The Manheim Transportation and Industrial Museum
GPS Coordinates: 40.158182, -76.392222
210 S. Charlotte St, 17545
Access by train/transit:
Closest service by rail is Amtrak in Lancaster PA, approx 8 miles away.
Manheim is about 10 miles or so north of Lancaster on Rt 72, and is (kinda) famous
for the car auctions held here.
But there is a little known museum in town: The Manheim
Transportation and Industrial Museum. It is housed in
an old Pennsylvania Railroad depot.
This depot was built in 1881. It is of Victorian architecture and is 32
x 85 feet. It is believed to have been designed by the renowned RR
architect Frank Furness, who designed many of the Readings depots of the
period, as well as the Aberdeen B&O and Riderwood
Northern Central depots, featured elsewhere on this website. The
building is unique in that the roof supports are cantilevered, in other
words, the end of the roof supports do not rest upon the weight
bearing outer walls directly. The inside of the depot has had
little done to it except for a new floor. On the "lower"
floor, there is a separate men's and women's waiting room.
The last passenger train to come thru was on November 5th, 1950.....
there is still one freight a day, but only goes as far east as Lititz.
The exhibits are very well done, and a few are shown below.
For the signal fan, they have a single head PRR style PL signal at the west
end of the property, and a train order signal that is NOT located on or
above the building. Inside, there are two actuating levers not unlike
those used for interlocking. Outside, wood still covers where the throw
rods traveled, altho it appears they have been removed. Judging from
the casting number on the spectacle, it looks like it's a US&S model
with a wooden blade, with red, (faded) yellow, and green lenses. There
are no lamps, and in the configuration it is in, would have required two
lamps for lighting at night. They also have a unique "train
on branch" sign, which operates like a semaphore, but is locked in the
"displayed" position..... pretty cool!
Last but not least, they have a surviving Lancaster streetcar, powered and
operating no less!
Also, just to the north of Manheim is the PA Renaissance Faire, more info
on it is below, check it out if you have never been before, great stuff!!!
The first map is of the central southern area of Pennsylvania, and where towns are in relation
to each other. The yellow/green dot is where the PA Renaissance Faire is (right off of the PA
Turnpike at exit 266 / Mt Hope), and below it is Manheim on PA 72.
The map below is a detail of Manheim, and below that, a wide shot of the branch coming "up"
from Lancaster, including a small bridge and one of the business' the line services.
The above map from Bing shows the line from Lancaster to Lititz via Manheim.
Being a Pennsy PL signal, it is not native to this line since this was a Reading line.
It was installed at the museum long after the station was used for such purposes.
A typical rod operated lower quadrant train order semaphore.
The "Train on Branch" signal was probably the one previously used at
Lancaster Junction. After the tracks were placed out of service and
pulled, Lancaster Junction was no longer a junction point and trains went
straight through to Lancaster's Reading Station by way of Dillerville yard.
The text highlighted in blue comes from Curt M. of Manheim, who also provided
me with the pictures below of the wye. Thanks Curt!
Just east of Manheim station was a water tower (red sandstone bottom half
still standing) at what was "Joint Line Junction" which connected
to the Cornwall Railroad. Their right of way (before it became part of the
Reading) passed to the rear of the mansion house which is now the center
of "Renaissance Faire." Those tracks continued through Cornwall
Boro skirting the great open pit mine and crossing underneath the PRR branch
line which it (Cornwall RR) paralleled to the city of Lebanon.
The Wye in Manheim is the only one in this area. Just behind me on the
East end of the East leg of the wye, there used to be a single head
searchlight signal but no trace of it remains. Same picture but
ahead and to the left used to be a shed housing a hand crank phone which,
I assume, was to contact the station operator in Manheim in the event of a
Above is a view looking east across the bridge that is in the lower left
hand corner of the aerial picture above.
What's left of the water tower.
Looking west towards the station from the water tower.
Looking west towards downtown Manheim at Oak St.
Switch stand adjacent to Oak St.
Looking east towards Lititz from the wye.
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
The PA Faire is held August thru October, usually the last
weekend. Among Renfaires, they are one of the best (IMHO). Queen
Elizabeth is the centerpiece of the Faire's attractions, and they always seem to
find an excellent girl to play the part. On the last day of the Faire,
they have a most excellent presentation on the stage by the pirate ship, which
lasts about 2 - 2 1/2 hours compared to the normal one hour, for they bring back
acts that have performed over the whole run.
They also have things, stuff, and events going on all year
long, with a special Dicken's show before Christmas, which is always sold out!
If you are into wine (I'm not), people tell me the wines
produced at the Mt. Hope Winery are very good, and they usually offer a deal on
a case, with additional discounts on the last day of the Faire.
The Faire is located at the green/yellow circle on the map
at the top of the page.
Courtesy of the University of Texas Library, click here for
their index page.
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while
trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.