History of the Palmyra Station
The Lebanon Valley Railroad Company was incorporated on April 1, 1836. The railroad was established to provide freight and passenger service between Reading and Harrisburg, Pa. Actual construction did not begin until 1853. The first train from Reading to Lebanon ran on June 30, 1857. The first train from Reading to Harrisburg ran on January 18, 1858.
The first Palmyra railroad station was built in 1857 on land donated by Martin Early. Built on the same location as the current station, the first station was a small wood-framed structure that contained a station agent's office, a waiting room and a freight department.
Later in 1858, the Lebanon Valley Railroad Company was acquired by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company and became the Lebanon Valley Branch of the P & R.
By 1910, the wooden station was no longer adequate to handle the increased demand for freight and passenger service, and construction was started on the current brick and limestone station building. The new station, constructed by H. F. Cieley and built at a cost of $12,000, was opened in May of 1911.
The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company became simply the Reading Company in 1923. The Reading Company became part of Conrail in 1976. The Norfolk Southern Railroad acquired the part of Conrail that included the Lebanon Valley Branch in 1999.
A decline in passenger service and loss of mail and Railway Express contracts in 1962 resulted in the termination of passenger service at the Palmyra station. With acquisition of the Reading Company by Conrail, the station was no longer needed for freight services and was closed and soon sold. The building and property were owned by a drywall company until 1979, by the Citizen's Fire Company #1 until 1985, by a beauty parlor and ice cream shop until 1996, by a basement waterproofing company until 2001, and currently by the Train Shop, a model train retailer and repair enterprise.
The building itself is about 85% original. It has its original high ceilings and much of its original woodwork. Obviously, the heating, plumbing and electrical systems have been updated and the roof has been replaced but there have been few other structural changes. It stands as an example of the quality of workmanship that characterized many commercial buildings of that era, and is one of the few such examples still in existence.