• NS Buffalo and Pittsburg lines

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by tahawus84
I have a few questions about these lines around the Harrisburg area;
1. How many trains a day do each of these lines carry?
2. Whats the best time to see the most action?
3. Where are the best places for photos and to just hang out and watch the trains?
Thanks :-D
  by dwil89
I enjoy railfanning in the Enola area as well as out around the Altoona-Johnstown area....The Pittsburgh Line is said to average about 50-60 trains per day.....I don't know what the figure is for the Buffalo Line but I would estimate perhaps 10 trains in longer daylight hours at least...My favorite spot to watch the action is from atop the Mountain at Rockville overlooking Rockville Bridge...there are some pics in this forum posted earlier this year by myself from that vantagepoint. It requires some hiking to get to, but you will get a grandstand seat of railroad action in the area....Sitting there, the total train count would be higher as one can view trains running East and West on the Pittsburgh Line, as well as movements on and off the Buffalo Line crossing over the Rockville Bridge, as well as movements between Harrisburg and Enola via the Rockville Bridge...Any time would be train time around the Rockville Bridge area with so many movements occurring... I also railfan at the 'Iron Bridge' at Overview, at the West end of Enola Yard....Another spot is at the boatlaunch at Marysville near the Marysville water treatment plant. I also enjoy sitting at Cove along Rte 11/15. You can sit in a gravel lot at MP116, just East of the MP116 signalbridge, or you can park in a gravel lot at MP117. I also like to railfan at Duncannon. There is a dirt road that leads back to a view of a stone arch bridge there...good in afternoon light for Eastbounds....Aqueduct Road which renames to Lower Bailey Road offers shooting opportunities between MP 122 and 131....
  by dwil89
To get a feel for activity in the Harrisburg area go to http://www.railroadradio.net There is a scrolldown list on left side of that page....Select Harrisburg Line-Harrisburg and click onto your media player and you will be listening to live scanner chatter on your computer from the Harrisburg-Enola area.

  by tahawus84
Thanks for all the suggestions. How would i get to the top of the moutain? I dont mind the hike :-D

  by dwil89
tahawus84 wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions. How would i get to the top of the moutain? I dont mind the hike :-D
You have to drive up Roberts Valley Road which crosses over the Wye at the East end of Rockville Bridge...About a mile or two up Roberts Valley will be a hard right turn by a line of mailboxes onto a paved singlecar wide road that leads up to the radio transmitter towers..there will be a hairpin left hand turn at the top of the hill...park alongside the road and walk in to the right onto a gated trail that leads back toward the direction of the river..the trail will eventually follow the powerline right of way before it narrows to a footpath...which will lead out to the overlook..the overlook will require a little easing down a slope to get into position...figure about a mile each way....I don't know if I'd want to do it with hunting season going on now though..

  by trainfreak
As for the Buffalo Line...I live along the northern end (above Sunbury) and here we get normally 4 trains a day. Theres the H2W (northbound) and H3W (southbound) they go Harrisburg to Lock Haven usually...then theres the PPL trains from the NBER in Lock Haven to the Watsontown Secondary...theres usually one empty leaving and one loaded entering per day. Every once in a while there will be other coal trains (not destined for the Watsontown Secondary) but i havent figured them out yet. As for Sunbury on south you have trains from NS, CP, and CN. I know theres one from each railroad in each direction but i dont know how often they run. Sunbury itself is a hot spot of activity though with various locals, and the LVRR plus i think another shortline works the area too. Thats all i can say for now. Hope that helps.

  by Conrail8124
I have been going up to the Harrisburg line twice a year for the last 5 years. Great Photos can be had..although Dash-9s seem to be the major power up there. Some great places to check out - Enola, Rockville, Marysville, Cove, Duncannon, Harrisburg. Pretty much follow 11/15 and you can find some cool spots to stop & shoot a photo. There is also a back road that leads to the overview bridge at Enola & around the river close to Rockville. There is also the Lurgan Branch which runs from Harrisburg through Camp Hill. The Buffalo line doesnt see that many trains, although the scenery is cool.If you have time, you could drive to Hershey & check out the Harrisburg Line there. There are a few less trains, but it's just as cool -CP Tara in Hummelstown is a cool spot to go. Here are some photos -

<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/72/204454785_d43408cef4.jpg" width="500" height="361" alt="Rockville BR 10-4-2000-a"></a>

<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/71/204460887_4e74c6ab52.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Marysville-10-28-05"></a>

<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/68/204427517_161f83af32.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Hummelstown-5-19-06"></a>

<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/76/204313443_df3a7cbce5.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Enola-7-1-06"></a>

<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/74/204286736_6ac0eccda4.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Enola-10-28-05"></a>

Enola from the overview bridge-
<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/59/204327291_5a326e03e6.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Enola-7-2-06"></a>

<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/75/204266381_e294c31113.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Duncannon-7-2-06"></a>

<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/87/272834656_b8290dd539.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Cove-10-15-06"></a>

<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/65/203614375_137d798625.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Cove-5-20-06"></a>

Camp Hill-
<a><img src="http://static.flickr.com/64/203591821_dc2d7ab9c2.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Camp Hill-7-2-06"></a>

Hope you enjoy it if you head up there :)
Last edited by Conrail8124 on Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by trainfreak
Nice shots.