RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.

 

Todd's Railfan Guide to
LANCASTER PA

 

In General
Getting Here
Maps
Sights
Signals
Fire and Police
Railfanning Lancaster to Harrisburg
USGS Maps
 

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In General

Location / Name:
     Lancaster PA

What's Here:
     Amtrak Station.
     Thru Amtrak trains and Harrisburg service trains come thru town.
     Small yard to the west.
     Plenty of Pennsy PL signals (for the time being).
     Great stone arch viaduct for pictures on the east side of town.

Data:

     GPS Coordinates: 40.054326,-76.30816

     53 E Mcgovern Ave, Lancaster PA    17602

Scanner Frequencies:
    

 

Access by train/transit:

     Amtrak stops here.

 

The Scoop:

Tucked away in the middle of Amish Country in central Pennsylvania are a few gems in the world of railfanning.

Lancaster has a right nice station for Amtrak, formerly a Pennsy depot.  There is also a really nice stone arch viaduct, small yard, an engine service facility, and of course, Pennsy PL signals.  A couple of branches take off from the main line in Lancaster, one to Columbia, one to Manheim and Lititz, and one to Reading.

Over in Strasburg you have the Strasburg Railroad, one of the more successful excursion railroads in the United States, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

About 10 miles north of Lancaster is a small town called Manheim.  Manheim may be famous to most in the Delmarva area for it's car auctions, but for us, it holds a nice surprise in the form of the Manheim Museum, which is almost all railroad oriented, and is housed in an old PRR depot.

The Lancaster and Strasburg area is also a big area for the Amish, so when visiting, please be careful of their buggies on the road.  They make some good eatin too!

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Denver Todd for his help with my railfan guides and suggesting welcome changes to help all ya'll.

Other guides for southern central Pennsylvania are:
     Columbia
     Harrisburg
    Lancaster - You Are Here!
     Manheim
     Marysville and the Rockville Bridge
     New Freedom
     Strasburg
     York


Maps


Click here for the above map in PDF format

 


Sights

The Amtrak Station
NS's Dillersville Yard
Engine Service
Stone Arch Viaduct
CORK Tower


     1          The Amtrak Station

         

           On the backside of the station

  The way to the station is well marked all over town


     2          NS's Dillersville Yard

If you look at the USGS map all the way at the bottom of the page, you can see why they chose the name Dillersville for the yard.

 


     3          Engine Service

 


     4          Stone Arch Viaduct

On the east side of town is this nice stone arch viaduct carrying two tracks.  It goes over PA 23, and should be accessible from the ball fields shown on the map.

 


     5         CORK Tower

Sits at the west end of the station complex and grounds

   


Signals

As of 2011, there are quite a few signals around in Lancaster for the signal fan, all (still) Pennsy PL signals.
However, I have not been here lately to see if they still exist or have been replaced by color light signals.
For what the signals mean, check out my Amtrak PCL page here


     1       

 


     2       

 


     3       

These pictures were taken from beside the building as shown with the yellow arrow below

    

  

  


     3a       

This location is between "3" and the station....
In the Google satellite view, you can still see the signal, in the newer Bing birds-eye view, it is gone

 

      Since these pictures were taken in 2011, it appears that this pole mounted PL signal is no longer around :-(

  The C&S guys look like they are/were using this as a dumping ground for old equipment cabinets

           A couple of freights happened to come by in the short span of about 10 minutes

    Signals at the east end of the station from this location, the one on the left shows one of the signals displaying restricting

 


     4       

Signals on the west side of the station

   

 


     5       

     

 


     6       

 

 


     7       

 


     8       

 

 


Fire and Police


  P    Lancaster Police Department

GPS Coordinates:
39 W Chestnut St, Lancaster, PA 17603   (717) 735-3300     http://www.cityoflancasterpa.com/police and http://lancasterpolice.com/

   

 


   HQ     Lancaster Fire Department Headquarters

GPS Coordinates:
120 North Duke Street, Lancaster, PA 17603, (717) 291-4866
     http://www.cityoflancasterpa.com/fire

  


   1     Lancaster Fire Department Station #1

GPS Coordinates: 40.037302, -76.313887

 


   3     Lancaster Fire Department Station #3

GPS Coordinates: 40.039118, -76.297944

 


   A    Lancaster Township Fire Department

GPS Coordinates:
125 Fairview Ave, Lancaster, PA,
(717) 394-5353     www.ltfd.org

 


   B     Southern Manheim Township Fire Company

GPS Coordinates:
396 Orchard Street, Lancaster, PA,
(717) 394-5285     www.smtfc.com



Railfanning Strasburg to Harrisburg

 


Historical USGS Maps


 


NEW 6-15-2011
Last Modified 06-Mar-2015