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Railroad provided help after Antietam battle

May 05, 2006|by BILL KNODE / Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum
(Page 2 of 2)

The Franklin Railroad became the Cumberland Valley Railroad. In the 1870s, it built a roundhouse off Church Street in the Maryland Metals area. A freight station was built on Church Street; it is now a part of the Rescue Mission. A large passenger station was constructed on Walnut Street, between West Washington Street and Green Lane (now West Antietam Street). The station's dining room could accommodate both train riders and locals. The station was shared with the Norfolk and Western Railroad, and connections could be made with a train arriving from Roanoke, Va., to continue on to Philadelphia, New York or Chicago.

The Cumberland Valley was absorbed by the Pennsylvania Railroad and the north/south line was extended to Winchester, Va. The N&W entered Hagerstown from the south. The B&O came in from the southeast and southwest. In the early part of the 20th century, the WM extended its rails to Cumberland, Connelsville, Pa., and the coal fields of West Virginia. The WM moved the corporate headquarters to its new passenger station between Franklin and Washington Streets and completed the roundhouse complex in the 1920s.

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The WM also extended its tracks north to connect with the Reading railroad near Harrisburg, Pa. The railroads made Hagerstown a transportation hub. The N&W from the south, the Pennsylvania from the north and south, the B&O from the east and west, and the Western Maryland from the east, west and north were the spokes of a 100-mile circle and Hagerstown was at the hub.

In the 20th century, Hagerstown became known as "The Hub City."




To learn more about Washington County's history, join the third annual Museum Ramble May 6 and 7, sponsored by the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau. For information or directions, call the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 301-791-3246, the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites at 301-733-3638 or visit www.marylandmemories.com.

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