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Ironton RR r.o.w. to Balliettsville PA
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   Author  Topic: Ironton RR r.o.w. to Balliettsville PA  (Read 181 times)
IRR
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Ironton RR r.o.w. to Balliettsville PA
  IRR_Balliettsville_Branch_2124x1368.jpg - 412814 Bytes
« on: Jun 8th, 2010, 10:02pm »
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Another portion of the Ironton that is not part of the IRONTON RAIL-TRAIL  is the branch to Balliettsville PA. Once again Penn Pilot helped me trace this long dismantled branch from it's beginning at the junction (NAME?) of the Main line and Siegersville/Orefield branch.. This aerial view was taken in the late thirties.


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IRR
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Re: Ironton RR r.o.w. to Balliettsville PA
 
« Reply #1 on: Jun 8th, 2010, 10:09pm »
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One question the Penn Pilot site didn't answer for me was how the Ironton crossed Sand Spring Road.. There appears to be rather large raised r.o.w. at that location which would suggest an overpass to me. My Grandmother visited relatives who lived on Sand Spring Rd in the 50's (by then the IRR was long gone )and she doesn't remember seeing a bridge or hearing trains from the relatives house ( It was right next to the junkyard). Hopefully someone out there on RAILFAN.net can help me out with this conundrum. I'm taking photos of this branch and will be posting em this week.  

« Last Edit: Jun 8th, 2010, 10:10pm by IRR » Logged
one87th
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Re: Ironton RR r.o.w. to Balliettsville PA
 
« Reply #2 on: Jun 9th, 2010, 3:32pm »
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The Sand Spings Road crossing was at grade. Back in the late 1800's there was a coal & lumber yard just south of the crossing. This portion of track (beyond the Eastern States Farmers Exchange) was abandoned around 1961.
A couple of notes on the 1939 map:
--note the junction of the Orefield brach and line to Ironton. This junction was moved a few years later to a point a few hundred feet South down the Orefield branch. New track was constructed and a portion of the old Ironton mainline was abandoned to permit expansion of the quarry.
--On the lower portion of the photo, the Eastern States Farmers Exchange (later Agway) building is not yet in existence, and also note the old winding alignment of Mauch Chunk Road (it was later straightened).
--At the Levans Road crossing (by the Grouse Hall pond), the Whitehall Street Railway (Lehigh Valley Tranist) line from Egypt to Levans Junction once crossed the Ironton line. The trolley line was abandoned in January 1931.
 
I'm still trying to figure out what the bridge over the Ironton r.o.w. is near the location of the water tower. Was this a road, railroad, or conveyor. It appears some kind of line ran from the large building near the present Rangers Lake, crossed the Ironton and ran to the Lehigh Cement mill D. Lehigh Cement did have some narrow gauge quarry operations in Ormrod, and a substantial bridge abutment still stands where this bridge or conveyor crossed.


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IRR
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Re: Ironton RR r.o.w. to Balliettsville PA
 
« Reply #3 on: Jun 9th, 2010, 4:50pm »
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My grandfather was born  in Ormrod PA in 1923 and lived there till about 1955  . He told me the bridge carried railroad tracks. I,m Pretty sure the concrete building by Ranger Lake once held the primary crusher (Not sure if he meant standard gauge or narrow gauge and since he passed away in '89 i can't ask him.
    ) My first walk on the Ironton was that exact section with my grandfather  when i was a little kid back in the mid 80's..The IRR was still intact at that point and i remember the siding going around the edge of the quarry to Mill D.


« Last Edit: Jun 9th, 2010, 5:08pm by IRR » Logged
IRR
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Re: Ironton RR r.o.w. to Balliettsville PA
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 9th, 2010, 5:06pm »
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Got some questions for ya....Did this line also service iron ore quarries like the Orefield branch did? I loose the right of way by Todd Pond wich i would guess was once an iron quarry or a "MINE HOLE" as my grandfather used to say.        Also there is a building that is aligned with the r.o.w. at Sand Spring Rd ... It has an odd look for a farm building..Is that possibly part of the lumber yard .. I couldn't see rail doors on the building when i drove by it the other day.. it's visible in this zoom of my Balliettsville branch aerial pic .

http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/fallenshorts/Sand_Spring_road_structure.jpg
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« Last Edit: Jun 9th, 2010, 5:24pm by IRR » Logged
one87th
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Re: Ironton RR r.o.w. to Balliettsville PA
 
« Reply #5 on: Jun 12th, 2010, 3:31am »
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Yes, the Ironton Railroad served iron ore mines in Ironton (hence the name of the town).
You can see 3 of the ore pits in the 1939 aerial map you embedded in your first post. The pond to the left of your pink "Orefiled Branch" text, the pond labeled "Grouse Hall", and the 3 ponds just above your "Mauch Chunk Road" text were all ore pits. The 3 at the top were all actually part of one large ore pit... this pit was the last one worked on the Ironton.
 
The building you labeled "Sand Springs Road structure" is located on the site of the old coal & lumber yard, but I think those buildings were raised a long time ago and the "barn" was built on that site.
 
See the following link for an 1876 map of Ironton. Keep clicking on the Ironton map to enlarge it:
http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/13699/Ironton++East+Texas++Friedensville++Unionville/Lehigh+County+1876/Pennsylvania/
 
Also note on the 1876 map the building labeled "Locomotive House". It appears that the Ironton's engine was originally base out of Ironton, until the Thomas Iron Co acquired the line and moved the base of operations to Hokendauqua.


« Last Edit: Jun 12th, 2010, 3:37am by one87th » Logged
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