• PRR branch in Pottsville (photos)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by Schuylkill Valley
 
I believe this is the building your speaking of in this old photo of St. Clair Yard. The long thin buildings, they are still standing.
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In 1913 the Reading Railroad expanded its repair shops and marshalling yards in Saint Clair making it the "largest classified coal yards in the world" There were 63 tracks that covered 46.5 miles, with a capacity for 2,861 cars, and an engine house large enough to contain 52 locomotives. Over 1,200 men and 25 supervisors were employed here when it was working at full capacity.
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The largest train yard in America was built here just South of Saint Clair in Mill Creek. Today it is an industrial park with only one original building remaining. Spector Manufacturing operates out the building. It was used to repair locomotives.

Here is part of the Two page print I own of St. Clair yard . this is showing the Car Shops. you will also see the date of the print in lower right hand corner.

Len.
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  by carajul
 
I can't believe that entire infractructure sat there derelict from 1963 until the late 1970s. You're telling me 2,000 miles of track (63 tracks) and the buildings just were sitting there rotting??? Are you sure the RDG didn't sell the place before CR? Was service slowly downsized or did one day the RDG just handed 1,200 guys pink slips and said "we're closed"???

That string of houses you see in the top of the photo are still there to this day. Not changed a bit.

A few railroaders told me that classification yards are huge money pits and the RRs hate them.

INTERESTING TIDBIT---> There is a company that manufactures RR equipment such as track sections, switches, signs, etc. They occupy the northern area of the yard where the scales used to be. They have to use trucks. No rail line anymore. Ain't that ironic. A company that makes RR equipment has to rely on trucks cuz no rr line is there anymore!
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
Well they chose not to use the rail service, because Reading & Northern approached them a few years back, but supposedly they didn't want to pay for a rail connection to their company.
Len.
  by carajul
 
Well the R&N should have paid for the connection then to get the business.

I'm saying it's totally ironic that a company that builds RR equipment is located in what was the largest rr yards in the world and doesn't have rail service.
  by RDGTRANSMUSEUM
 
St.Clair scale was closed in the summer of 1963. This was the start of a slow "phase out" of the yard that lasted many years. They had a modern fuel storage facility there and used that to move fuel to other locations in the RDG mobile fuel truck. The biggest factor was they needed the yard space to store shopped cars before they were programed to come to reading car shops for rebuilding. Also,starting in 1964, hundreds if not thousands of frt cars and many passenger cars were scrapped in that yard! The reading did sell parcels of the yard during the 1960's,early 70's. It was sliced up in 3 to 4 sections. There was a sale to a steel company for ore processing,a mobile home co,and renters georga pacific?, if i remember correctly. I went there in 1972 and found the roundhouse still there, the main 3 story office,windows broken, filled with paper files just thrown on the floors,it was abandoned. I still have may files from that day I found there........ So,the rusty yard tracks lasted into Con rail before they finally tore it all up. My main interest ,and photos are quite rare,is he line feeding st clair up to frackville on the 3.3 percent grade,which went away in the late 60's or early 70's. After that, the yard was only hooked to the south towards pottsville and mill creek jct. A book could be done on this amazing yard alone. RTM PS:carajul:Yes RR's hate any yard because operating it takes buco bucks,if you wanted to start a business operating yards for major carriers they would want to listen to your ideas.
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
Question to RDGTRANSMUSEUM , are you the same one in Hamburg?

Len.
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
RDGTRANSMUSEUM was talking about the roundhouse, here is the blue print on it. It held 52 locomotives.

Len.

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  by RDGTRANSMUSEUM
 
No Len ,we are involved in the Franklin st station museum project in Reading,Pa.
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
What kind of or any archives do you have in your collection?

Len.
  by RDGTRANSMUSEUM
 
Mostly photos and paper items pertaining to railroads in the reading area. no hardware or rolling stock.
  by GP30 5513
 
Those were the buildings I was talking about Len, thank you. That small steel bridge span to the right of the shops is also still standing.
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
The over head Shaw crane. Cool. nice to know it wasn't scraped. Image

Getting back to the museum, any blue prints in your collection?

Len.
  by RDGTRANSMUSEUM
 
we have a few prints. some trackage,we are getting donations
  by Schuylkill Valley
 
I took a ride up to St. Clair yard today or what's left of it. Here is the only building left of the old Reading. I met the owner and the GM (Jim) took me on a tour of the company. The owner's Father bought the two buildings in 1963. added on the building in 1974, the out side crane was torched off in 1983. But the two over head Shaw cranes are still in side but just pushed to the ends of the two buildings. The GM also told me that the round house was ripped down in 1978 by Conrail, the coaling dock burned down in 1979 one winter day. All the track was ripped out by 1980.
The last steam locomotive to be repaired at the round house was in 1973, it was a 4-6-0 CN No. 1278. He told me he has photo's of the round house and the steamer somewhere in his collection of pictures.
Here are the photo's I took today.
Hope you enjoy.
Len.
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Over Head Shaw Crane hung here in 1912
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Last edited by Andyt293 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Spelling and grammar
  by RDGTRANSMUSEUM
 
Nice report Len,thanks for taking the time to do that road trip and great pics. all those dates seem pan out correctly, never knew the coal dock burned in 78,first thing that came to mind was the outer station burned on a winter day in 78............let me guess conrail owned both and had insurance?