Photos by ©Deb Schell / 2018 - Hike along Gravity Trail on April 18, 2018 -
History of the Gravity Railroad In 1889, the Mount Penn Gravity Railroad was built to provide scenic transportation on the mountainside to vacationers and local visitors on the 7½ mile long railway for a 20 cent ticket. The Gravity Railroad provided the excitement of a mountain ascent through the glen overlooking Mineral Spring Park, through Egelman’s Park, across Skyline Drive to the “summit” at the top of the mountain. The attraction at the summit was a stone dance pavilion known as the Tower Hotel. From the summit, a descent by gravity traveled 5 miles - over light grades, through groves, vineyards and mountain farms back to the station in Mineral Spring Park. For 33 years, the Gravity Railroad ran at regular ½ hour intervals throughout the summer. With the introduction of the automobile and the Prohibition Era, there was a decline of the local resorts and railroad. The devastating fire of the Tower Hotel on the evening of April 26, 1923, brought an end to the Gravity Railroad. Shortly thereafter, the railroad tracks were torn up and sold for scrap.
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