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5.16.2017

Lewistown Station: Oldest Pennsylvania Railroad Station

Lewistown, PA is home to the oldest known structure built by the Pennsylvania Railroad. This quaint building in Mifflin County dates back to 1849 and is located on the old Pennsylvania Railroad Main Line. The line west of Harrisburg now serves as a Norfolk Southern Line, and the line is leased to Amtrak for its daily usage. This section of the line gets two daily passenger trains, with one heading westbound to Huntingdon, Tyrone, Altoona, Johnstown, Greensburg, Latrobe, and ending in Pittsburgh, and the other heading eastbound to Harrisburg, Elizabethtown, Lancaster, Exton, Paoli, Philadelphia, Trenton, and eventually ending in New York City. 

Historically in regards to the Pennsylvania Railroad, Lewistown was the railroad's gateway to the west. From Lewistown, the railroad would largely follow the route of the old Pennsylvania Main Line Canal west through Pittsburgh. Additionally, Lewistown would serve as a junction point with several other short line railroads. Lewistown is also the closest train stop to State College and Penn State University, located only 30 miles north of the station.
This old depot is magnificent and it gives a great glimpse into what railroad stations looked like in small cities along PRR mainline. It is also a labor of love, operated exclusively by volunteers who appreciate the heritage and history of the railroad and region. The station serves as a sort of operating museum, with all sorts of artifacts from the old days of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society maintains archives at the old depot.
A small railyard is operated adjacent to the station.
In my opinion, the most comfortable way to travel is by way of train. Lewistown has the added benefit of offering completely free parking to travelers.
Lewistown Station is a special place that you definitely need to check out, especially if you are into railroading.

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