Mystery Bridge Near Pottstown

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Mystery Bridge Near Pottstown

Postby NYSW3614 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:33 am

There's a bridge just west of the Rt 100 bright over the Schuylkill River. Was it for industrial access? A trolley line?

Thanks for any enlightenment!

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Postby JimBoylan » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:41 pm

More details as to exact location, please.
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Postby NYSW3614 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:38 pm

Ummm... I don't know what more I can add to location. You can see it from the Rt 100 bridge over the Schuylkill River. Its just west of Rt. 100.

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Postby RussNelson » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:47 am

Acme Mapper is very useful for pointing to locations. Plus, you have the choice of pointing at maps, color aerials, topo maps, or monochrome aerials. Here is the location of the bridge: http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=40.24419,-75.66233&z=17&t=S
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Postby HoboKen bound » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:33 pm

Pottstown, PA = Yuengling Beer = one very happy HobonKen bound person. (sorry...I just had to add that. Its such a fantastic beer).
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Postby metman499 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:43 pm

Yuengling is brewed in Pottsville PA. They are a customer of the Reading & Northern Railroad who delivers to both their original brewery in Pottsville and their new facility in nearby Port Carbon.
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Postby HoboKen bound » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:07 pm

metman499 wrote:Yuengling is brewed in Pottsville PA. They are a customer of the Reading & Northern Railroad who delivers to both their original brewery in Pottsville and their new facility in nearby Port Carbon.


You're right...I stand corrected. Maybe I've drank a little too much which killed a little too many of my brain cells...thus the stupid error on my part.

Nevertheless, kudos to Yuengling for using Reading & Northern. We like companies who use railroads.
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Postby JimBoylan » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:45 pm

I think its a dam, left over from Schuykill Navigation days. That canal was owned by the Philadelphia & Reading RR near its end.
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Postby dreese_us » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:30 pm

I know what he talking about, definately looks like a bridge crosses the river just west of route 100. At one time there was a rail line that ran north out of Downingtown which is now a bike trail, maybe part of the same row.
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Postby rdganthracite » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:36 am

This was discussed here several years ago. The bridge was used by the PRR to gain access to an industry.
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warwick furnace bridge

Postby fp7fan » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:24 pm

From what I understand, the bridge was used by Eastern Steel to access an area across the river where they dumped some by-product of their production (slag?) - I don't know anything about the iron business so I can't even hazard a guess here. I believe that the bridge was accessed from their property (using their own locos?), not from the PRR tracks because of the difference in elevation - there was a bridge that spanned the PRR r.o.w. that would have carried tracks south from the property to the bridge in question. In fact, the Easterm Steel property was in between both the Reading and the PRR tracks - I wonder which one had access to the property?
The last time I was in Pottstown, I walked around the area there and went to look at the bridge piers along the river bank. I tried to get to the bridge remains from the south, across the river, but the property is posted and there is a business with people walking around and I didn't feel like getting hassled so I didn't have a chance to explore that side of the bridge.
Here is a photo taken in 1938, I think, after the furnaces and other buildings were torn down that clearly shows the bridge leading to some kind of dumping ground.

<a><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3144/2294729819_61d5460767_o.jpg" width="723" height="482" alt="berks_091837_aho4403"></a>
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Re: warwick furnace bridge

Postby rushhour » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:17 am

fp7fan wrote:From what I understand, the bridge was used by Eastern Steel to access an area across the river where they dumped some by-product of their production (slag?) - I don't know anything about the iron business so I can't even hazard a guess here. I believe that the bridge was accessed from their property (using their own locos?), not from the PRR tracks because of the difference in elevation - there was a bridge that spanned the PRR r.o.w. that would have carried tracks south from the property to the bridge in question. In fact, the Easterm Steel property was in between both the Reading and the PRR tracks - I wonder which one had access to the property?
The last time I was in Pottstown, I walked around the area there and went to look at the bridge piers along the river bank. I tried to get to the bridge remains from the south, across the river, but the property is posted and there is a business with people walking around and I didn't feel like getting hassled so I didn't have a chance to explore that side of the bridge.
Here is a photo taken in 1938, I think, after the furnaces and other buildings were torn down that clearly shows the bridge leading to some kind of dumping ground.

<a><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3144/2294729819_61d5460767_o.jpg" width="723" height="482" alt="berks_091837_aho4403"></a>


I have spooked around that bridge for a while now since I have been living in Pottstown. You cannot get access ontop of the bridge becuase on both sides of the river the abutments as well as the fills are gone. From fellows co-workers of mine that worked with the RDG/CR. I'm told that it had something to do with a steel-mill/iron-ore works but came off of the RDG at "CG." If you go under the RDG at "CG" on Industrial Drive, you can see a bridge pier on the left hand side that still stands. That was part of that spur. Before the Schyulkill Valley Rail-trail was built. There used to be 2 piers from that bridge standing along the PRR ROW. I wish I had my camera back then to take pics of all this stuff. Not to get to far off topic but I would take as many pics as I could of the PRR in Pottstown. That part of the line has its days numbered.

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Re: Mystery Bridge Near Pottstown

Postby fp7fan » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:14 pm

The industry that used the railroad bridge in question was the Warwick Iron and Steel Co., which as far as I can determine had no connection, other than a similar name, with Warwick Furnace in Chester County which ceased operations in 1867: the Potts family owned Warwick Furnace in its last years of operation, the Warwick Iron and Steel Co. was a public company whose blast furnaces were later leased to Eastern Steel Co. of Pottsville, PA. I have attached a scan of an old postcard which identifies this facility as "Warwick Furnace" - which is not accurate and can be confusing. I also found out that the Pottstown Machine Co. used to service “narrow-gauge locomotives for the Eastern Steel Company" - so I am thinking that it was the steel plant's narrow gauge railroad that crossed the bridge to dump slag or other by-product on the other side of the Schuylkill.
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Re: Mystery Bridge Near Pottstown

Postby pumpers » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:14 pm

Sanborn insurance maps from 1928 call it Eastern Steel Corp, and label the track on the bridge "to Cinder Dump". The track was connected to the rest of the tracks in the plant, eventually connecting to the Reading, with no mention of narrow gauge, but who knows. ALso in support of the earlier posts, just south of the river in the area also was a road called Slag Rd. JS
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Re: Mystery Bridge Near Pottstown

Postby fp7fan » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:02 pm

pumpers wrote:Sanborn insurance maps from 1928 call it Eastern Steel Corp, and label the track on the bridge "to Cinder Dump". The track was connected to the rest of the tracks in the plant, eventually connecting to the Reading, with no mention of narrow gauge, but who knows. ALso in support of the earlier posts, just south of the river in the area also was a road called Slag Rd. JS


How can I access the Sanborn map you reference? Thanks
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