The Port Road Branch is one of the most difficult pieces of Conrail territory to photograph. Stretching nearly 75 miles from Perryville, Maryland to Enola, PA, this water-level route sees up to 25 trains in a 24 hour period, providing little opportunity for daylight operations.
Linking operations in Baltimore and Delmarva Peninsula with Harrisburg and points west, the Port Road has become a vital part of Conrail’s Central Pennsylvania operations.
Originally constructed as the Columbia & Port Deposit Railroad, the Port Road Branch has seen three decades of change.
This one-time electrified line now only boasts a reminder of what was the Pennsylvania RR. Although access is difficult, this video offers views of three river dams, three tunnels, and three rare flumes that carry flowing creeks over the top of the railroad.
Three years in the making, this video provides action in the form of coal and hopper trains, multi-levels, mixed freight, Office Car Specials, Conrail and Norfolk Southern track geometry trains and more! Operations have been mostly nocturnal due to restrictions and curfews imposed by Amtrak at Perryville, Maryland.
This route is scheduled to fall under control of Norfolk Southern on June 1, 1999, potentially offering another chapter to the historic Port Road Branch. This video was produced with the knowledge and cooperation of Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail).
One hour, full color, stereo sound, narration, maps graphics.
Copyright 1999 Steve Neff
Neff DVD-N036-Conrails Port Road Branch
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