The High Street Train Stations

The High Street Train Stations (HMAHL)

Location: Carlisle, PA 17013 Cumberland County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 12.108', W 77° 11.5'

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Walking Tour Stop 18

On August 19, 1837, a jubilant throng gathered in Carlisle to watch the Cumberland Valley Railroad's first train roll down High Street. Bands played, speeches were made, and the crowds cheered as the "Cumberland Valley" locomotive and its yellow painted cars rolled by.

For 99 years trains ran down the length of High Street. A cloud of smoke and the train's shrill whistle sent many a man and young boy to the station on High & Pitt streets to watch the passengers arrive and depart, especially when they were celebrities like General Tom Thumb and his wife.

Although the railroad brought prestige, prosperity and excitement to the residents of Carlisle, it also brought danger. Sparks from the engine's smokestack often set High Street roofs on fire; carts and wagons broke down on the tracks, and horses as well as people were often rescued just before the train pulled into town; and once, an enraged bull, who had escaped from a local butcher, charged the locomotive.

With the advent of the automobile, it became impractical to have as many as a dozen trains a day running down High Street at four miles per hour.

In 1936, the Pennsylvania Railroad Co., which had purchased the C.V.R.R. in 1919, built a new train station at Penn and West streets and closed the High Street station.

On October 16, 1936, the last train, a 15-coach special drawn by the PRR Co.'s newest streamlined locomotive, made its way east on High Street. Just as they had done 99 years before, throngs gathered to watch while bands played and speeches were made. "On both occasions there were scenes of rejoicing," wrote a local historian.

Images courtesy of the Cumberland County Historical Society.
Placed ByHistoric Carlisle, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 4:23am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 313464 N 4452458
Decimal Degrees40.20180000, -77.19166667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 12.108', W 77° 11.5'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 12' 6.48" N, 77° 11' 30.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)717
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101 W High St, Carlisle PA 17013, US
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