Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad

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Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad
Reporting mark MIDH
Locale Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Dates of operation 1976–Present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Headquarters Middletown, Pennsylvania

The Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad (reporting mark MIDH) is a shortline railroad which operates freight and passenger excursion trains in Middletown, Pennsylvania to Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, just outside Hershey, PA and Harrisburg, PA.

Passenger excursion trains[edit]

The company uses both steam and diesel locomotives for passenger excursions. Coaches are 1920s-vintage Delaware, Lackawanna & Western High-Roof MU Trailers. Passengers board at the 1891-era freight station in Middletown for an 11-mile (18 km) round-trip excursion along the Swatara Creek and Union Canal; a narrator relates history of the canal and various sites along the trip.

There is also a collection of heritage railway rolling stock displayed in the Middletown Yard. A relatively modern 1969 engine is used to transport freight trains. Freight service has been provided since 1976 and passenger excursion service has been provided since 1986.

Fleet[edit]

Locomotives[1][edit]

Number Original Owner Original Number Manufacturer Type Year Built Notes
1 US Army 7272 GE 60 Tonner 1941 Used For Passenger Service
2 Standard Slag and Stone Co. 46 GE 65 Tonner 1955 Used For Passenger Service
66 Kansas City Public Service Unknown GE Steeplecab 1948 Non Operational
91 Canadian National Railway 1013 CLC 2-6-0 1910 Non Operational
151 Western Maryland Railway 151 ALCO S-6 1956
MIDH #151 in Middletown
Restored to original Western Maryland Speed Lettering Livery in 2009; Used for Freight Service[2]
1016 Newburgh and South Shore Railroad 1016 ALCO T-6 1969 Used for Freight Service

Trolleys[1][edit]

Number Original Owner Original Number Manufacturer Type Year Built Notes
9425 South Brooklyn Railway 9425 Unknown Trolley Freight Car 1903 Non Operational
4550 Brooklyn Rapid Transit 4550 Unknown Unknown 1911 Non Operational
C121 Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co. C121 Brill Unknown 1923 Non Operational
77 Philadelphia Suburban Transit 77 Brill Unknown 1932 Non Operational
86 Philadelphia Suburban Transit 86 Brill Unknown 1932 Non Operational
3323 Dallas Railway and Terminal Co. 3323 Brill Unknown 1945 Non Operational
162 York Railways 162 Brill Unknown 1924 Non Operational
441 Rio de Janeiro Tram Co. 441 Unknown Single Truck Trolley 1909 Non Operational
1719 Rio de Janeiro Tram Co. 1719 Unknown Unknown 1909 Non Operational

Coaches[edit]

All but #9269 and #726 are used in tourist Passenger Service.

Number Original Owner Original Number Manufacturer Type Year Built Notes
302 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 2302 Pullman DL&W High Roof MU Coach Type 1 1916-1920 Erie Lackawanna #3302, NJ Transit #4302
307 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 2307 Pullman DL&W High Roof MU Coach Type 1 1916-1920 Erie Lackawanna #3307, NJ Transit #4307
329 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 2329 Pullman DL&W High Roof MU Coach Type 1 1916-1920 Erie Lackawanna #3339, NJ Transit #4339
330 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 2330 Pullman DL&W High Roof MU Coach Type 1 1916-1920 Erie Lackawanna #3330, NJ Transit #4330 Lettered as Gettysburg 330
343 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 2343 Pullman DL&W High Roof MU Coach Type 2 1920 Erie Lackawanna #3343, NJ Transit #4343 originally built by Pullman in 1920, Converted to MU car and renumbered along with 29 other cars in 1930
352 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 2352 Pullman DL&W High Roof MU Coach Type 2 1920 Erie Lackawanna #3352, NJ Transit #4352 originally built by Pullman in 1920, Converted to MU car and renumbered along with 29 other cars in 1930
366 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad 2366 Pullman DL&W High Roof MU Coach Type 2 1920 Erie Lackawanna #3366, NJ Transit #4366 originally built by Pullman in 1920, Converted to MU car and renumbered along with 29 other cars in 1930
9269 Pennsylvania Railroad 9269 Unknown Baggage Car Unknown Non Operational
726 Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Unknown Unknown "Boonton" Combine Unknown Non Operational, In Gettysburg Livery

Cabins[edit]

Number Original Owner Original Number

Manufacturer

Type Year Built Notes
18871 Central Railroad of New Jersey 18871 Unknown Cupula Unknown
95123 Lehigh Valley 95123 Unknown Unknown Unknown

Freight Cars[edit]

Number

Original Owner

Original Number

Manufacturer

Type Year Built Notes
407 Philadelphia and Western Railroad 407 Unknown Flatcar Unknown
99398 Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad 99398 Diffco Side-Dump Car Unknown
106362 Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 106362 Unknown Hopper Unknown
90388 Pacific Fruit Express 90388 Unknown Reefer Unknown
7769 Railway Express Agency 7769 Unknown Reefer Unknown

U.S. Route 322 restriction[edit]

Though the railway owns the trackage between its two namesake towns, it until 2011 only regularly operated as far north as Indian Echo Caverns. U.S. Route 322, a four-lane limited-access highway, lies between Indian Echo Caverns and Hummelstown proper, where the railway connects with Norfolk Southern's (NS) Harrisburg Line. PennDOT restricted the M&H to 12 crossings per year. However, the M&H had requested additional crossing allowances and was willing to install additional crossing hardware (gates, additional flashers).

Freight business is minimal on the M&H, partly due to the restricted access to NS on the north end. The railroad has stated that this restriction greatly hampers growing freight potential. PennDOT said it believes more discussion regarding warning devices for the crossing is needed given the volume and type of traffic on Route 322. In addition, the Hummelstown Borough Council has expressed "not in my backyard" concerns with having additional freight trains passing through town.[3]

2011 flood damage[edit]

Historic flooding in September 2011 from Tropical Storm Lee damaged significant parts of the railway along the Swatara Creek, including completely washing out one approach to the bridge crossing the creek. Repairs have been estimated to cost between $250,000 and $300,000, and thus the route stops short and no longer reaches Indian Echo Caverns or Hummelstown.[4]

2014 Transformer Delivery[edit]

On Friday, January 24, a leased Norfolk Southern locomotive operated by a M&H crew delivered a transformer, using the M&H line, to the PPL sub station on Fiddlers Elbow Road. Following extensive track repairs to the line, north of the 322 crossing over the summer, the transformer was delivered by Norfolk Southern Engine GP38-2 #5046. The transformer was brought in from the Norfolk Southern line, crossed U.S. Route 322 and then used the spur line to deliver the transformer to the sub station. It would be the first time since 1994 that a transformer was delivered to the substation via the M&H line.[5]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About|Middletown & Hummelstown". About|Middletown & Hummelstown. Middletown & Hummelstown. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  2. ^ "Western Maryland 151 Restored To Original Colors". Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2015-08-08. 
  3. ^ pennlive.com "Hummelstown wants hearing on M&H Railroad"
  4. ^ Diana Fishlock "Weekend railroad ride takes passengers back in time", The Patriot-News, October 09, 2012.
  5. ^ Drew Weidman, [1], "The Sun Newspaper", January 30, 2014.