About the Susquehannock

Pennsylvania Railroad Train No. 632 “THE SUSQUEHANNOCK”

Who/What is the Susquehannock?

The name Susquehannock appears to have originated as an Algonquin name meaning the “people of the  Muddy River” (Susquehanna). Their territory ranged along the Susquehanna River and its branches from the  north end of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland across Pennsylvania into southern New York, very much the area  encompassed by our division.

In the early 1900’s the Pennsylvania Railroad chose to name its passenger train which ran from Williamsport to  Philadelphia “The Susquehannock.”  Looking at consist lists the April 28, 1957 edition gives the consist as:

  • (1)  B60, Mail-Baggage-Express Messenger
  • (1) P70CGSR, Coach
  • (1) PL, Parlor Car – Buffet (10 Table seats and 24  Coach Seats)

On the trip to Philadelphia the B60 was dropped there and the Coach and Parlor Car were  attached to train #604. And on the return trip #605 The Coach and Parlor Car were added to the B60 for the  remainder of the trip to Williamsport.

A three car passenger train – sounds like a perfect prototype train to  model! But why would the Pennsy name a three car passenger train? My only conjecture is that they were  catering to the crowd that lived along “Millionaires Row” in Williamsport. These “nabobs” did a lot of business  with the Pennsy and needed to be pampered. Also, let’s be honest, it sounds more impressive when writing  to someone that I’ll be taking The Susquehannock to Philadelphia rather than train #528.

The more we explored the name the more it applied to our event. The connection between our name “Susquehannock” and our being the Susquehanna Division is obvious. The PRR route was from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, then on to Williamsport following the Susquehanna River, thus specifically designed to service the area our division  services.