This line started out as the Lancaster and Quarryville Railroad and was completed in 1875. Originally planned to be a narrow gauge route under the name Lancaster and Reading Narrow Gauge Railroad in 1871, the decision to make it standard gauge was decided shortly before construction began in 1874. As with most railroads in rural Pennsylvania, it carried both passengers and freight.
Passenger service along the line ceased in 1909. A few years later, the L&Q merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad on April 30th, 1915.
The railroad was severely damaged by flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes on June 23-24, 1972, and was abandoned soon after.
Today, numerous bridges remain, along with three stations, and some warehouses with doorsills still at boxcar-floor height. A few bits of rails can be seen here and there, as well as various cuts and fills.