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Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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   Author  Topic: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield  (Read 691 times)
IRR
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Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
 
« on: May 18th, 2010, 12:22pm »
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With the great aerial views from the Penn Pilot website  http://www.pennpilot.psu.edu/   i was finally able to trace the mostly destroyed Ironton Railroad r.o.w. to Orefield PA. While the majority of the IRR is now the Ironton Rail-Trail the line to Orefield has surrendered to the environment and progress.

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IRR
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
  Orefield_area_5-29-39_with_Ironton_RR_high-lighted_7621x6012.jpg - 1269274 Bytes
« Reply #1 on: May 18th, 2010, 12:34pm »
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Going back in time thanks to Penn Pilot and we're on survey flight for the US Department of Agriculture on 5-29-1939... I highlighted the IRR ..The PA turnpike (one of the main reasons for the lines abandonment)  has not been built yet...


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IRR
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #2 on: May 18th, 2010, 12:38pm »
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Here's an up-close view of the Orfield end of the branch.. There is  a coal dock or ramp (still standing in the parking lot of Paul's Ace Hardware n 2010) and the Ironton RR station (demolished)

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/orefield_zoom.jpg
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IRR
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #3 on: May 18th, 2010, 12:44pm »
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Once again we're "up in the air" at the behest of the USDA . This time the date is 7-18-1971 and we can see how the IRR has disappeared in the intervening 32 years.


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IRR
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
 
« Reply #4 on: May 18th, 2010, 12:53pm »
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I'll be heading out this week (Soon as the rain stops) to trace the IRR and photograph the coal dock and other remnants (assuming there are any). There has been a decent amount of change since the NEWEST Penn Pilot photo so the R.O.W. may even be MORE destroyed... Hope this thread helps the other Ironton Railroad fans out there.. I have to thank Mtillger for steering me to the Penn Pilot site on my "C & F Branch Industry Question" thread.. A thousand thank yous!!! you made this all possible.

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one87th
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
  Siegersville_1875_present.jpg - 157781 Bytes
« Reply #5 on: May 30th, 2010, 4:48am »
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IRR,  
I'd be interested to know what you found left of the Ironton's Siegersville branch.  
 
Here's some info that may be of interest:
 
The line past Siegersville down to Orefield (which ended just past Lime Kiln Road) was abandoned prior to 1900.
 
A report in the 1900 volume 21 of "Mines & Minerals" states that the Sieger mine (the old ore pit behind the current hardware store) had reopened in 1899. All iron mining on the Ironton ceased in the early 1900's.
 
With passenger service gone by 1921, no iron mines, and only a weekly freight train, the Ironton filed to abandon the entire remaining Siegersville branch in 1943, but was denied that in 1944 because of the hardship it would have cause the few remaining shippers.
 
In 1951 they did abandon a 390 foot portion past the station. (This must have been the old track to service the Sieger mine).
 
A 1954 shippers guide lists a cement block company, a building supply company, and 2 feed and 1 farm companies as the remaining shippers in Siegersville (all serviced via the station?)  
In 1955 the Ironton was able to finally abandon the line so that, in turn, the under-construction turnpike would not have to build an expensive bridge over the right-of-way.
 
I understand that the Siegersville station stood until sometime into the 1960's. Anyone with photos of it, please post or contact me if you know someone that does!!!!
 
I've attached an image showing Siegersvile today, and with an 1875 map overlaid on it. Note how the old ore mines are being filled in. The location of extension to Orefield is shown as a red line. Also note the blue line, which was the location of the Lehigh Valley Transit line from Allentown through Siegersville and onto Neffs and Slatington from 1900 to 1931. I assume it crossed the Ironton at grade. Can anyone confirm this?


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Siegersville_1875_present.jpg
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« Last Edit: May 30th, 2010, 4:59am by one87th » Logged
IRR
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
 
« Reply #6 on: May 30th, 2010, 9:55pm »
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Great job overlaying the IRR map on the aerial shot! I've seen that map before but overlaying it like you did really gives it depth. A good friend of mine grew up right next to where the station stood and he told me it lasted into the eighties..Best part is his mom and sister are  looking through old family  photos for  me  because the IRR  station was next to their house and was undoubtedly  the background of photos they took in their yard...I Was over there the other day and he showed me where the station and other structures once stood helping me IMMENSELY to visualize what was once there .. (I'll shoot the coal doc pics this week)..I had assumes the IRR branch was destroyed by time  but my research has showed me Alot more of the r.o.w. survives then i once thought..a Large section is  used by Jaindl Farms as an access road for their turkey farms..Other sections of r.o.w. are the entrance road for Iron Lakes (Twin Lakes back in the day) golf course and a private driveway.Though 2 sections are lost under cornfields the Ironton branch has not vanished yet!!!!!  

« Last Edit: May 30th, 2010, 9:58pm by IRR » Logged
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
  Orefield_branch_1.jpg - 123395 Bytes
« Reply #7 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 5:46pm »
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Did a quick recon of the Orefield brach today. Here's photo 1: the overgrown branch r.o.w. at Mach Chunk Rd looking towards the junction with the main.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_1.jpg
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
  Orefield_branch_2.jpg - 106924 Bytes
« Reply #8 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 5:47pm »
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Photo 2: Looking towards Orefield at Mach Chunk Rd (This is now a driveway)...

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_2.jpg
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
  Orefield_Branch_3.jpg - 83036 Bytes
« Reply #9 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 5:50pm »
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Photo 3: a section of the former IRR r.o.w. runs through Iron Lakes  golf course and is used as an access road ... This section is lost under the parking lot (R.O.W. would be next to the tree line)

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_Branch_3.jpg
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 5:53pm »
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Photo 4 proceeding across the vehicular bridge on the former IRR  ..I don't know if there was a bridge here when the Ironton ran but i can tell you that part of the bridge's far abutment is made from cut stone

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_4.jpg
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
  Orefield_branch_5.jpg - 113614 Bytes
« Reply #11 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 5:56pm »
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Photo 5: looking down the ex Ironton r.o.w. which has become Iron Lakes access road..You can almost picture an Ironton steamer gliding under the tall trees....  

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_5.jpg
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« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2010, 5:56pm by IRR » Logged
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
  Orefield_branch_6.jpg - 97989 Bytes
« Reply #12 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 5:58pm »
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Photo 6:Here the access road makes a rather abrupt left turn off of the Ironton r.ow.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_6.jpg
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:01pm »
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Photo 7: Here the IRR is covered by well manicured grass...The access road is behind us and we're looking towards Shankwieler Road grade crossing

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_7.jpg
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #14 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:04pm »
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Photo 8:After Shankwieler Rd the IRR is used as an access road for Jaindl Farms.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_8.jpg
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« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:04pm by IRR » Logged
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #15 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:07pm »
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Photo 9: Looking at the Grade crossing from slightly below it.. I was AMAZED HOW WELL DEFINED the crossing site was with the Ironton being gone for over HALF A CENTURY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #16 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:45pm »
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Photo 10: This former body shop building sits on top the IRR. The tracks would've crossed Orefield Rd in front of us to the left of the pole. Paul's Ace Hardware is behind us.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_11.jpg
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #17 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:47pm »
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Photo 11: If you walk behind the former body shop you can see a well preserved cut were the Ironton Railroad once ran. (I'm planning on exploring this cut soon)

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_10.jpg
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« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:48pm by IRR » Logged
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #18 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:54pm »
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Photo 12. The coal bridge in Ace Hardware's parking lot as viewed from Orefield Rd...The former coal bins are used to store supplies by Ace. The Arrow shows where the track would've run.

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_12.jpg
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« Last Edit: Jun 4th, 2010, 6:55pm by IRR » Logged
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Re: Ironton railroad r.o.w. to Orefield
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« Reply #19 on: Jun 4th, 2010, 7:03pm »
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Photo 13: Last shot from my recon.. We're looking at the back side of the coal bridge .. The bridge used to be much longer but part has been demolished.At one point there was a two story structure at  the very end of the bridge (No idea if the structure was original to it's  railroad use). I plan on a more thorough exploration of this line and the Ironton branch to Balliettsville PA soon...  

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Orefield_branch_13.jpg
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