Moving Eastward

           

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Moving Eastward

In 1860 PRR aquired interests in the Cumberland Calley Railroad from Harrisburg to Hagerstown Maryland, and the Northern Central Railway from Baltimore through Harrisburg to Sanbury Pennsylvania. Pennsy expanded into the Nothwestern portion of its native state by aquiring an interest in the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad in 1862 and helping that road complete its line from Sanbury to Erie. A portion of thatline came to serve as part of a freight route with easy grades. The rest of the frieght route was the Allegheny Valley Railroad, conceived as a feeder from Pittsburgh to the New York Central and the Erie Railroads. PRR obtained control of the AVR and in 1874 opened a low-grade Harrisburg-Pittsburgh route to the north of the Main Line via the valleys of the Susquehanna and the Allegheny rivers.

Although it was a Philadelphia company the PRR could not ignore the growing city and port of New York. In 1871 PRR leased several New Jersey rail and canal companys, aquiring lines northeast to Jersey City, south to Cape May, and north along the Delaware River to Belvidere. To reach Washington D.C., the PRR bought the dormant charter of the Baltimore and Poptomac and built a branch from the B&P at Bowie to Washington, which opened in 1872. Congress authorized the PRR to extend its line through Washington to connect with railroads in Virginia.

A direct Philadelphia-Baltimore route was established by means of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore. The PRR began through service between Jersey City and Washington via the PW&B and B&P in 1873. The PW&B also included lines down the Delmarva Penninsula that were later extended under PRR aspects to Cape Charles Virginia.

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