Northern Central Railway
The Northern Central Railroad is a Civil War-themed heritage railroad in Pennsylvania that operates a colorful replica 1860s steam locomotive pulling two replica passenger cars. The Civil War train is a close reproduction of one that carried President Lincoln to deliver the Gettysburg Address in 1863. Two years later, it was his funeral train as well.
Sometimes called Steam Into History, the train follows the actual route Lincoln took to Gettysburg back in the day too. It runs on ten miles of track that once belonged to the actual Northern Central Railroad that existed at the time. It ran north to south between Sunbury PA and Baltimore MD. Today, the short ten miles of restored track is paralleled by a rails-to-trails through some very scenic and quiet Pennsylvania farmland. Ride the train or the bike, your choice!
This Civil War locomotive and train were built from scratch just a few years ago. To me, it’s amazing there are highly skilled mechanics and artisans out there who have made the old steam technology work again. Aside from that, it’s simply a beautiful and colorful piece of old recreated machinery, a piece of history come to life, and a transportation rarity.
The replica period passenger cars are recently created from scratch too. They’re built on old flatcars to use the modern trucks beneath them to meet modern railroad standards.
Other Things To See At The Northern Central Railroad
The modern Northern Central Railway of today operates a number of themed tourist trains throughout their season and often has reenactors aboard portraying famous people from history, such as Grant, Lee, and Lincoln.
Sometimes a historic diesel locomotive is run as well, a GP-9 that was part of the Pennsylvania Railroad and built for it in 1957. It has been restored to the way it looked while working for the PRR.
Their train shed and store are located in the small quiet town of New Freedom PA, just south of York. The store is very well stocked with railroad gifts but the range of railroad books offered in this one place is exceptional. Don’t forget to look up while you’re in the store or you’ll miss the G-scale train circling the store up by the ceiling!
All the pictures here and throughout this site are available as artist-made prints on laminated high gloss, stretched canvas, or matted paper, with free shipping to the US and Canada. ~Andy