Industry at Pitman?

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Industry at Pitman?

Postby JJMDiMunno » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:01 am

Hey guys,
A while back, Dave (NJ Railfan Mod) and I came across a series of abandoned industrial spurs at Pitman, on the Millville Branch (now CR Vineland Secondary), just north of the Holly Ave grade crossing. These abandoned rails are buried in heavy tree growth, and it doesn't look like they were in service since sometime in the 70's at my guess...probably before Conrail even came into existance. In short, they would have been in service in the PRSL era.

I'm wondering if anyone knows what industry this was, when it was last served, any information on it? There are two, maybe three tracks in the trees, and the spurs were pretty long. The map attached here shows the location of the building(s) that were served, marked by the red star.

Any information would be appreciated...if you have photos of the industry getting cars, even better :)

Mike DiMunno
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Pitman.jpg
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Re: Industry at Pitman?

Postby mitch kennedy » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:49 pm

Wellllll. checked some ETT's from the 30's.. no reference to any spurs in the loco restriction tables or grade crossing protection tables. Kandle Lumber had a spur in that area, but short and parallel to the main. Just north was a small gravel/sand loader like on the Wye at Winslow......perhaps a long-gone glass plant as once dominated downtown Glassboro at one time?
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Re: Industry at Pitman?

Postby JJMDiMunno » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:27 pm

mitch kennedy wrote:Wellllll. checked some ETT's from the 30's.. no reference to any spurs in the loco restriction tables or grade crossing protection tables. Kandle Lumber had a spur in that area, but short and parallel to the main. Just north was a small gravel/sand loader like on the Wye at Winslow......perhaps a long-gone glass plant as once dominated downtown Glassboro at one time?


I can't believe I didn't think to check timetables first...I took a look at my 1969 timetable, and it shows a grade crossing listing for Pitman, HOLLY AVENUE (which is that grade crossing right by the industry) and notes the track as DELIVERY (nothing further), with the only note being that automatic grade crossing protection applied to that siding, but trains must stop at the marker to ensure that the crossing was activated properly. Maybe that's one of those spurs? I never thought they crossed Holly Ave...but maybe one of them did.

Same timetable also shows a crossing entry for "No 1 and No 2" tracks in Pitman, at Railroad Avenue...a road that I cannot find.

No locomotive restrictions on the siding in question in the timetable.

I also happen to have the 1960 track charts for the PRSL - see below, a segment of the Millville Branch around Pitman. You can see the industrial spurs in question just north of Holly Ave. Note the quantity of spurs - a significant amount, almost a small yard...

Mike DiMunno
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pitman_industry_map.jpg
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Re: Industry at Pitman?

Postby PRSL2005 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:49 pm

Mike D ask Don Lee on the PRSLHS e-Mail list to look in Eddie Fell's notebook pages. :-D
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Re: Industry at Pitman?

Postby pumpers » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:34 pm

The Sanborn insurance map from 1945 shows a double track main, with a siding (going southbound) coming off the main to the left just north of Myrtle Ave. (by "to the left" I mean as you are going southbound on the eastern track -- if that is the northbound track, maybe this is a 'trailing switch"? Anyway there are 3 tracks crossing Holly. At Tulip Ave (which used to extend all the way to the tracks) a short siding comes off this 3rd track to the left (again, as you go southbound) and then parallels the other three (a short distance away). This siding is labelled C.M. Kandle, Coal, Lime, Cements and Builders Supplies. The siding ends just north of Holly, as described above by Mitch.

There was another siding (I call it the 5th track) which came off the double track around Colonial Ave, also to the left going southbound, and it joined the 3rd track mentioned above at Myrtle Ave (just before the Kandle siding started) There was a 6th track that came off the 5th track (also to the left going southbound, between Coloinal and Kenton Ave's., on the Esplanade Rd side), to go parallel to the mains about 1/2 way between the tracks and Esplanade Ave. THis track itself forked into 2 tracks just north of Woodland Ave. The fork closest to Montgomery Ave (closest to the mains) ended just past Woodland Ave, at "E.R. Morehouse & Co: Contractors - Asphalt plant" and several small buildings associated with it. (the "contractors and asphalt plant" refer to Morehouse, not a separate business). The fork closest to Esplanade stops also stops just south of Woodland, with no labels or builidngs, although the way it is drawn looks as if it is supposed to be continued maybe on the next map page. The next page (on the east side of Esplanade) clearly shows no track crossing Esplanade, but unfortunately has no detail on the west of Esplanade. So maybe that last fork had some more industry on it south of Woodland

The 1929 maps were the same, except that the fork in the 6th track was not there, and there was no Morehouse Co or buidlings...
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Re: Industry at Pitman?

Postby pumpers » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:11 pm

Update: looking at another page, it seems this last fork coming south (the easternmost one, near Esplanade) continued down to just north of Tulip Ave (about even with Myrtle), passing just by on the east side of a modest building labelled "Stg'e" (Storage?) about even with Evergreen. It did not cross Esplanade. JS
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Re: Industry at Pitman?

Postby ro110sc » Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:32 pm

I grew up in Pitman in the 50's and early 60's. The main siding went just to Pitman Avenue. Between Pitman Ave and Holly Ave, the siding was used by serveral companies without siding access. Robin's Lumber down by Alcyon Lake periodically picked up loads there. Part of Kandle's property was on the other side from the coal drop and office. They may have used this part of the siding also. One time there were quite a few gondolas set out. They were used to transfer the parts of the public television tower that was taken down south of Glassboro. Kandle's lumber had a siding that went to an elevated platform were hopper cars dropped their contents into 4-5 coal bins. The next branch off the siding went to the back of a company that made record blanks. The company was accessed by a dirt road that went off of Tulip avenue. It was a great shortcut to cross the tracks, head up the access and go to the old high school. Hopefully a train would delay our getting to school. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of the company. It had a major fire around 1960. I believe the third siding was in the area of Edgemore avenue. At one time there was a concrete mix company located in that area.
Another note of interest. There was a picture in Look magazine of a signal tower placed in the middle of the railroad tracks. It was taken at the Pitman - Glassboro boundary at the time the tracks were being reduced to a single line. What a way to stop a train!
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