A Complete Rail Map of the Anthracite Region

Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

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A Complete Rail Map of the Anthracite Region

Postby Minneapolitan » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:29 pm

I've long been interested in the Anthracite Coal Region, and have spent much time looking at the area on Google Maps and Bing Maps. As many of your know, it's easy to see that the region is covered in visible and mostly abandoned (some so long ago, they're just barely visible) right-of-ways, curving and winding, criss-crissing each other like spaghetti on a plate. It's very confusing to know which railroad was which.

Finding system maps for the Anthracite roads is easy. There's many even linked in this Anthracite section of the site. But it's extremely difficult trying to get a sense of how the region worked when these maps can't be consolidated.

Is there any comprehensive, complete and detailed railroad map of the Anthracite Coal Region? Something that shows the fallen flags before Conrail? Or, on a similar note, a map like this of the Wyoming Valley (Scranton to Wilkes-Barre)? Any information would be helpful.
Nickel Plate Road should have merged with ERIE.

Duh.
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Re: A Complete Rail Map of the Anthracite Region

Postby frank754 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:53 pm

Check out this page, and download the kmz file. Then you will need to have Google Earth installed to open it. Quite a piece of work. You will have to zoom in and find the rail lines. Color-coded, but it takes a little while to figure out the scheme.

http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.p ... er=1110979
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Re: A Complete Rail Map of the Anthracite Region

Postby Minneapolitan » Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:35 pm

Holy crap. That's...impressive. Did you make that?

Say, what's the deal with these "light tracks" and "loaded tracks"? I would assume these "gravity railroads" have something to do with hauling large volumes of heavy coal back in the day. How did this system work, and when did this system end?
Nickel Plate Road should have merged with ERIE.

Duh.
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Re: A Complete Rail Map of the Anthracite Region

Postby one87th » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:24 am

The June 2009 issue of Trains Magazine featured a "map of the month" titled "What ever happened to the anthracite roads?". It features a color coded map of current (2009) operators and out-of-service track of eight anthracite roads (CNJ, D&H, DL&W, Erie, L&NE, LV, NYO&W, and RDG) as they existed in 1954. Mention is made that the WB&E is not shown as it was abandoned pre-1954. No Pennsy track is shown either.

Back issues can be ordered from Kalmbach's website.
Also, the April 2008 issue of Trains featured a detailed map of the web of trackage in Scranton as it existed in 1939.
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Re: A Complete Rail Map of the Anthracite Region

Postby mikeexplorer » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:08 pm

An excellent map of the area can be purchased at this site.

http://www.spv.co.uk/

Get the "Northeast" one, it covers what you are looking for. It has been my bible for exploring abandoned railroads of the NEPA area.

Gravity railroads used a series of inclined planes with stationary steam engines (or water wheels) to pull uphill several cars loaded with coal. The cars would then coast down to the next plane and the process continued. This was the loaded track. The light track did exactly the same thing except the cars were empty and returning to be filled with more coal.

I have a website showing many of the now abandoned lines of the NEPA area.

http://www.nepaview.com

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