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Topic Summary
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:33am
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.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:34am
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.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:35am
One of the smaller bridges. They have been re-decked and railings installed.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:35am
Only spot I saw rails still in place.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:36am
Next to the railroad bed this large parking area was seen. I don't yet know what it was for.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:37am
One of many rock cuts made for this line. From what I read this is late 1800's construction.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:37am
This is the Peale Tunnel.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:39am
Approaching the large viaduct over Moshannon Creek. The creek is dead due to mining runoff.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:43am
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
Posted by: darktown2 Posted on: Oct 20th, 2008, 9:50am
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
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 21st, 2008, 7:41pm
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
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 8:52am
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.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 8:55am
The Snow Shoe Trailhead. This was the end of the "Conrail" section. Beyond here heads towards Jersey Shore and was abandoned in 1966 (?)
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 8:59am
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.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:00am
A few more pictures of the viaduct. Here is one of the concrete supports that shows the bridge is still in good condition.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:01am
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.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:02am
Interior shot of the Peale Tunnel showing it is brick lined.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:03am
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.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:04am
Apparently a leftover of the "Conrail" days is this more modern "W" sign.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 25th, 2008, 9:07am
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.  
 
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Nov 2nd, 2008, 2:59pm
Mike,
 
Very nice pix--thanks for sharing.  I hope I have weather like you did when I head to those parts soon.
 
Some items:
 
The railroad overpass (ref. the concrete piers) at Gillintown, near the Route 144 overpass, was that of an appendage of the PRR's Snow Shoe Branch, originally the Bellefonte & Snow Shoe RR.
 
Your pic of one of the smaller bridges immediately after your photo of MP 48 is the NYC bridge over the PRR's Sugar Camp Branch, another appendage of that road's Snow Shoe Branch.
 
What is today the large ATV parking lot at Gillintown was last used by R. S. Carlin, Inc. as a coal tipple.
 
This segment through Snow Shoe, Gillintown, Gorton, etc. was built by the Beech Creek, Clearfield & South Western RR in 1883-84.
 
NYC abandoned the line from Snow Shoe (Clarence) to Bald Eagle Jct. (near Mill Hall) in early 1966 and the line was pulled up from shortly thereafter until early 1968.  The segment from near Winburne to the end of track at Snow Shoe was placed out of service in early 1990 and pulled up beginning in late 1993 and, following a break due to the harsh winter that year, finished in 1994.
 
I've heard no talk of daylighting the Peale Tunnel as part of plans to reactivate the line to serve the long from disputed landfill project in Rush Twp.
 
MP 41 is indeed part of the remiling of the line to reflect distance from Clearfield vs. the prior Jersey Shore.  This change was made in early 1985.
 
The original bridge at Viaduct was not made of wood (outide of the ties and walkways).  From what have been able to uncover, the towers you see today go back to the original construction.  In 1903, the iron spans were replaced with steel and the towers appear to have been moved to the "newer" pedestals adjacent to the old ones.
 
The shift of eastbound traffic heading first (west) to Clearfield (and then east via the WBV) had been going on for decades prior to the abandonment of the line east of Snow Shoe.  The latter, in its final years, was used only if necessary, e.g. congestion on the PRR between Keating and McElhattan for which NYC had trackage rights.
 
Jeff Feldmeier
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Nov 4th, 2008, 10:07am
I didn't want to quote all of that but first THANK YOU! for all that great information!    
 
That was my first trip down to Snow Shoe, it is a 2 1/2 hour drive so Its not easy to get to. I have had a permit for SSRT for two years and finally decided it was time to use it. When I went down there to ride, I knew nothing of the railroad line other then it was a NYC line. Since I went alone, I spent the day photographing and marking anything interesting on my GPS. There were enough riders around that day so if I had a break down I would be OK.  
 
Upon leaving I stopped to photograph the trailhead and there was a sign about the landfill fight. The website they give is incorrect, but I found the correct site which is here.
 
http://stoplandfill.com/
 
Surprisingly on that site, I found a nice section of the History of Peale and about the railroad. That was a jackpot of information and got me even more wanting to find more the next time we get down there.  
 
After downloading the data I collected, then plotting it on Topo, it does show some remains of the other branch lines you mention, such as the abutments next to Route 144. I did come to discover that that smaller bridge was an overpass of another railroad line. The history files on the site gives references to milepoints along the railroad so the next thing I did was to mark the mileposts. I have some marked where they are still in place but many are missing. I drew on my map projected points where the other ones should be (within the SSRT's rail-trail area) Next, looking at the history file, I plotted potential points where remains might be. That can be uploaded to my GPS so we can get within a 100 feet of any possible remains.  
 
Also on the history file are some historical USGS maps which shows some of the smaller branch lines you mentioned.  
 
I read it somewhere that reactivation of the rail line would involve destroying the Peale Tunnel since it was not built high enough for the cars that would need to pass through it. What they do with the viaduct is unknown. The question is is it still sturdy enough to handle trains again or would it be fixed or replaced.  
 
This fight from what I read is going on for a few years now and I can see why its so "heated" at times. Who would want a mega-landfill in their town. It would also cut off most of SSRT's trail system and the trail system brings in money to the town.  
 
We have plans for a trip This weekend to go back. With more information on hand we hopefully will find more artifacts.  
 
Although Snow Shoe is "out of my area" of NEPA railroads. There are similarities that are interesting. My area was big with Antracite coal mining and many of the railroads here are long gone when the coal industry slowed. That area also was big in mining bituminous coal.  
 
What I posted about the bridge is incorrect, the wooden stuff was the walkways on both sides which were removed and one side is now grated to allow hikers and bikers access across the bridge. SSRT is a multi-use trail system and I did see some hikers along the way. The area is so scenic it was well worth the day to go down there.  
 
In my area, development has erased most of the smaller lines and branches that once served the mines. Down there it seems mostly untouched. I am lucky up here to find small sections of railroad beds which I have to piece together to figure out what it was. Some I have yet to figure out.  
 
Mike
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Nov 4th, 2008, 7:40pm
Mike,
 
Count yourself fortunate with only being 2 1/2 hours away from this line--I'm about 5 1/2!
 
I'll bet I wrote many of the docs referenced at the PPC site.  If you have any questions about that fire away!
 
Related: I and three others are coauthoring a book on Centre County's RR history, a project sponsored by the Centre County Historical Society.  This book should be published in 2009 or 2010.  The Beech Creek line, as well as the PRR's branch to Snow Shoe, will certainly be included.
 
I would be surprised if the clearance of the Peale Tunnel would not accomodate the rail cars they have in mind.  PC and CR put 100 ton coal hoppers through there with ease.
 
I believe an informal inspection was conducted on the Viaduct bridge and no major issues were found.
 
Jeff Feldmeier
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Nov 5th, 2008, 7:53pm
The articles reference to the Peale Tunnel is that if the reactivation goes through, the tunnel would be lost. That could only mean they plan to blow it open into a rock cut. I wish I could find the exact data that says that.  
 
I probably will have more questions and hopefully this Saturdays weather will be ok to return there. That also means more pictures!  
 
The article I found on the stoplandfill site about Peale History was indeed written by you!
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Nov 21st, 2008, 9:38am
Our trip was canceled due to weather. We are going to try again next weekend. The foliage will be down so any artifacts should be seen better.  
Just another shot from my first trip is the remains of a line side pole. They must have cut all of them down after abandonment since I never saw any.  
 
Mike
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Nov 24th, 2008, 6:32pm
Mike,
 
Actually the lineside poles were sawed/removed well before abandonment of the track.  They came down during the early Penn Central years.
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Nov 25th, 2008, 9:10am
on Nov 24th, 2008, 6:32pm, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mike,
 
Actually the lineside poles were sawed/removed well before abandonment of the track.  They came down during the early Penn Central years.
 

 
With another trip planned, we hope to find more interesting relics. I recently tried a new software program for the GPS that allows overlaying scanned images (such as the historical USGS maps) onto it and by anchoring it with known points, the map is placed accurately. That should be a tremendous help in locating artifacts.  
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 23rd, 2009, 5:46am
We are going to Snow Shoe today to do some riding and exploring. I spotted some relics when we were there in April but I was riding with the club and could not stop for photos. Although this isn't the best time to do it. The GPS data looks good as I was looking at my GPS while we were riding and we should be able to zero in on some goodies. Pictures will be posted!
 
Mike
Posted by: darktown2 Posted on: May 23rd, 2009, 9:10am
We are looking forward to the photos!! Thanks Mike     Keith
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:44am
We had a good ride yesterday, it was not the best time to explore because of the growth but I did manage to find a few things.  
 
In Clarence, after we turn off the railbed (where SSRT ends) we spotted these abutments. I am not sure if they are railroad related
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:48am
From Clarence, the railroad bed was not open for ATV's and I think this is where the 1966 abandonment started. Anyway, there are roads open to ATV's and we ran them.  What is shown on my map as "Kato" that connects Panther rd and Oviston Rd is this one lane metal grate bridge. The railroad bed crosses next to it at a right angle (also not open to ATV)
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:50am
Next to this bridge, and next to the railbed are these foundation remains. I spotted this back in April but I was riding with the club and could not stop for better pictures. I marked this and plan to photograph it better.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:51am
Parking the ATV and walking in the railbed, a short distance (about 200 feet) is this platform. Across the railbed I saw rubble of a building remains.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:52am
Working with some dirt roads, we came across a section of the railbed used as a dirt road. This was a critical find this mile post (#34) as it will allow me to project where more could be back to Clarance.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:53am
This is the Hogback Tunnel. From this angle you could mistake it for the Peale Tunnel.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:54am
This interior shot shows this tunnel has a curve in it. Neat!
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:55am
Going back to the Viaduct side. Down by the creek these abutments of a former pipeline. Notice how the water has eaten away the base! Kinda cool looking but spells its fate.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:57am
On the "wye" area of the Viaduct, this could possibly be the remains of the building that stood in the crotch of the wye area. One track was the Grassflats Branchline, the other continued to Winburne. (and beyond)
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:58am
This is as we passed through Gorton. My topo maps shows this was a small rail yard or staging area. The photo is a bit blurry as I was riding while taking this shot. I picked up a broken down ATV at the Peale tunnel and was towing him back to the Gillentown Trailhead so I could not stop.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:07am
I do have a few pictures from April. Just beyond the Black Bear trailhead near either Winburne or Hukenberry.  Moshannon Creek does a a total 180 degree and inside the almsot "island" we spotted these ties that show a spur line came off and headed to what is listed as "Kilns" This is just before the railbed crosses over the creek over a smaller bridge.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:08am
We followed the railbed out more (the Conrail part) It crosses through a homeowners driveway. He does allow ATVs to travel through at a slow speed so we did so. Here a small section of rail is still in place.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:11am
Near Cassanova, we spotted this neat little waterfall. I noticed the stonework above and what appears to be a railgrade. As we continued from this point I noticed this grade follows along the railbed but higher up. Hmm what could this be?
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:11am
This is the area where the waterfall would be left of this picture.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:12am
This was also seen in the same area. The wires are still inside the pipe but what this box was is unknown.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:13am
A ride by picture showing the signs of a railroad grade past the waterfalls.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:14am
A cool find, a call box still standing.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:15am
A possible mile post toppled over. The markings were not readable.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:18am
A critical find. Mile post #66 along with the Conrail mile post #21. Now I can use that to make projections and translations (between NYC and Conrail markings)  
 
I did try to look for remains of items that were in the History of Peale, but the growth was just too much to see anything. I did spot a few things back in April but was not possible to stop and photograph (plus my camera broke)  We plan to go back after the growth dies off but what was seen and marked these past two trips will be very helpful.
 
Mike
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: May 27th, 2009, 9:12pm
Mike,
 
The waterfall and grade above the NYC is in the area of Kyler Mine.  This was one large facility back in the day, all up there on the sidehill.
 
The one concrete box may be related to the crossing signals at Munson (Casanova is on the other side of the Red Moshannon).
 
Jeff
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 28th, 2009, 4:11pm
We will have to check out the area by the waterfalls in the fall.  
 
Mike
Posted by: SouthBendModel34 Posted on: May 28th, 2009, 6:54pm
Mike,
 
This is a very interesting thread ! Thank you for posting it.
 
The concrete box in reply #43 might be a battery box for signals, which could include crossing signals.
 
Have you looked at www.historical.maptech.com ? They have old topo maps of this area.  Looking at them shows some interesting nearby features such as a large yard in Clearfield and a switchback going up to the Perry Moshannon Mine from the area around Spruce and Coleman's Siding.  
 
Keep up the good work!  
 
John R.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 30th, 2009, 8:35am
on May 28th, 2009, 6:54pm, SouthBendModel34 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mike,
 
This is a very interesting thread ! Thank you for posting it.
 
The concrete box in reply #43 might be a battery box for signals, which could include crossing signals.
 
Have you looked at www.historical.maptech.com ? They have old topo maps of this area.  Looking at them shows some interesting nearby features such as a large yard in Clearfield and a switchback going up to the Perry Moshannon Mine from the area around Spruce and Coleman's Siding.  
 
Keep up the good work!  
 
John R.

 
That would explain the wires and such. I didn't have time to investigate further since it was late afternoon and I was riding with the club so I couldn't stop like I wanted to. Naturally we have plans to go back to look for some more stuff. Some will have to wait until the growth dies off again to see things more clearly. Finding the mile posts on both ends is a big help as I can make projections.  
 
I have download quite a few maps from that site. I use a program to stitch the 4 parts to one map. I even recently had a bunch of paper maps scanned and sent him a copy to add to his site.  
 
One program I use now that is a big help is called "expertgps" You can download a 30 day trial and to register it is like $50. Two key features I use is the ability to take these historical USGS maps and calibrate them so they can be overlayed with GPS data.  
 
The second feature is the ability to Geotag photos. What you do is set the clock on the camera and the GPS to be the same. Turn on the tracking and go shoot pictures. The program will take the data and then insert the GPS coordinates into each picture it can find a match for.  
 
This picture is geotagged. It is one of the many missing bridges along the 1966 abandonment of the line. If you used a program like ifanview and display the EXIF information, there is an option to show this in Google Earth. You will see exactly where I was standing when I took this picture.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 30th, 2009, 8:39am
This is an export from ExpertGPS showing tracking data and some pre-plotted data on the topo map.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 30th, 2009, 8:40am
Taking the 1931 USGS map of Snow Shoe. I calibrated it to ExpertGPS and this is the result.  
 
A very nice program indeed!
 
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Jun 1st, 2009, 6:11pm
Mike,
 
A word of caution if you are exploring via ATV...
 
The roadbed east of a point between the Black Bear Run bridge and Winburne, plus the former NYC Philipsburg Branch is owned by R. J. Corman.  It is NOT a rail-trail.  Operating an ATV on RJC property is trespassing.  I know the Cormans have posted 'No Trespassing' signs here and there and there has been discussion about this at local township and borough council meetings.  I do not know how much these segments are actually patrolled.  Just something to keep in mind.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jun 2nd, 2009, 6:32am
on Jun 1st, 2009, 6:11pm, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mike,
 
A word of caution if you are exploring via ATV...
 
The roadbed east of a point between the Black Bear Run bridge and Winburne, plus the former NYC Philipsburg Branch is owned by R. J. Corman.  It is NOT a rail-trail.  Operating an ATV on RJC property is trespassing.  I know the Cormans have posted 'No Trespassing' signs here and there and there has been discussion about this at local township and borough council meetings.  I do not know how much these segments are actually patrolled.  Just something to keep in mind.

 
I know some areas are posted and we abide by them. When we went past the Black Bear section we did not see any signs until we hit Coaldale (?) Then we saw a posting, and turned back. In SSRT we mainly see patrols looking to make sure you have your permit, wearing helmets,  and have insurance up to snuff. I have my stuff up to snuff. Thanks for the info.
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jun 3rd, 2009, 5:30pm
To clarify. The picture of the loading platforms is in an area posted no ATV's I parked my machine and walked in to take the pictures.  
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 19th, 2009, 9:21am
This is definitely not a good time of year to do exploring but we were down SSRT for a club ride and I had a chance to break off and check a few things out.  
 
I spotted this halfway between the Peale Tunnel and Viaduct. It looks like two wooden walls. Only having a short time to do my own thing, I marked it and moved on.
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 19th, 2009, 9:23am
Despite the heavy growth, this is the remains of a diverging track that apparently leads to Winburne. Probably a spur line.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 19th, 2009, 9:25am
This was an unusual find. I never seen tie plates that looked like this before!  
Quite different then all the others I have seen, the usual square type.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 19th, 2009, 9:27am
This shows just how bad the growth has become. The railroad bed is totally grown in and cannot be seen here. This is the same location where JS 66/CR 21 is. The ties are left in place but are now totally hidden by growth.  
 
Mike
Posted by: George_Harris Posted on: Jul 19th, 2009, 11:43pm
on Jul 19th, 2009, 9:25am, mike_nepa wrote:       (Click here for original message)
This was an unusual find. I never seen tie plates that looked like this before!  
Quite different then all the others I have seen, the usual square type.

These things are called hook twin tie plates.  They are used under frogs and beyond the heel of the switch where the two rails are too close together to fit in regular tie plates without overlapping.  They are the poor man's substitute for special plates with welded on shoulders.  
 
They are slid under the frog or rails until the hook side is tight up against the rail with the hook over the base of rail, one from each side and then spiked down.  
 
The negative of these things is that they are death on ties.  They chew up the wood, reducing the tie life, by how much depends on who is talking.  25% to 40% off the life of the tie compared to what it would have under the more expensive plates is the range usually quoted.  
 
They are usually used by lines trying to operate as cheap as possible and where wood cost is relatively low.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 20th, 2009, 6:17am
Makes sense since I found those along the diverging ties. I can see what you mean by having the set of spikes so close to each other it almost looks like it will split the tie in that spot since there is so little wood between the spikes.  
 
That is the first time I saw these things, now I know why they aren't used much.  
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 4th, 2009, 4:29pm
Had another trip down to Snow Shoe and was able to stop at the waterfall to check things out. What looked like another railroad bed above was not one.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 4th, 2009, 4:30pm
Looking up the path shows it to be just an ATV path. The grade was no good for it to be a railroad bed.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 4th, 2009, 4:30pm
These stone walls are probably just for retaining.
Posted by: Pappy Posted on: Aug 5th, 2009, 7:29pm
Great pics Mike!  It's been a while since I've been on SSRT and I wish I had more time to check stuff out.  
 
Do you have any plans on riding the track that runs in the Faunce area?
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Aug 8th, 2009, 10:43am
on Jul 19th, 2009, 9:21am, mike_nepa wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I spotted this halfway between the Peale Tunnel and Viaduct. It looks like two wooden walls. Only having a short time to do my own thing, I marked it and moved on.
 

 
 
Mike, this is the remains of a structure that protected a water pump for General Refractories Co.'s Peale No. 1 Mine.  Fireclay, not coal, was mined here.  The drift and remains of other support structures for this mine are located just off the NYC grade a little west of this pump site.
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 10th, 2009, 5:17pm
on Aug 5th, 2009, 7:29pm, Pappy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Great pics Mike!  It's been a while since I've been on SSRT and I wish I had more time to check stuff out.  
 
Do you have any plans on riding the track that runs in the Faunce area?

 
I found it on my map, it is quite a ways from SSRT. It is shown as abandoned but it would be way too far away from SSRT to even attempt it. Aside from the fact between SSRT and that spot I doubt is open to ATV use. I know nothing of that area.  
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 10th, 2009, 5:22pm
on Aug 8th, 2009, 10:43am, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Mike, this is the remains of a structure that protected a water pump for General Refractories Co.'s Peale No. 1 Mine.  Fireclay, not coal, was mined here.  The drift and remains of other support structures for this mine are located just off the NYC grade a little west of this pump site.
 

 
Thanks for that info. I just happened across it while riding but it was late afternoon and had no time to check it out. The growth would prevent any decent pictures anyway so I am waiting until it dies off again.  
 
Planning on a late November day to go look for the stuff.  
 
I am building a map to be used when we try for this. After locating some of the mile posts, then projecting where the other ones should be (or were) Then I placed on the map the projected locations for items mentioned in your article about the history of the railroad line. This should allow us to zero in on potential artifacts within 20-30 feet if my marks are accurate.  
 
I had a successful try at doing this year on the D&H's Penn Division. I didn't have a history document, but used the employee timetables which gives mile points. I also found stuff that was not on any data I had.  
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 16th, 2009, 8:04am
On the same day we rode the roads out to Kato and here at the Kato Bridge I found ties arranged opposing the Beech Creek line. The Beech creek line can be seen in the foreground, the these ties oppose it.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 16th, 2009, 8:06am
Turning 90 degrees left, you can see the single lane road bridge called "Kato Bridge" To the left just before the bridge is the remains of a foundation. It is covered up now with growth, I photographed it in May but it was not well seen. I wonder if this bridge was a railroad bridge converted to road use?
Then the building to the left would have maybe served a mine or something? The way the ties are arranged it would be like a diamond crossing to the Beech Creek line.
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 16th, 2009, 8:09am
A few photos from May, A side shot of the Kato Bridge
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 16th, 2009, 8:09am
Just before the bridge is the remains, the remains are to the left of this picture and you can see a grade here. Too wet to investigate at the time.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 16th, 2009, 8:10am
A poor shot of the foundation remains. This will be photographed again after all this growth dies off.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 16th, 2009, 8:12am
Now walking in the Beech Creek line going the opposite way, is this platform. (I was walking towards Clarence) This is about 200 yards from the Kato crossing.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 16th, 2009, 8:13am
Opposite the platform is more remains of a building.  
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Sep 27th, 2010, 6:06pm
Was down SSRT this past weekend and the growth is still too high for any good exploring but as we were looping back to the main trail (railbed) I spotted this.  
To the left of it would be level to the main railbed. This I think is about 1/2 mile from the Peale Tunnel.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Sep 27th, 2010, 6:07pm
There seems to be some signs what we were on was a spur or side track? Hard to tell at this time, but worth checking out after the growth dies off.
 
Mike
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:13pm
on Sep 27th, 2010, 6:06pm, mike_nepa wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Was down SSRT this past weekend and the growth is still too high for any good exploring but as we were looping back to the main trail (railbed) I spotted this.  
To the left of it would be level to the main railbed. This I think is about 1/2 mile from the Peale Tunnel.

 
Mike, that is the remains of the General Refractories Co. fireclay tipple at Peale. The spur serving it was known as the "clay siding."
 
Jeff
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:45pm
Thanks for that information. We were down there again last week but the growth is still there so was hard to see much. I do have a few pictures.
 
 
on Oct 23rd, 2010, 7:13pm, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Mike, that is the remains of the General Refractories Co. fireclay tipple at Peale. The spur serving it was known as the "clay siding."
 
Jeff

Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:46pm
Took another trek down to Snow Shoe last week, had a small chance to explore, but the growth has not died off yet. Went to Kato and walked the railroad bed towards Clarence. After taking a picture of the tipple we came across where beavers built a dam and the water is starting to cover the bed.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:47pm
As we continued walking, I found mile post #40 still somewhat intact.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:49pm
The destination was this bridge, this one the span is intact but the ties are gone. Weird, going the other way from Kato the next bridge is intact and the ties are actually in good shape.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:50pm
Back at the Kato crossing, the ties can still be seen opposing the main railbed. The growth was too high to see but I suspect this was a crossing that looped around to serve the tipple that I showed above.  
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:55pm
Riding along the SSRT trail system, just before the road crossing at MP 55 I spotted this right along the railbed. This would be about MP 54.95
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:55pm
Climbing down a bit, I got a good shot of the stone work.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:56pm
Behind it, set back about 75 feet is the remains of a large foundation. Its very long, but again, the growth prevents a good picture of it.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:58pm
Backup up a bit on the railbed, I spotted this small remains, this is about MP 54.90, I saw it before, but I am wondering if its part of the above picture.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 6:59pm
Next to it seems the remains of a spur track. Hopefully once the growth drops, I can comb this area in more detail. I didn't have the time to really look this over and the growth is still a problem.  
 
Mike
Posted by: WVTransplant Posted on: Oct 29th, 2010, 10:10pm
Mike,
 
Just an FYI--if you ever see a metallic red Rzr with black/silver rims while at SS, flag it down.  I'll say hello.  I'll be down there a few times between now and the deep snow (as well as at the Bloody Skillet when time/light permits).
 
And, as always, great photos.  I'm looking forward to future updates at your nepaview site, too.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 30th, 2010, 9:13am
I ride a red Arctic Cat, I hope to get down to SSRT after more growth dies off. Some of these recent findings is getting me eager to go back. If I have the girl with me she rides a metallic black Arctic Cat.  
 
I haven't updated my site this year much because I injured my knee this spring which required surgery and rehab. I couldn't get out there during the prime season (spring) The late fall is OK for this but then I also have to be mindful of hunting season. I have been happy finding the remains I saw along the SSRT trail system. I had tried a few walks but the knee just hurt too much, so it nixed the exploring season.
 
Mike
 
 
 
on Oct 29th, 2010, 10:10pm, WVTransplant wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mike,
 
Just an FYI--if you ever see a metallic red Rzr with black/silver rims while at SS, flag it down.  I'll say hello.  I'll be down there a few times between now and the deep snow (as well as at the Bloody Skillet when time/light permits).
 
And, as always, great photos.  I'm looking forward to future updates at your nepaview site, too.

Posted by: darktown2 Posted on: Oct 30th, 2010, 10:27am
Mike; Just wanted to thank you for the fine coverage of that long gone branch. I enjoy looking at the photos. Sure wish I would have been there for the operations. Would have been great. After a ton of knee operations I have found just wearing a support wrap/brace helps the pain in my knees a great deal. Better then the huge ACL brace that wears on your leg as well. So keep those photos coming. And thanks again.  Take err easy. Keith
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Oct 31st, 2010, 6:13pm
Part of the damage I did to my knee was my ACL and I now have one of those large hinged ACL braces. I was out walking a Lehigh Valley line today, was able to do about 4.5 miles before the knees hurt. I think now I just have to build the strength back. Still hope to get to SSRT again this year.
 
Mike
 
 
 
on Oct 30th, 2010, 10:27am, darktown2 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mike; Just wanted to thank you for the fine coverage of that long gone branch. I enjoy looking at the photos. Sure wish I would have been there for the operations. Would have been great. After a ton of knee operations I have found just wearing a support wrap/brace helps the pain in my knees a great deal. Better then the huge ACL brace that wears on your leg as well. So keep those photos coming. And thanks again.  Take err easy.      Keith

Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Oct 31st, 2010, 6:35pm
on Oct 29th, 2010, 6:56pm, mike_nepa wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Behind it, set back about 75 feet is the remains of a large foundation. Its very long, but again, the growth prevents a good picture of it.

 
Mike, these are the remains of the coke ovens at Gorton.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Nov 2nd, 2010, 8:02pm
Thanks again for the information. This will really be a big help for me to fine tune my GPS map for future treks down there to find more remains. Finding the mile post and now having a good GPS mark of the coke ovens, that will really help in dialing in my map I have been making.  
 
Mike
 
 
 
on Oct 31st, 2010, 6:35pm, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Mike, these are the remains of the coke ovens at Gorton.

Posted by: The_Swede Posted on: Dec 30th, 2010, 12:38pm
Thanks for the photo coverage.  My wife is a native of Beech Creek so I get up that way occasionally.  I finally saw the "Peale" article on-line....Jeff F. you wouldn't happen to be a graduate of OWU would you?
 
John Svensson (Class of 81)
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Dec 31st, 2010, 7:19pm
Swede,
 
OWU being Ohio Wesleyan?  No, not me but the webmaster at the original Peale website is employed there.  I'm a Penn State graduate with campus being almost within spitting distance of the Beech Creek Line.  Hey, I have Swedish ancestry as well.
 
Posted by: The_Swede Posted on: Jan 3rd, 2011, 1:28pm
Yep, I meant Ohio Wesleyan....my wife is a grad of Lock Haven U.  
At any rate, I'll be on the look out for your eventual publication.  
Sorry to take this a bit off topic!
John
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:32pm
Finally had a chance to head down to Snow Shoe and do some exploring. Found some neat things and a few unknown things. So here are a few pictures.
 
This is a concrete whistle post, the style is different then others I have seen. This is at MP 46.3
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:33pm
The township road was closed due to a bridge being replaced. Here at a refractory, these abutments appear to once have been a track. I have a 1931 map that shows a track to this point and converging down the line.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:34pm
This appears to be another pump house, more intact at MP 49.9
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:35pm
A closer view of the remains of the coke ovens at Gorton.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:36pm
Another picture, is this the firebrick used in the ovens? The shape is circular  and one right after another based on the remains.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:37pm
At Gorton where staging tracks once was, we saw this.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:38pm
This was an unusual find. There are about 16 of these cut down poles, but they are much thicker then line side poles. These are directly across the Mile Post #59.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:39pm
At MP59.4 I came across more of these thicker poles. Here there was about 10 of them, the other location (59.0) had more like 16 of them. Same side of the railbed as the other.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:40pm
The remains of the Peale Train station.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:41pm
After crossing the viaduct, heading along the main line before I-80's bridges I spotted this. This would be about MP59.9
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:43pm
Mile Posts #60,61,62,63,64 were not found. This is the remains of Mile post #65. Unlike the others seen, this is on the opposite side of the railbed. The next one up the line seen before (#66) is back on the "normal" side. On the way back I looked for the above posts on the other side and they were not found.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 18th, 2011, 6:44pm
Tipple found at Grassflat
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Apr 22nd, 2011, 7:08pm
Mike,
 
Excellent work with not only the high quality pics but the location details.  Some answers/comments...
 
Whistle post--what was unique about this one? It appears to be the common style used on this line. I have the upper half or maybe just the third of one in my backyard. It is due for another repainting.
 
The brickyard at Snow Shoe (Clarence) is the former J. H. France Refractories which was the last active customer on the line between Winburne  end of track (at Snow Shoe). Both NYC (from the east) and PRR (from the west) served this facility. In fact the two roads had an official interchange here--yes, right on the brickyard property!
 
The pump house is probably not railroad-related. There likely would not have been a need for something like this here as there was no standpipe here. Also, it is not indicated on the valuation map.
 
Firebrick likely made up the beehive ovens at Gorton.
 
The "cut down" poles opposite MP 59 are at what was known as the "sinkhole." The railroad constantly had problems here with slides and the poles were meant to help shore up the hillside in order to keep the grade level side-to-side.
 
I'm scratching my head about the remains of Peale station. Are you sure this was the station site? That cinder block can't be related to the station. Perhaps someone is doing some excavating and construction here?
 
At MP 59.9, that is the abutment for the coal dock trestle.
 
So you believe MP 65 was on the north side of the track? That does seem unsual. Are you sure this wasn't the remains of a whistle post?
 
I've not been to my tramping grounds here since October 2008. I'm really getting an itch to return. I'm way past due. Being stuck in the flatlands is driving me up the wall.
 
Have you read my write-up on the railroad at John Krygier's Peale website? If not this will give you more details on Viaduct-Gorton segment.
 
Jeff
 
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:34am
The whistle post is unique to me because in the Northeast PA area, there were no New York Central lines. My area was dominated by Anthracite Coal. This style of post is the first one I have ever seen.  
 
I had thought the small building could have been a more intact pumphose since it seemed the same size as the other ones (although mostly gone) I don't have valuation maps of the line so it was a guess of mine. No biggie I have been wrong before.  
 
The heavy tree growth prevented getting an overall picture of the ovens. From what I saw the foundation remains were very long. Signs of a track servicing it was hard to see as well.  
 
Thanks for the information on the cut down poles. It makes sense now since the berm on that side of the railroad is very steep and would be susceptible to erosion.  
 
I attached a map with a GPS mark of the foundation remains that I call the Peale Station. The mark is "010" in addition, I have marked the mile points based on the posts that I found and marked, and projecting to those that are now missing.  The station remains are off Gorton road, southeast of the line, on the opposite side of the road, is where the fire clay tipple and spur track was found. In the map, the spur track is actually still shown. I did take additional pictures of the remains and some of it is older material. I do think I have the right location based on your publication. The cinder block does look like "newer" construction but I don't know why.  
 
As for mile post #65. The remains were mangled and broken so there wasn't anything readable on it. It was the only post found on the opposite side of the railbed which in itself seemed unusual.  The reason I think it is the mile post is although the posts are missing past the viaduct. I was able to project in one mile increments where the other posts would be. We looked for them but none were found. JS-59 is known and found, the next known one was JS-66 so my projections should not be far off. I did a similar projection along the D&H's Penn Division and was able to located toppled over posts within 50 feet of my projected marks. If your map shows the whistle post at the same location as the post, then this is what it must be and the post itself is missing like 60-64.  
 
Once I had made a map of the mile posts (known and projected) I used the information in your document to project where other artifacts could be. Example being:  the next location of significance was Peale station, MP 58.01. The Peale station  
 
I would then make a mark as a potential artifact and upload this data to my GPS and then go look for it. This has worked very well for locating artifacts along the D&H's Penn Division.  
 
 
I will look for that other article and read it. It might help to locate more stuff.
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:37am
More pictures of the station remains.
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:37am
Second one
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 23rd, 2011, 10:38am
Third one
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 25th, 2011, 4:24pm
Do you have his website, I did some google searching but I didn't find it.
 
Mike
 
 
on Apr 22nd, 2011, 7:08pm, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mike,
 
Have you read my write-up on the railroad at John Krygier's Peale website? If not this will give you more details on Viaduct-Gorton segment.
 
Jeff
 
 

Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Apr 25th, 2011, 6:36pm
on Apr 25th, 2011, 4:24pm, mike_nepa wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Do you have his website, I did some google searching but I didn't find it.
 
Mike
 
 

 
Mike, here you go:
 
http://go.owu.edu/~jbkrygie/krygier_html/peale/peale.html
 
More soon.
 
Jeff
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Apr 26th, 2011, 8:58pm
Mike,
 
I think you have the Peale station site right, that is north of the track, east of the "highway" crossing.
 
That slab on the ground looks familiar, as does the block-like thing on its side. I think the pipe is what went under the township road at the crossing.
 
What baffles me though is the cinder block structure which appears to be partially below ground. This is new to me. I know there is Marcellus Shale drilling activity in the area so maybe this is related to those efforts.
 
Jeff
Posted by: Pappy Posted on: Apr 27th, 2011, 7:57am
Hi Guys,
 
I’ve been following this thread for a while and thought you might be interested in the book “Today and Tomorrow: Railroads of the Area” that can be purchased for $10 from the Clearfield Historical Society.  I seen the reference from John Krygier’s site and Amazon wanted $75 but $10 is a lot easier on the budget.
 
http://www.clfdhistory.org/public_html/bookstore.htm
 
I just purchased a Garmin Oregon 450 and hope to explore Gazzam over the next few weeks.  If you’re interested I could share my information.
 
Jeff
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 28th, 2011, 4:28pm
I have that one bookmarked already, my confusion.
 
 
on Apr 25th, 2011, 6:36pm, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Mike, here you go:
 
http://go.owu.edu/~jbkrygie/krygier_html/peale/peale.html
 
More soon.
 
Jeff

Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Apr 28th, 2011, 4:32pm
The past two years, they have had signs in the area that the SSRT trail was being used by truck traffic but I don't know if it has to do with the drilling. I did notice parts of the Grassflat branchline was plowed out recently and I was told there is some logging going on.  
 
From looking at the cinder block section, it isn't that recent as the ground was not disturbed or saw any signs of recent "construction"  
 
Mike
 
 
 
 
on Apr 26th, 2011, 8:58pm, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Mike,
 
I think you have the Peale station site right, that is north of the track, east of the "highway" crossing.
 
That slab on the ground looks familiar, as does the block-like thing on its side. I think the pipe is what went under the township road at the crossing.
 
What baffles me though is the cinder block structure which appears to be partially below ground. This is new to me. I know there is Marcellus Shale drilling activity in the area so maybe this is related to those efforts.
 
Jeff

Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: May 1st, 2011, 10:25am
on Apr 27th, 2011, 7:57am, Pappy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hi Guys,
 
I’ve been following this thread for a while and thought you might be interested in the book “Today and Tomorrow: Railroads of the Area” that can be purchased for $10 from the Clearfield Historical Society.  I seen the reference from John Krygier’s site and Amazon wanted $75 but $10 is a lot easier on the budget.
 
http://www.clfdhistory.org/public_html/bookstore.htm
 
I just purchased a Garmin Oregon 450 and hope to explore Gazzam over the next few weeks.  If you’re interested I could share my information.
 
Jeff

 
I would guess that $75 is for a book from the original--1968--printing. Even at that such a price seems way out of hand. The reprint, the $10 version, contains the exact same text, just with different cover photos and maybe a different photo or two inside. I would highly recommend this book.
 
As for Gazzam, I'd be highly interested in what you find out. I've been there once or twice but did not find much at all. I believe the cemetery, or at least a part of it, survives.
 
Jeff
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: May 1st, 2011, 10:29am
on Apr 28th, 2011, 4:32pm, mike_nepa wrote:       (Click here for original message)

From looking at the cinder block section, it isn't that recent as the ground was not disturbed or saw any signs of recent "construction"  
 
Mike

 
Mike, the Peale station was built c. 1884 and removed probably by the time of the end of passenger service in 1933. As such I highly doubt this cinder block section was a part of the station. I guess I'll have to see what this is all about in person during my next trip, hopefully sometime later this year.
 
Jeff  
Posted by: Pappy Posted on: May 1st, 2011, 8:58pm
I made it to Gazzam Saturday but there were no signs of the old buildings in the area I looked.  I overlaid a small crop of a 1903 TOPO in Google Earth and loaded it on the Garmin 450 to help in locating buildings and the old rail line.  I was by myself and didn't want to trespass so I didn't go far.  I then went up the road and parked at the church and hiked in to find the old rail bed that went to the mines (made a track in Google earth for another aid in finding it).  I was within 200 yards of the track and ran into a pile of very fresh bear droppings and decided to go back .  Next time I will have someone with me or a sidearm...LOL
 
I did stop at the first Kerrmoor tunnel and took some pics on the way back.  The north end caved in and the south end was full of water and I couldn't get too close.  I'll be going back up when things dry up a bit and hike to the second one.
 
South end

 
North end

 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: May 2nd, 2011, 4:57pm
I agree with that 100% some of the other remains do seem from that era. To the best of my ability, this should be the correct location for the station.
 
Mike
 
 
 
on May 1st, 2011, 10:29am, Beech_Cricker wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Mike, the Peale station was built c. 1884 and removed probably by the time of the end of passenger service in 1933. As such I highly doubt this cinder block section was a part of the station. I guess I'll have to see what this is all about in person during my next trip, hopefully sometime later this year.
 
Jeff  

Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: May 7th, 2011, 6:19pm
Pappy, good work! This is Friendship Tunnel which is just (railroad) west of Kerrmoor. The other tunnel, a little further west, is Hoyt Tunnel. I have only been to these tunnels once, maybe 8 years ago. From what we could tell, the cave-in at the west end (north by compass) of Friendship Tunnel must have happened earlier that year. The east (south) end of the tunnel was dry that visit and I do believe we were there in the spring, if memory serves. Maybe there has been some changes to the ground there since my visit as it looks like a virtual ocean there in your shot.
 
You shouldn't have to "hike" to Hoyt. You can take a little side road righ down to the west portal, though it is quite steep. It might be best to park on top and walk this short road down to the grade. Of course this may have all changed since my visit.
 
I think a local expert would have to be consulted about Gazzam, assuming any remains are still with us.
 
Jeff
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 2nd, 2011, 9:01am
I started putting together pieces of what I have on this railroad and put it up on my site. It is still a work in progress as collecting pictures taken over different years and placing them is a challenge. What I have done so far is here..
 
http://www.nepaview.com/nyc-beech-creek-railroad.html
 
If there is any mistake or omissions please let me know so I can correct the information. comments can be directly emailed to me at tunkskier@netscape.net
 
Most of the older section was not accessible so I had to resort to drive-by pictures.  
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 17th, 2011, 12:02pm
Went down for the annual SSRT chicken BBQ event, my plan was to ride with the club out to the pipeline then break off for awhile and re-join them at the BBQ event. This would have given me time to check out a few things at Kato, but this didn't happen so I only had a short time to snoop around. Well for the short time, it turned up some interesting things.  
 
The first is to look again at the ties that oppose the main railbed. Here it is but after scraping around, its too long, Note the circle area, I found a screw spike bent over and managed to pull it out.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 17th, 2011, 12:03pm
This is the screw spike I pulled out (and kept This is way too long for it to hold in a normal tie. Hmm, this is interesting.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 17th, 2011, 12:04pm
The ties of the Beech Creek railroad are visible due to the growth, I drew in the approximate location of the ones I found still in place, here you can see this long opposing tie in relation.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 17th, 2011, 12:05pm
Seen here are several more ties opposing the main railbed. Time did not permit me to dig around to see if these too are also long ones.  
 
These are located slightly upstream from the road bridge if you were to project these down to the stream crossing.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 17th, 2011, 12:08pm
Here is the overall length of this long "tie" On the left is where I pulled out that screw. A friend is standing on the right end of this "tie"
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 17th, 2011, 12:11pm
Another picture showing this in relation to the main railroad bed. A look at the creek did not reveal the abutments of the crossing. This is not a good time of the year for this as if there are remains of the railroad abutments, they will be hidden in growth.  
 
This is an interesting find, but raises more questions then answers them. There was a track here to service that tipple. I have to get back here after the growth dies off again to get more data for sure. (and when I can spend more time)
 
Mike
Posted by: DaveK Posted on: Jul 17th, 2011, 4:39pm
Looks like a lag bolt used to hold wooden crossing timbers in place at a road crossing.on Jul 17th, 2011, 12:03pm, mike_nepa wrote:       (Click here for original message)
This is the screw spike I pulled out (and kept This is way too long for it to hold in a normal tie. Hmm, this is interesting.

Posted by: DaveK Posted on: Jul 17th, 2011, 4:57pm
The timber would be laid on top of the regular ties paralleling both rails on both on the field and gage side of each rail, with enough space left between the timber and rail on the gage side so the wheel flange could safely pass. The Lag Bolts would be driven down through the crossing timber and into the tie to hold it in place.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 21st, 2011, 4:50pm
I got to get down there again when the growth dies off and spend some time there snooping around. There has to be more remains of what was there.  
 
On a different note, I added more to the page on my site about the railroad.
 
Mike
Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Jul 30th, 2011, 5:59pm
Mike, please send me an e-mail as I seem to have lost your addy. I have comments on the lastest additions to your BCRR site.
 
Jeff
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 31st, 2011, 9:43am
I sent you an email back, I got a comment from you from he website and I replied to it, therefore you should now have my email address.
 
Putting that page together on my site is a challenge. I had to assemble bits & pieces over several years and the older pictures I didn't have good GPS tracking.  
 
The documents you published were a tremendous help. Having items documented by the mile points was invaluable. Once I marked off the remaining posts that were still standing, I projected to where posts should be, but are now missing. Then taking data from your documents, I projected where potential artifacts should be and then went looking for them.  
 
I had done the same thing up my way on the D&H's Penn Division. I had a timetable with mile points of the cabins and such. I first used this idea on that line as it is much closer to me. I was able to identify quite a few remains along the Penn Division and then turned around and tried it on the Beech Creek line.  
 
Naturally the lower mile points get inaccurate as most of the line is not accessible anymore. I had to resort to only a few drive-by pictures where the railroad line is close to the road. From what I could see the lower section is mostly undisturbed and could contain some interesting relics. The lowest mile post I saw was #34.  
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Jul 31st, 2011, 9:51am
That would make sense for those long ties to be part of a road crossing. It does seem to align with the single lane road bridge shown. Attached is a picture of my town, 1950's. This is the D&H Penn Division crossing but it shows what could be what I saw the remains of at Kato. This crossing is what could have been there to allow cars to cross over the tracks, the ties shown here are also very long.
 
Mike
 
 
 
 
on Jul 17th, 2011, 4:57pm, DaveK wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The timber would be laid on top of the regular ties paralleling both rails on both on the field and gage side of each rail, with enough space left between the timber and rail on the gage side so the wheel flange could safely pass. The Lag Bolts would be driven down through the crossing timber and into the tie to hold it in place.

Posted by: Beech_Cricker Posted on: Aug 2nd, 2011, 10:12pm
on Jul 31st, 2011, 9:43am, mike_nepa wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I sent you an email back, I got a comment from you from he website and I replied to it, therefore you should now have my email address.
 

 
Mike, I never received anything. Can you try again?
 
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 4th, 2011, 4:53pm
I also sent you a PM here with my address.  will email you again.
 
Mike
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Sep 28th, 2011, 5:55pm
The latest trip down to SSRT proved interesting. A new connection trail recently opened which connects the SSRT Trail system to the Bloody Skillet State forest trail system. Along this connection it utilizes a small portion of the 1966-68 abandonment of the line. This picture was taken at MP 31.8 The railbed is clear and probably in use for vehicle traffic.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Sep 28th, 2011, 5:56pm
At MP 31.85 a new bridge was constructed on the original abutments spanning Beech Creek.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Sep 28th, 2011, 5:58pm
A view of the new bridge, also shows this bridge must have been missing otherwise I would figure they would have fixed the old one up.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Sep 28th, 2011, 5:58pm
An overall view of the new bridge.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Sep 28th, 2011, 5:59pm
The original abutment can be seen here.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Sep 28th, 2011, 6:02pm
At MP 32.0 (after a short walk) is a large rock cut. I did not find the mile post but the growth is in and may be obscured. There are no more bridges between here and the Hogback Tunnel which is at MP 33.7
 
Amazing when I look at a map of the railroad that there were 15 bridges between Orviston and Clarence. Some are intact, others are missing.
Posted by: mike_nepa Posted on: Aug 17th, 2016, 11:18am
Just to let everyone know, Jeff Feldmeier (Beech_cricker) passed in June. He as an expert on
the Beech Creek Railroad and provided a lot of information when I was researching this
railroad line  
 
http://www.voranfuneralhome.com/obituary/Jeffrey-L.-Feldmeier/_/1633478