The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Society was founded in 1986 to preserve the heritage of the renowned and historic "Ma & Pa" Railroad. Our goal is to promote an appreciation for the fundamental role the railroad played in the culture and development of the region and in the daily life of the communities it served.
As the first step in pursuit of this goal, the Society acquired eight miles of Ma & Pa track and right-of-way from Laurel to Bridgeton through the scenic Muddy Creek Valley in southern York County, Pennsylvania. This last surviving eight mile segment of the original mainline was literally saved from the scrap heap as the track was being abandoned and is now being rebuilt to operating condition.
To complement this project, the Society has also acquired and is restoring original Ma & Pa rolling stock, including one of the last remaining four wheel "bobber" cabooses.
In 1992, the Society's historical charter expanded dramatically with the acquisition of much of the bucolic hamlet of Muddy Creek Forks. Included were the turn-of -the-century general store (which also served as the railroad deport and post office, a mill and grain elevator complex, and ancillary buildings. These well preserved buildings, little changed over the decades, represent a true slice of rural America in the early twentieth century. The Society has begun a caring restoration of the village, its eleven structures and thirty-one acres of land. The village will eventually serve as a educational museum to help visitors interpret life on the Ma & Pa and in the territory it traversed.
Other initiatives of the Society include compiling an archive of historic records and photographs which document the history of the railroad and the communities of the region. To supplement written journals, an oral history project was established to chronicle the recollections of individuals associated with the railroad and residents of the area. Finally, we are engaged in a number of public service ventures, the most prominent of which is the annual stocking of trout in Muddy Creek.
In 1996, the Society entered into a partnership with the York County Government to assure the continued progress of our efforts into the 21st century. The Society voted to transfer the property to the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Preservation Authority, an independent authority of the York County government, which by its charter is bound to use these assets for historic preservation and educational purposes. The Authority and Society have entered into an operating agreement under which the Society is responsible for restoration and management of the properties.
We are working to rehabilitate and maintain the track so that passenger excursion trains can be run and to restore the buildings so that visitors will be able to experience what life was like in rural York County in the early 1900's. Obviously, these are major undertakings that require money and talent.
We are continually seeking individuals who want to help.
You may contact Craig Sansonetti - Ma&Pa RR Preservation Society