Gettysburg Railroad (1976–96)

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The Gettysburg Railroad (reporting mark GETY) was a short-line railroad that operated in Pennsylvania from 1976 to 1996. The 23.4 mi (37.7 km) line ran from Gettysburg to Mount Holly Springs.

The railroad shipped freight for local companies and interchanged with CSX Transportation at Carlisle Junction in Mount Holly Springs. It also operated a tourist railroad under a subsidiary, Gettysburg Passenger Services.


The railroad was built in the late 19th century and opened in 1891 as the Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railway. The line was later leased to the Reading Railroad and operated as the "Gettysburg Branch." Following the Reading's bankruptcy in 1971, it sold portions of its assets to the new-formed Conrail in 1976, however the Gettysburg branch was not included in the transfer. The branch was acquired by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which then sold the line to a new company, the Blairsville & Indiana Railroad, in 1976. The latter company subsequently changed its name to Gettysburg Railroad.[1]

On June 16th, 1995, engine no. 1278 (formerly Canadian Pacific Railway No. 1278) suffered a boiler explosion while hauling an excursion train, seriously injuring the engineer and both firemen. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the explosion occurred because the crew had allowed the water level in the boiler to drop too low, causing the boiler's crown sheet to fail. The NTSB also determined that poor maintenance of the locomotive, as well as inadequate training, were contributing factors to the accident. [2]

The Gettysburg Railroad was sold to Delaware Valley Railroad Company, a subsidiary of RailAmerica, in 1996. Delaware Valley created a new operating company, the Gettysburg Railway.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lewis, Edward A. (1996). American Short Line Railway Guide (5th ed.). Milwaukee, WI: Kalmbach. p. 134. ISBN 0-89024-290-9. 
  2. ^ "National Transportation Safety Board" (PDF). 15 November 1996. 
  3. ^ U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (1996). "Report Form 10-K: RailAmerica, Inc.,".