The Forgotten Railroad to Baltimore
The Western Maryland Railway
The Western Maryland Railway Passenger Station was located on the southeast corner of North George Street and the Codorus Creek in York, PA. The postcard view is as if a person stands on the North George Street bridge and looks in the direction of the present Baseball Stadium. This painting is from about 1900; done a few years after the depot opened in 1895.
I consider the Western Maryland Railway the forgotten railroad from York to Baltimore. The Northern Central and the Ma & Pa Railways get most of the press. What became the Northern Central Railway established the York to Baltimore connection in 1838. What became the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railway established the York to Baltimore connection in 1884.
The Western Maryland Railway began construction of their York Branch, from Porters to York, in 1892. When this branch opened on September 12, 1893, Yorkers had a third choice of rail travel from York to Baltimore. Although until the North George Street deport was finished in 1895, the Western Maryland Railway passenger station in York was initially located along what is now Roosevelt Avenue; in what was known as the Orange Car for many years.
I’ve highlighted the three rail routes between York and Baltimore on a section of a Map in a 1911 Western Maryland Railway Timetable. Click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.
The Western Maryland Railway is often overlooked because it was the last of the three rail links to be established between York and Baltimore. It was also the first of those three rail routes to discontinue passenger service to York; doing so in 1936. The Ma & Pa Railway discontinued passenger service in 1954 and the last regularly scheduled passenger train on the old Northern Central Railway departed the York Passenger Station in 1971.
York Railway Company still provides limited freight service over some of the former Western Maryland tracks in the York area. A small part of the 1890s era Western Maryland Freight Depot continues to stand, boarded up, on the southwest corner of North George Street and the Codorus Creek; seems to me it would be a neat structure to repurpose, especially due to its close proximity to the baseball stadium.
Our family always took Loucks Mill Road and Arch Street when driving into the city for Sunday School and Church. Every week, we’d pass by the no longer used Western Maryland Railway Passenger Station. It was still a neat building with elaborate trim, especially around the windows in the gables. On a Summer Sunday we drove by and were sad to see the railway station reduced to a pile of rubble; soon to be replaced by a tiny Phillips 66 Service Station.
The following photo of the elaborate trim around the gabled windows is from the collections of the York County Heritage Trust. The trim definitely has the character of many buildings seen in the Baltimore area. The photo was taken just prior to demolition during August 1961.
Related posts include:
- Western Maryland Railway Freight Offices
- Codorus Tow Path Railroad to Chickies
- Yorker shares excitement of vacations a century ago
- Eight Railroad Stations along the 12-Miles of Track between Wrightsville and York
- The Earliest York County Railroads; Question about Hershey’s Station and Stoner’s Station in Hellam Township
- Stony Brook Slate & Brick Company with a Narrow Gauge Railway in Springettsbury Township