This company's charter was granted on October 6, 1882, to "J. C. Fuller, Jay Cooke, John M. Butler, Jay Cooke, Jr., R. J. Woodward, Spencer Ervin, Charles D. Barney, Wm. H. Woodward, and Daniel King." The 22 mile initial route by Professor Ambrose E. Lehman had been surveyed into Gettysburg along Rock Creek on January 12, 1882, but the mainline was instead completed into the west side of the borough along Oak Ridge. The passenger schedules expanded from three to seven stations between Hunter's Run and Gettysburg from April 21 to July 3, 1884; with the former identifying the Pine Grove station off the mainline and the latter similarly adding "Laurel" ("Table Rock" was added by May 25, 1885).
Groundbreaking was on April 18, 1883, and grading had been started by June 20 and completed in October, except for December grading of the Gettysburg roundhouse lot on the north side of the "Tapeworm" right-of-way. Tracklaying had begun on August 20, 1883; the 1st train arrived February 26, 1884 and scheduled passenger service began April 21, 1884.
The first Gettysburg excursion train to Pine Grove Park was on May 28, 1884. Two additional G. & H. R. R. stations were south of Gettysburg for excursions on the Round Top Branch; which had been surveyed by July 14, 1882; had begun construction by May 1884; and had started operations in June 1884. Beginning with the 1884 Camp Gettysburg, the Round Top Branch supported various Gettysburg Battlefield camps after the American Civil War such as the 1918 Camp Colt.
The Reading Railroad took control of the Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad on May 22, 1891.