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Penn Division Photo Tour
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   Author  Topic: Penn Division Photo Tour  (Read 5183 times)
mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #280 on: May 15th, 2009, 5:24pm »
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on May 15th, 2009, 2:17pm, Geoff wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
The third track would be Hanrahan's siding. This is where high and wide cars were set off to await northbound trains over the Erie thru Susquehanna to get them around Belden tunnel before the Jefferson was embargoed. During the great Belden Tunnel shuffle in the 80's it was used as a pocket track for engines held there to assist the switchback of trains.
 
I'm still looking into the Building in Thompson, none of the locals in the food store had any idea!!! There was definitely a major cleanup in the area, the motorcar house is empty and the unloading stand on the left side of the building is gone   should have photographed it when I had the chance. There are several old fabric belts on the ground in front of the building (Street Side) with metal scoops, looks like some type of conveyor belt. I am wondering now if the building was something besides a coal dealer. I will keep digging.  
 
Need to find old Sanborn fire maps for the Erie RR! Anyone have any idea where they can be obtained?

 
I noticed that too, when we looked at the motorhouses in Thompson the junk was cleaned out. In the left side, the rails are still present. I have a feeling that larger building may have had a later use and maybe thats why it was altered. It could have also been rail serviced as the tracks are still present next to the building, yet they removed the tracks before and after it.  
 
Mike


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Geoff
Railfan
Posts: 130
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #281 on: May 17th, 2009, 7:05am »
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Well it has been an interesting weekend for me. First I attended the spring luncheon of the BLHS  (Bridge Line Historical Society , the D & H history group) on Saturday. Met new folks, learned lots of new things. The speaker Mr. Howard Honts gave an interesting talk. He was in D & H management when the D & H bought the Lackawanna Line, was involved in the negotiations. Had a photocopy of the actual check (For 1 mil 700 thou) the D & H gave to Conrail to buy the line! He was tasked to deliver the check!
 
The BLHS has a new videotape "The D & H 1975-1978" By Robert K LaPorte. Film shot MOSTLY ON THE JEFFERSON during that time period. Watched it and the DVD is worth getting. No sound, goofy music, excellent photography. The BLHS has not added it to their webpage yet but  they have them and will get you one if you write to them. Cost was $12 at the luncheon.  
 
Like the other films it is train centric but clues emerge if you scrutinize the film.  
 
My neighbor and drinking buddy had his 65th birthday and the locals threw a party. After a few beers I got into a long conversation with a gent named "Bob" who was born here. Found out more information about the area and the building in Thompson in particular.  
 
Seems that once again I have placed my size 12 foot in my mouth. Not unusual for me BTW. The building was not a coal dealership, but a part of the feed mill in town. The bins were used to store raw materials (Corn, grains) used to make feed mix for the local farming community. The cloth belts were used to draw grains from the bins to be mixed in the building. The mix was transferred by truck to the mill building across the street (Rt171). Apparently the owner/founder of the mill died when he got caught in the belts in the mill and was strangulated. Interesting stuff you learn at parties.
 
So the building was a feed mill. The bins held grains not coal, and the bins were filled by shoveling grains out of freight cars or using an auger to unload other cars. Bob often was hired to help unload cars as a teenager. I stand chastized
 
Bob is trying to get some books on the local history of Thompson and Starrucca. Further revelations to follow.
 
Incidently the building next to the trail in Starrucca with the two big ventilators, was a creamery. Served by the Erie. An "Old Lady" lives in it now.  Starrucca also had a feed mill and several tanneries.  
A pond on the high side of the tracks (Trail) was used for ice for the creamery. There was a wooden bridge across the tracks they used to slide blocks of ice to the creamery.  
 
Enough for now


« Last Edit: May 17th, 2009, 7:10am by Geoff » Logged
mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #282 on: May 17th, 2009, 7:40am »
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Trust me, I have been wrong at least several times now with what I do. On my website several people sent me emails with corrections. It is hard to piece together the history, one person will have a bit of it, another one will have another part, its like putting together a puzzle. The end result is worth it.  
 
Your post adds some valuable information to this thread! That video you mentioned sounds very interesting! I just have to buy a copy when they sell it to the public.  
 
Mike


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Geoff
Railfan
Posts: 130
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #283 on: May 17th, 2009, 11:50am »
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Me again.  I vaguely remembered this photo but could not recall where I saw it. Took some Digging. It is on the New Visions website but under the N E PA category, not under any of the RR related categories! http://www.newvispub.com/portal/albums/displayimage.php?album=26&pos=23
 
The photo shows the bridge over the tracks used to move ice from the pond to the large white building which I believe was an icehouse (Will check on this). The ice was stored for use in the creamery which is behind the white building and can be seen under and behind the bridge and Reefer Boxcars. The bridge, icehouse (?),tracks are all history, but the creamery survives as a residence. Neat stuff.


« Last Edit: May 17th, 2009, 11:52am by Geoff » Logged
mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #284 on: Jul 3rd, 2009, 10:27am »
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Frank sent me a scan of the BLHS July issue page 26. It mentions the track schematics you mailed me last year as well as this thread on railfan!  
 
I didn't realize at first it was you who sent me the track schematics of the Erie's Jefferson branch. (known as the D&H Penn Division)  
 
Cool!  
 


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mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
  Modern_Topo.jpg - 172634 Bytes
« Reply #285 on: Jul 3rd, 2009, 10:36am »
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Here are two maps, first this is a modern day topo map of the region around the 75 foot turntable. You can see the course Starucca Creek takes.
 
I marked the location of the turntable.


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/DH/Modern_Topo.jpg
Click Image to Resize

« Last Edit: Jul 3rd, 2009, 10:39am by mike_nepa » Logged
mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
  Historical_Topo.jpg - 242577 Bytes
« Reply #286 on: Jul 3rd, 2009, 10:40am »
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This is a USGS map from 1932 with the same GPS mark. Notice the difference.
(I know the map isn't the same quality, but it works)
 


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/DH/Historical_Topo.jpg
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mike_nepa
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Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
  Ariel_Photo.jpg - 82897 Bytes
« Reply #287 on: Jul 3rd, 2009, 10:43am »
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This Ariel photo shows better how the creek changed, apparently even the "modern" topo map retrieved from ExpertGPS isn't up-to-date. (as it still shows the D&H as an active railroad line) You can make out the creek changes in this picture.
 


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/DH/Ariel_Photo.jpg
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Geoff
Railfan
Posts: 130
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #288 on: Jul 8th, 2009, 8:00pm »
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Interesting, amazing how the ground changes over time.
 
I was contacted by a member of the Rail Trail about the turntable. They are going to put in stone to deflect the creek and protect what is left of the railbed and turntable pit. Should be done shortly. At least it will be stabilized untill they can correct the erosion. Had you not located the remaining artifacts they would have been lost!  
 
In the D & H Yahoo group one member, John Young, remembers the table still around in the '60s when he was a child.  
 
I checked out the water stop near Burnwood. Interesting find. Was most likely a busy place during the Steam era.  Another area that should be preserved.  
 
Fantastic job you have done with the GPS and maps! Your work will mean preservation of remaining artifacts. Well done  
 
Perhaps someday the Rail Trail Council will have interprative markers.
 
Now to find photos of the turntable and other facilities. They exist somewhere.


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mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #289 on: Jul 9th, 2009, 5:47pm »
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I have not heard anything from the rail-trail council in months. Before this years exploring season, they wanted any artifacts located and identified. They also wanted any culverts located and marked. I spent the entire exploring season on the D&H collecting this information. I emailed them several times to find out the best way to share the data and have had no response. I am even listed as one of their "trail-tenders" and they set up a web site which I joined and posted some of the findings. I tried to cover as much of the 36 mile railroad bed as I could but on foot and only a 2 month window, it was impossible. (now if I was laid off from work at the time I could have done it) The exploring season is after the snow melts to when the growth comes back in. This year was pretty good as far as long as it lasted.  
 
When did you hear from rail-trail council? I sent emails over the past few months with no reply. The last emails I had were concerning an article for their news letter about the mile posts. It was published in March.  
 
When the growth dies off again I have a different project to work on concerning a section of the O&W.  
 


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Geoff
Railfan
Posts: 130
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #290 on: Jul 10th, 2009, 12:16pm »
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I was contacted by Lynn Conrad (conradlynn123 <conradlynn123@yahoo.com>) who identified himself as a member of the Rail Trail group. He apparently got my e mail addy from the D & H Yahoo group. Last January there was a discussion of turntables on the D & H and I opened my big mouth about the table that existed at Jefferson Junction. He contacted me about the artifacts and I assumed he had been following your thread on the Railfan board. Apparently not, and I will point him to your site and this thread which is full of info.  
 
The track diagrams came from one large sheet, I got them from a BLHS member named Pete who photocopied them from the large sheet. They were normally used by the maintenance crews to locate fixtures and drainage for repairs. Great thing about them is that they show drainage as of 1957.  
 
The Rail trail folks have erected  wooden milepost markers that show the mileage from the trail start in Simpson. They do not correspond to the former ERIE markers. Some have gone missing already, particularly the two bracketing the turntable site. Have a serious problem in the area with vandalism.  
 
Would be great to get the original mileposts or reproductions back in place, hopefully your work will be a good incentive.
 
Are you doing the O & W line that runs to Hancock? Seems like it would be a natural for a new trail.  
 
I will keep you updated if I learn more.  
 
Thanks again for your efforts.


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mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #291 on: Jul 11th, 2009, 6:47pm »
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on Jul 10th, 2009, 12:16pm, Geoff wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I was contacted by Lynn Conrad (conradlynn123 <conradlynn123@yahoo.com>) who identified himself as a member of the Rail Trail group. He apparently got my e mail addy from the D & H Yahoo group. Last January there was a discussion of turntables on the D & H and I opened my big mouth about the table that existed at Jefferson Junction. He contacted me about the artifacts and I assumed he had been following your thread on the Railfan board. Apparently not, and I will point him to your site and this thread which is full of info.  
 
The track diagrams came from one large sheet, I got them from a BLHS member named Pete who photocopied them from the large sheet. They were normally used by the maintenance crews to locate fixtures and drainage for repairs. Great thing about them is that they show drainage as of 1957.  
 
The Rail trail folks have erected  wooden milepost markers that show the mileage from the trail start in Simpson. They do not correspond to the former ERIE markers. Some have gone missing already, particularly the two bracketing the turntable site. Have a serious problem in the area with vandalism.  
 
Would be great to get the original mileposts or reproductions back in place, hopefully your work will be a good incentive.
 
Are you doing the O & W line that runs to Hancock? Seems like it would be a natural for a new trail.  
 
I will keep you updated if I learn more.  
 
Thanks again for your efforts.

 
 
The email address I have is tccrail@epix.net which is the rail-trail council address which I have corresponded with her for quite some time.  
 
Well when she contacts me I can go over the data. She is also aware of my website and was noted in the newsletter as an "armchair tour" which was long before I started this thread.  
 
Funny thing about their mile posts is that they are only 0.1 mile off from the location of the old mileposts. I did locate a decent amount of the old posts, I found three toppled over but my projected GPS marks were very close to where they were. Most are weathered but some are still readable.  
 
Some posts were probably lost in areas where I saw the railbed was bulldozed years ago. Those sections I never found a post.  
 
I might have to check out the D&H yahoo group, never knew it existed.
 
Mike


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cavity
Historian
Posts: 306
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #292 on: Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:54pm »
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Mike,
 
Just got a copy of the D&H Vol 1 and its hard to believe that 4-6-6-4's helper units used the Cascade wye..  There is a great sequence series near the end of the book showing one attaching to the rear of a freight from the south leg of the wye.  Just 60 years ago, will everything we know look that different in 60 years?  Makes you wonder if we should all be taking pics of everything we see before it disappears.  I also may have some info you would be interested in.  A recent acquaintence informed me his father was an engineer on the Erie before the D&H took over.  He has alot of pics.  I am going to meet with him to see if I can make copies.  I will let you know when that occurs.
 
Todd


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mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #293 on: Aug 4th, 2009, 6:19am »
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on Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:54pm, cavity wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mike,
 
Just got a copy of the D&H Vol 1 and its hard to believe that 4-6-6-4's helper units used the Cascade wye..  There is a great sequence series near the end of the book showing one attaching to the rear of a freight from the south leg of the wye.  Just 60 years ago, will everything we know look that different in 60 years?  Makes you wonder if we should all be taking pics of everything we see before it disappears.  I also may have some info you would be interested in.  A recent acquaintence informed me his father was an engineer on the Erie before the D&H took over.  He has alot of pics.  I am going to meet with him to see if I can make copies.  I will let you know when that occurs.
 
Todd

 
 
The Cascade Wye is pretty large, the tail seems smaller now but that could be due to erosion over the years. The tail does stick into a flowing stream. It is hard to get perspective in pictures unless you have something of known size in the frame.  
 
Erosion is usually an enemy, but it did expose the old turntable in Brandt at the expense of nearly destroying the ROW leading up to it.  
 
Even in the few years I have been photographing old railroad beds, a few things I took pictures of no longer exist. Sometimes its due to development, sometimes other reasons (like the 2006 floods)  
 
I would be very interested in seeing these pictures! Maybe could be matched up to ones I took.
 
Mike


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mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
  PB070008_Small.jpg - 91765 Bytes
« Reply #294 on: Nov 12th, 2009, 5:02pm »
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Tim to revive an old topic and have a few new pictures. I haven't been able to update my site since Piczo changed their software so here are a few. Took a walk between Stillwater and Uniondale last week. The foliage is dying off nicely so things are visible now.  This is a retaining wall still standing.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/DH/PB070008_Small.jpg
Click Image to Resize

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mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
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« Reply #295 on: Nov 12th, 2009, 5:04pm »
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Utilizing premade GPS points, I located mile post #167 (Erie #30) It is fallen over and almost totally buried. #168, #166, and #165 were not found.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/DH/PB070019_Small.jpg
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mike_nepa
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Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
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« Reply #296 on: Nov 12th, 2009, 5:05pm »
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A culvert with a wooden ramp still somewhat intact. The pipe appears to be concrete and broken.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/DH/PB070039_Small.jpg
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mike_nepa
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Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
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« Reply #297 on: Nov 12th, 2009, 5:06pm »
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This is at MP 165.0. The mile post was not found and this is also the location of the "UD cabin" These small scattered remains are all that is left.

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mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
 
« Reply #298 on: Nov 27th, 2009, 10:00am »
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on Jul 10th, 2009, 12:16pm, Geoff wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I was contacted by Lynn Conrad (conradlynn123 <conradlynn123@yahoo.com>) who identified himself as a member of the Rail Trail group. He apparently got my e mail addy from the D & H Yahoo group. Last January there was a discussion of turntables on the D & H and I opened my big mouth about the table that existed at Jefferson Junction. He contacted me about the artifacts and I assumed he had been following your thread on the Railfan board. Apparently not, and I will point him to your site and this thread which is full of info.  
 
The track diagrams came from one large sheet, I got them from a BLHS member named Pete who photocopied them from the large sheet. They were normally used by the maintenance crews to locate fixtures and drainage for repairs. Great thing about them is that they show drainage as of 1957.  
 
The Rail trail folks have erected  wooden milepost markers that show the mileage from the trail start in Simpson. They do not correspond to the former ERIE markers. Some have gone missing already, particularly the two bracketing the turntable site. Have a serious problem in the area with vandalism.  
 
Would be great to get the original mileposts or reproductions back in place, hopefully your work will be a good incentive.
 
Are you doing the O & W line that runs to Hancock? Seems like it would be a natural for a new trail.  
 
I will keep you updated if I learn more.  
 
Thanks again for your efforts.

 
 
The wooden mile posts they erected are off by only 0.1 miles to the original Erie/D&H ones. Wouldn't be hard to move them but I doubt they would do so. I finally got in contact with Lynn, turns out their email address changed which is why I lost touch. They don't use GPS or maps so to share this data is going to be hard. AT least its good to hear they plan to preserve what is left of the turntable.  
 
I thought about doing a photo tour of the O&W's Scranton Division. I have been up and down that line as well and recently a 12 mile section was purchased and is being turned into a multi-use rail-trail. I recently purchased the O&W's Scranton Division book which can help locating some artifacts on the line.
 
Mike


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mike_nepa
Historian
Posts: 1848
Re: Penn Division Photo Tour
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« Reply #299 on: Mar 30th, 2010, 6:23am »
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On the way back from a ski trip, I stopped and took these pictures of the trestle of the Penn Division over the Susquehanna river.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/DH/GEDC0377_Small.jpg
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