PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

Pennsylvania Midland Railroad Company

Timeline of the Pennsylvania Midland...

Changes in the timeline to support the proto-freelanced concept are indicated in blue.

1852 The Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company is incorporated on May 6, 1852, to "develop the coal of the Broad Top region of 80 sq. miles, by construction of a railroad from Huntingdon to Hopewell, 31 miles. A secondary goal was to extend to Bedford, 20 miles, to accommodate the visitors to Bedford Springs, and to develop the iron ores in various places of this locality."
1856 The Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company completes its mainline from Huntingdon to Hopewell. Funds are exhausted.
1863 The Bedford Railroad completes a 12 mile line from Hopewell to Bloody Run (Everett). The Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company leases the line and service commences. The line was then extended 1-1/2 miles to Mt. Dallas where funds were exhausted. The H&BTM acquires the line in 1864.
1870 The Juniata & Potomac Railroad is chartered on April 4, 1870, to run from Bloody Run (Everett) south through Black Valley to the Maryland line where it would meet a Maryland-based railroad. This project is backed by the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company as a means to reaching Cumberland, Md., where massive coal shipments are travelling over ther Baltimore & Ohio, Cumberland & Pennsylvania, and Pittsburg & Connellsville Railroad. A shortcoming of the route is that it bypasses Bedford. Though a right-of-way was secured, the railroad was never built
1870 The Bedford & Bridgeport Railroad is chartered to connect Bedford to Mt. Dallas to the east and to Bridgeport (Hyndman) and the Pittsburg & Connellsville to the south. With no connection to the PRR, the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company backs this effort as a means of getting to Cumberland, Md., figuring it could lease or acquier the line upon completion.
1871 The Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company leases the newly completed portion of the Bedford & Bridgeport from Mt. Dallas to Bedford for one year as construction continues. Passenger service is finally available to the Bedford Springs Resort.
1872 The Bedford & Bridgeport Railroad enters into an agreement to extend southward from Bridgeport to the state line to meet with the Cumberland & Pennsylvania Railroad which will build north out of Cumberland to that point.  The resulting bridge route would allow transport of Cumberland coal to New York and the northeast on a shorter route than that of the Baltimore & Ohio.
1872 In a surprise announcement, the Pennsylvana Railroad acquires the Bedford & Bridgeport Railroad -- even though it did not have a direct PRR connection -- shattering the dreams of the H&BTM to have a their own line to Cumberland.
1872 Bridge traffic commences over the Cumberland & Pennsylvania, Bedford & Bridgeport (PRR), and Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company to the Pennsylvania Railroad at Huntingdon.
1882 The Bellefonte & Buffalo Run Railroad is incorporated September 21, 1882. The purpose of this line was to connect Bellefonte with Pennsylvania State College, and to tap the iron ore deposits along Buffalo Run.
1883 The Nittany Valley & Southern Railroad is chartered in January 1883. This line is proposed to run from Bellefonte to Mill Hall, providing a connection with the Beech Creek Railroad (New York Central).
The Bellefonte & Buffalo Run and Nittany Valley & Southern are merged on March 16, 1885, to form the Buffalo Run, Bellefonte & Bald Eagle Railroad. The NV&S was never built.
1889 The Central Pennsylvania Railroad is incorporated on May 11, 1889 to connect Unionville with Mill Hall, running by way of Bellefonte and the Nittany Valley.
1890 The Central Pennsylvania Railroad Eastern Extension is incorporated, to leave the main line of the first company at Lamar and follow Fishing Creek, Sand Spring Run, and White Deer Creek to White Deer on the Susquehanna. This will provide a connection to the Philadelphia and Reading Railway, in addition to that with the NYC at Mill Hall. The extension was never built. 
1891 The Central Railroad of Pennsylvania is formed by the merger of the Central Pennsylvsnia Railroad and the Central Pennsylvania Railroad Eastern Extension. 
1892 The loss of ore traffic to the Bellefonte Furnace closing down in 1891 hurts the Buffalo Run, Bellefonte & Bald Eagle Railroad, which is sold at foreclosure on December 1, 1891. It was reorganized on May 9, 1892, as the Bellefonte Central Railroad.
Bellefonte Central Railroad's President Frazer's ambitions for the Bellefonte Central went far beyond State College. He envisioned the BFC as a bridge line between the coal-hauling Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad to the southwest and the Beech Creek Railroad (NYC) to the northeast.
1892 Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad chartered.
1893 The Inter-Mountain Railroad is proposed to connect Belleville with McAlevy's Fort. There it would connect with the proposed Stone Valley Railroad. Greenwood Furnace, one of the KV's largest shippers, was located near McAlevy's Fort, and the H&BTM hoped to construct their own furnace in Stone Valley. 
1894  The Bellefonte Central Railroad is extended from Struble to Pine Grove Mills, Pa., at the base of Stone Mountain, as a first step towards a connection to the south. It never went any further. 
1894 The Stone Valley Railroad is built from Huntingdon to McAlevy's Fort and is immediately leased by the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad. 
1895 The Inter-Mountain Railroad is built from Belleville to McAlevy's Fort and is immediately leased by the Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad.
1905 Wes Gephart, the visionary and general superintendent of the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania, and the owner of the Bellefonte and Nittany furnaces, dies suddently.
1908 The Pennsylvania Railroad completes its Bedford division. Bridge traffic over the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad and Coal Company ends abruptly.
1910 The Bellefonte Furnace shuts down in 1910, followed by Nittany Furnace in 1911; the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania loses most of its traffic.

The Pennsylvania Midland Railroad Company is chartered. Stock subscriptions are offered and are largley purchased by the Bellefonte Central Railroad and the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad. Further investment comes from the Baltimore & Ohio RailroadWestern Maryland RailwayNew York Central Railroad, and the Resding Company. 

Objectives of the Penn Midland are to:

  • Lease or acquire the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania;
  • Tunnel through Tussey Mountain and connect Pine Grove Mills (Bellefonte Central) to McAlevey's Fort (Stone Valley Railroad and Inter-Mountain Railroad);
  • Build south out of Everett (Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad) to Cumberland, Md. (Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and Western Maryland Railway);
  • Establish a joint Less-than-CarLoad (LCL) transload facility somewhere along the line.

The Bellefonte Central Railroad and the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad maintain their existing independent schedules with existing equipment.

1911 The Pennsylvania Midland Railroad Company leases the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania.
1912 The Juniata & Potomac Railroad is constructed from Everett to Cumberland, Md., and is leased by the Pennsylvania Midland Railroad Company.

The Tussey Mountain Railroad is constructed from Pine Grove Mills to McAlevy's Fort and is leased by the Pennsylvania Midland Railroad Company.

The Penn Midland assumes the lease of the Stone Valley Railroad from the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad.

The Pennsylvania Midland Railroad Company establishes corporate headquarters at Standing Stone, just outside of Huntingdon, and constructs a relay yard and locomotive facilities there.

McAlevy's Fort becomes an interchange point with the Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad.

1915 Bridge traffic commences on the Pennsylvania Midland Railroad... it is known as "The Midland Route".
1916 The Pennsylvania Midland introduces "twice a day" passenger service between Cumberland, Md., Williamsport, Pa. with additional stops at Everett, Huntingdon, State College, and Bellefonte.
1918 The last passenger train ran on the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania on November 28, 1918. This fact is ignored.
1919 The Bellefonte Central Railroad gives up plans of expansion towards Huntingdon long gone, the branch to Pine Grove Mills was removed in 1919. This fact is ignored.
1919 The Central Railroad of Pennsylvania tracks were removed in 1919 from Bellefonte to Salona. The line from Mill Hall to Salona was operated by the NYC as a siding until the 1950s to serve the limestone quarry there. This fact is ignored.
1920 The Standing Stone Warehouse Company is established at Standing Stone and serves as a joint transload facility for LCL traffic for seven railroads: The Penn Midland, PRR, NYC, RDG, B&O, WM, and "Penn Family Lines".
1927 Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad takes over passenger service between Reedsville and Lewistown from the Pennsylvania Railroad.
1935 Bellefonte Central Railroad: Shipments from the lime quarries fall as the steel industry collapses, and Chemical Lime goes into bankruptcy. The company continues operations during the bankruptcy, and was prompted to modernize its operations, building a new rail-served lime plant at "Chemical" and abandoning quarrying for deep-shaft mining.
1940 Chemical Lime is bought out by National Gypsum Company, the modernization (paid for by a Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan) keeps the lime operation competitive for decades, and make it the largest shipper on the Bellefonte Central Railroad.
1940 The Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad is scrapped. This fact is ignored. An agent for the Pennsylvania Midland purchases the railroad.
1940 The Pennsylvania Midland makes use of the InterMountain Railway route to interchange with the Pennsylvania Railroad at KV Junction near Reedsville. 
1946 The Bellefonte Central Railroad ends regular passenger service. 
1947 While the delivery of coal to local homes ends in 1947, the Bellefonte Central Railroad continues to haul about 470 cars per year of coal to supply the Penn State power plant. 
1953 The Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad declares bankruptcy on October 11, 1953, and operates its last passenger train in November 1953. Though recovering from bankruptcy, H&BTM passenger service never resumes.
1954  The Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain Railroad ceases operations on March 31, 1954. This fact is ignored.
1954 The Everett Railroad takes over the southernmost four miles of H&BTM trackage, between Tatesville and Mount Dallas on April 1, 1954. They operated until 1982, when they closed due to Conrail's abandonment of the remainder of the Bedford Division, by then known as the Conrail's Bedford and Mount Dallas Branches. The trackage was removed in 1985. This fact is ignored.

The following facts are beyond the "early 1950s" scope
of the proto-freelance concept.

1959 Bellefonte Central Railroad: Penn State switches to trucks for coal shipments to its power plant, and scheduled service to State College ends.
1974 After years of attempting to generate new traffic in State College, the Bellefonte Central Railroad finally gives up on the southern end of its line in 1974. The last train leaves State College on July 22, 1974.
1976 Bellefonte Central  Railroad: 13 miles of rail are pulled up from State College to Chemical in 1976. National Gypsum would be the railroad's only customer.
1982 As the steel industry falls, the lime market also collapses, and Domtar shuts down the plant at Chemical on July 1, 1982. The Bellefonte Central Railroad shuts down the same day.
1984 The Chemical plant is sold in April 1983 to Confer Trucking, a local firm, which operated it at reduced capacity and had no need for rail service. Accordingly, the Bellefonte Central Railroad files for abandonment in 1984.
1985 Bellefonte Central Road: The 4.1 miles from Chemical to Coleville are removed in spring 1985. However, the last mile of track from Bellefonte to Coleville was bought by the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, in order to make use of the enginehouse at Coleville. This track is now part of the Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad, and the old Bellefonte Central enginehouse is now used for their locomotives.