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Conrail Pittston Yards
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NS3360
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Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« on: Nov 4th, 2004, 2:56pm »
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Before the R&N took over operations, what trains ran out of the Pittston Yards in Pittston, Pa? This yard even has a turntable and enginehouse and looks like it was a busy place. Anyone have any pictures of Conrail at Pittston?

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RN-16
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #1 on: Nov 4th, 2004, 3:54pm »
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on Nov 4th, 2004, 2:56pm, NS3360 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Before the R&N took over operations, what trains ran out of the Pittston Yards in Pittston, Pa? This yard even has a turntable and enginehouse and looks like it was a busy place. Anyone have any pictures of Conrail at Pittston?

 
Bryan,
I'm not all too certain anything ran out of Pittston Yard. The Lehigh Line wasn't too heavy on CR traffic and mainly the only trains that ran on it where the ALCN and CNAL also the few locals that ran out of Allentown. (Of course the D&H 555/556/557/558 ran on the Lehigh.) Proctor and Gamble in Mehoopany was probably serviced by CR at Mehoopany instead of a job out of Pittston. But then again the "Back Valley" needed shifting but I believe that was up to the D&H to handle.
 
As for the Roundhouse and Turntable that was part of the Ex-Lehigh Valley Coxton Yard. By the looks of the place it don't show as Conrail using it much. R.M. Delevan came about during the R&N takeover and they continue to run it today.
 
Most likely I am incorrect but these are my assumptions as to what Pittston was like.
 
-Jeff


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NS3360
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #2 on: Nov 4th, 2004, 4:11pm »
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Yeah I know the Conrail Lehigh Line was light on traffic but looking at it and the turntable/enginehouse I thought it was a busier place. There's more traffic now on the R&N than in CR days- that's a fact.

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RN-16
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #3 on: Nov 4th, 2004, 4:33pm »
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You can say that again. Also, we can't forget that the Vosburg Tunnel was one of the main reasons as to why CR sold the Northern part of the Lehigh Line. That is another negative impact to traffic on the line. By the Tunnel being in bad shape it prevented trains running between Mehoopany and Pittston so traffic would have been light in that area.
 
-Jeff


« Last Edit: Nov 4th, 2004, 4:35pm by RN-16 » Logged

F3_4_me
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #4 on: Nov 4th, 2004, 4:36pm »
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Those thru trains were ALCG and CGAL.  Allentown to Corning, NY, and back.  They were very heavy on glass sand going 'north' (west) and it was one of these trains, dragging a heavy load on the ties, that took Trk #1 out of service through the Gorge.  It wasn't until the R&N came along that anything was done.  
 
I don't know when the Line began to lose through trains, but I do know from reading Big Mike's articles, there was ALCL (Allentown to Cleveland, OH) until the late 80's and also road freights made pickups and setouts at Mehoopany.  Also, Charmin had a Conrail 'station agent' until the 80's also.  
 
The yard 'never got any maintenance' in the words of many folks familiar with it.  Whether or not the Roundhouse was ever used by Conrail, I don't know.  I do know that a better facility was at Scranton on the EL, and I've seen pix of the Sayre Big Hook at Scranton after Conrail began ops.  
 
  Mike


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RN-16
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #5 on: Nov 4th, 2004, 4:37pm »
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Was just browsing around the net after I previously posted and found an old video made by Norm Weiler Railroad Videos from CR in the Northeast. One part mentioned is about CR running up the Lehigh Line to Pittston. If you would like to check out the video please visit: http://nwrailroadvideos.com/rrvid12.html.
 
-Jeff


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NS3360
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #6 on: Nov 4th, 2004, 4:56pm »
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on Nov 4th, 2004, 4:36pm, F3_4_me wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Those thru trains were ALCG and CGAL.  Allentown to Corning, NY, and back.

 
I did a web search on ALCG and found a pic on RailPictures.net passing Penobscott
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=33388
 


« Last Edit: Nov 4th, 2004, 4:57pm by NS3360 » Logged

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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #7 on: Nov 5th, 2004, 7:06pm »
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- Coxton Yard, once the bustling center of activity for the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the source of employment for thousands of Wyoming Valley residents during its more than a century of operation, no longer exists under its familiar name and no longer boasts the railroad grandeur it possessed during the first half of the 20th century, according to Richard Cosgrove of the Citizens' Voice.  
Coxton Yard is now known as the Pittston Yard and it serves the Reading and Northern Railroad, a 20-year-old carrier serving nine counties in Eastern Pennsylvania. The railroad is headquartered in Port Clinton, near Reading.  
 
The Lehigh Valley Railroad, which dates back to April 21, 1846, looked to the Wyoming Valley for expansion in its early days and began laying track from White Haven to Wilkes-Barre in early November 1866.  
 
Opening day was highlighted by an excursion to Wilkes-Barre on May 29, 1867. By the fall of 1867, the LVRR had extended its trackage to a connection with the Lackawanna and Bloomsburg Railroad at Pittston.  
 
The connection was known as the L&B Junction and later, as Pittston Junction.  
 
By 1869, the line was intact through Tunkhannock and Towanda, all the way to Waverly. By 1870 it was obvious a bigger yard was needed in the Wyoming Valley.  
 
A large yard was built on a wedge-like slope, which encompassed more than 1,300 acres of land at the foot of Campbell's Ledge, a legendary upper Wyoming Valley landmark in Duryea Borough. As freight increased, a hump was built in the yard to classify freight shipments.  
 
In 1871, an engine house was built and was later replaced in 1909 by a concrete roundhouse allowing the LVRR to close its Wilkes-Barre shops in 1914.  
 
A turntable was installed. An ash track, a caboose track, a sand track, a fuel track, a scale house, a classification yard, a power house to distribute electricity for the yard, and a YMCA to house the railroad crews laying over between runs were all constructed. Miles of parallel tracks were installed in the yard, including the main line.  
 
These two sets of tracks were the railroad's main line on which eastbound and westbound trains traveled. The main line tracks were the primary exit and entrance to the yard for both freight and passenger service.  
 
The passenger trains ran from New City to Buffalo, N.Y., daily. The LVRR's crack passenger trail was the famous Black Diamond . Others included the Asa Packer and the Maple Leaf. A fourth, the John Wilkes, originated at Coxton Yard and began its daily trek to New York City with Pittston and Wilkes-Barre as its first two stops. It made 20 stops over a 4 hour and 20 minute journey to New York City.  
 
It made its final run on Feb. 3, 1961. The famed Black Diamond's final run was on May 18, 1959.  
 
Most of the eastbound freight trains ran through Coxton and on to Lehighton and Newark via the Mountain Cutoff, which was constructed in 1887 to alleviate the horrendous 1.8 percent grade over Penobscot Mountain on the main line. The cutoff saved the trains six miles of travel and lessened the grade to a maximum grade of 1.2 percent from Coxton to Mountaintop via Duryea, Avoca, and Pittston Township.  
 
The passenger trains used the mainline through Pittston and Wilkes-Barre.  
 
Coal trains that came from the Bowman's Creek and West Pittston branches used the Coxton Bridge, which crossed over the Susquehanna River at Forest Castle in Exeter, entering the yard near the roundhouse.  
 
The New York, Ontario & Western Railroad came into Coxton via the Austin Branch.  
 
In 1945, the LVRR's first road freight diesels arrived and by 1955, a diesel shop was built alongside the roundhouse. All but seven stalls were sold to the National Paper Company to be used as a storage facility.  
 
The diesel shop is currently occupied by R. M. Delevan Inc. and used for the repair of diesel engines and railroad cars.  
 
After World War II, the anthracite coal industry began a decline and the death knell for deep mining in Wyoming Valley was sounded by the Knox Mine Disaster in Port Griffith in Jenkins Township.  
 
On Jan. 22, 1959, the Susquehanna River came pouring through the Knox Mine entombing 12 men and closing the mines in the valley.  
 
As the anthracite coal traffic dwindled and there were fewer shipments at the yard, the Coxton hump was closed in 1965. After the Charmin Paper Company constructed a plant in Mehoopany, the westbound yard at Coxton became a storage yard for empty boxcars needed by the paper firm to load outbound carloads of paper products.  
 
In 1976, the era of the Lehigh Valley Railroad ended and Conrail took over all operations in the northeast area of Pennsylvania.  
 
In 1978, Conrail changed the name of Coxton Yard to Pittston Yard. This was done to avoid confusion with the former Erie-Lackawanna Croxton Yard in Secaucus, N.Y.  
 
It combined the former Erie-Lackawanna and the Lehigh Valley operations at Coxton Yard. The decline of the railroad continued through the 1980s and early 1990s and the yard tracks were allowed to gradually deteriorate through lack of maintenance.  
 
By 1996, there were no longer any through freights into the Pittston Yard. Only three locals remained, a job to Scranton, a job to Crestwood and a connection to Allentown.  
 
Coxton Yard was the focus of attention from beyond the Wyoming Valley in 1928, when Charles Lindberg made an emergency landing on a lot about a quarter of a mile east of the railroad yard. The famous aviator's unscheduled arrival in the Pittston Junction section of Pittston City attracted attention from around the area.  
 
Meanwhile, Lindbergh was hustled off to the YMCA at Coxton and was taken on a ride on one of the railroad's most powerful steam locomotives. He rode in the cab of the engine as far as Mountaintop and was then returned to Coxton. He said it was his first ride in the cab of a steam locomotive. The aviator stayed overnight at the YMCA and resumed his flight the next day.  
 
In August 1996, The Reading & Northern Railroad purchased the "Middle Lehigh Line," which runs from Lehighton to Mehoopany.  
 
A rail yard which not too long ago seemed doomed to extinction is once again busy with freight traffic.  
 
There are four train crews affiliated with the yard utilizing seven operating tracks at the east end and 13 at the west end with the two original main lines in service.  
 
Three crews converge at the yard and distribute cars to storage tracks and various industries as well as connecting with the Luzerne & Susquehanna and Delaware Lackawanna short lines serving many of the former Wyoming Valley branch lines in the area. The Reading and Northern also handle trains meeting the Norfolk Southern at Mehoopany at the westerly end of its line and the Norfolk Southern at its easterly end at Reading.  
 
The Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad began serving customers in 1983 on the company's original 13-mile shoreline connecting Temple to Hamburg.  
 
In 1990, the railroad purchased another 130 miles of track known as the Reading Cluster from Conrail. The trackage extends along the Schuylkill River Valley from Reading to the heart of the Anthracite coal fields in Schuylkill County.  
 
The railroad expanded further in 1996 when it began operating the Lehigh Division, which comprised of more than 100 miles of former Lehigh Valley Railroad trackage from Lehighton westward to Mehoopany in Wyoming County.  
 
The Lehigh Division also provides a shortcut for the Canadian Pacific Railroad, using trackage rights for access to Philadelphia and New York City.  
 
(This appeared in the Citizens' Voice Aug. 25, 2003)  


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irn750

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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #8 on: Nov 6th, 2004, 8:09am »
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Conrail just before selling the track to the R&N had 3 jobs out of Pittston 2 locals that did all the local work from Ransom to Crestwood and the Backvalley work. There was also a job that ran from Pittston to Allentown which did local work from east from Lehighton to Allentown this crew would then taxi back to Pittston. An allentown crew would go on duty and do local work west from allentown to Lehighton then go on to Pittston and taxi back to Allentown.     The old engine house was used by CR as a signal shop where they would build signal relays and other things for other parts of CR.   The old LV bunkhouse next to the river was used by CR as the yard office. This was at the end of CR  as you go back years there was much more business there and more jobs At the start of CR there was a yard crew each shift for just Pittston plus 6-7 local jobs plus pusher crews and it was a pretty busy place.

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RN-16
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #9 on: Nov 6th, 2004, 12:17pm »
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Wow! Pittston was busier then I thought it was. Thanks for the information, Danny!
 
-Jeff


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NS3360
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #10 on: Nov 6th, 2004, 12:24pm »
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Same here. Thanks Danny for answering my question

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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #11 on: Apr 20th, 2005, 3:10pm »
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Danny mentioned that those trains did the local work down to Allentown. If those trains did the local work, what did WPAL-19 (now H66) do?

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irn750

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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #12 on: Apr 21st, 2005, 1:54am »
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WPAL-19 now H-66 did not run when these Pittston jobs did the local work and Hazleton car setoffs or pickups.

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Maurice
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Re: Conrail Pittston Yards
 
« Reply #13 on: May 1st, 2018, 1:31pm »
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Which Division and Region of Conrail were Pittston Yard and surrounding area in? I have been looking for Employee Timetables and Track Charts of the area and am not sure which I should be looking for.
Thanks.
Maurice


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