NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

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charlie6017
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NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by charlie6017 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:15 pm

Hi all, I created this thread to continue discussion of New York Central coal operations in north/central PA from
a thread created in the DLW/Erie/EL forum (burning off mileage).
~Charlie Ricker

BR&P
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by BR&P » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:43 pm

Charlie, I am back from a couple weeks out of town. I'll start looking for those 2 slides I took of Cherry Tree yard, but it may take a while. And I'll say in advance the yard was empty, no cars at all. It seemed the handwriting was on the wall so I just took a couple shots for posterity.

I'll also say that if anybody is interested in the coal mining industry, see if you can pick up a Keystone Coal Buyers Manual. They are a wealth of info, showing mine by mine what was operating, which seams, how many people they employed, what railroad they shipped on, how many tons a day (easily translated into 50-ton cars for an approximate rail car count), what type of prep plant they had, how many mine locos, you name it. IIRC mine is a 1947 edition. No idea what they go for on eBay or Amazon but if you can get one at a reasonable price it's interesting reading. And they cover the whole country state by state, and Pennsylvania has separate sections for hard coal and soft coal.

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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by RSD15 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:55 am

Down the road west from Clearfield on the B&O (NYC trackage rights) was/is "CB" junction. In the photo the track to the left is the NYC line over the West Branch Susquehanna River down to the Cherry Tree area.
The line to the left is the B&O/NYC that the NYC used up to Du Bois and Falls Creek were the NYC turned west onto the PRR over to Brookville PA.
At Brookville the NYC got on their own tracks all the way to Ashtabula Ohio.
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by RSD15 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:00 am

"CB" cabin near Curwensville PA.
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Statkowski
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski » Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:32 pm

Trackage rights

On the PRR:

Indiana/Clearfield County Line located south of the yard at Stifflertown just north of Cherry Tree Borough) southward through the wye heading west to Block Limit Station CJ. Gave access to jointly-owned/operated Cherry Tree & Dixonville RR.

Indiana/Clearfield County Line located south of the yard at Stifflertown just north of Cherry Tree Borough) southward through the wye continuing south on the PRR's Susquehanna Extension Branch to Spangler Jct., east through the wye to connect with its Clearfield County RR running south to Carrolltown and Wigton Jct. to connect with Patton No. 3 Branch which fed into Patton No. 2 Branch on down to Patton. Between Cherry Tree and Barnesboro accessed its own Emeigh Run Branch and, in Barnesboro, its own West Branch. Had another short spur in North Barnesboro, the Empire Branch.

Operating out of Patton ran over the PRR Patton No. 1 branch to serve St. Boniface (originally St. Bonifacius) via its Flanagan Run Branch.

Operated northward from Patton to Mahaffey Jct. where it connected to its Mahaffey Branch. Originally had passenger service between Patton Union Station (on the PRR) and Clearfield (technically a union station) for connecting service between Clearfield and Williamsport.

From Irvona southward to Ashville to access a Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp. mine. Maintained a turntable in Ashville.

Originally had a connecting branch at McGee's Mills to connect with the PRR's Clearfield & Jefferson line to Punxsutawney. Used it to access its mines at Rossiter. Removed when traffic was routed over the longer but less hilly BR&P from CB Jct. to Dubois and down to Punxsy and Rossiter. Restored when Penn Central chopped the Clearfield & Jefferson to allow access to a coal loader at Hillman (the new end of the line).

On the B&O:

Already mentioned in the preceding post.
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:23 pm

In case you're curious, the "CB" in CB Junction came from the New York Central's Curwensville & Bower (C&B) RR which was built to connect the original Beech Creek (BC) RR with the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh (BR&P) RR. Coming northward from Mahaffey, the C&B left the BC at a point across the river from Curry Run and gave the northward coal traffic a more direct, lower grade run into Clearfield.

P.S. I suppose railroad extensions were initially built as separate corporate entities for legal and liability issues. In any event, although the Beech Creek RR was leased by the New York Central & Hudson River RR on a long-term lease, the extension railroads such as the Pittsburg & Eastern RR (Mahaffey down to Arcadia with a branch to Cherry Tree) and the aforementioned Curwensville & Bower RR were owned by the Beech Creek Extension RR, which was owned by the New York Central & Hudson River RR.

P.P.S. In case you think the Pittsburg & Eastern RR is missing an "h", it's not. The P&E was incorporated during the 21-year period when the United States Board of Geographic Names officially listed Pittsburgh without the "h", placing it in the same status as some 20-odd other Pittsburgs scattered across the country. But, Pittsburghers being Pittsburghers, they finally got the federal government to spell Pittsburgh the way it's supposed to be spelled, with the "h".
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:54 am

The connecting track between the NYC and PRR at McGee's Mills for the original PRR routing to Rossiter had interesting station names at both ends. Where it branched off of the NYC it was called PRR Jct., and where it connected to the PRR was called NYC Jct.

Actually, the track and switch are still in place. Hasn't been used for a number of years now, and the Hillman Branch is now owned by P&N Coal Co., but it's still in place.
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by BR&P » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:52 pm

Well, I have not found the Cherry Tree slides yet, but the search did turn up this pic from 1976, of CB Junction. Sorry for the poor quality but the subject matter is worth it I think.
CB Junction PA 1976.jpg
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by charlie6017 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:13 pm

Thank you for the great photos, all. Between BR&P's pic and the pair of shots from RSD15, I am wishing for a time machine! I'm
still working on getting the other thread split to add into this one. This is an enjoyable discussion. :-D

Charlie
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:49 pm

Here's Wandin (originally Possum Glory Jct.) on the Cherry Tree & Dixonville (still a separate corporate entity, complete with its own Time Table, even though its owners had since merged to become Penn Central).
Wandin1 4-70 E Roy Ward.JPG
The station building is a former PRR NX-23 war emergency caboose built from an X-23 boxcar. All gone now.

Will you look at the sheer size of those switchstands? They're huge! Definitely visible at a distance.
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:58 am

If you're thinking the buildings look like PRR designs, that's because they are. The PRR built the line in 1905-06 and was then reimbursed 50% by the NYC. NYC maintained the line, getting reimbursed 50% by the PRR. Both railroads ran their own trains over the line. Even though accessible only via PRR track, the NYC did the dispatching on the line (again with the 50% reuimbursement).
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by BR&P » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:46 am

Can't imagine the negotiation, documentation, and horse-trading that went into setting up and maintaining all those arrangements! :

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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:56 pm

Well, it wasn't as "Wild West" as DRG&W construction crews trading gunfire with AT&SF construction crews. By the turn of last century, things had gotten somewhat civilized (although the PRR and NYC&HR were still battling each other via tariffs). Out in the hinterlands, where the real work was done, everyone was on friendlier terms. Both roads had coal properties in the same area, and both realized there was only room enough for one railroad. Constructing a jointly-owned/operated railroad made sense. Yes, there was some minor horse trading involved, but overall it was essentially a clean deal. The PRR would build the line, and get reimbursed half. The NYC would maintain the line, and get reimbursed half. The NYC was better staffed to do the dispatching, so they did such, and got reimbursed half the cost. Both roads could operate over the line equally, and tonnage/car-mile costs were credited to the jointly-owned company (of which each had an equal share). Management swapped out yearly between the NYC and PRR. The "normal" switch alignment at Wandin (formerly Possum Glory Junction) also changed with the management change - under NYC rule the switch was normally aligned for the line to Heilwood (formerly Possum Glory), and under PRR rule the switch was normally alined for the line to Clymer.

The station building in Cherry Tree was interesting. It saw passenger service from both the PRR side and the NYC side (so it was technically a Union Station (don't know if it was ever referred to as such)). The depot was on PRR tracks, less than a quarter-mile from the NYC tracks, but the real estate for the depot was owned by the jointly-owned Cherry Tree & Dixonville RR, roughly a half-mile away.

I'm sure the bookkeeping was honest - there was no way any of the arrangement would have survived if someone tried cheating. Both sides could look at the books and conduct an audit.
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:36 am

Cherry Tree (Second Depot).jpg
This is the second Cherry Tree, Pa. depot (the first one burned down). Note the PRR-style station name board, minus the keystone. You can still find traces of the building's foundation. The concrete bumping block for the express track still stands.
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:40 am

Cherry Tree.jpg
The original Cherry Tree, Pa. depot circa 1905. Not a very long passenger platform at all.
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