Kinzua Dam RR

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Kinzua Dam RR

Postby TB Diamond » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:10 pm

What type of locomotive did the construction company Hunkin-Conkey use during the building of the Kinzua Dam?
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby Rick Rowlands » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:50 am

Image
They used this GE 80 tonner, which is now in McDonald, OH and owned by the Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation.
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby Aa3rt » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:26 pm

You may have already seen this, but here's some information that I posted in a thread in the New York State forum titled "Salamanca Question" about the former Oil City-Olean branch and its use during the construction of the Kinzua Dam.

Rick, thanks for the photo! The book I referenced was loaned to me by my brother-unfortunately the photos in the book were some rather grainy black and whites. Having grown up in Warren County, PA this topic is always of interest to me. However, I was less than 10 years old at the time of the Kinzua Dam dedication so my memories are a little vague.

"For those of you who may be interested in such things, I just finished reading a book titled Kinzua From Cornplanter to the Corps by William N. Hoover, copyright 2004.

A couple of points of interest as it relates to the final days of the railroad and the construction of the dam:

The passenger train that provided service to the dam dedication originated in Oil City and was made up of 2 locomotives and 18 passenger cars, carrying 1,400 passengers. This was on Oct. 22, 1960. Supposedly this was the first passenger train on the line in at least 30 years. I recall boarding this train with my parents and younger brother in Warren for the short ride to Big Bend where the dedication ceremony was held.

Regarding freight service on the line, the book has this to say on pages 147 & 148:

"Freight traffic on the Pennsylvania Railroad route from Warren to Olean via Kinzua officially ended August 1, 1962. This freight line had been in use twice a day. Pennsylvania Railroad received a $20,250,000 settlement from the US Government for these 28.5 miles of line. The Pennsylvania Railroad abandoned this line beginning one-half mile downstream from the dam site.

Regular freight traffic had been discontinued, but the railroad line was not to be deserted entirely at this time. Now its sole purpose was to provide construction materials for the dam. In March of 1963, Hunkin-Conkey Construction of Cleveland, Ohio, began laying rail for their railroad system within the dam construction area. The firm installed a mile of railroad track within the work area.

Construction materials such as sand, gravel and cement for Kinzua Dam were brought to the area by the Pennsylvania Railroad where Hunkin-Conkey had its own locomotive for switching purposes. This switching locomotive worked within the construction area of the dam. The Hunkin-Conkey locomotive brought cars loaded with construction materials off the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks nearby, onto company tracks for distribution in the work area.

During March of 1962, on the west bank of the Allegheny River, an aggregate unloading plant for railroad gondola cars was constructed in preparation for the production of concrete. Sand and gravel from rail cars were dumped into the pit, then conveyed through two large tubes to another conveyor system to a batching plant. The sand and gravel required were shipped to the dam site in special, larger than normal railroad cars. At the batching plant the concrete for the dam was mixed".

There are 2 photos of the passenger train, one showing the 2 RS locomotives in Warren and one of a couple of the passenger cars at the dedication site. There are also some photos of the dam site with railroad cars on the trestle above what was to become the dam and an ariel photo of the concrete mixing and cooling plant showing a number of railroad cars in a 3-track yard."
Last edited by Aa3rt on Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby Rick Rowlands » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:03 pm

Thanks for the info. on the Kinzua dam railroad operations. I am the President of the YSHF and last week the 80 tonner was donated to our organization. The donation agreement was signed yesterday, so the Kinzua Dam construction loco. has now officially been "preserved". We don't know just yet what we plan to do with it yet, but we will get it operational once again.
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby TB Diamond » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:41 pm

Thanks, guys, for the information and photo. Just finished reading the book Aa3rt references above and was curious as to the H-C power as it was not mentioned.
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby Ron S. » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:07 pm

Actually, there's two of Hunkin-Conkey's locomotives from the Kinzua Dam construction that have been saved...in addition to the Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation's GE 80-tonner, there's a Plymouth model JDT 15-tonner now residing at the Lake Shore Railway Historical Society's museum in North East, PA.

In the beginning, Merritt-Chapman & Scott bought 6 identical Plymouth JDT's for their dam construction project at Lewiston, NY. Two of these locomotives eventually went to Hunkin Conkey for use at the Kinzua Dam Project, reportedly as #'s U23 and U24. Later, after the Kinzua project was completed, both units were sold to National Forge at Irvine, PA (just west of Warren).

National Forge eventually transferred one of the Plymouth's to their Erie plant where it was eventually scrapped. But the the second one (#392 while at Irvine) was used for several years at Irvine until it was retired in 1997. The Irvine plant eventually was sold to Ellwood National Forge in 2003 and the Plymouth donated to LSRSHS the next year.

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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby thebigham » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:14 pm

I followed the exPRR railroad grade from Warren to the Kinzua dam this afternoon.

Someone somewhere mentioned that they thought parts of the PRR tracks were still in, but I did not see any traces today.
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby chevy2003 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:55 pm

In 2015, Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation transferred the Kinzua Dam GE 80 ton locomotive to Lake Shore Railway Historical Society in North East, PA, where it will join "the Locomotives that Dad & Grandpa Built Collection" of GE Built Locomotives there.

During the summer of 2016, this locomotive was moved from McDonald Steel/McDonald Ohio, to North East.

This locomotive, BEFORE being owned/used on the Kinzua Dam project, was the FIRST diesel-electric locomotive owned by the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad, predecessor of current Genesee & Wyoming Corp.

Locomotive has undergone cleaning and will be repainted into its 1944 as-delivered G&W RR paint scheme during 2017.

Special note -- now BOTH of the surviving Kinzua Dam locomotives are preserved at Lake Shore.

[rayg]

Navigate over to Facebook to check out some of the images"
https://www.facebook.com/lakeshorerailw ... =3&theater
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby thebigham » Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:50 pm

This video on YouTube has scenes of gravel cars. 2:25 mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tHs0LdrUD8

And again at the 3:00 mark.

At the 3:22 mark you can see the 3 span PRR bridge. It was dismantled.

At the 5:13 mark, is that another railroad bridge?
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby thebigham » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:34 pm

thebigham wrote:I followed the exPRR railroad grade from Warren to the Kinzua dam this afternoon.

Someone somewhere mentioned that they thought parts of the PRR tracks were still in, but I did not see any traces today.


The track map of the Kinzua Dam to Warren line is here:

http://railsandtrails.com/TC/PC/William ... ec-100.jpg
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby pablo » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:14 am

I'm not aware of any rails of that line left, except at the extreme east end of Pennsylvania, where there are often tank cars up against a chain link fence next to the road. I believe that's the main line, and I certainly wouldn't hope the fence to check, but I believe that the rail is much lighter than what you find in the yard on the other end of warren. There's almost no ballast, too...I imagine no one has touched those rails in a long time, other than an inspection to make sure they are safe.

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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby pumpers » Sun Nov 20, 2016 12:58 pm

No cars there (Pennsylvania Ave East in Warren) as of Nov 2015 in Google Streetview, if I have the right place.
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8253822 ... 312!8i6656
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby pablo » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:36 pm

Yep, that's the place!

I don't get to that side of the city all that often, but there have been cars there, perhaps every other time I go past. Always tank cars, and I would imagine they might be empties just waiting to get dragged into the yard: loads might be too heavy in those ballast conditions.

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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby thebigham » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:48 pm

My 'current end of track' picture from Oct. 2016 in Warren:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=233841

And a large former PRR bridge that is used by the A&E in Warren to service the former Salamanca/Allegany line:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=233840
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Re: Kinzua Dam RR

Postby pablo » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:24 pm

Like you said, you can easily follow the grade a few miles to the dam. I did not walk it to see if there are still mile markers in there.

When the water level is down, you can see the old line in the lake bed from I-86 from time to time.

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