NF-station-bw

  • Built in the mid 1860s by the Northern Central Railway from a standard railroad plan for a rural station at one and a half stories in height.
  • The station sits parallel to the tracks of the Northern Central Railway on the west side.
  • Due to increased traffic flow, the railroad rebuilt the station in about 1885 by adding a larger freight shed to the end of the station, and by 1910 the building was enlarged to its current size.
  • Originally, the station consisted of board and batten siding. Wainscoting and horizontal siding were added to the station’s exterior during the enlargement.
  • The freight service of the New Freedom Railroad Station created a supply of materials and products to fill the demands of the local merchants and craftsmen, and as a passenger station it provided access to the borough for outsiders.
  • Peddlers from York and Baltimore were the first to take advantage of the increased access. They traveled by rail to New Freedom and then rented wagons to visit the outlying areas to sell their wares.
  • Those attending the Sunday Methodist camp meetings at Summit Grove also passed through the station, beginning in the 1870s. At times, as many as ten thousand people traveled to and from Summit Grove. Currently the Summit is still active as the Summit Grove Christian Conference Center.
  • The station’s telegraph key signal was “NY.” The octagon tower that stood 2,585 feet south of the station had telegraph key signal letters “NF,” allowing the station and the tower to talk to each other about the flow of traffic through town. The concrete pad for this tower is still visible from the trail.
  • The New Freedom Borough is close to the midpoint between York and Baltimore and has the highest elevation along the Northern Central line at 827 feet above sea level. Until the 1930s, the railroad kept three “pusher” engines in New Freedom to assist heavily loaded freight trains up the steep grade.
  • From the 1840s into the 1920s, several presidential funeral trains passed through the New Freedom Station including William Henry Harrison (1841), Zachary Taylor (1850), Abraham Lincoln (1865) and Warren Harding (1923).
  • In the 1930s, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England passed through the New Freedom Station on a Royal Train touring the United States. A special train carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt followed the Royal Train.
  • Until the appearance of public telephone service, the building served as a passenger agency, freight agency, express agency, and telegraph office. Until the mid 1960s, New Freedom received mail service by train.
  • New Freedom lost passenger service as a stop in the mid 1960s and passenger trains were discontinued altogether on the Northern Central Railway on May 1, 1971.
  • Of all the railroad stations that once stood along the NCR, New Freedom is one of only four remaining stations. The other three are Hanover Junction, and the privately owned York and Seven Valley’s stations.
  • The New Freedom Train Station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in May of 1995.