Reading Perkiomen Branch

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

Moderator: Franklin Gowen

Unique Photo Angle

Postby jrevans » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:38 pm

The other week, I was finally able to get the unique photo angle I that was wanting of the East Penn crew working my new place of employment.

I bet you never saw the train from that angle before, eh? :)

I only had my old Canon Powershot A80 camera with me, but it was better than no photo at all. The crew appeared to be a bit surprised to see me on the roof taking their picture....

I still haven't talked to the crew yet (I hate to bother them when they are working), but I've seen some of them before in Telford for lunch, when they worked the Bethlehem Branch and I worked in Telford.
Attachments
ESPN_printing_plant_1.jpg
East Penn works the printing plant
ESPN_printing_plant_1.jpg (117.12 KiB) Viewed 6722 times
JimE
Jim's train Web Pages - (Actually, this site doesn't exist any more....)
User avatar
jrevans
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Berks County in Eastern Pennsylvania

MOW equipment at the end of the branch

Postby jrevans » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:47 pm

I took a ride to McDonalds for lunch today and drove past the tracks at the end of the line in Pennsburg, on Route 663.

To my surprise, there were several pieces of Maintenance Of Way equipment parked on the tracks there. I have never seen MOW equipment on the Perkiomen Branch before, but the line does appear to be in good shape, so I'm sure it's maintained with regularity.
JimE
Jim's train Web Pages - (Actually, this site doesn't exist any more....)
User avatar
jrevans
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Berks County in Eastern Pennsylvania

Tie replacement going on

Postby jrevans » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:56 am

Yesterday, I saw the MOW equipment on the move past the printing plant. I saw the tamper rolling South, followed by the tie crane.

This morning, there were two tractor trailers filled with new looking ties in my parking lot. The ties had spray paint writing on the side saying EP (for East Penn I suppose). I went back out to take pictures, but the trucks were gone. Shortly after that, 7554 took off too.

I'm always amused/dismayed when railroads receive equipment/supplies via truck instead of rail. You'd think that they could deliver the ties in a gondola or something, considering it's a directly railroad related business.
JimE
Jim's train Web Pages - (Actually, this site doesn't exist any more....)
User avatar
jrevans
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Berks County in Eastern Pennsylvania

Re: Tie replacement going on

Postby limejuice » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:44 pm

jrevans wrote:Yesterday, I saw the MOW equipment on the move past the printing plant. I saw the tamper rolling South, followed by the tie crane.

This morning, there were two tractor trailers filled with new looking ties in my parking lot. The ties had spray paint writing on the side saying EP (for East Penn I suppose). I went back out to take pictures, but the trucks were gone. Shortly after that, 7554 took off too.

I'm always amused/dismayed when railroads receive equipment/supplies via truck instead of rail. You'd think that they could deliver the ties in a gondola or something, considering it's a directly railroad related business.


I don't understand it either. Don't know for sure about tie plants, but the major suppliers of ballast and rails in this area are on live rail. The real kicker is how Amtrak gets stone by rail at a quarry on SEPTA'S line, yet SEPTA trucks in their ballast from that same quarry.
limejuice
 
Posts: 614
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 8:51 pm

Articles about the Dillinger tunnel

Postby jrevans » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:25 pm

The local Emmaus online newspaper published some articles recently about the Dillinger tunnel, so I though I'd share them with you guys:


(I'd post the entire text from the article, but I've been previously scolded by rr.net admins for some sort of copyright mumbo-jumbo from out of control lawyers, so here are some snippets.... )


http://uppersaucon.patch.com/articles/p ... ain-tunnel

Dillinger Tunnel--Upper Milford Township’s only train tunnel. Actually, it’s the only train tunnel still in use in Lehigh County.
...
It's illegal now for people to enter, but the Dillinger Tunnel has endured the changes of time -- a 136-year-old historical landmark south of Vera Cruz dug through solid mountain granite and still used for freight runs. The tunnel is located off Churchview Road--a little less than a mile from the east side of Vera Cruz Road; however, because it is around a bend, it cannot be seen from the roadway.

The 1,793-foot Dillinger Tunnel—about a third of a mile--was completed in 1875 on the Reading Railroad’s Perkiomen line, which ran from Emmaus to Philadelphia. A special train for dignitaries passed through the tunnel on September 27, 1875.
...
They worked from four directions, he said--“one group from each outside end worked towards the middle; two groups from the center worked towards each outside end.”

A vertical shaft placed in the middle of the tunnel, through which stones and rocks were hoisted to the surface, became an air vent allowing smoke and gas to escape. Above the tunnel, a cement wall 8 feet high surrounded the top of the shaft to prevent stones, animals and people from falling into it. The wall and shaft are still there, but hidden among trees and underbrush.
...


and

http://uppersaucon.patch.com/articles/p ... fense-past

At the tunnel’s entrance, traffic from the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is heard crossing 40 feet above, as water drips from between rocks, creating small rivulets along the tracks.

At one time, the Dillinger Tunnel had a watchman patrolling the track inside the tunnel 24 hours a day. He checked for broken rails, falling rocks, ice, and anything that could block the tracks.

According to a July 1978 article in the former Allentown Evening Chronicle, “During World War II there were guards at both ends of the tunnel to protect it from sabotage.”

And in the early 1960s, the tunnel was considered for use as a fallout shelter to protect people from radiation in the event of nuclear war, the story said. However, it was never stocked with supplies because there was no place to store them. According to a Civil Defense official, the tunnel could have held 2,639 people.
...



I'm still curious about the real length of this tunnel since I've seen it quoted as two different numbers in many places....
JimE
Jim's train Web Pages - (Actually, this site doesn't exist any more....)
User avatar
jrevans
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Berks County in Eastern Pennsylvania

Re: Reading Perkiomen Branch

Postby JimBoylan » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:59 am

In the early 1970s, the wood lining at the North end extended some distance outside the tunnel. If all of it was used in computing the length of the tunnel, then the length would change as it rotted away.
JimBoylan
 
Posts: 3104
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:33 pm

Another newspaper article

Postby jrevans » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:23 am

Here, is an article about a talk with Joe Benner, a former Reading Railroad employee who had 38 years on the railroad:

http://emmaus.patch.com/articles/joe-be ... oad-career

I liked this part:

Benner said the Reading operated both freight and passenger trains over the Perkiomen Branch until 1955. The morning train, he said, was known as the “milk train” because it picked up milk from farmers along the route and delivered it to Philadelphia.

In 1974, Benner said, the Reading Railroad ended all service to Philadelphia and put up barricades at Pennsburg. He recalled an incident that occurred after the barricades were placed on the track—when he was the engineman.

“We had a freight car of grain to be delivered to Agway at Green Lane, but the track was out of service,” he said. “I contacted the dispatcher, who was aware of the barricades. We were ordered to remove the barricades and deliver the car.”


Sound like that may have been one of the last cars delivered past Pennsburg from the North. I wonder how far anything came up from the Southern end?

Every time I drive up Route 29 through Green Lane, I try to imagine the tracks crossing there, like I've seen in pictures.
JimE
Jim's train Web Pages - (Actually, this site doesn't exist any more....)
User avatar
jrevans
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Berks County in Eastern Pennsylvania

Re: Reading Perkiomen Branch

Postby rwk » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:50 pm

The bridge is still there in Green Lane, with READING LINES on it. You can see it from Rt. 29 if you look to your right if heading south. I wonder why the tracks were pulled below Pennsburg and why more recently the Rt. 663 crossing in Pennsburg was removed and a yellow bumper put at the end of track just before Rt. 663 near the station? I rode a BM&R excursion in Sept 1991 with Reading 2102 from Emmaus to Pennsburg and back. At Pennsburg, a light blue BM&R diesel switcher approached from the other side of 663 and hooked up to the train to pull it across the highway to clear the switch on the other side of the station so that 2102 could run to the other end of the train to pull it back to Emmaus running in reverse. That movement would no longer be possible today. I rode the Reading FP7 excursions from Pennsburg Oct 2007, and from Emmaus to Pennsburg Oct 2009.
rwk
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:42 pm
Location: Allentown, PA

Re: Reading Perkiomen Branch

Postby jrevans » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:35 am

rwk wrote:I wonder why the tracks were pulled below Pennsburg and why more recently the Rt. 663 crossing in Pennsburg was removed and a yellow bumper put at the end of track just before Rt. 663 near the station?


When I asked the East Penn people, they said that the only thing on the other side of 663 getting rail service was CR Dampman (lumber company / hardware), and since they were okay with getting deliveries on the other side of 663, it was a lot cheaper to discontinue service over 663 and no longer have to maintain the signal equipment and railroad crossing.

I think it was mentioned earlier in this thread that some of the business leaders in Red Hill wanted to keep the tracks up to their area, since they thought it was important to offer potential businesses rail access. I guess that didn't work out too well. Unfortunately, now a days, there aren't many businesses that require rail access, unless your company requires bulk materials such as plastic pellets, grains, or large rolls or paper.
JimE
Jim's train Web Pages - (Actually, this site doesn't exist any more....)
User avatar
jrevans
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Berks County in Eastern Pennsylvania

Re: Reading Perkiomen Branch

Postby Jeremy Zella » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:58 am

Does anyone know what the factory/mill on Water Alley in E. Greenville was? When was it abandoned? I was up there some time ago and saw that it had a nice size spur that went up to and past it.
Jeremy Zella
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 1:03 pm
Location: TX/PA/CA/NY/MD

Re: Reading Perkiomen Branch

Postby Trails to Rails » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:57 am

Another question:

I am intrigued by a small house/cottage that sits on the north side of Palm Road/Corning Road between Powder Valley & Yeakel Roads, just south of the former Hosensack Station & water tower. It IS across the street and opposite another house so I guess it could be nothing more than an old carriage house but the architecture is completely different and it is literally right on top of the tracks.

Was this structure RR related in any way or could it have been a post office or something?

Any insight would be appreciated!
Trails to Rails
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:37 am

Re: Reading Perkiomen Branch

Postby AlexC » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:53 pm

Cruising through Oaks yesterday, I noticed that the coal trestle that was used for mulch by the garden center is now no more.

Looks like the construction going on there (new Wawa?) tore it all down.

Bummer.

http://pawatercooler.com/trains/PerkBranch/IMG_5086.jpg
http://pawatercooler.com/trains/PerkBranch/IMG_5088.jpg
~Alex Charyna: SEPTA (and PATCO) Forum Moderator

“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous 16-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”
― Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon
AlexC
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:55 pm
Location: On the Perkiomen Railroad

Re: Reading Perkiomen Branch

Postby daruss » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:48 pm

Sorry to say, there is all kinds of nonsense being built.. Less and less of the structures etc.. remain.. FYI to forum members, if you get the book, the READING IN THE CONRAIL ERA, it has a photo taken in 1980 of a Conrail switcher pulling a boxcar in YERKES on the Perki Line :-) Its possible that could be the last delivery on that Line..
daruss
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:39 am

Re: Reading Perkiomen Branch

Postby AlexC » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:50 pm

daruss wrote:Sorry to say, there is all kinds of nonsense being built.. Less and less of the structures etc.. remain.. FYI to forum members, if you get the book, the READING IN THE CONRAIL ERA, it has a photo taken in 1980 of a Conrail switcher pulling a boxcar in YERKES on the Perki Line :-) Its possible that could be the last delivery on that Line..

It depends which direction.
I think there are still deliveries from the north end from Emmaus down to Pennsburg / East Greenville.
~Alex Charyna: SEPTA (and PATCO) Forum Moderator

“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous 16-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”
― Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon
AlexC
 
Posts: 571
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:55 pm
Location: On the Perkiomen Railroad

Previous

Return to Reading Company

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest