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Home > Archives > "Autumn Express" crossing the Rockville Bridge, 2013.

"Autumn Express" crossing the Rockville Bridge, 2013.

Color digital image showing the first "Autumn Express" (departing and returning to Philadelphia) crossing the Susquehanna River; image dates to November 2, 2013.

"Autumn Express" crossing the Rockville Bridge, 2013.

On the weekend of November 2-3, 2013, Amtrak ran the first annual “Autumn Express” that traveled through southeastern Pennsylvania and northeastern Maryland. Gazing out the windows, passengers enjoyed a dazzling show of fall foliage. In addition to traveling over the Amtrak-owned Northeast Corridor and Keystone Corridor, the train made a special trip up the historic Port Road Branch along the Susquehanna River, a rail line that has not had regularly scheduled passenger service since 1978. On-board narration described the landscape and landmarks along the route.

Above, the train, led by P-42 No. 145, crosses the Susquehanna River over the Rockville Bridge. According to the Historic American Engineering Record, the Pennsylvania Railroad completed its first bridge over the river approximately six miles north of Harrisburg in 1849. It was subsequently replaced in 1877, and in 1902 with the present structure.

Although it appears to be built of solid stone, the Rockville Bridge actually has a concrete core with a sandstone exterior. More than a century after it opened to rail traffic, the bridge remains the world's longest of its type, at 3,791 feet with 48 arches. The Pennsylvanian (Pittsburgh-New York) is the only Amtrak passenger train to use the Rockville Bridge.

Photographer: Chuck Gomez for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.