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Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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   Author  Topic: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA  (Read 5650 times)
mike_nepa
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Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:33am »
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Went down to Snow Shoe to do some riding on a rail-trail that was once a New York Central railroad that serviced Snow Shoe and surrounding towns. Like my area, it was a coal mining area and remains of that can be seen. I thought some would like to see a small photo tour.
 
Just after the trailhead in Clarence, you cross under Route 144 and these abutments can be seen of a railroad that crossed over the NYC line.


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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:34am »
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Several mile markers are still in place. The "JS" stands for Jersey Shore which is where the line originated from. I could not follow it that far back as the rail-trail ends in Snow Shoe.


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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Railroad, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:35am »
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One of the smaller bridges. They have been re-decked and railings installed.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:35am »
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Only spot I saw rails still in place.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:36am »
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Next to the railroad bed this large parking area was seen. I don't yet know what it was for.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:37am »
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One of many rock cuts made for this line. From what I read this is late 1800's construction.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:37am »
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This is the Peale Tunnel.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:39am »
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Approaching the large viaduct over Moshannon Creek. The creek is dead due to mining runoff.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:43am »
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View of the viaduct from creek level. It is over 770 feet long and 110 feet above the creek below.  
 
I can post more pictures if anyone wants.
 
Mike


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darktown2
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
 
« Reply #9 on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:50am »
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WOW Mike thank you for all the great shots. I for one would like to see any other shots that you have.Does anyone have any idea when the line was abandoned??  Thanks again for a fine job.  take err easy  Keith

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 21st, 2008, 7:41pm »
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It was abandoned in two sections. Jersey Shore to Snow Shoe was abandoned sometime in 1966 (?) by NYC. This would be before the PRR-NYC merger.  
 
Lace to Snow Shoe was abandoned I think in 1993 by Conrail. From then it became the rail-trail it is now. This is probably why the rail-trail ends in Snow Shoe since heading towards Jersey Shore is not railbanked.  
 
There is talk and action being taken now to re-activate the line to Gorton. They want to put a huge landfill in Gorton along with an industrial park. Needless to say the locals are not happy about that at all! If this line is activated, the Peale tunnel would have to be destroyed and made into a rock cut. I also doubt the viaduct could be saved. Its probably too old to take a heavy train on it now.  
 
I will post more pictures in a few days, I took a ton of them the day I was there.  
 
This picture is just after the road crossing of route 144 in Snow Shoe, you can see the railroad bed changes dramatically and I think is the start of the 1966 (?) abandonment.  
 
 
Mike


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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 8:52am »
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Ok here are a few more...  
 
Traveling towards Winburne, this is the "Conrail" section. Was active up to 1993. The ties are still in place here. This is also the end of the rail-trail so I could not ride up past this point.


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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 8:55am »
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The Snow Shoe Trailhead. This was the end of the "Conrail" section. Beyond here heads towards Jersey Shore and was abandoned in 1966 (?)
 


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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 8:59am »
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Flipping back across the viaduct, this line headed towards Grassflat. This was a branch from the main line. This also was "Conrail" and abandoned in 1993. This side of the viaduct was a "wye" where the west line went to Grassflat, the east line went to Winburne. After the 1966 abandonement, Rail traffic came in from Clearfield, rather then Jersey Shore.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:00am »
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A few more pictures of the viaduct. Here is one of the concrete supports that shows the bridge is still in good condition.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:01am »
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This stone support is what remains of the ORIGINAL bridge. Apparently the original bridge built in the late 1800's was mostly wooden. The present day viaduct was built in the early 1900's but the original stone supports still remain to this day.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:02am »
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Interior shot of the Peale Tunnel showing it is brick lined.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:03am »
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Top side view of the viaduct, you are allowed to ride on it. The metal grating is for hikers and bikers. The ties are still in good condition and they only allow one way traffic.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:04am »
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Apparently a leftover of the "Conrail" days is this more modern "W" sign.

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mike_nepa
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Re: Beech Creek Branch, Snow Shoe PA
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« Reply #19 on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:07am »
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Near the end of the rail-trail heading towards Jersey SHore, this is apparently a more modern mile marker. The "41" is not correct to be based on the "JS" markers. Perhaps this one refers to the millage based out of Clearfield. I will have to check into my topo and GPS data to see if that makes sense. If thats true this would be counting up and this would be the last one before the "then" abandoned section.  
 


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