Shippensburg to Isle

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This view shows the Pennsylvania RR right of way facing east at Newville. This new rail trail has not yet been opened; it will run between Newville and Shippensburg. Photo by Mike Palmer, November 2003.

This abandoned railway was part of the Pennsylvania/Penn Central line from Harrisburg to Hagerstown, MD. Between Harrisburg and Shippensburg, it paralleled Reading Railroad's line, which was several miles to the south. Both companies became part of Conrail in April 1976, and this line was probably abandoned around that time.

The line passed through wooded and agricultural areas. The western section is being developed as a rail trail, while the eastern section is used as a utility corridor. The utility corridor section can be easily located by the power lines, but the property owners have posted "No Trespassing" signs in several locations.

A short segment, from Isle to Carlisle, appears to still be active with a shipper that uses tank cars.

This is part of the Cumberland Valley Trail (www.cvrtc.org)and happens to pass through some very scenic areas. The current 'live' line terminates at Newville Road / Rt 641 just south of Westminster Cemetery just outside of Carlise headed towards Newville. Although the tracks are still present from that point until you reach just east of Allen Road / Rt. 465 headed south to Ritner Highway / Rt 11.

The Longitude and Latitude of the current track end are 40.200987,-77.238936 and you can easily view this on Bing Maps or Google Aerial View. Someone needs to go out and take some better pictures for this site to preserve the history while it's left.

Danny Hopkins
Harrisburg/Shippensburg/York, PA
6/8/2010

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The July 1985 issue of Railpace also reflects the above comments...this was originally the Cumberland Valley RR and it opened in 1837!

Mike Palmer
Torrance, CA
7/27/2010

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The line was abandoned by Conrail in the early 1980s with rerouting of main freights on the old Reading Line from Harrisburg to Shippensburg then at Shippensburg rejoin the old CV/PRR/PC to Hagerstown

Albert Wrightstone
Shiremanstown, PA
3/4/2011

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Soon to be a Rail trail that will join the existing trail between Shippensburg and Newville. The Carlisle portion will start at Rt. 465, since the line is live for the warehouses between there and town. Pity Conrail yanked all of the bridges, that was done so they didn't have to maintain them.

Wes Burkholder
Carlisle, PA
1/9/2012

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i noticed abandoned rail on the map.is the rail still there?please let me know.thank you.

george oakley
reading, PA
5/27/2013

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Go be a scrap metal thief elsewhere George.

Wes B
Carlisle, PA
6/29/2013

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scrap metal thief?that is funny.i do not steal,by the way.if there is money to be made in recycling rails or returning them to nature or rails to trails then i feel it is worth it.so to answer what you said,i do not take offense at all.

george oakley
quakertown, PA
6/29/2013

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thanks know who you are.i do not take offense like i said to anything on this site.keep in touch.

george oakley
reading, PA
4/17/2014

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George, don't worry. Wes is a sad individual, who trolls every forum he can. He is nothing at work, no family life and his only joy is to offend people.

El Torro
Malibu, CA
7/15/2014

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thanks el toro for your comment.as for like i said i am not offended because unlike wes i come from a railroad family and probably know more than he ever will.as for scrap,i do know the prices if he wants to know.i do also have a sense of humor.thanks again el toro and keep in touch.

george oakley
reading, PA
7/19/2014

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You can comment with an alternate account all you want of it males you feel better about yourself, what you can't do is erase court records.

Wes B
Carlisle, PA
7/10/2015

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wes,you said court records.what do court records have to do with an abandoned rail line?fill me in on this because I am not familiar with this like you might be.as I said earlier I am not a scrap thief.where you got that I do not know.i am planning on visiting all of these abandoned rail lines in pa.including this one and appreciate all information on them.let me know about the court records.thanks.

george oakley
reading, PA
7/10/2015

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Wes,in addition to you calling me a scrap thief I do know by talking to scrap dealers that they cannot accept tie plates or rail along with rail spikes.Basically everything related to rail is off limits.So you might want to reconsider calling me a scrap thief because I do know more about rail than you know.

george oakley
reading, PA
7/17/2015

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