The Middle Division

The Middle Division

Part of the original Pennsylvania Railroad line chartered in 1846, the scenic Middle Division connected with the Philadelphia Division in the town of Marysville. Though this route roughly follows the original mainline, a series of capital improvements under the direction of PRR President Alexander J. Cassatt changed the railroad landscape in the early 1900’s.  Under Chief Engineer William H. Brown the Middle Division evolved to become a water level route once four tracks wide, with a grade-separated right of way and many stone arch bridges.

Freight on the Middle Division was diverse ranging from steel, agriculture, minerals, manufacturing and interchange traffic at various locations.  Coal carriers such as the East Broad Top Railroad and the Huntingdon & Broad Top Mountain provided access to reserves of local high-quality semi-bituminous coal.

West of Huntingdon the mainline traverses a remote path following the Juniata through rolling terrain and tiny hamlets such as Warrior Ridge and Petersburg. Here, the Juniata splits; the mainline follows the Little Juniata along the rugged path through Spruce Creek, Birmingham, and Tyrone Forge while the Petersburg Branch follows the Frankstown Branch, along with the original canal path of the State Works to Hollidaysburg. The industrial center of Tyrone provided traffic and connections to the Northern Division and Clearfield Coalfields via the Bald Eagle Branch.

Altoona, the western end of the Middle Division, was a busy operation and considered the heart of the PRR. The Juniata Shops constructed new locomotives, performed rebuilds, and running repairs, while also host to extensive research and development facilities throughout the steam and diesel era. The sprawling Altoona Yards operated around the clock sorting freight and building trains. Unique to the Altoona Terminal was its role as the eastern base for helper operations for the brief but steep climb west over the Alleghenies via Horseshoe Curve on the Pittsburgh Division. 

 

 Susquehanna River, Marysville, Pennsylvania 

Susquehanna River, Marysville, Pennsylvania 

 North Market Street, Duncannon, Pennsylvania

North Market Street, Duncannon, Pennsylvania

 Mainline Looking West, Mifflin, Pennsylvania 

Mainline Looking West, Mifflin, Pennsylvania 

 Passenger Station, Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Passenger Station, Mifflin, Pennsylvania

 Rail Yard , Lewistown Junction, Pennsylvania

Rail Yard , Lewistown Junction, Pennsylvania

 Monument Square, Lewistown, Pennsylvania

Monument Square, Lewistown, Pennsylvania

 Juniata River, Mount Union, Pennsylvania 

Juniata River, Mount Union, Pennsylvania 

 East Broad Top Interchange, Mount Union, Pennsylvania

East Broad Top Interchange, Mount Union, Pennsylvania

 Dual-gauge Interchange, Mount Union, Pennsylvania

Dual-gauge Interchange, Mount Union, Pennsylvania

 Jacks Narrows, near Mapleton, Pennsylvania 

Jacks Narrows, near Mapleton, Pennsylvania 

 Mapleton, Pennsylvania 

Mapleton, Pennsylvania 

 Juniata River near Mill Creek, Pennsylvania  

Juniata River near Mill Creek, Pennsylvania  

 Juniata River Valley, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 

Juniata River Valley, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 

 Train Station, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 

Train Station, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 

 Clearing Fog, Huntington, Pennsylvania 

Clearing Fog, Huntington, Pennsylvania 

 Original Mainline over Standing Stone Creek, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 

Original Mainline over Standing Stone Creek, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 

 Stone Quarry near Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania 

Stone Quarry near Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania 

 Mainline Looking West, Tyrone, Pennsylvania 

Mainline Looking West, Tyrone, Pennsylvania 

 Lincoln Highschool, Tyrone, Pennsylvania 

Lincoln Highschool, Tyrone, Pennsylvania 

 Eigth Street Bridge, Altoona, Pennsylvania 

Eigth Street Bridge, Altoona, Pennsylvania 

 Green Avenue, Looking West, Altoona, pennsylvania 

Green Avenue, Looking West, Altoona, pennsylvania 

 Mainline Looking West, Altoona, Pennsylvania 

Mainline Looking West, Altoona, Pennsylvania