RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Railfan Guide to
NEW FREEDOM - PA
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New Freedom used to be a hub of activity 40 years ago or so. Today, with the Penn Central (Northern Central/Pennsy) freights gone, the Stewartstown closed for business, and the Northern Central dinner train gone, there is precious little to get you here these days.
The biggest draw to New Freedom is the depot, one of five Northern Central stations still left on the line (the others are in Baltimore, Riderwood, Lutherville, and Monkton).
A lone Pennsy PL signal is still on display for SB trains just south of the depot, although it is not an original PL-5 style, it is a newer replacement by Safetran. There is also the mast for the NB signal still standing.
I thought the last train activity to be seen in New Freedom was after the auctioning of the Northern Central Rwy Dinner train in (I believe) September of 2002, but in looking at the Bing aerial shots, you can see there is only one caboose in the picture. Figuring the shots can be as old as two, three, even four years old, is seems the second caboose got delivered more recently than 2002.
The tracks between York and New Freedom are still in place, and they share the R-O-W with a hikey-bikey trail.
South of New Freedom the tracks are gone, due to hurricane Agnes which ripped through these parts in September 1972. It wasn't the wind that did the Northern Central in, because by the time Agnes got to MD and PA, it was just a really heavy rain storm which brought down bridges, embankments, and track. The Penn Central was not in financial condition to rebuild the line.
Pictures and aerial shots of Railroad and Stewartstown are at the bottom of the page.
The easiest way to take exit 4 from I-83, the Harrisburg Expressway, whether you are coming down from the north (York and Harrisburg), or from the south (Baltimore).
From 83, you can get into New Freedom via several different routes, none of which are particularly quicker than the other. Pick one and come back a different way to enjoy the countryside!
The two PRR cabooses, #477723 and #477834, both N5B's.
Some of the signs that adorn the depot, during warmer months, the cafe is open.
The Northern Central Rwy caboose, from 2001, sold in the auction in 2002.
The Stewartstown Railroad has not run for at least 10 years that I know of, maybe longer, although the R-O-W is still in place. As the track approached the New Freedom yard, it split into two, and these can be seen in these yard pictures - the two tracks "on the bottom" are the Stewartstown's, and the two "on the top" are the Pennsy's.
The tracks to Stewartstown can be seen heading off to the right.
Looking north towards York.
Looking south towards Baltimore.
A manual throw on the interchange tracks to Stewartstown.
Adjacent to the depot is a small park along the trail, a place to rest your weary bones.
Crossing sign on Franklin Street.
Across from the depot is the Hodle, a restaurant/bar.
On the north side of New Freedom is this typical PRR culvert, and the line going into single track.
The Shrewsbury Volunteer Fire Company.
The Jackson House Bed and Breakfast, wish those trains were still rambling by! :-)
Interesting wall, don't know if it has railroad origins or not.
The General Store antique store.
Last Modified 23-Jun-2012