Newport & Sherman’s Valley Railroad

Blain Mile Post 25.4


A new era in travel came to western Perry County in the early 1890s in the form of a narrow gauge railroad known as the Newport & Sherman’s Valley Railroad (N&SVRR). Tracks were laid  29 miles from Newport to New Germantown. After crossing the four-arch stone bridge that straddled Blain Run, the first train rolled into the Blain station on January 18, 1892.

The four arch bridge, constructed 1891.

The railroad was a boon to such area businesses as the creamery, grain warehouse, planing mill, and, for a short time, even a knitting mill. Well-established stores and new specialty shops ordered their goods shipped by freight cars, and mail arrived by rail instead of stagecoach. Forest and farm products were conveyed to distant markets.  No doubt townspeople gathered to welcome the arrival in November 1918 of the nearly one-ton brass bell destined for the belfry of the Zion Reformed Church.

The train was a source of fascination for children. Almost every evening, some gathered at the station to see the lights of the coal-burning locomotive. Often, they put their ears to the rails to hear the train bearing down on western Perry County.

For almost 30 years, the N&SVRR carried passengers and freight to and from Blain twice a day.  However, by 1920, the N&SVRR was in financial difficulty due, in large part, to the advent of motorized vehicles. In 1921, the Susquehanna River & Western Railroad (SR&WRR) acquired the company. On the last day of 1928, the SR&WRR discontinued passenger operations. By the early 1930s all freight shipments ceased, and in 1934 the rails removed.

Over succeeding decades, the former depot served several purposes. In 1983, the Blain Lions Club purchased and restored the station, dedicating it in 1985 as a historical site for the community.

Today, the Blain train station remains a symbol of an age past, the only depot of the seventeen stations of the N&SVRR restored to its original condition.
Sponsored by Blain Lions Club, Sherman’s Valley Heritage Association, Smith’s Towing, Lightner’s Consignment Shop and Friends of the Community