Roelofs, PA Track Pans

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Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby R,N, Nelson » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:33 pm

Looking for information about the track pans on the Reading at Roelofs, PA. It seems that they were in service until about 1953 or so. Does anyone have any information on them?

Norman
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby Franklin Gowen » Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:48 pm

R,N, Nelson wrote:Looking for information about the track pans on the Reading at Roelofs, PA. It seems that they were in service until about 1953 or so. Does anyone have any information on them?

Norman

Hello, Norman. Perhaps I can help a little. What sort of data are you looking for regarding this pan installation? It helps if I have an idea how much you already know about operations on the New York Branch back in the golden days.
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby R,N, Nelson » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:34 am

My knowledge of the railroad in that region is from a B&O perspective.

What I am after are details about the track pans. I know that they were installed in the 1890's but don't know exactly when, in the 1950's, that they were discontinued.

I seemed to recall that the pans were only on the two center tracks, so were there penstocks on the two outer tracks?

Did any of the Reading freight engines have scoops?

Also, something about the pumping station itself. Was it manned with a coal fired steam pump and how were the pans heated in winter? Such things as the source of the water would be helpful as well. I assume it was ground water from a nearby creek.

It seems to me the track pans were discontinued when the Reading expanded the capacity of some of the tenders.

Norman
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby Franklin Gowen » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:44 am

Norman, my apologies for the delay in replying. I've carefully sifted through my own paper castle at home and I regret to say that I do not have the answers that you seek.

My first instinct might be to recommend that you contact the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society, but with their own official archives having access difficulties over the long term, that may not pan out for you. That's a shame, as the RCT&HS is a notable volunteer organization that's been around for a long time.

I'm not sure how to advise you further. In case the RCT&HS can't help you, I think that contacting the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society would be a good "Plan B". The Reading enjoys a substantial following among ARHS membership and some members may have personal documentation or anecdotal data from the steam era that may be detailed enough to be of use to you.

I'm really sorry that I was unable to fulfill your request directly.
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby R,N, Nelson » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:44 am

Thank you so much for checking your files and giving the contact.

Norman
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby RDGTRANSMUSEUM » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:18 am

we have nothing on the pans either,sorry. there is mention of pans at greenville in Ben Bernharts RDG G book.
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby R,N, Nelson » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:35 pm

Thanks for checking

Norman
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby boomerjdpeters » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:45 pm

There is an interesting detailed article "track pans and the B & O Royal Blue Line" if you put it in your search engine. It is a CSX article with a lot of detail about the four locations water was scooped between Wash & JC including Roelofs. From my own association with former RDG engine service employees, the freights eastbound stopped to take water at Roeofs and at this time if required on tonnage trains a helper was attached to the hind end to shove over the grade to Ewing at the helper was detached on the fly at either Ewing or Hopewell, returning light to Roelofs for another shove or back to Erie Ave. Roundhouse. Sometimes trains from West Falls needed a "stub pusher" over the Falls Grade to Newtown Jct. On heavy trains sometime this pusher would shove all the way to Ewing. The crews loved this as it was an extra days pay.

John Peters (ret locomotive engineer)
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby R,N, Nelson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:31 am

John:
The article that you mentioned is the one that I ended up writing. Thanks for the compliment.

And thanks for the additional information about Roelofs. Unfortunately, I could find little information on it at the time of the article.

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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby boomerjdpeters » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:34 am

Mr Nelson.................thanks and after I replied I thought this is too much of a conincidence! Great article. I just learned that there where also standpipes (penstocks) at Skillman NJ on all four main tracks. Also in the President series P-7 engines article there is a picture at Roelofs of scooping water. RDG employees TT 26 4/29/1934 special instructions 'Roelofs passing over track pans, taking water 45 mph. Two trains passing over track pans, one or both taking water 30 mph." I read somewehere else pans were installed in 1890 then at a later date moved 2 miles east to Roelofs.
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby GSDenshaw » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:04 am

boomerjdpeters wrote: Also in the President series P-7 engines article there is a picture at Roelofs of scooping water." " I read somewhere else pans were installed in 1890 then at a later date moved 2 miles east to Roelofs.


I realize that this thread started some years ago, however I would like to follow up on these statements.

Do you recall where and when this article was published ? I am interested in tracking down this photo.

Based on the reality that Yardley is located West of The Deleware River, the track pans would have been moved West to Roelofs. I have located some specific information about the pump house which was built to supply the track pans at Roelofs, as well as some information about the signal towers that were built at Yardley and Roelofs at about the same time. I would be very interested in any further detail which you can provide.

I would be most interested in photographs of Yardley and Roelofs through the years. I have seen one photograph of Roelofs, and unfortunately, the structures are not visible in the photo.
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby GSDenshaw » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:39 pm

It is my understanding that track pans were first installed at Yardley in 1890. They were moved West at a later date.

In 1914, a new pump house and boiler house was erected adjacent to Brock's Creek; a location west of Yardley.
Also in 1914 a new reservoir was built, a new interlocking tower at Yardley, a new interlocking tower at Roelofs, and a new
slow-running West bound track between Yardley and Woodbourne.

What I do not know is were the track pans moved twice ? Or, were they moved once in 1914 ?

Both towers are gone, but the pump house remains.
The architect for all of these structures was W Hunter.

Pump House 1 Alt - cropped lo-res.jpg
Pump House 2 Alt - cropped lo-res.jpg
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby GSDenshaw » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:16 pm

I have been reviewing as many Philadelphia & Reading Annual Reports as I can find and found this from 1901:

New track tanks and pump house at Yardley.

Notice that it does not say "construction of track tanks and pump house", but instead says "new track tanks and pump house". I take this to mean that track tanks and a pump house were already in place and were replaced at this time (but it does not say replaced, either). It could also mean that the track tanks were moved at this time.

1P-R 1901 Yardley copy.jpg
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby GSDenshaw » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:22 pm

GSDenshaw wrote:
boomerjdpeters wrote: Also in the President series P-7 engines article there is a picture at Roelofs of scooping water." " I read somewhere else pans were installed in 1890 then at a later date moved 2 miles east to Roelofs.


Is this possibly from Engine5304 Run Extra (Publication of B&O Historical Society) 1980 Volume 2 Issue 11 ?

If anyone has this magazine and can check, I would appreciate the information.
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Re: Roelofs, PA Track Pans

Postby NorthPennLimited » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:58 am

Since the separation of CSX and SEPTA between West Trenton and Neshaminy, SEPTA has built a new interlocking at Yardley called IRON. Was this the same name the RDG used when there was an interlocking station at Yardley to go from 2 tracks to 4 tracks?
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