on December 1, 1858, with operations over the Gettysburg Railroad Company tracks managed from that date by the Hanover Branch RR until June 12, 1859.[6][unreliable source?] The last spike was driven at Gettysburg on December 16, 1858 (12:30 a.m.); and that day at Hanover, company representatives met an official "party of Baltimoreans" with the Blues Band from Calvert railway station. The group arrived at Gettysburg at 3 p.m. where a reception was held at "a large and recently furnished building near the depot".[7] The Gettysburg Railroad Station contracted in the fall[8] opened in May 1859 after the railroad had been the site of a New Oxford riot at the end of December 1858.[9]

Civil War[edit]

On June 27 prior to the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, the line at Gettysburg was disabled when the nearby Rock Creek bridge was demolished by Confederate forces. On November 18, 1863, President Lincoln used the line to attend the consecration of the Soldiers' National Cemetery where he delivered the Gettysburg Address.[10] In 1869, Robert McCurdy was the railway line's superintendent[11] after being elected company president in 1853 and 1860.[12]

Successor lines[edit]

In December 1870,[13] the Susquehanna, Gettysburg & Potomac Railway company purchased the Gettysburg Railway Company's trackage to Hanover Junction, 2 steam locomotives, 1 passenger car, and 2 freight cars.[14][15] The railway line between Gettysburg and Hanover Junction became part of the Hanover Junction, Hanover and Gettysburg Railroad in 1874, the Baltimore and Harrisburg Railway in 1886, and the Western Maryland Railway in 1917.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bennett, Gerald (2006) [1999]. The Gettysburg Railroad Station: A Brief History. Gettysburg Railroad Station Restoration Project. pp. 4–6. 
  2. ^ Poor, Henry V (1860). "Gettysburg Railroad". History of the Railroads and Canals of the United States (GOOGLE BOOKS). New York: John H. Schultz and Co. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ Shaffer, Roger E. "The Hanover Branch Railroad (The Old Branch)". HanoverJunction.net. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Baer, Christopher T. "PRR Chronology, 1858" (PDF). A General Chronology of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company Predecessors and Successors and Its Historical Context. Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society. Retrieved June 21, 2009. 
  5. ^ "The Gettysburg Railroad: Two Daily Trains". The Adams Sentinel. September 27, 1858. 
  6. ^ Pleasants, Earl. "Gettysburg Railroad". RR Search (DATABASE QUERY RESULTS). Wauwatosa, Wisconsin postal area: EarlPleasants.com. 
  7. ^ "Opening of the Gettysburg Railroad" (GOOGLE NEWS ARCHIVES). American and Commercial Advertiser -- reporting the Baltimore American story. December 18, 1858. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Railroad Report: To The Stockholders Of The Gettysburg Railroad Company" (GOOGLE NEWS ARCHIVES). The Adams Sentinel. January 17, 1859. Retrieved May 10, 2011. The Grading and Bridging of the road was completed by Messrs Irwin & Taylor … During the fall a contract was concluded with Messrs. Warner of Gettysburg for the erection of an Engine-house, a Freight-House and a Passenger station at Gettysburg. … ground from Messrs. 'Doersom & Codori [for the houses] and from Geo. W. McClellan, for the passenger station on the Corner of Carlisle and Railroad street 
  9. ^ "Riot on a Railroad" (GOOGLE SEARCH SYNOPSIS). The Sun (Baltimore). January 1, 1859. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Gettysburg Address (Library of Congress Exhibition)". Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Retrieved July 6, 2005. 
  11. ^ "Gettysburg Railroad Time Table". Gettysburg Compiler. March 5, 1869. 
  12. ^ "(untitled)". [dead link]
  13. ^ "(untitled)". [dead link]
  14. ^ Poor's Manual of Railroads of the United States: 1874–75 (ARCHIVE.ORG TRANSCRIPT). H.V. and H.W. Poor Co. 
  15. ^ 1885 edition (ARCHIVE.ORG TRANSCRIPT). Retrieved June 23, 2009.