An Eastern Regional Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad


Click on an open link below or go to the RAILROAD INDEX to locate another Railroad
Rail
Home
Alaska
Canada
Chicago Chicago
Connect,
Eastern Midwest
Southeast Southern Southwest Western

The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad (MPA), familiarly known as the "Ma and Pa", was an American short-line railroad between York, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland. The Ma and Pe developed from several different ideas of transporting Pennsylvania's coal to either Philadelphia or Baltimore. It was formed from two earlier 19th-century narrow gauge railways: the Baltimore & Delta Railway, later the Baltimore & Lehigh Railway, and the narrow-gauge York & Peach Bottom Railway, later the York Southern Railroad.
The Ma & Pa never reached the coal fields, as originally planned, but did handle much coal traffic headed to points on its route. It also carried milk and furniture, cigars and cigar boxes from local farms and industries. It connected with the Pennsylvania in York and Baltimore, the B&O in Baltimore and the Western Maryland in York, via Pennsy trackage.
The Ma & Pa operated passenger and freight trains on its 77 mile line. From 1901 until the 1950s. In the early 30's it operated two daily except Sunday mail and express trains between York and Baltimore and one between Baltimore and Delta 59 miles. On Sunday it operated one train between Baltimore and Bel Air 26 miles and one between Baltimore and Delta, the most scenic portions of the Ma and Pa. The Ma and Pa was popular with railfans in the 1930s and 1940s for its antique equipment and curving, picturesque right-of-way through the hills of rural Maryland and Pennsylvania. Reflecting its origin as the unintended product of the merger of two 19th-century narrow gauge railways, the meandering Ma and Pa line took 77.2 miles to connect Baltimore and York, although the two cities are only 45 miles apart in a straight line.
Passenger service was discontinued on August 31, 1954 and the section from Baltimore to Whiteford, Maryland (just south of the Mason-Dixon line demarcating the Pennsylvania-Maryland border) was abandoned in June 1958. Most of the remaining original railroad line was abandoned by 1984. The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad acquired a former 19-mile Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) branch line between York and Hanover in the 1980s, now operated by a successor corporation, York Railway.

Ma & Pa
Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad - February 17, 1932

Short history of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad and its predecessors

The York and Peach Bottom Railway
1871 - The York & Peach Bottom Railway was incorporated in Pennsylvania.
1874 - In August the 3 foot gauge line was completed from York to Red Lion, Pennsylvania, 8.9 miles.
1876 - Line completed to Delat, Pennsylvania, 33.4 miles.
1888 - Control of Y&PB obtained by Maryland Central Railway.
1901 - MCR and Y&PB merged as Baltimore and Lehigh Valley.
The Baltimore and Lehigh Railroad Company
1881 - The Baltimore & Delta Railway formed from two local railroads. Tracks laid in Baltimore.
1882 - Passenger trains between Baltimore and Towson, Maryland, 7 miles, began on April 17, 1882.
1882 - The Baltimore and Delta merged into the Maryland Central Railroad.
1883 - On June 21 service was extended to Bel Air, Maryland, 26.5 miles.
1884 - In January the MCR was completed to Delta, Pennsylvania, 43.8 miles.
1888 - After financial difficulties the MCR emerged as the Maryland Central Railway.
1889 - The Maryland Central, still interested in connecting with anthracite coal carriers, acquired control of the York and Peach Bottom in 1889.
1891 -The two railroads were consolidated into the Baltimore and Lehigh Railroad Company.
1893 - Financial problems forced the B&LV to split into separate entities: The York Southern Railroad and a new Baltimore & Lehigh Railway Company.
post 1893 - Both railroads standard gauged.
The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad
1901 -The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad was organized in 1901, formed through the consolidation of The Baltimore and Lehigh Railway Company and the York Southern Railroad Company. The Baltimore and Lehigh owned and operated the standard gauge railroad extending from Baltimore, Maryland to Delta, Pennsylvania, a distance of 44 miles. The York Southern owned and operated the railroad extending from Delta to York, Pennsylvania, a distance of 34 miles.
1925 - By 1925 the M&P had purchased three passenger engines, eight freight engines and two switchers
late 1920's - The M&P , it purchased two gas-electric passenger cars which frequently coupled with one or two freight cars.
1946 - M&A began purchasing diesel locomotives.
late 1950's - M&A completely dieselized.
1954 - On August 31 the last regular passenger train operated on the M&A.
1958 - M&A abandons the Maryland Division.
The Later Years
1971 - The M&P was purchased by Amfre-Grant, which changed its name to Emons Industries. Emons bought bad-order boxcars and hoppers, made repairs and restored them to service as per diem cars under several names, including Maryland and Pennsylvania. Emons purchased the former PRR line from York to Hanover and the former Northern Central to Hyde, where the line crosses over Indian Rock Dam Road. Additional diesel engines were purchased.
1984 - Per diem box car service ended and Emons goes into bankruptcy.
1985 - Line York to Whitford abandoned.
1990's - Emons emerges from bankruptcy and purchases part of old Western Maryland line from York, naming it Yorkrail and connects it to remaining portion of old M&A.
1990's - Yorkrail and M&A combined as York Railway Company.
2002 - Genesee and Wyoming, Inc. (GWI) purchased Emons and Yorkrail's engine number 1600 was painted into G & W orange and black colors and with the York Railway Company's "YRC" on the cab sides. The next chapter in the history of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad stands ready to be written.

Ma & Pa
Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad - February 17, 1932

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- various editions
The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Society
To contact our contributors please make a request by Email to: Richard Parks

PLEASE SEND US YOUR COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS.


Your source for 1930's - 1940's Passenger Railroad Information


Railroad Index Back to Top Contact Us

Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, June 18, 2009,revised July 6, 2011