April 13, 2002 - Rockville Excursion by the
National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) - Harrisburg Chapter



A Special Train Sponsored by the Harrisburg Chapter, National Railway Historical Society,
to Celebrate the Centennial of the Rockville Bridge

The Harrisburg Chapter, National Railway Historical Society is sponsoring a chartered train excursion to recognize the 100th anniversary of the completion of the world-famous Rockville Bridge. The trip will leave the Harrisburg Transportation Center (Amtrak station) at 7:30 am on April 13, 2002 and return at approximately 3:00 pm. The train' route goes east from Harrisburg through scenic Lancaster County farmland and continues to downtown Philadelphia, where the train will enter Amtrak’s high speed Northeast Corridor toward Wilmington, DE. After a swift run down the Corridor to Perryville, MD, we will turn north onto Norfolk Southern freight-only trackage and travel along the banks of the Susquehanna River through several tunnels and the Borough of Columbia. North of there, the train will cross the Susquehanna for the first time on Shocks Mill Bridge, entering York County. We will proceed on the west bank of the river and pass through Enola Yard, where we can observe the recently-reconstructed hump yard. The highlight of the trip will come near the end as the chartered train crosses the Susquehanna River a second time, this crossing on the renowned Rockville Bridge, before a quick return to the station in Harrisburg.

Other special features of this excursion include the use of a pair of beautifully-restored E8 locomotives owned by the Juniata Terminal Company and wearing new paint in their original Pennsylvania Railroad scheme. Numbers 5711 and 5809 were built in the 1950's for the Pennsylvania Railroad and also were used to power Conrail's executive train. There will be coach seating available for $85 per seat, which includes a box lunch and beverage. In addition, there will be 48 first-class seats offered on two privately-owned, restored business cars at $250 per seat. First class service will include a meal served in grand railroad tradition on linens and china. As an added attraction, it is planned to sell commemorative T-shirts and other souvenir items noting this memorable occasion on the train.

Parking is available near the Harrisburg Station on nearby streets (no meters on weekend) or in the Chestnut Street Parking Garage, Fourth and Chestnut Sts. (across Fourth St. from the station).


The Rockville Limited excursions were completed successfully on April 13 and 14, 2002. Over 1,500 passengers were accommodated in private cars and coaches during two days of trips. The Harrisburg Chapter received many compliments on the trips. For the successful operation, the Chapter is indebted to Amtrak, Norfolk Southern, Juniata Terminal Company, the private car owners, the Lancaster Chapter NRHS and the many Harrisburg Chapter members who helped in countless ways. We especially want to mention member Walter Koob of Walter's Fine Foods for the preparation of all the lunches. The winners of the two on-board raffles were: Tim Adams, Sr. of Wiconisco, PA (the Lionel Trainset) and Sally Mullen of Duncannon, PA (the E8 print). Thanks to all who supported the raffle.

Handout (.pdf)

Click on thumbnails below for larger picture.  All photos copyright Bill Knecich.

Interior shot of private car Greenwich Harbor
Entering Enola Yard, with loaded coal train on left
On approach to Rockville Bridge, with private car Kitchi Gammi Club ahead and PRR E8's 5809 and 5711 on point
Out on the Rockville Bridge
Leaving the Bridge, crossing over Front Street in Harrisburg
Looking rearward along train, with 11 Amtrak cars and two private cars at end
Entering Harrisburg Yard