The Lewistown Secondary is a 2.3 mile stretch of track from Lewistown (on the Middle Division main line) to the junction with the Milroy Secondary and the Selinsgrove Secondary.
The Lewistown Secondary has its roots in the Mifflin & Centre County Railroad, which was incorporated April 2, 1860, to build from Lewistown to a point near Milesburg in Centre County. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company invested in the new railroad and construction began in February 1863. The line reached Reedsville, a distance of seven miles, by May 1, 1865. The line entered into a 999-year operating lease with the Pennsylvania Railroad, dated May 27, 1865.
By January 6, 1868, the line extended another 5.4 miles from Reedsville to Milroy, which proved to be its final terminus.
Under PRR management, the Mifflin & Centre County and the Sunbury & Lewistown, effective December 1, 1871, were formed into a separate operational unit known as the Lewistown Division. The Sunbury & Lewistown met the Mifflin & Centre County about two miles east of the main line at Lewistown as its western terminus.
With an effective date of October 1,1896, the shareholders of the Mifflin & Centre County Railroad Company and the Sunbury & Lewistown Railway Company approved the consolidation of the two companies into the Sunbury & Lewistown Railway Company. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company executed a new 79-year operating lease.
Effective June 1, 1900, the Sunbury & Lewistown Railway Company and four other PRR-affiliated railroads merged into a new entity, the Schuylkill & Juniata Railroad Company. It was immediately leased to the Pennsy under a 20-year operating agreement.
Effective April 1, 1902, the Schuylkill & Juniata Railroad Company was merged into the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.
As of January 1, 1901, the Lewistown Division was detached for operating purposes from the Pennsylvania Railroad Grand Division and became part of the Philadelphia & Erie Grand Division.
At some point, the original trackage of the Mifflin & Centre County became known as the Milroy Branch. When passenger service ceased in 1941, it was downgraded to the Milroy Secondary. Also, at some point the first two miles, which it shared with the Sunbury & Lewistown, became known as the Lewistown Secondary.
See also: Milroy Secondary Divisional Heritage
The division under which this line operated following merger into the Pennsy gets murky. Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote on the PRR-FAX list "The Sunbury & Lewistown line between Selinsgrove Junction and Lewistown Junction, which the Milroy Branch used between Lewistown Junction and Chestnut Street in Lewistown, was perpetually batted back and forth between the Lewistown/Middle Divisions and the Sunbury/Wilkes-Barre/Susquehanna/whatever divisions like an unwanted stepchild or bastard. At various times over the near-century of PRR control of the line, there were division posts located behind the Lewistown station, at Chestnut Street, at Selinsgrove Junction, and even at block limit station "SAL," nothing more than a phone box on the curve adjacent to the east end of Susquehanna University's athletic fields in Selinsgrove! It only seemed to stop when the PRR stopped sending through trains over the line and relegated it to out-and-back locals out of Northumberland and Lewistown, beginning around 1948; the line was severed as a through route in 1957, though trains hadn't run between McClure and Maitland for several years by that time."
In 1956 the Middle Division would be consolidated into the Pittsburgh Region. In 1964 this would become the Pittsburgh Division, where it would remain through the end of Pennsy. During the Conrail years the line would be sold off to the North Shore Railroad System and would operate as the Juniata Valley Railroad.
Sanborn Maps (1923)
Fisher, Forest K., Images of America - Mifflin County, Arcadia Publishing.
Hartzler, John G., The Ol' Hook & Eye.
Lynch Jr., James J.D., "Lewistown and the Pennsylvania Railroad," The Keystone, the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society, p. 9-41.
Lewistown and the Pennsylvania Railroad - From Moccasins to Steel Wheels, the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society.
The following is a tour of the Lewistown Secondary, in Lewistown, Pa., based on the 1945 edition of the Pennsylvania Railroad CT1000 -- List of Stations and Sidings.
|XA||Lewistown, Pa.||Junc. Middle Division - Main Line|
|Bridge over Juniata River|
|LN||Lewistown, Pa.|| Junc. Middle Division - Furnace Branch Siding
Junc. Middle Division - Milroy Branch
Junc. Wilkes-Barre Division - Lewistown Branch