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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Statkowski
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski »

Charlie,

At the eastern end of the Pennsylvania Division, there were two classification yards, one at Avis just west of Jersey Shore (handling Beech Creek District coal traffic) and one at Newberry Junction, in Williamsport (where the New York Central, Pennsylvania and Reading all interchanged). There was a wye at JR Tower just west of Jersey Shore, so coal traffic heading north on the Fall Brook District could depart Avis Yard and head north.

In steam days, since the Clearfield Bituminous Corporation (C.B.C.) owned so many mines, and the New York Central Railroad owned the C.B.C., much of the railroad's company coal originated from the Beech Creek District. That traffic ran eastward to Avis, then northward to Lyons, N.Y. For the export coat, that traffic ran eastward to Avis, on to Newberry Junction, and the Reading took over for moving it to the port of Philadelphia.

But, since much of this trackage, especially the Beech Creek District, was not part of the Boston/New York/Chicago main line, it didn't receive the photographic coverage, so we are truly left to only imagining what it was like once upon a time.
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BR&P
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by BR&P »

Re the Avis and Newberry yards, in 1967, 1968 train SH8 worked at Rochester and had to be blocked in proper order. Geneva meat was first altho I don't recall ever seeing a car of that. Then Corning, Newberry Jct for Reading, then Avis. Cars going Newberry Jct for the PRR were added to the hind end of the train.

An old-timer offered a foolproof way to keep that straight. "It's SH-8 - Think of it as Sh*tHouse 8. It gets crap - Corning, Reading, Avis, Pennsy"

Over 50 years later, I still have no trouble whatever in remembering that logic! :wink: :-D

BR&P
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by BR&P »

And another page from that same ETT. Please excuse the crooked scan.
img114.jpg
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Statkowski
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski »

BR&P wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:38 pm
Please excuse the crooked scan.
Crooked scans are okay, but if prosecuted and convicted then they're unacceptable.
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RSD15
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by RSD15 »

NYC bridge across the Clarion River looking east at the "Piney Tunnel". Behind me is the "Clarion Tunnel". I'm not sure on those tunnel names so corrections are welcome. Photo 9-92 near Clarion PA.
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BR&P
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by BR&P »

That's an impressive looking structure. Tunnel, bridge, tunnel....some rough and expensive land to build a railroad through!

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charlie6017
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by charlie6017 »

Fabulous shot! And Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 🦃

Charlie
~Charlie Ricker

Statkowski
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski »

BR&P wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:12 pm
That's an impressive looking structure. Tunnel, bridge, tunnel....some rough and expensive land to build a railroad through!
The land itself wasn't all that expensive. Don't forget, it was way off the beaten path, out in the middle of nowhere.

Saw a profile of the Beech Creek District from Jersey Shore to Curry Run. If it wasn't going uphill, it was going downhill.
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nkloudon
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by nkloudon »

>>If it wasn't going uphill, it was going downhill.<<

Or vice versa in the other direction?

Statkowski
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski »

And if it wasn't curving to the right, it was curving to the left. Straight, level track? Hah! Not on the Beech Creek District.

Back in steam days with 50-ton coal hoppers, trains heading northward out of Cherry Tree, with an L-1 4-8-2 Mohawk pulling, needed an NE-2 2-6-6-2 Mallet on the rear pushing, simply because of the wheel resistance due to all the curves.

Later on, when they were running unit coal trains from the Greenwich Mine on the Kinport Secondary/Industrial Branch (Cambria County), up through Cherry Tree and on, via the West Branch Valley line, to the Strawberry Ridge Power Plant in Clinton County, they discovered they had to occasionally turn the entire train on the wye at Cherry Tree to equalize the wheel wear. More, sharper curves on one side wore down the wheels more on one side, thus the need to turn the train to equalize the wear.
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BR&P
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by BR&P »

Two more pages from that same ETT. This shows overhead wires and obstructions, and lists a lot of the mine tipples in this area.
img115.jpg
img117.jpg
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GOLDEN-ARM
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by GOLDEN-ARM »

i've been out here for a while running between keating and cresson, and clymer. with the leaves gone, it's pretty amazing, the amount of old roadbeds and mines across all of the lines. shoving loaded coal up the mountain, and working grain around clearfield, i'm looking at getting out of here before xmas.

there is a pretty cool old boxcar on the sitting on the ground at clearfield. it's either an old express car, or a milk car. very low profile, maybe nine feet tall. the railroad is littered with old coal hoppers, down embankments, and scattered around the outsides of curves. some of the coal load-outs even use them for retaining walls, sitting them on the ground, and filling them with culm/coal waste, and using them as retaining walls, to run the loaders up top.

BR&P
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by BR&P »

It's the best time of the year for seeing old stuff. You can run past something 100 times in summer and have no clue it's there.

ExCon90
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by ExCon90 »

Even more so after a light snowfall.

Statkowski
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Re: NYC Coal operations in Pennsylvania

Post by Statkowski »

The coal loader in Clymer uses ex-hopper cars for the wall on its extended loadout site, complete with a concrete cap.

Just south of Cherry Tree on the former PRR Susquehanna Extension Branch at Kinport, where Rte. 240 crosses the inactive (not abandoned) right of way, one can see the more-or-less extant remains of the beehive coke ovens, only visible in winter when all the undergrowth is gone.
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