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Friday, April 13, 2012

12-04-13 PHOTOS: York Classic

Before there was New York City, there was Old York City...York Pennsylvania, the original York and home of the peppermint patty. While I'm not sure exactly why people would settle the piedmont region of Pennsylvania before a bunch of islands on the coast, but hey, I'm not one to judge. Anyway York used to be a major industrial hub and key city on the old Northern Central line between Baltimore and Sunbury. However as railroads generally imploded in the 1970's the formerly major route between Baltimore and Harrisburg was downgraded and in many places completely abandoned.

However no matter how much one tries you can't stamp out the old PRR and there are more than a few artifacts still standing with perhaps the best preserved in Old York. Not a lot to show here, but if you're interested you can follow up with the whole set of photos here.

First off the bat we see the old PRR YORK interlocking tower, which is a sister to WINSLOW tower in Winslow, NJ.

There is still a diamond out in front of the tower, although it isn't used for much these days. 

The tower has clearly seen better days, but hopefully someone will find reason to restore it before it decays to badly.

What isn't in a state of decay are the old PRR freight terminals railroad south of the tower. These consisted of long loading/unloading sheds just south of the main tracks. Here we see them looking west on what used to be a former platform of sorts.

Some of the buildings still had freight rail access.

The PRR YORK station is also still standing and has been quite well looked after including its platform canopies and PRR signs.

Not sure exactly who owns it, but the tenants are a karate studio and Greyhound Bus terminal, which offers surprisingly frequent service to Baltimore, Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

YORK tower as seen from the station.

Here is the opposite side of the station where the Greyhound terminal is run out of.

While hanging out at the station I was lucky enough to catch an actual freight move consisting of Genesee and Wyoming GP16 #1600.

And a Maryland and Pennsylvania CF7 #1504. This engine was purchased by the old Ma and Pa short line, which was then in 1999 sold to the nearby Yorkrail company to form the York Railroad, which in turn was bought by the G&W in 2002.

Here we see the freight cars heading past the tower into York Yard.

Finally, while out and about on this trip I discovered the Haldeman Mansion historic park in Locust Grove, PA. What makes it great is that it provides direct public access to the NS Royalton Branch, which was part of the former PRR Low Grade electrified freight network. While NS has recently removed all of the remaining PRR electrification infrastructure from both the Port Road and Enola branches, the wires over the Royalton Branch still carry 25hz AC current for Amtrak and thus give the line that PRR feel. Moreover the park abuts CP-JEB which still retains its PRR signaling. Here is a view of the westbound home signal gantry.

Anyway, tune in next week as I head back to Altoona to photograph ALTO tower and other related infrastructure in the daylight.


  1. The diamond is still used, more than you may think. The side going deeper into the city squeezing between the homes is used and there is a scrap industry back there. Also, YRC has updated crossings along that short branch off past the diamond, on going from a buck to a cantilever crossing way bigger than I've ever seen, and the other getting LED lights and gates. I don't know if this was a special trip or if you come here often. There is also Windsor Yard where NS operates daily 6:00 AM to around 12:00 PM then again later in the day. Also in the area is the York Industrial Track used by the GP9 ESPN 1701.
    That was a bit of a long comment, but didn't know if you wanted that kind of info

    1. Thanks for the info! I go past work more than I go into it, but I have caught the "Sports" GP9.