Railroads of Lebanon County

Living next to the Reading Viaduct has gotten me interested in the history of Pennsylvania’s railroads. When Railroads of Lebanon County came across my radar, I knew I had to find a copy. Here are some of my favorite parts.

First off, the railroad spikes catalog page – in my walks on the viaduct, I’ve come across more than a dozen of spikes like the two depicted below. Rust resistant nearly a century later? Not quite…

Mt. Gretna has been a Lebanon County refuge since it was founded by the Pennsylvania Chautauqua in the late 19th century. This structure below was torn down in 1910 for a more typical railroad building.

This obituary notice is an artifact from the transitional time between railroads and cars for personal transportation. The Cornwall Railroad would continue operating until the Cornwall iron ore mines flooded in Hurricane Agnes, June 1972.

If there’s one “lesson” of the book, it’s the unrelenting consolidation that took place in the railroad industry. These three charts show how myriad competitors and combinations all ultimately ended up under Norfolk Southern.

Many of the locomotives pictured throughout the book were manufactured just a few blocks from where I live now at the Baldwin Locomotive Works (this engraving from 1875).



Mar. 28 2017, 7:40 am