Ma & Pa Railroad Locomotive No. 2 lost by a landslide in York Township
A mud slide caused this train accident on the Ma & Pa Railroad at the Ben Roy Station between Red Lion and York. Also of interest: Collector searching for Western Maryland Railroad memorabilia and Old Baltimore tunnel an intriguing reminder of the ‘Ma’ in Ma & Pa Railroad and What it was like aboard the Stewartstown Railroad.
Hundreds of miles of railroad lines operated in York County since tracks from Baltimore reached York in 1838.
Thousands of trains have rolled along those tracks.
Sometimes, they stopped rolling.
They halted with a crash.
So, history has recorded the deadly Good Friday, 1920, train wreck near Glen Rock… .
And the Great Watermelon accident farther north on the Northern Central two years earlier.
A rolling train telescoped another outside Stewartstown on the Stewartstown Railroad in 1923.
And in an act of vandalism, a locomotive rolled from New Freedom to a point north of Seven Valleys in 1996. That the locomotive did not collide with vehicles along the way is a miracle. That accident has been called the unsolved mystery of Locomotive No. 1689
Another less documented train wreck occurred on the Maryland and Pennsylvania line near Ben Roy in York Township shortly before the turn of the 20th century.
“A History of York Township, 1753-2003” explained that a landslide caused an “impressive accident … creating quite a stir in Ben Roy.”
George Hilton’s “A History of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad” states that the locomotive, Locomotive No. 2, was badly damaged but repaired and returned to service.
Ben Roy was located along Camp Betty Washington Road, near present-day Billet’s Garage. The York Township history explains that businessman Benjamin F. Strickler loaned his name to the settlement. The origin of Roy is not known.
As for the train wreck there, so little is known about it that it has not yet been named, but one could suggest that Locomotive No. 2 lost by a landslide.
Photo courtesy of ‘A History of York Township, 1753-2003’