Union Pacific Orders 108 AC Units from EMD
Union Pacific has ordered 108 AC locomotives from General Motors for delivery 1995 through 1998. Units delivered through 1996 will be 4300-horsepower class SD90MAC, and units delivered in 1997 and 1998 will be equipped with a high technology engine rated at 6000-horsepower. The contract also calls for conversion of the 4300-horsepower units to 6000-horsepower beginning in 1998.
Conrail to Build Auto & Intermodal Terminal in Toledo
Conrail will build an automotive and intermodal terminal at its now-idled Airline Junction Yard in Toledo, Ohio. The automotive facility will serve as a distribution hub for import vehicle business in the Midwest, and the intermodal facility will replace Conrail's Central Union Terminal.
Hiking Trail Proposed for Rail Line in Charles County, Maryland.
A seldom-used 13-mile rail line in Charles County, Maryland, serving the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indian Head, could become a hiking trail. The line passes through wetlands and could serve as an educational trail for students to study the area.
The Baltimore & Susquehanna (1828-1854)
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
With this issue of the Bull Sheet, I take an opportunity to devote its feature material space to a central theme. The Baltimore & Susquehanna (a predecessor of the Northern Central) holds a very special place to me. I grew up along the line. By devoting it to the B&S, a two-fold purpose is served: First, this month marks the 35th anniversary of the last trip of the famed Parkton Local, a train I rode many times in its final two years of service. Second, on Saturday, June 4, the first mile and one-half segment of the York County Rail/Trail along the former B&S right-of-way in Pennsylvania will be dedicated.
The Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad was chartered in 1828 and begun the following year to connect Baltimore with the Susquehanna River near York, Pennsylvania. It achieved that goal in 1840. It later completed construction to the area of Harrisburg, with work to build further, but in 1854 the company went bankrupt. It was then reorganized under the name of the Northern Central Railway, a line that eventually reached Lake Ontario at Sodus Point, New York. In 1914, the NCR became a part of the mighty Pennsylvania Railroad through a lease arrangement.
The dedication of the Baltimore & Susquehanna to this issue of the Bull Sheet is due to that line's geographical territory approximating the issue's interest scope. The ultimate Northern Central's territory was much larger, and the Pennsylvania's was larger yet. So while the names Northern Central and Pennsylvania do figure extensively in the articles that follow, it is actually the territory of the predecessor B&S that more directly intrigued my fancy as a kid growing up in Monkton.
Special thanks go to Robert L. Williams and Martin K. Van Horn for their assistance with material they provided for this issue.
The Parkton Local
[By Martin K. Van Horn] . . .
Baltimore-bound Parkton Local in its waning years of service arriving Ruxton.. [Photo from collection of Robert Williams]
Mention the Northern Central Railway to any railfan or resident of north central Maryland who knows to which part of the Pennsylvania Railroad you refer, and several things come to mind: a railroad that dates from the primitive days of transport mode, operating on a roadbed that is less than 45% tangent track; a railroad that carried the Washington-to-Chicago first-class passenger traffic of the PRR; in later years, a nearly passenger-only railroad when that was the least lucrative part of railroad business; and, most of all, the Parkton Local and the self-propelled railcars that became synonymous with the name.
Not all Parkton Local trains were serviced by the "gas cars" - there were just as many locomotive-hauled trains. It was only in later years, when subsidized automobile competition on public highways cut deeply into revenues that the economical railcars replaced many locomotive-hauled trains to hold down operating costs.
In the early years, the Parkton Local was not even the Parkton Local; it was the Cockeysville Local. Many commuter runs operated between Calvert Station in Baltimore and the wye and terminal storage tracks that then existed at Cockeysville, while only two accommodation trains terminated at Parkton. In fact Cockeysville was 15 miles from Calvert Station, the same distance as Green Spring Junction on the Green Spring branch. An intensive commuter service thrived on this two-prong line in the years between the turn of the century and World War I. The seven miles from Calvert Station to Hollins at the southern tip of Lake Roland was thick with commuter trains. At Hollins, the Green Spring locals turned west and operated 8.6 miles over the single-track Green Spring branch to a junction with the Western Maryland Railway approximately one mile south of Owings Mills. The Cockeysville trains continued north on the double-track Northern Central mainline through Ruxton, Sherwood (Riderwood), Lutherville, and Timonium to their terminus.
One interesting tradition of the "Gilded Age" were the "Owl" trains, midnight commuter runs on the Main and Green Spring branch lines to take theatergoers back to their homes after the curtain had fallen.
Ruxton-Riderwood provided most of the business for the locals and some trains cut back at Riderwood through the agency of a mile-long siding central to both tracks that stretched back to Ruxton. It was possible to cross over and run around the cars of a train by means of this sidetrack thus reversing the train. Trains could be held on this siding, also, until the demands of the schedule required their reappearance on the mainline.
In the post-World War I period, the PRR, which had effected a 999-year lease of the Northern Central in 1914, lengthened the commutation district to Parkton. The PRR was possibly anticipating growth of the metropolitan area, and there were existing facilities for locomotive service and train storage at the Parkton yard. Eventually all local trains ran through to Parkton. In this same period, Green Spring local service declined sharply as state-built tax-supported roads replaced the dirt tracks of the 19th century. The Green Spring locals soldiered on in diminishing numbers until the onset of the Great Depression. The last run came on Thursday, August 17, 1933.
Surviving the doldrums of the Depression, the Parkton Local was given a new lease on life by the tire and gas rationing of World War II. (There is a lesson here for those who are farsighted enough to see the solution to the oil crisis, air pollution problems, and balance of payments due to foreign nations.) During this period, the "gas cars" were joined by pretty, high-wheeled "E" class Atlantic-type locomotives that had hauled the grand mainline express trains 30 to 40 years earlier. They typically hauled three or four P54 commuter coaches, which were identical to the MP-54 electric multiple-unit commuter cars used on the electrified PRR lines except for the lack of motors, controls, headlights, etc. They did have the distinctive porthole and windows the same as their electric cousins that gave them their nickname "Owl-face." A single P-54 would also serve as a trailer car for the self-propelled railcars. In the 1950's, diesel road-switcher type locomotives that could also be used for more lucrative freight business replaced the passenger steamers on the locals. The P54 coaches went elsewhere, and longer P70 coaches from mainline service came to serve the NC commuters.
The "gas cars" were always thus known, a short version of their real name: gas-electric cars. Later, the gas-car appellation continued after more efficient diesel engines had been installed and they had become "oil-electric" cars. In either case, the internal combustion engines, known as the prime mover, drove an electric generator which supplied 600 volts of direct current for electric traction motors geared to the wheels of the front truck. The cars were bidirectional when operated as single units, but the end with the engine, generator and motors was nominally the front. When hauling a trailer car, the trailer had to be turned at the end of the run so that the trainmen and passengers could pass from car to car without having to pass through the engine compartment.
Although the gas cars looked alike to the average layman, the fact that they were built at different times and rebuilt over the years meant that only small groups were identical or similar. For example, of the last three cars assigned to the Parkton Local in 1957, nbr. 4662 had a low-arch roof, two small Cummins diesel engines, and the trailer-end had no separate engineer's cab but rather the engineer had to occupy the platform in front of the passenger door. On the other hand, nbrs. 4666 and 4667 had high-arch roofs, one large Hamilton diesel engine and a separate engineer's cab on the extension of the rear platform. On these two "big" cars, the restroom was located on the opposite (left) side of the platform extension.
The Parkton Local operated with a "status quo" existence through the early 1950's, but the handwriting was on the wall. In fact, it was right outside the walls of Penn Station where the initial construction began on the Jones Falls Expressway. The PRR took immediate steps to discontinue the Parkton Local, knowing it would take some time to get the required permission from the Maryland Public Service Commission. There was strong and organized opposition to service cuts already being manifested by the Northern Central Railway Commuters Association. The PRR began a process whereby the costs of operating the Parkton Local were inflated by means of physical maneuvering and bookkeeping. The latter was easy: the diesel road switchers were used in freight AND commuter service, but ALL costs of operation were charged to the Parkton Local. One ploy that did not work was the attempt to cut service back to Glencoe. This would have eliminated some passenger revenue without any saving in operating costs since Glencoe had no turning facilities or storage yard and the trains would have had to have been deadheaded to Parkton anyway or brought all the way back to Baltimore empty. This attempt was made in 1957, and was rejected by the Public Service Commission.
It was well known by 1958 that the Parkton Local was on borrowed time. The PRR petitioned to discontinue service. After the usual hearing and testimony, permission was granted effective after the last trips on Saturday, June 27, 1959.
The "GLORY YEARS"
OF THE NORTHERN CENTRAL... THE PARKTON LOCAL... AND GROWING UP IN MONKTON
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
I was five years old when my family moved to Monkton. The convenience of train service by which my father could commute to Baltimore was a major deciding factor for buying the Monkton house. This, then, was the catalyst for the beginning of the "Glory Years," that time of special remembrance which, for me, began a lifetime of interest in trains and railroading.
Growing up near the Northern Central did have one stigma to overcome... that the Pennsylvania Railroad had a generally cold reputation in the eyes of most Baltimore-area natives who had an almost unanimous contrasting love for the B&O... Francis Beirne in his 1951 book, THE AMIABLE BALTIMOREANS, typified local sentiment toward the PRR as follows:
"The railroad is reliable and efficient. It gets you where you want to go. It does its job in a thoroughly impersonal way. As a railroad it is in a class by itself. But it isn't Baltimore."
He went on to explain that if you were looking for local color, you would find it on the B&O.
This much I accepted, but for one added thought: the Northern Central line was a happy exception to whatever indifferent images prevailed toward the rest of the Pennsy system. The Pennsy, so far as I was concerned, was tops. It was MY railroad!
Summertime involvements always included visits to Monkton by my friend John von Briesen of Baltimore. John's own allegiance to the B&O was fortified by the fact that his mother worked for the company. But he shared my view that Pennsy's Northern Central line was neat, and many of our activities were spent accordingly. For example: we would visit the waiting room of Monkton station. It was always open. Nobody else would be there, and we would play "train-announcer" by announcing the arrival of noted Pennsy trains to the particular acoustics of the waiting room's high walls. (John, now a civil engineer, was recently involved with the MTA's construction of the light-rail line along the Baltimore-Timonium portion of the Northern Central.)
If our selected train announcements included any noted trains that were due at that time, it was just wishful to think that any of them would stop there. Monkton was strictly a local stop. Nevertheless, I felt highly honored that such famed trains as the Liberty Limited and the Spirit of St. Louis would grace their speedy presence through Monkton, even if they did not stop.
There were, however, some rare occurrences when through trains did make unscheduled stops in Monkton. I know of two such happenings involving stops by the Liberty Limited to let my father get off while coming home from business in Chicago. However much involved it was for my father to arrange these stops I do not know, but to have the Liberty Limited stop in Monkton for a member of my own family gave me a thrill beyond description.
Years later it was my turn to have the honors. I was then attending school in Baltimore and regularly riding the Parkton Local. But on one particular morning the Local was unable to make its run due to engine trouble, and the accommodating Pennsy had the General make all the local's stops. (The General was then the premier train on the line.) I can recall one of the trainmen telling passengers as they took their seats, as if to make a point: "Dining car, next car back!" I can recall, too, looking back and counting the cars in the train as it snaked its way around the many curves en route to town. I believe I counted 15. (The Local usually had three.)
Riding the General had added significance in that I had seen it go through Monkton so many times while waiting for the Local. I can recall looking for a couple of particular sleepers that appeared about once every three or four trips -- "Cascade Mantle" and "Baltimore County." The latter sleeper was a PRR car but it was painted in the Atlantic Coast Line scheme. (The General was a colorful train.)
Monkton had no agent, but the station was never locked. There was a potbelly stove in the waiting room, and on cold mornings I made it my appointed duty to start the fire using newspapers and kindling. On average, about six or seven passengers boarded at Monkton.
There was a small cadre of students about my age attending various schools in Baltimore who rode the local, and we generally sat together or stood back on the rear platform. Moreover, some of us having extra time after school would meet at Penn Station and ride the gas car on its deadhead move down to Calvert Station. The yard crew making the move seemed willing to have us along, and even the bosses (when we saw them) tolerated our presence... On the trip home in the afternoon we would sometimes have some "innocent" fun by tearing up discarded newspapers into snowflake-size pieces and scattering them upon the terrain at one particular spot while we were traveling through at top speed. Another activity was to roll up a newspaper, secure it tightly with fishing line, and play out the line behind the train to a distance of perhaps a couple hundred feet holding onto the line until the bouncing newspaper disintegrated. On one occasion a certain student who lived in White Hall was holding the line when the newspaper snagged in the right-of-way causing the line to play out with very sudden and rapid force resulting in surface wounds to his hand. I met up with him again several years ago, and he still had faint scars from the experience... A short distance north of Ashland there was a bridge - Paper Mill Road - that spanned over the tracks. During the apple-growing season I would sometimes find an apple laying near a tree during our northbound stop in Cockeysville; then from the rear platform I would toss the apple upward just before we sped under the bridge. If my timing was right, the apple would arc completely over the bridge and come back down on the other side. I hoped someday to be accurate enough to catch the apple when it came back down, but I never was... Not all of our frolics took place on the train. Once while goofing around in Calvert Station before train time, one of us had typed up an official-looking notice which we taped to the front of the station's coffee and hot chocolate vending machine saying that the department of health had made tests and determined that the "coffee and hot chocolate dispensed from said vending machine is unfit for human consumption." Rather naughty, to be sure.... but on the other hand the coffee and hot chocolate that did come from that machine was not particularly noted as a gourmet's delight.
The components of the "Glory Years" came to an end during the summer of 1959. The Parkton Local ended service just a couple of weeks after I graduated from high school, and I left home to join the Navy that August... I did make it a point to ride the last trip. I rode from Baltimore to Parkton, then back to Monkton on the return-equipment move the Pennsy thoughtfully allowed passengers to ride. My father, who had been a Parkton Local regular about a decade earlier, joined me on the Parkton to Monkton portion. The overall atmosphere, as I remembered it, was more like a picnic than a sad event. Many of the old-timers turned out to bid their farewells, as did railfans, reporters, railroad officials and a number of others who saw the occasion to take a very sentimental train ride. By having its equipment return from Parkton as an extra in revenue service, the Parkton Local achieved in death what it was not able to achieve in life: a nearly-full round-trip trainload of passengers over its entire route.
I had an inspiration following the Parkton Local's last trip. Couldn't the pleasures of train travel and the scenic characteristics of the Northern Central be combined into a formula to include one-day excursions from Baltimore. I envisioned three-hour round-trips to Parkton, using vintage equipment, much as had taken place for the final run of the local. But it would be oriented toward travel for pleasure rather than necessity... I loved the Northern Central and so much wanted to share it with others. But I knew that this was only a dream.....
Or was it?
The Birth of Oakleigh Tours
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
Six years had passed since the demise of the Parkton Local, and I never lost sight of my dream to share the enchantment of the Northern Central with others. To run special trains to Parkton, I concluded, was simply not practical. But there was a better solution. By taking advantage of a group rate and the convenience of regularly scheduled through trains that were still running on the Northern Central, I talked my neighborhood civic association into sponsoring a trip to Harrisburg in September of 1965. I arranged for the Harrisburg's transit company to provide buses for a layover activity, and the Oakleigh Manor Civic Association was in the group tour business.
The Pennsylvania Railroad, for its part, was very cooperative, and it willingly granted a special request I made to keep alive the spirit of the Parkton Local by making a special pickup stop in Lutherville.
Seventy-three people responded to the advertising for this trip by attending, and being satisfied that my efforts to share a dream with others were working, the association allowed its sponsorship to continue for five more trips - two trips a year - all on the Northern Central to Harrisburg leaving from Baltimore and Lutherville.
In 1968 the civic association decided to end my dream - mostly because there had never been any association members participating except for myself - but it happily gave me their blessing to continue the program under separate sponsorship. This is when Alan Crumbaker and Russ Mellinger joined me as the non-profit group now known as Oakleigh Tours was born.
Our first trip under new sponsorship was a big one. . . It was in the fall of 1969, an eleven-car special train, the first time the program had ever used other than a regular train to reach its destination. This, however, was to be the last trip for us to run on the Northern Central. We left from Baltimore with stops in Lutherville, New Freedom, Glen Rock and York. In Harrisburg our train was switched to the rear of the westbound Duquesne, and from there our very LONG train took us to Lewistown, Mt. Union and Altoona for any of three optional layover activities.
Our program of tours using special trains, or regular trains to locations where they were convenient, continued until Amtrak made it impractical for us to continue sponsorship of tours by rail. That's when we started using the bus.
History repeats itself. In 1959 the PRR ended its Parkton Local after the Public Service Commission determined that buses operated by the McMahon Transportation Company could provide a suitable alternative means of travel. In 1975, we with Oakleigh Tours decided much the same thing. We looked around to find a company to accommodate our tour program, and the one we selected for our first and next several trips by bus was . . . . McMahon.
An Ace Conductor
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
During my final two years of high school it was my memorable experience to ride the PRR Northern Central line's Parkton Local on a regular basis between Monkton and Baltimore. The morning train I used consisted of three coaches pulled (usually) by a Baldwin road switcher, and my evening train consisted of a diesel-electric combine (called a "gas car") and one coach. Two crew turns were required to run the Parkton-Baltimore's schedule of eight daily trips, but my two trips generally coincided with just one of those crews. I got to know that crew rather well, and my receptive railfan ears were always open to them for whatever things of interest they would care to pass along.
Russ Mellinger, the conductor on the trains I used each way, was somewhat of an institution on the Parkton Local. Russ had the unenviable duty of seeing people when many of them were at their "low" and in need of a boost. His morning passengers would be faced with the ordeal of their business day ahead, and his evening passengers would be tired and grumpy from the hard day that had just passed. Moreover, passengers generally considered train commuting as a necessary evil, the slightest irregularity to the schedule being seen by them as a bone of contention.
If a train conductor can provide some accommodation to make traveling experiences enjoyable, Russ was more than equal to the task. I can recall his unique blend of enthusiasm: friendly greetings, jokes, even an occasional song ("Wagon Wheels" was one of them.) Russ would make it a point, too, in announcing stops with a special fervor. "Lutherville, Lutherville, the ONLY station stop in Lutherville," Russ would often say. He knew full well that all were aware that Lutherville had but one stop, but the emphasis on this point was just the added touch needed to bring some color to an otherwise routine announcement.
Russ had a business on the side. He raised chickens and sold and delivered eggs wholesale. I recall an occasion when the engine on our morning train broke down at Sparks. Russ called his hired hand who came to Sparks with Russ's eggmobile to transport some of the passengers who were in a hurry to get to town. This was Russ's contribution to the welfare of his passengers - just one of the many little "extras" for which he became noted as an "Ace Conductor."
Then there was the time one winter when a blizzard effectively stranded some of the small on-line communities in northern Baltimore County. Russ brought milk and other necessities in on his train for the use of marooned households - especially those having infants and elderly.
Russ had his share of railroad experiences to tell. There was the time, for example, when as conductor on the Harrisburg to Washington segment of PRR's famed Liberty Limited, he was told by the dining car steward that there was no coffee. "I'll get you some," said Russ knowing all too well that his was a premier first-class train the likes of which must never be delayed without the most justifiable of causes. But it was for the comfort of his passengers, Russ reasoned, and he signaled his engineer to make an unheard-of special stop at Monkton. There it was, the heralded Liberty Limited with its two K4 Pacifics and perhaps 15 cars as it paused in Monkton for several minutes that morning while Russ went over to the general store to get some cans of coffee. If the highest level of PRR bosses ever heard of this occurrence, which they probably did, it never got back to Russ as a complaint.
Then there was the time back during World War II while working New York-Washington when Russ was called for a special move. The circumstances of the move were somewhat vague, but he soon found out.... It was for the President of the United States.
The Parkton Local was discontinued rather coincidentally just a couple of weeks after I finished high school. I met up with Russ about six years later, then on a Baltimore-Harrisburg run. I was making plans for a train excursion on behalf of the predecessor of Oakleigh Tours. It was not going to be a special train, rather it would be a private coach on the rear of the same train Russ would be the conductor on. I found Russ to be extremely helpful on this my first experience in planning an excursion, and he even helped me line up some potential customers. What I did not know was that Russ then went even further by pulling some strings in order that our coach would not have coupled behind it a certain mail car that would have obstructed the view of railfans riding the rear platform. But on the day of the trip, when a yard crew attempted to couple the mail car to the rear nevertheless, Russ, somewhat perturbed, got on the block phone and called some boss. "It's coming off," barked Russ to the astonished yard crew after he had finished his talk with the boss. Russ knew, even if the railroading creatures-of-habit did not, that on that particular day the mail would make just as efficient a move to its destination on the next train - so why jeopardize the enjoyment of paying railfans when it wasn't necessary!
Russ joined the board of directors of Oakleigh Tours when that organization incorporated in 1969, serving briefly as president in the early 1970's.
His tenure as a passenger conductor continued through the Penn Central era and then into Amtrak, retiring in 1980. But he couldn't get railroading out of his blood, and before long he had his uniform on once again working as a volunteer on the Stewartstown Railroad in Pennsylvania.
Russ was conductor on the day in 1988 when K4 Pacific 1361 moved an anniversary train from York to Hanover Junction on former Northern Central trackage then being operated by the Stewartstown. Fellow volunteer Stewart Rhine recalled the following as Russ assumed the job of conductor just south of York:
"The first thing Russ did was to pull out his pocket watch to check the engineer's timepiece. Then came out a leather bound notepad and Russ asked the engineman 12 questions making notes as he went.... 'Brake pipe - 110 pounds?, OK,' and so on. He did this all from memory as he had done for so many years in fine PRR tradition. He then told the engineman, 'Don't take a signal from anyone but me.' We had eight coaches with over 600 passengers. I stood in the vestibule as the train picked up speed. I looked over at Russ and said, 'This is really something.' He was looking out at the coal smoke drifting past. He then looked over to me and said, 'Once you get a cinder in your shoe, you never get it out!' Then he entered the first car to welcome everyone in that great resonant voice of his."
Russ died in 1991. Burial was in New Freedom, Pennsylvania, within sight of the old Northern Central right-of- way. It was my honor to serve as a pallbearer.
Monkton Station Comes to Life
[By Allen Brougham] . . .
On June 27, 1959, when the Parkton Local made its final run, my father and I were the only passengers to detrain at Monkton. With that, the two of us silently closed a long chapter involving the Monkton station as a proud sentinel to a long history of rail transportation.
Later that year my father tried to purchase the station, but he was unable to reach agreement with the railroad over the price. He did, however, buy the benches.
Another Monkton resident and Parkton Local user did eventually buy the station, and he began making repairs to it. But the tenure of ownership by that individual is a story in itself. While he held title to the building, the railroad retained ownership of the platform area on the track-side of the building up to a point about four feet beneath the overhang of its roof. For this four-foot stretch of ground he was required to pay to the railroad rent. This arrangement continued after the railroad was abandoned, and upon transfer of the land to the state of Maryland, rent was then paid to the state. Rebuffed in his repeated attempts to obtain clear title to the four-foot stretch of land, and not wanting to put effort into maintaining the building without owning all of its land, the owner allowed the building to fall into disrepair. In 1987 he sold the building to the state, and it was restored in 1989.
On November 11, 1989, with much acclaim and about 300 in attendance, the state's secretary of natural resources came to Monkton to proclaim the old building open for all to enjoy. It is now a visitor center for the Northern Central Railroad Trail.
A Monkton-Corbett Legacy
The following are excerpts of local items compiled by historian Robert Williams from various newspaper accounts in the 1800's relating to Monkton and Corbett:
- AUG 2, 1856 - VINEYARD - We notice that Mr. McLaughlin, who purchased the farm of Mr. L. K. Bowen, on the Northern Central Railroad near Monkton, has a large portion of a hill side planted with grape vines. He has devoted a large part of the farm to gardening and truckery, to supply that monster hotel in the city - Barnum's.. The Baltimore County Advocate
- JAN 28, 1860 - ACCIDENT - On the 18th inst., the way freight train on the Northern Central Railroad ran off the track at Monkton, and demolished the tender attached to the locomotive, and three cars. The switch was displaced and no persons were injured.. The Baltimore County Advocate
- MAR 24, 1860 - BRIDGE ON FIRE - We understand that on Thursday morning last, the bridge on the Northern Central Railway, over the Gunpowder near Monkton, caught fire, but it was extinguished by the neighbors, after detaining the morning train some 40 minutes.. The Baltimore County Advocate
- APR 21, 1860 - MONKTON - This little village is steadily on the increase, several houses about being erected there. Mr. John Bond is about to build one on the corner of Main St. and Prospect Avenue: Mr. John McCaslin also intends to build one on Prospect Avenue: and Mr. Lindsay O'Neal one on Manor Street. We are pleased to note these evidences of prosperity.. The Baltimore County Advocate
- JUNE 1, 1861 - OUTRAGE BY THE TROOPS - On Wednesday last a train of cars conveying a regiment of troops from Baltimore en-route to Hagerstown, passed up the Northern Central Railroad. The train laid over at Monkton to allow another to pass, and the soldiers took advantage of the opportunity to commit several outrages in the village. They entered the store and tavern of Mr. Samuel Miller, and took all the liquor and bottles in his bar. From the store they took eggs, and other provisions, a case of hats, medicines, etc., and all the change in the drawer. They visited almost every house near the station, and took all they could lay their hands on in the way of edibles. The Lieutenants and Captains were appealed to, but without effect, but the Colonel finally drove the men into the cars, and the train started. Mr. Miller lost property to the value of about $75. From what we can learn from the papers, the troops must have been Col. Dare's regiment, recently stationed at Perryville, Cecil County. Mr. Miller is a staunch Union man, and the American flag was waving from a tall pole near his house.. The Baltimore County Advocate
- AUG 16, 1862 - KILLED - James Stewart, a conductor of a freight train was killed at Monkton one day last week. He was on the platform of a car, leaning over and looking forward, when his head came in contact with the side of a bridge. He resided in Baltimore.. The Baltimore County Advocate
- JAN 3, 1885 - A NEW POST OFFICE - A new post office has been established on the line of the Northern Central Railway, at Corbett's Station, in the 10th district of this county, to be known as Corbett, and our enterprising friend, Mr. Daniel Alder, has been appointed Postmaster for the new office.. The Maryland Journal
- AUG 29, 1885 - BASEBALL - The third and last test game of Baseball between the Monkton and Manor clubs was played here on last Saturday, August 22nd., and resulted in the favor of the Monktonians, thus securing to them the victory for the season, being two games for Monkton and one game for Manor.. The Maryland Journal
- JULY 3, 1886 - A woman, aged about 16 years, who is employed as a domestic in the family of John Bacon, Esq., of Monkton, weights nearly 400 pounds.. The Baltimore County Union
- OCT 13, 1888 - The Northern Central Railroad is about finishing a handsome Station and Warehouse at Corbett. Mr. Harry will be the station agent at that point.. The Baltimore County Union
- OCT 13, 1888 - ACCIDENT - Mr. William Winstanley, the well known assistant agent of the Northern Central Railroad at Monkton, met with a fatal accident at 8:40 o'clock A.M. on Saturday last, carrying the mail pouch from the Post Office, to place it upon the mail train bound North, which was then due and in sight. Being a little late, he ran in order to get across the track ahead of it and was nearly over when the pilot of the engine struck him above the ankles, which threw him backwards upon the cow-catcher, which in turn tossed him upon the Station Platform. A short time later, Mr. Winstanley was pronounced dead by the company physician, Dr. Norris of Parkton.. The Baltimore County Union
- DEC 22, 1888 - The Northern Central Railroad Company has purchased some land from Messrs. Samuel Miller and Samuel Bosley on the west side of their tracks at Monkton, upon which a new station house and other improvements will be erected. It is said that an important change is to be made in the grade of the road at that point and the Wagon Road, which is much traveled, will cross the tracks above grade, thus doing away with the possibility of accidents.. The Baltimore County Union
- MAR 29, 1890 - CORBETT - N.C.R.R. - A Civil Engineer of the Northern Central Railroad was at this place on the 22d instant to locate a warehouse for the use of Mr. John V. Slade.. The Baltimore County Union
- JAN 22, 1898 - NEW STATION - The new Railroad Station at Monkton will soon be finished and ready for the use of passengers from the section. It has been greatly needed for years. It is located at the west side of the railroad, a short distance north of the old building. The new building is a one story frame structure and has a frontage of 70 feet. It is divided into two rooms, one for the accommodation of the ladies and the other for male passengers. There is an office in the center and a baggage room at the north end of the building.. The Maryland Journal
Light Rail Line Adopts Portion of Parkton Local Route
It was in the spring of 1992 that MTA's Central Light Rail Line began revenue service along trackage once served by the Parkton Local. Trains now run every 15 minutes from Timonium into Baltimore where trains split away from the Northern Central line at the former Mt. Vernon yard for a route down Howard Street and out the south end of town into Anne Arundel County.
The Timonium terminus is at the north end of the Maryland State Fairgrounds, about midway between the Parkton Local stops for Timonium and Padonia. Future plans are to continue the light rail project north toward Cockeysville/Hunt Valley; also to construct a leg from the present line at North Avenue into Pennsylvania Station.
Three of the current stops are located at former Parkton Local stops. Woodberry and Mt. Washington maintain the same name, while Bare Hills has been renamed Falls Road.
York County Plans to Complete Rail/Trail North to York
The mile and one-half section of the York County Heritage Rail/Trail from the state line into New Freedom, Pennsylvania - slated to be formally opened June 4 - is only the beginning, according to the Rail/Trail Authority. Plans are to continue construction of the trail northward along the old Northern Central route next to the existing track from New Freedom to York. The Northern Central line had earlier been double-tracked, and the space vacated when the second track was removed will be used for the trail. The line has seen little train use in recent years.
Included in the plans are restoration of the stations at New Freedom and Hanover Junction for use as trail visitor centers. While work that was begun on the New Freedom station two years ago stopped when it was determined how deteriorated the roof had become, additional funding has been provided to continue with the project. The station at Hanover Junction - also to be a major undertaking - is historically significant as a stopping-off place for President Lincoln while en route to deliver his Gettysburg Address.