Shippensburg Street Running


Perhaps you have sharp eyes and when you read the post on Rules and Speeds saw that the limit in Shippensburg was 6 mph.  There was a good reason.  The single track skirted the campus of Shippensburg State Teachers College westbound and entered into the middle of Earl Street and through the town.  On one of my trips with my Uncle Paul during the summer I was amazed to look out of my darkened roomette to see a line of autos I could almost touch and, behind the parked cars, front porches filled with people talking, drinking, and watching us slowly roll by.  It was railroading surrealism.  A sleeping car that had travelled at 80 mph only two hours earlier was  here moving at parade speed.  We should have had a marching band leading our E8 down the street.

It was understandable that our westbound trip, carded through Shippensburg at 12:21 am, would find the local citizens in a festive mood on a summer night.  But, to my amazement, it seemed there was an almost equal number of revelers on our eastbound return through Shippensburg at 3:14 am.

I read somewhere that this part of the CVRR is no longer in service.  Perhaps someone knows when the rails were pulled up on Earl Street.  But, if you have a copy of Trains magazine for January, 2009, (page 81) ,you can see a photograph of a Penn Central train with auto racks on Earl Street as recently as August, 1973.

The original route of the CVRR ran on streets through other towns on the route.  When I find that elusive book in a carton in my basement or garage I’ll provide details from the historical record.  Ah, time for spring cleaning!


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2 Responses to “Shippensburg Street Running”

  1. Bob Bufkin Says:

    Here’s another shot almost like the one in Trains taken around the same time. You’ll notice some of the cars and trucks are the same in both photos.

    I was raised in Shippensburg and now live in the outside DC in MD. Only saw the Southbound trains once growing up. An E unit and 3 cars. Wish I was smart enough to take down the names and numbers back then.


  2. Gary Says:

    Thanks, Bob. I think your photo is more in keeping with my memory than the one i saw in Trains magazine.

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