Hanover Junction – Northern Central Railway of York

Ride along the same route that carried President Lincoln from Washington, DC to Gettysburg, PA, where he delivered one of the greatest speeches in American History!

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Hanover Junction

Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania

Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania (Photo by Scott Butcher)
Hanover Junction, November 18th, 1863 (Library of Congress)
Hanover Junction, 2021 (Photo by Greg Pawelski)
Hanover Junction was built in 1851 to accommodate the interchange between the Hanover Branch and the Northern Central Railroads. The Hanover Branch Railroad ran from Hanover Junction to the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Hanover Junction itself was very tiny, as it only featured the Passenger Station, a small hotel, and a handful of houses. The Passenger Station also served as the freight office for the Hanover Branch Railroad, as well as a telegraph operator training school. Hanover Junction also featured a small railyard with siding and a turntable to allow locomotives to change which way they were facing.
Hanover Junction, 1880 (Library of Congress)
Hanover Junction, 2021 (Photo by Greg Pawelski)
Hanover Junction played a large part in the Civil War. During the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, both soldiers and supplies were transferred from the Northern Central Railroad to the Hanover Branch Railroad at Hanover Junction to complete the journey to Gettysburg. Wounded soldiers were evacuated from the battlefields by rail to hospitals in both Harrisburg and Baltimore. The Northern Central was a target of the Confederate forces during the summer of 1863, with the railroad bridge over the Codorus Creek in Hanover Junction being destroyed, along with the turntable located in the yard. When rail service diminished in the latter half of the 20th century, the depot area of the town was abandoned. However, in 2003, the depot was fully restored and opened as a museum. Ten years later, trains started stopping again at Hanover Junction as Northern Central Railroad began regular operations.
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