This Month In County History

1954 marked the end of 'Ma & Pa' railroad

August 28, 2005

The last Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train stopped in Bel Air on August 31, 1954. Affectionately known as the Ma & Pa, the railroad connected Baltimore and York, Pa., over a circuitous 77 mile route. Its earliest predecessor, the Maryland Central Railroad, was chartered in Maryland in 1867 for the purpose of building a Baltimore to Philadelphia line via Bel Air and Conowingo but laid no track. The first actual construction on the route of the Ma & Pa began in Pennsylvania with the Peach Bottom Railway which completed a narrow gauge line from York through Red Lion and Delta to Peach Bottom on the Susquehanna River between 1873 and 1876. Many local trains operated between Bel Air and Baltimore, and at the peak of service, Bel Air had 16 trains a day providing commuter service and a late- night return for theatergoers.

Source: Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society

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