1896 – 1912
Everything has a beginning. The Hagerstown & Frederick Railway began in 1896 as two seperate companies: The Hagerstown Railway and the Frederick & Middletown Railway.
The Hagerstown company also formed subsidiaries branching out of Hagerstown while the Frederick & Middletown operated various ventures in Frederick County under various names.
By December of 1904, a connection had been made over the mountain from the Hagerstown & Boonsboro route to the Frederick system’s western terminus at Myersville. Service between the cities had begun. During the next year rumors of something much bigger began as a group of investors purchased the Frederick & Middletown Railway and began talk of turning it in to a high-speed heavy freight main line between Baltimore & Cumberland.
In 1908 those rumors died as the Frederick & Middletown was once again a locally managed company now headed by Middletown banker Emory Coblentz. Mr. Coblentz himself had a great vision for the company and in December of 1909 merged with the Washington, Frederick & Gettysburg Railway (that company itself having purchased the Monocacy Valley Railroad a few years earlier) to form the Frederick Railroad.
Over the next two years Coblentz oversaw a massive infrastructure investment replacing stations, facilities, power systems and rail yards as well as taking the route of the steam powered WF&G and turning it in to a fully electric powered system and retiring the company’s steam locomotives.