Abbreviations

Br. Branch
S.T. Secondary Track
I.T. Industrial Track
R.T. Running Track
fmr. former
RoW Right of Way
Sub. Subdivision

Timetable

I S
n t
t a
e t
r i
l o
o n
c s
k  
i  
n  
g  
 
I P
n l
t a
e n
r t
l s
o  
c  
k  
i  
n  
g  
 
B S
l t
o a
c t
k i
  o
  n
  s
 
 
 
 
 
B S
l i
o g
c n
k a
  l
  s
 
 
 
 
 
 
D S
i t
s a
t t
. i
  o
B n
e s
t  
w  
e  
e  
n  
D H
i a
s r
t r
. i
  s
F b
r u
o r
m g
 
 
 
MAIN LINE

STATIONS
Sidings
assigned
direction
Car capacity
45 ft. cars
E W Both
...............  0.0 Harrisburg (Phila. Div.) ... ......
............1.4  1.4 Lemoyne ... ......
............1.0  2.4 Camp Hill ... ... ...
............0.8  3.2 Camp 182 182 ...
............1.9  5.1 Shiremanstown ... ......
......*B ...2.9  8.0 Mechanicsburg ... ......
............0.4  8.4 Washington St. ... ......
............3.4 11.8 New Kingston ... ......
............2.7 14.5 Middlesex ... ......
I ...B ...2.6 17.1 Watts E.D.T. ... ...48
............0.5 17.6 Gettysburg Jct. ... ......
............0.7 18.3 Carlisle ... ......
............0.9 19.2 Cooke E.D.T. ... ......
............4.4 23.6 Greason ... ...48
............1.7 25.3 Alterton ... ......
............4.7 30.0 Newville ... ......
......+B ...0.2 30.2 Spring ... ...93
............3.8 34.0 Oakville ... ......
......B ...6.2 40.2 State E.D.T. ... ......
......B ...0.4 40.6 Shippensburg ... ...58
I ...B ...0.8 41.4 Pennroad ... ......
............5.7 47.1 Scotland ... 64 ...
I ...B ...3.1 50.2 Wood 65-65......
............1.4 51.6 Chambersburg ... 136...
I ...B ...5.9 57.5 Marion 75 96 ...
............5.0 62.5 Greencastle ... ......
............2.6 65.1 Milnor ... ......
............2.3 67.4 Mason-Dixon ... ......
............2.2 69.6 Maugansville ... ......
I ...B ...1.2 70.8 Logue E.D.T. ... ......
I ...B ...2.0 72.8 NC Block Station ... ......
............0.5 73.3 Hagerstown ... ...37-51
I ...B ...0.7 74.0 HJ Block Station ... ......
............2.6 76.6 Halfway ... ......
............0.7 77.3 Boyd 92 92 ...
............2.6 79.9 Williamsport Sta. ... ...63
I ...B ...3.3 83.2 Potomac 83 178...
............1.1 84.3 Falling Waters ... ......
............2.8 87.1 Bedington ... ...31
I ...B ...1.9 89.0 Gard ... ...42
............0.1 89.1 Berkeley ... ......
............3.0 92.1 B. & O. Intersection ... ......
......+B ...0.9 93.0 Martinsburg ... ...106
............4.6 97.6 Tablers ... ...33
............2.1 99.7 Darkesville ... ...13
......+B ...1.2 100.9 Inwood ... ...37
............1.8 102.7 Bunker Hill ... ...16
............2.7 105.4 Ridgeway ... ...26
......+B ...3.1 108.5 Clearbrook ... ...23
............3.6 112.1 Lenore ... ...11
............1.0 113.1 C. V. Junction ... ......
......+B ...2.0 115.1 Winchester ... ......
I S
n t
t a
e t
r i
l o
o n
c s
k  
i  
n  
g  
 
I P
n l
t a
e n
r t
l s
o  
c  
k  
i  
n  
g  
 
B S
l t
o a
c t
k i
  o
  n
  s
 
 
 
 
 
B S
l i
o g
c n
k a
  l
  s
 
 
 
 
 
 
D S
i t
s a
t t
. i
  o
B n
e s
t  
w  
e  
e  
n  
D H
i a
s r
t r
. i
  s
F b
r u
o r
m g
 
 
 
DILLSBURG BRANCH

STATIONS
Sidings
assigned
direction
Car capacity
45 ft. cars
E W Both
............0.0 0.0 Washington Street ... ......
............0.5 0.5 Dillsburg Junction ... ......
............0.5 1.0 Trindle Spring ... ...11
............2.2 3.2 Wingert ... ......
............1.0 4.2 Lisburn Road ... ......
............0.7 4.9 Williams Grove ... ......
............0.4 5.3 Williams Road ... ......
............0.4 5.7 D. & M. Junction Road... ......
............0.5 6.2 Kohler ... ......
............0.5 6.7 Camp Ground ... ......
............1.2 7.9 Dillsburg ... ......
WAYNESBORO BRANCH

STATIONS
I ...B ...0.0  0.0 Wood ... ......
............1.9  1.9 Burgner ... ......
............1.6  3.5 Brookside ... ......
............0.5  4.0 Woodstock ... ...24
......B ...1.6  5.6 Fayetteville ... ...15
............1.7  7.3 East Fayetteville ... ...19
............2.8 10.1 Pond Bank ... ......
............0.7 10.8 Ledy ... ......
......B ...1.4 12.2 Mont Alto ... ...8
............1.0 13.2 Knepper ... ......
............1.1 14.3 Good ... ......
............0.6 14.9 Quincy ... ...21
............0.3 15.2 Orphanage ... ......
............1.0 16.2 Nunnery ... ...10
......+B ...2.2 18.4 Waynesboro ... ......
SOUTH PENN BRANCH

STATIONS
I ...*B ...0.0 0.0 Marion ... ......
............3.0 3.0 Hother ... ......
............1.2 4.2 Stone Bridge ... ......
......*B ...2.5 6.7 Williamson ... ...16
............1.3 8.0 McCulloh ... ......
............1.2 9.2 Woodcove ... ......
............1.4 10.6 Lehmasters ... ...20
............1.4 12.0 Mercersburg Jct. ... ......
......+B ...2.3 14.3 Mercersburg ... ...20
RICHMOND BRANCH

STATIONS
......+B ...0.0 0.0 RJ Block Sta. ... ......
............0.9 0.9 Gap Road ... ...6
............1.3 2.2 Creigh ... ...5
............2.0 4.2 Fort Loudon ... ...14
............2.1 6.3 Tascott ... ...3
......+B ...1.3 7.6 Richmond ... ......




Tour of the Main Line


All directions are geographical. The CVRR considered itself east-west (Harrisburg-Winchester), but the PRR changed this to north-south.

The reader will be aided by this scan of a portion of the PRR 1941 Philadelphia Division map, graciously provided by Lee Weldon.

Harrisburg, Pa.

The Cumberland Valley Branch (CV Br.) begins at the Harrisburg PRR (now Amtrak) station, where its trains historically occupied Tracks 1 and 2. A wye track joins the CV to the (PRR) main line. From here the line rises quickly so as to be able to bridge the river.

Lemoyne, Pa.

The CV passes over the 2-track river-level A&S Br., then crosses the York Haven Line (fmr. NC RR) at grade. This is simultaneously one of the easternmost RR-RR crossings at grade on the Pennsy -- and quite probably the easternmost PRR-PRR crossing at grade -- and the only crossing of PRR catenary. Just west ("south") of this location was the westernmost (geographically speaking) extent of PRR catenary.

Camp Hill, Pa.

Site of the Nabisco plant and a reverse connection between the Reading Lurgan Br. and the CV. The connection was made before the RDG bridge existed, and the CV wanted to hamper the road of the Ahl brothers, hoping they'd fold and sell to the CV. This did not happen, and ultimately, the "Ahl road's" more remote location, as opposed to the CVRR's street running, saved the former road from the abandonment heap. The RDG line remains south of and roughly parallel to the CV line until the RDG peels off in the direction of Mount Holly Springs and South Mountain.

Shiremanstown, Pa.

Here the CV has a smallish yard and a yard office. Branch switching is handled from this location, which is near the Naval Ships Parts Control Center, the light industry in the Mechanicsburg area, and not far from Carlisle. Why is there a landlocked naval base here? Inland security (before intercontinental ballistic missles were invented).

Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Mechanisburg sports a standing passenger station, now home to the Keystone Model Railroad Club. The CV track passes through town parallel to Pa. 614 and a block or two north. The connection to Dillsburg Br. was on the western end of town, where a typically PRR freight station still stands on the south side of Simpson Ferry Rd. The Dillsburg Br. continued southward to South Mountain. South Mountain had iron ore deposits, some of the first such deposits discovered in the Colonies. (A similar deposit in Cornwall, Pa., on what's left of South Mountain east of the Susquehanna, was used to the colonists' advantage in the production of cannon during the Revolutionary War, and was important enough to prompt a visit from General Washington.)

The CV Branch continues west, following the valley, under I-81 and the Turnpike (I-76), past Letort Creek, approaching Carlisle from the ENE.

Carlisle, Pa.

Approaching Carlisle, the railroad is south of U.S. 11. On the northeast side of town one can still find the location where the line curves onto the "bypass" grade from the original grade. This original grade (southward) once had a spur to the local light industries located here, then turned W to run down the middle of High St.. The current grade crosses Carlisle streets (including US 11, which comes in on ??? St.) at a strange angle, passing by the unused passenger station on the NW side of town. The original grade is once again achieved at the west end of Dickinson College (the 6th oldest college in the United States, if I remember correctly) where the line briefly parallels immediately alongside U.S. 11.

Between Carlisle and Newville, the CV is most closely paralleled by Pa. 614, which turns sharply north and immediately west at a traffic light just outside the west side of Carlisle. The branch then proceeds WSW to its current endpoint at MP 21, near the industries visible from U.S. 11. The rail ends near Pa. ??? (Plainfield exit of I-81) but the roadbed west of here is easily drivable/walkable.

Newville, Pa.

In Newville proper, the CV passed along the S/SE side of town, crossing Pa. 233. On the S/SW side of town was the station and stationmaster's house. A portion of the water tower can still be found on the hill above. The line now turns toward the SW, through Oakville, to reach Shippensburg. This latter portion is difficult to follow by road, particularly SW of Oakville. Several roads in this region have been rebuilt on fills over the right of way, including I hear one former (very rickety) bridge.

Shippensburg, Pa.

The area from Carlisle to Shippensburg is perhaps the most rural on the CV Branch in Pennsylvania. The valley continues curving more and more to the south, and our trip, in the speech of the locals, is "up" the valley, as they were looking at is as proceeding uphill, against the flow of water. As we'll see, the divide is nearby. Shippensburg is the last town orienting U.S. 11 as "east/west"; farther along, towns began to refer to Rittner Highway as "north/south".

The CV approaches Shippensburg from the N (though from the NE as the streets are considered to go). Pa. 533 crossed the CV on a bridge (I think - Randy?) and Britton's Woods are then entered, site of a nasty CVRR wreck back in the days when passenger trains left their stations, "running all curves", if they did not meet the opposing trains. Access is difficult until the line reaches the NEmost reaches of Shippensburg University of Pa. One of SUP's streets parallels the grade to SUP's power station, MP 42, where the CV began its gentle curve to, and onto, Earl St. It then ran on Earl St., through the middle of town, to the station on Earl and Orange [named after the Duke of Orange -- this is a colonial-era town, founded 1730]. This is now a parking lot. Just across Orange street, the former RDG freight depot stood into the late 1970s. The CV then passes beneath the RDG, which crosses on a long bridge because the CV yard was here. The CV freight station survived into the early 1980s. The line curves south, crossing Fayette St. to the location of PENNROAD tower, accessed from Pa. 696. PENNROAD controlled the connection to RDG used by the CumBo trains and controlled a long passing siding that ended in a spring switch near CV Co-op to the south. PENNROAD also had the distinction of being one of the last Manual Block-only towers to survive into Conrail.

PENNROAD is where one will once again find rails, coming off the RDG connection onto the original CV grade.

Scotland, Pa.

Several local roads cross the CV between PENNROAD and Scotland, the top of the grade. Just before Scotland, the CV passes over the divide between the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds. The former branch to Waynesboro cut off at this location, its grade still somewhat visible, and some rails still crossing a local road (as of 1979). The main CV line now glides downhill toward Chambersburg.

Chambersburg, Pa.

Approaching Chambersburg, the CV passes some light industry that is still switched. The line, both the current main track and the old main, now yard lead, cross over 5th Ave./Norland St. Norland is the access to U.S. 11, at a bank north of the Wilson College loop-around. 5th Ave. runs to U.S. 30. The line once again is reasonably close to U.S. 11, but the parallel 5th Ave. is nearly adjacent.. WOOD tower stood nearby but was torn down long ago, the signal remotely controlled by PENNROAD until Conrail closed the latter tower. Chambersburg sports a siding through the entire town, one where the crew performs its own inertial switching operations: close the angle cocks, uncouple, rev up the engine and send the boxcar(s) rolling, throw the switch, have the brakeman clamber on board, then chase the boxcar(s) down the main track to the other end of the siding, throw the switch, then either wait for the boxcar to roll to you, or run back up the siding to retrieve it. How's that for "running around your train"? (Or is your train running around you?)

WOOD was also the connection to the yard. The yard connection cuts away slowly at first, then more sharply, to end near the former Sears, just east of where U.S. 11 splits into 2 one-way streets. Just south of here, a spur comes off to the Wilson College power plant and the Cumberland Valley Co-Op grain elevators and feed mill. The spur ran to the west, down the center of Park Ave., crossing U.S. 11 before entering the college grounds. This spur crossed Falling Spring Creek on two timber trestles (now gone) and ended at the co-op buildings on Commerce St., directly across Conocogheague Creek [ko-no-ko-jig] from the Heinz ketchup plant (and the WM). In 1894, at least, a connection to the WM existed; this has been gone for a while.

The freight station, built 1880, stands and housed a produce market until a fire in the 1980s. It was saved, though, and restored as a restaurant until another fire destroyed 2/3 of the structure in 1993. The remnant was repaired and now houses the sales offices of a used car dealership. Five stalls of the roundhouse, a 1918 addition to the semi-circular roundhouse built in 1889, stand across a small parking lot west of the freight station. The produce market occupies them now. The concrete footings and tops of the inspection pit walls from most of the entire 1889 structure are still visible. Just north (CVRR-east, PRR-north) of the roundhouse are the 1892 machine and forge, boiler, and tin shops and the attached 1918 erecting shop. They are used as warehouse space for a food processing company. Part of the roundhouse, which was quite extensive, stands as well. Chambersburg was the CV's main division point, major yard, and corporate offices.

The CV line through Chambersburg shows off the CV's line improvements of the 1900s-1910s, passing above all streets. The "new" (1914) passenger station stood on/near 4th St., on the west side of the high line between Lincoln Way East (U.S. 30) and King St. and is now gone. The platforms are still identifiable and subways (underpasses) are still in place. The corporate offices building stands on just to the south and is still used by several local business. The old line, incidentally, went down 3rd St. which can still be recognized as having carried a railroad. The offices of the local newspaper, the Public Opinion on King St., is the previous (2nd) CVRR passenger station, built in 1876 to eliminate the need for passenger trains to back into the original passenger depot on N. 2nd St. The CVRR's original south end was there. After it acquiring the defunct Franklin RR (Hagerstown to Chambersburg, the new passenger depot eliminated severe operational problems, for both railroads, in reaching the original depot.

The original depot and general office building is a large red brick building on N. 2nd St., across from the junction of with Commerce St. It now contains a business and apartments. Originally, this was a two-story structure with crenelations and a large, square cupola. The third story was added afterward, the difference in brick coloration giving the addition away. Next door is the community center, a former A&P supermarket, which is on the site of the CV's original roundhouse and shops, everything an antebellum RR needed to operate and maintain itself. This was once a densely packed piece of real estate! All of the CVRR's original rolling stock was built right here.

The entire block was torched by the Confederate cavalry under Lt. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart on Oct. 11, 1862, during the prelude to Lee's first invasion of the North. The fire consumed nearby warehouses. The Confederates were unable to destroy the bridge over the Conococheague Creek at Scotland, discovering it was built of iron. The next year, 1863, they came prepared and were finally successful in destroying it. Again that year, the shops were demolished, this time by battering the walls down by gangs armed with lengths of rail. The officer in charge resorted to this labor-intensive method because he feared the fire would spread to civilian property. (War, at that time, was an honorable act, and one did not dishonor oneself by making war on innocent civilians. General Sherman changed that forever in his march across Georgia.) During the "Burning of Chambersburg" in 1864, an act of reprisal for Gen. Sheridan's scorched-earth campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, the shops suffered little additional damage since, after twice having been ravaged by invading armies, the CVRR had not repaired the damage of 1863.

The line continues through town in a southward direction, passing light industry. The WM, meantime, has also passed through town and has now turned E, crossing U.S. 11 at grade. A connection to WM was possible via industrial trackage, through Chambersburg Engineering Company. The CV refused the WM a crossing at grade, forcing a stiff grade and bridge on the WM. A connection is soon (now?) to be in place to allow CSX to abandon the street-running portion of the WM.

Marion, Pa.

U.S. 11 has become one 2-way road again, and the CV branch soon parallels right alongside it to Marion. Just to the south was Marion Jct., where the CVRR-controlled South Penn Railroad and Mining Company, later the South Penn Branch, diverged to the west (vide infra).

Greencastle, Pa.

Here the CV originally passed through the western part of town, down a town street again, until the bypass was built in the early part of this century. Amazingly, despite not being grade-separated as in Chambersburg, the bypass has survived without the town encroaching on it (in contrast to Carlisle). The station that still stands along the bypass is now used by the Boy Scouts.

State Line, Pa./Md.

The CV pulls away from U.S. 11, traveling through local farmland. Approaching Maugansville, Md. it turns eastward through Angle's Cut. This is where, in 1863, a CV train passed through the cut only to come upon Robert E. Lee's forces on their way up the valley, having quickly to reverse.

Hagerstown, Md.

Hagerstown is approached from the NW, the CV going nearly due E. Nearly the first thing the CV does in Hagerstown is cross the WM main line at TOWN tower. The WM called this NC. The WM line comes in from the east, picks up the Lurgan Br. (under which we just passed in Chambersburg), and crosses the CV at grade on its way to Hagerstown Yard, a major division point on WM (along with Cumberland). Hagerstown station, still standing, is on the WM line. Just south of the station was a signal bridge with a PRR signal on it - the PRR signal was the hump signal for the WM yard.

The CV, after crossing WM, turns southward through town. At the south end of town, where a new bypass was built, the CV crosses the WM again at HAGER tower. The main body of the WM yard is oriented in a NE/SW direction, the main line exiting to the SW on its way to the Potomac and the B&O. A small section of the yard turns to the south, then the tracks come down to one to cross the CV and connect with the N&W (former Shenandoah Valley RR). HAGER stood on the NE side of the crossing. CV-SV connections existed in the NE and SE quadrants, the former still in place and the major traffic flow. East of here, the line proceeds past an old automobile unloading area to Vardo Yard. The broad bypass was built to avoid the grade crossing just beyond the end of the yard, which the N&W locomotives constantly crossed while switching!

Vardo Yard, Md.

South of HAGER, the line now belongs to the Winchester & Western. Not much of the CV yard (?also called Vardo) is left. A coaling tower stands (stood?) into the early 1980s, and a steam loco tender stored diesel fuel until Conrail stopped storing power here.

Winchester, Md.

Falling Waters, W.V.

Cumbo Yard, W.V.

Obviously the name derives from CUMberland [Valley] and BO [B&O, Baltimore & Ohio].

Martinsburg, W.V.

The CV passes to the west of the B&O, and modern-day Amtrak station in town. This station is the oldest station in use by Amtrak and dates from Civil War days. The B&O shops tragically burned several years ago.

The CV crosses over the B&O on a bridge. A connection exists within the town of Martinsburg itself.

Winchester, Va.

The CV approaches Winchester from the NNE, paralleling ?U.S. 11. The freight station is clearly identifiable and is being used by a local business. The rails stop abruptly, 0.1 or 0.2 miles from their original terminus, as the large squarish passenger station was torn down a while ago. A gasoline station is now on that spot. From pictures I've seen, the station stood on the rail grade, making me wonder why they bothered to move so much earth away for the gas station.

The CVRR was never to go any farther, and never achieved the dreams of its founders as a railroad to the ports of the Gulf of Mexico. As I've discussed elsewhere, the Civil War, and the economic destruction of the South (from which we are only now seeing the South recover, at the "rust belt"'s expense), was primarily to blame.

Dillsburg Branch

Dillsburg, Pa.

Waynesboro Branch

Waynesboro, Pa.

South Penn Branch

Lemasters, Pa.

Mercersburg, Pa.

Richmond Furnace, Pa.

Historical Overview and Operations

The Cumberland Valley was one of the first railroads to be built in Pennsylvania, preceding the Pennsylvania Railroad proper (remember, the original PRR was Harrisburg to Pittsburgh only) by a decade. The CV started as a Harrisburg--Chambersburg road, reaching the latter town in ____. It was first not planned to go through Newville, but rather more closely to parallel Rittner Highway (present-day U.S. 11), but a substantial stock purchase by the townsfolk of Newville forced a diversion. The shops and corporate offices were built in Chambersburg. Ultimately, the defunct Franklin RR was obtained, giving the CVRR easy access into Hagerstown. The line to Winchester, Va. was built only quite later (vide infra).

Two items cannot be stressed enough to the modern reader. First is the similarity of the alignment of the CVRR to that of the present-day Pennsylvania Turnpike, as far as Newville. One will note, on the map of ___ Schlatter's surveys of Pennsylvania, that the CV's RoW corresponds closely to Schatter's "southern route", the route rejected by the PRR and J. E. Thomson as too expensive (for that day's technology) and ultimately chosen by the NYC. There is a good reason why the CV's only western-pointing branch was called the "South Penn", for it was conceived as the first link in just such a route, taking advantage of a gap in Blue Mountain at that location. The CV's early foray into this east-west traffic led it to develop the first sleeper car, which is now preserved at the RR Museum of Pennsylvania. Passengers would disembark from the stagecoaches, arriving from the west on what is now U.S. 30, and transfer to the CV, for connection in Harrisburg for Philadelphia.

The second major point is that the CVRR was a pre-Civil War railroad. It should be recalled that, prior to this war, the largest cities west of the Allegheny Mountains were New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis, with New Orleans by far the largest. Railroads aimed for one of these cities (actually, large towns) so much as possible. The initial aim of the CVRR was similar, toward New Orleans and its port facilities, via its ally the SVRR (Shenandoah Valley RR), which ultimately became the Shenandoah Sub. of the Norfolk & Western RR. The Civil War, of course, changed the picture forever, with the Southern economy in a shambles and little reason for north-south connections. Before the war, Chicago, Youngstown, and Cleveland were little more than large villages. Because of the proximity of the war, or actual occupation, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and New Orleans suffered losses of industry and population, whereas the more distant and safer towns boomed. But the shift toward nearly exclusively east-west traffic started a slow decline of the CVRR.

The latter half of the XIX century saw many improvements on the CV line, primarily the movement of tracks from town centers to the outskirts, and/or the elevation of tracks above city streets. Where townsfolk, 30 or 40 years prior, were overjoyed at the prospect of train service through their town and wanted the tracks to pass through the middle of town, by then they had grown tired of the noise, soot, inconvenience, and danger. The CV started its rebuilding in the south, in Hagerstown, and worked its way north through Chambersburg. In Carlisle, a "bypass" line was built, though at street level, and one would scarcely recognize this today as once having been outside of town limits. But the CV was bought out in 1919, and the PRR terminated this rebuilding, deeming it too expensive. The PRR also ended the CVRR's practice of impeccable maintainance of its RoW, which included the cutting of grass!

The PRR years saw a fairly steady stream of traffic, aided particularly by the "Cumbo" trains which came off the B&O at Martinsburg, via Cumbo Yard, north on the CV to Shippensburg, then onto the Reading connection and on east via that road. After the Depression and WW II years, the CVRR experienced the same decline of traffic that was seen by the remainder of the industry. Several surges of traffic occurred as a result of the Hagerstown Gateway, including, for a time, considerable auto traffic, with Hagerstown being a terminal for auto racks. Passenger service also lasted quite a while longer than on most branches, in the end (196__), seeing one train interchanged with the N&W6 for ???NEw Orleans, competing with the Southern's Crescent. The traffic declines prompted the elimination of the second track in 196___-___.

Current Status

Conrail split the Cumberland Valley Branch into 3 fairly logical sections. These were: Shippensburg Secondary Track, from Harrisburg/Lemoyne to the Reading connection at Shippensburg; the Hagerstown Secondary Track, from CP-SHIP on the Reading to HAGER tower in Hagerstown, and the Winchester Secondary Track, consisting of the remainder of the trackage.

Conrail's aggressive sell-or-abandon program of the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in the CV Branch being cut in several locations. Firstly, Conrail had no immediate need for the trackage across the Susquehanna R. bridge. Most of this was abandoned, with Amtrak maintaining a stub on their end on which to wye trains. The diamonds at LEMO were removed, and ultimately the Northern Central was, too. The Shippensburg S.T. was redefined as beginning at CP-STELL, the interlocking just south ("east") of Enola yard where the Northern Central and A&S branches joined. The portion of the Shippensburg S.T. to just west ("south") of Carlisle, to M.P. 21, is intact and serves several industries at that location. The track still passes through Dickinson College (the 6th oldest in the United States), though it was moved slightly when the gymnasium was put in. This trackage sees one or two locals a day.

From M.P. 21 to Shippensburg, the CV Br. is now removed. The RoW is soon to be turned into a Rail-Trail project. The track was left in for some number of years after cessation of service, and Randy Mower and I, while paralleling the track in his truck, had the fortune to come upon a set of headlights and soon found ourselves talking to a Conrail track inspector who was a neophyte to the area and did not realize the track officially ended 4 or 5 miles previous. We directed him to the nearest grade crossing. The track through Shippensburg, where it passed down the middle of Earl St., was removed very soon after cessation of service, well before any other track was removed. Earl St. had been paved right up to and in between the rails, creating a nasty grade for anyone wanting to park (or drive) on the side of the street. The RR grade remains visible on the "north" (NW) side of town, near the college. For nearly all of its existence, Shippensburg required not 1 but 2 fire companies, in case a train cut the town in 2. This is especially so since the tracks cross along the town's short axis. Trackage is out to the former location of PENNROAD interlocking.

From CP-SHIP on the Reading line to fmr. HAGER, the track is still in and reasonably busy. This is the famous "Hagerstown Connection" of Conrail and Norfolk Southern, a relationship that existed from the very beginnings of the CVRR (and SVRR, Shenandoah Valley RR). There have been persistent rumors of Conrail resignalling this line and raising its speeds, but this has not yet occurred. Rumors of CSX abandoning its ex-WM Lurgan Br., which has street running through Chambersburg (on ballast), apparantly are finally, after 15 years, coming true. In Hagerstown, the crossing over the WM (CSX) is out, the only connection remaining being the one toward Vardo Yard and the N&W.

The Winchester S.T., from HAGER to the end of track, saw little service and was sold to the Winchester & Western RR, a short line that also operates a former Southern (?) RR branch in Virginia. ??? Yard in Hagerstown is quite empty, the coaling tower having been demolished and the tender, which stored diesel fuel for the locomotive assigned there, having been removed. The tender was the victim of the "Trains jinx", disappearing very soon after it was written up. Cumbo Yard was already messed up in the late 1970s and is no better today; the B&O end apparantly sees some use. The brand-new grade crossing signals in Martinsburg, installed by Conrail in 1978 or 1979, were a misleading indicator of the health of this line. The freight station in Winchester still stands, but the passenger station and last couple tenths of a mile of track were removed quite a while ago, and a gas station, serving the Competition, now occupies the site. As the late Howard Etter used to say, "progress is not always improvement". I assume the W&W runs one, at most 2, locals per day on this line.

The Dillsburg and Waynesboro branches are removed, both in their entirety. A freight station remains on the west side of Mechanicsburg, alongside the former RoW of the Dillsburg Br. The South Penn Br. had been sold to {same guys who owned Everett RR}, and a train was run to a crosstie creosoting plant, but this did not last.