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Reviewing Lancaster Pennsylvania's Best

Transcribed from a plaque at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Located in Pennsylvania's Lancaster Amish Country

Cumberland Valley Combination Car

Builder: Cumberland Valley Railroad
Chambersburg Shops

  • Build Date: 1855
  • Retirement Date: 1909
  • Weight: 31,500 lbs.
  • Length: 43 ft. 1in.
  • PHMC Catalogue No. RR79.40.15

The Cumberland Valley Railroad:

Chartered in 1835, the Cumberland Valley was one of Pennsylvania's earliest railroads.  Its namesake valley provided a path for a right-of-way with few curves and easy grades from Harrisburg to Hagerstown, Maryland.  The railroad was an early success with many accomplishments to its name, including some of the first overnight sleeping cars in America.  The line also gained great strategic importance during the Civil War, shuttling troops and supplies towards the front lines in the South.  Several unconfirmed reports indicate that this car played a role in that effort.  The Cumberland Valley was merged into the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1919. 

While on loan to the Strasburg Railroad in the 1960's, the combine underwent an extensive restoration in an attempt to return it closer to its 1855 appearance.  It is seen here on display next to Pennsylvania M1b No. 6755.

The Cumberland Valley Combine on display at the Chicago Railroad's Fair in 1948-1949.  Note the Pennsylvania's keystone shaped exhibit board and the extra baggage-room window along the gallery.



CVRR Combination Car:

This car, a combination baggage car/ passenger coach, or "combine", was built by the Chambersburg Shops of the Cumberland Valley Railroad in 1855.  Its earliest history is shrouded in mystery.  It is a very unusual combine, since it incorporates a walkway alongside the baggage compartment; only a very few of these cars were to this style.  Structural evidence revealed in its most recent restoration suggests that the car was originally built as a standard coach or baggage car, with this gallery added at some later time. 

The car was used in revenue service until 1888, then assigned to maintenance-of-way trains until August 1909, when it was retired.  When the Cumberland Valley Railroad became a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad, this car was made part of its Historic Collection.  It was displayed at the New York World's Fair along with the Cumberland Valley locomotive "Pioneer", today in the collection of the Smithsonian.  Loaned to the Strasburg Rail Road for exhibition in 1960 by the Pennsylvania, the car was transferred to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in 1979.


In a Pennsylvania Railroad Publicity photo, the Cumberland Valley Combine is seen with the steam locomotive Pioneer built for the CV in 1850 and currently in the collection of the Smithsonian. 

The interior of the combine is plain but accommodating. 

This car is believed to be the fourth oldest passenger car in the U.S.  



Kitchen Kettle Village

Red Caboose Motel

Strasburg Railroad

Railroad Museum of PA

Linvilla Orchards

West Chester Railroad

Bird In Hand Village

Peaceful Valley Amish Furniture

Knoebels Amusement Park





Find The Railroad Museum of PA on Google Maps

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
300 Gap Road
Strasburg, PA 17579
Tel: 717 687-8628

External Links to information about Railroad Museum of PA:



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