— User Comments —
I became curious about the Lancaster, Oxford and Southern when I moved to my present location in West Grove, Pa and worked for the phone company. On some of my work assignments I would get to many back roads and locations where I noticed what looked like old rail road ROWs. One of the first ones I saw was an abandoned line running out of Oxford, Pa and heading north. There were traces of it in several places with bridge abutments still in place and brush covered embankments. Eventually, after many years, through news articles and local people publishing histories of the area, I came to find out more about this line. It ran from Oxford, Pa. to Peach Bottom Pa, with a spur that ran into Quarryville. I found traces of an old turntable pit in Oxford where it connected to a part of what is on your map as the Octoraro Branch. Further north that becomes the East Penn RR and runs right by where I live.
We had quite a discussion about it on a LargeScale RR forum I belong to.
The SoLanco Historical Society has quite a bit of information about the line.
I just picked up a very good book about the Lancaster, Oxford & Southern called "A Railroad for the Southern End". Pictures, Timetables, Rare Documents and all the news of the Little, Old & Slow. Pennsylvania's first narrow gauge Railroad, by Mike Roth and Stanley T. White. Very informative.
Thank you, Ken! Glad that you are enjoying the book! It can be found on Amazon.com and the Strasburg RR Museum bookstore (in person and in their online store) Stan White and I spent over seven years working on collecting the information in that book. If anyone has any questions about the LO&S line I would be glad to answer them if I can.
I put together three slides on my Strasburg Railroad FB Album on the LO&S.
The book "Little, Old and Slow" by Benjamin F. G. Kline Jr, Available through the PA Railroad museum in Strasburg, PA has several pics, and maps showing the original route surveyed for the Peach Bottom Railway, some proposed expansion routes, and the later realignment, that was the L,O, & S.
One of the maps also shows that what had been surveyed to become the Peach Bottom Railway's middle division was actually laid to serve as part of what became the Maryland, and Pennsylvania from York, PA to Delta, PA. The R.O.W. from Delta south towards Baltimore started life as the Lancaster, and Reading 3" gauge RR., but was later widened to standard gauge by the Ma, & Pa.
If you want to provide a map with this section, I think this book will be very helpful in that effort.
PRR Quarryville Branch went from Lancaster to Quarryville, Pa., where at one time, it connected with the Lancaster, Oxford & Southern, which came north from Fairmont, Pa.
The Quarryville branch that Mr Pawelski refers to, from Lancaster to Quarryville was originally surveyed, graded, and laid by, what became the Reading RR, when it came south into Lancaster from it's branch through Rhienholds, Ephrata, and Manheim, PA. Within a couple years of that effort, the PRR expanded it's yard, and locomotive facilities in the Lancaster area. Part of that expansion would cut off the Reading's access to this branch, so the ROW was sold to PRR, and PRR took over it's use. It remained active until 1973, when hurricane Agnes washed out several bridges, and the limited amount of business on the line sealed it's fate. There was a small granary on the north side of the Enola Low Grade line that runs east to west just north of the Borough of Quarryville, and a stub track was offered, but the business decided to receive future deliveries by truck, so the entire length of the Q'ville branch from Harrisburg Pike in Lancaster, all the way down was removed.
If you go on Apple Maps, or Google Earth you can follow it down. The original line came in to Q'ville before the Enola Low Grade was built, and when the low grade line came through, they just built a tunnel and laid fill in over it for the branch to pass under the low grade, into the north western corner of the borough. There had been a small yard, water, sand, and coaling facilities, and a freight/passenger house. After the Q'ville branch was abandoned, and all the track torn up, a local oil company bought the land, filled in the tunnel, and used it for home heating oil. Now, IIRC there are some other business' there as well.
I'm researching past owners of my property and while doing so I was surprised to see in one of the deeds from 1891 a statement regarding a right of way of the Lancaster Oxford and Southern Rail Road. The property is south of Oxford on Hickory Hill Rd just a bit up from the Glen Hope Bridge. From a quick search it seems this railroad has lines only north of here? Was this clause in consideration of expected future expansion?
It had plans to run from Oxford to Elkton, MD at one time. They did run from Elkton a few miles but never got any further. So it may have purchased some ROW going south out of Oxford.