Old Baltimore tunnel an intriguing reminder of the ‘Ma’ in Ma & Pa Railroad

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George W. Hilton’s “The Ma & Pa” is the historical bible of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad. Here, the cover photo shows Motor 62 on the Stirrup Run Trestle, north of Hornberger’s in northern Maryland in 1947. Ma & Pa Railroad, Muddy Creek Forks draw fans and Old Ma & Pa Railroad trestle may again carry passengers – on bicyles – some day and York arch turns out to be one big old sewer line

The Ma & Pa Railroad is such an intriguing historical attraction in York County that it’s easy to forget that Maryland is part of its name – that the line has a busy past south of the border.
Baltimore Sun writer Jacques Kelly provided a reminder in a Jan. 18 piece about the re-use of the former Ma & Pa tunnel in Charm City.
For more information on the Ma & Pa Railroad, click here.


He wrote about a friend who had been taken on a tour of the 29th Street tunnel under Sisson Street.
“Constructed between 1926 and 1927, this passage is 160 feet long, 30 feet wide and was once used by passenger and freight trains of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, that wonderful little steam railroad that wound through Stony Run Valley, Roland Park, Woodbrook, Rodgers Forge, Towson, Glen Arm, Fallston and Bel Air and ended at York, Pa.,” he wrote.
The city filled in the then-unused tunnel in the construction of the Jones Falls Expressway.
Contractors cleaned out the tunnel and are using it as passageway for a sewer pipe instead of excavating an underground route from scratch.
“The Ma & Pa Railroad has a devoted fan club, and its members have preserved its memory along with maps and photos of this tunnel, which was constructed for the railroad by the city and its engineers when they extended 29th Street and bridged the Jones Falls Valley in the 1920s and 1930s,” he wrote.
Those old tunnels.
Reminds one of the re-use of the old Sideling Hill Pennsylvania Turnpike tunnel now used as by bike riders in Fulton County.
And in York County, the never-closed Howard Tunnel now primarily serves as a passageway for rail trail users.
Anyway, it’s rewarding to be reminder of the “Ma” in Ma & Pa.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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