by Jeff Smith
New Scenic Service: Trains
Patriot Rail to start tourist service on Gettysburg & Northern
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Patriot Rail, a short line company that operates 32 railroads across the United States, is planning to revive passenger service on the Gettysburg & Northern Railroad in 2025, to capitalize on the millions of tourists who pour into this Civil War mecca each year.
G&N will join two other active Patriot Rail tourist lines, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Georgia and Granite State Scenic in New Hampshire, recently rebranded from its previous name, Hobo Railroad.
The 25-mile-long former Reading Co. branch connects Norfolk Southern’s Lurgan District (part of NS’s New Orleans-to-New Jersey Crescent Corridor) at Mount Holly Springs, Pa., with CSX Transportation’s former Western Maryland Railway “Dutch Line.” Since it was spun off as an independent freight carrier at the creation of Conrail in 1976, it has seen a succession of passenger operations: Gettysburg Railroad, Gettysburg Scenic Railroad, and Pioneer Lines Scenic Railway, the latter running from 2004 to 2008 while the line was owned by Pioneer Railcorp.