Pennsylvania Main Line Railroad Stations: Philadelphia to Harrisburg (Images of Rail)

October 31, 2020
Pennsylvania Main Line Railroad Stations: Philadelphia to Harrisburg (Images of Rail)

In 1857, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) took overPennsylvania's Main Line of Public Works, a state-owned railroadand canal system built in the 1830s. Most are gone, but fortunatelysome still stand and are in use today. Costly to build andmaintain, and never attracting the traffic needed to sustain it,the state was eager to let it go. Keeping the rail portion andcombining it with its own lines, the PRR ultimately developed awell-built and well-run rail line from Philadelphia to Pittsburghall while keeping the "main line" moniker. The eastern sectionbetween Philadelphia and Harrisburg was especially successful,particularly after the railroad built new communities along theline that were at first summer destinations and later year-roundhomes for daily commuters. Other towns and cities along the mainline had a strong industrial or agricultural base needing railaccess, and many of these communities had attractive trainstations. Images of America: Pennsylvania Main Line RailroadStations: Philadelphia to Harrisburg documents many of thesepassenger stations through vintage photographs and otherimages.Jim Sundman is a local historian, researcher, and regularcommuter on the main line, where he travels to his job with Amtrakat 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. His daily trips to and fromhis home in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, piqued his interest in theold stations along the line.