Mechanicsburg to Dillsburg
Note: Thanks to the Sentinel Online, published Jan 14, 2004 by P.J. Browning, for much of the historic info included on this page.
This branch was constructed in the 1870s as the Dillsburg Mechanicsburg Railroad. It changed ownership over the years, to the Cumberland Valley, then Pennsylvania, then Penn Central, and finally Conrail (in 1976).
The line left Mechanicsburg at Dillsburg Jct., then proceeded generally south through Trindle Spring, Williams Grove, D&M Jct. (crossing of the Reading, now Norfolk Southern), and ended at Dillsburg. It was best known as the route to an annual Grange picnic held at Williams Grove.
Recently, a small station dating from 1872 was located and selected for refurbishment. It is located at Washington Street in Mechnicsburg. Plans are for the station to include a 'museum exhibit' showing what rail passengers would have seen in the early 1900s.
If the NS (PRR) line between Harrisburg and Carlisle is converted to a light rail line, this station could also be used for that route.
SINCE MY NOW DECEASED MOTHER PROBABLY RODE THIS TRAIN/TROLLY SERVICE, AS DID MANY OTHERS, I WAS WONDERING IF IT COULD BE RECONSTITUTED AS A FUTURE BICYCLEING/WALKING RAILTRAIL FROM DILLSBURG (NORTHERN YORK CO) TO MECHANICSBURG (CUMBERLAND CO). THAT SAID, I AM SURE MANY LAND RIGHT OF WAYS WOULD HAVE TO BE REAPPROVED ALL OVER AGAIN. IT IS APPROXIMATELY 8 MI. EACH WAY, MAKING IT AN IDEAL PATH TO FOLLOW FOR EXERCISE. COULD SOMEONE PLEASE LOOK INTO THIS THAT HAS A BETTER KNOWLEDGE OF THE LEGAL/MONETARY PROBLEMS INVOLVED. I AM SURE STATE, COUNTY AND OR MUNICIPAL FUNDING WOULD BE INVOLVED ALONG WITH MANY VOLUNTEERS (OF WHICH I WOULD GLADLY VOLUNTEER) TO BRING THIS TO FRUITION. YORK CO. HERITAGE RAIL TRAILS HAS HAD A PROGRAM LIKE THIS UP, FUNDED AND RUNNING FOR YEARS....TKS...
I'd love to see it as a trail, I think the biggest obstacle would be crossing the turnpike. If a warm day rolls around I may take a walk out and see if the underpass still exists there.
The former line electrical substation on Trindle Road is now home to the Keystone Midland Railway Historical Sciety Model Railroad Club which has a website (KMRRHS.com)and is open to the public at its operating sessions on Monday evenings(7 - 10 pm)and open houses throughout the year.
The Section of the Dillsburg Branch that passed under the PA Turnpike has recently been filled in.