Serving Customers from New Columbia to Winfield, Pa.
The present Union County Industrial Railroad extends twenve miles from its southern terminus at Winfield, Pa, through West Milton to New Columbia, Pa. This was Reading RR territory. At West Milton, the Reading’s “SS&L” (Shamokin, Sunbury & Lewisburg) line met its “Catawissa Railroad” which continued northward to Williamsport. The line from West Milton, through New Columbia to Newberry Jct at Williamsport, was part of the Reading’s longest and most lucrative haul, from the Port of Philadelphia to friendly western connections. The antecedent of this line was the Catawissa, Williamsport & Erie RR, which had been incorporated in 1829 as the Little Schuylkill & Susquehanna RR, but never reached Catawissa. The new CW&E RR in 1854 finished construction of the line as far west as Milton, Pa, where a connection was made with the Sunbury & Erie RR. For the next fifteen years, Williamsport was reached by operating its trains over the Sunbury & Erie. By 1860, the Catawissa, Williamsport & Erie RR had fallen under the influence of the Philadelphia & Reading RR (“the Reading”,) which reorganized the line as simply the Catawissa Railroad This company continued its separate existence until 1953, when it was merged into its parent. With the formation of Conrail in 1976, Williamsport-bound traffic was moved to the former PRR Buffalo Main and the “Catawissa route” was in large part abandoned. The remaining trackage was sold by Conrail in 1995, at which time the Union County Industrial RR was formed to operate the line.