• Question about the Dunkirk-Titusville branch...

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

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Cactus Jack
The name of the Railroad Executive from Moon's was Dewitt C. Moon who started on the DAV&P as a telegraph operator and later became Supt. of the RW&O Division in 1899, later going to the Lake Erie & Western as General Manager then onto the Lake Shore and Assistant VP of NYC RR at Cleveland

  by pablo
Roger that. Thank you.

Do you have any knowledge of what the actual weight of the rails were between Warren and Falconer on the DAV?

Dave Becker

  by Cactus Jack
Sorry, no idea on rail weight

Like I said, I remember seeing 105DY in Warren yard and figured that was what the whole line had.

Maybe in your travels you could find enough of a chunk, even if you have to measure a cross section. With measurements we could figure out size

OR, what is the size of rail up on the remaining north end ? Is there not a chunk left from like the NKP diamond and under the NYS Thruway ?

  by pablo
Interesting ideas. It is important to note that the track chart from 1969 should include the main, which would have wandered through or into the yard there, and it's still shown as less than 100lbs. I'll have to look in the coming weeks. Perhaps tomorrow.

As for chunks...there's a few places in Warren I could check. Chautauqua County and north? It will take me a bit. I have a pincipal's meeting in Buffalo that will cause me to be up there. I can check then.

Dave Becker

  by Aa3rt
Cactus Jack wrote:BTW, Torpdeo, listed in the customer list is in PA, and not NY. I think at one time there may have been a powder plant there.
Actually, the term "torpedo" was in common use in the Pennsylvania oil fields, a torpedo being used to fracture or widen the opening to a well to increase production. There were many frightful accidents in the region in the late 1800s, when nitroglycerin being transported to a well site exploded, killing many people and horses transporting the explosive.

In the case of Torpedo, PA, I consulted "Place Names In Warren County, PA" by Ernest C. Miller, a reprint from the Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, published in 1971. Here's what Mr. Miller has to say about the origin of the name:

"Named from an incident when nitroglycerine, generally exploded by a falling weight in oil wells to increase production, failed to "go off" when struck by a train as the explosive was being transported to Clarendon, Warren County, PA."

Mr. Miller then goes on to reproduce an article from the Titusville Herald of Feb. 24, 1882. I won't retype the entire article here except to mention that the incident involved a Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley and Pittsburgh passenger at Ross' Switch.

I'm a native of Warren County and heard many tales of how the name Torpedo originated over the tears (including one that railroad torpedos were amnufactured there) but respect Mr. Miller's many years of research and documentation of Warren County and surrounding vicinities.

  by pablo
I checked the northern stub yesterday in two places of what's left of the DAV. Naturally, it's a stub off the CSX now.

Three different places I checked had 105-lb rail. Now, I can't access the track chart online here on my crapintosh for some reason, so it will have to wait until at home, but I don't know if the northern end had 105 to begin with. The track charts for Falconer to Warren show less than 100-lb rail.

I saw places where the rail was built between Illinois (couldn't make out the name), OH (couldn't make out a city), and very clearly embossed, Lackawanna. This was all with my digital from two crossings and a parking lto adjacent, since if I walked the track, I would be naughty. I doubt CSX would have given me permission.

At one crossing, a tie plate read "130lbs", even though the rail didn't appear to change in thickness.

I'll check the rail weight when I get home.

Dave Becker

  by Cactus Jack
Be interested to know what more you find out.

The OH stands for Open Hearth, the cooling process as opposed to Ohio

Could be the 130 on the tie plate is a 130PS plate for some reason ? Both 105Dudley and 130PS had a 5-1/2 base, but I was thinking the PS was a canted rail making the plates generally not compatable. Maybe 130 HF is also 5-1/2 " base. Other !30# is 6 inch base.

  by pablo
The plates are indeed 130PS: I took a cell phone picture. Any that I could see were that size.

The track chart for this line does indeed show 105 (although it could be 100lb, according to the chart) all the way to Cassadaga. I wonder if that is also due to the steep grades and windy path it followed out of Fredonia, that required something more than "less than 100lb."

Dave Becker
Last edited by pablo on Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by roc
An old family friend who worked the Valley job told me most of the heavier 90 / 100 lbs rail was installed after the war as part of an upgrade.

The great majority of the line was 70lbs rail, including the sidings.

In Warren, car spots included a lumber yard behind Warren printing and scrap where the park by Whirley is now.

The PC serviced West Penn Oil (oil in, canned / barreled product out) and the State Hospital (coal and food in) in North Warren. The State received coal up until about 1971. It was dumped inside their power plant two cars at a time. There's still an earthen ramp that goes up the highway side of the power plant which had track. The door into the plant was bricked over when the plant was converted to gas.

Up until March 1976, the Akely bat mill loaded cars and there was a pallet maker in the old milk plant that occasionally inbound loads. Scrap was loaded in Frewsburg and lumber unloaded on the other side of the road (can't remember the name of the place). VacAir Alloys also loaded scrap. Falconer Feeds was an important customer.

After through traffic to Dunkirk ended, trains usually ran on Saturday with a single GP7 or 9. An average train was 5 to 10 cars long.

The last train to Falconer and back pulled a covered hopper from Falconer Feeds on March 31, 1976.

After Contrail, they would come to N Warren to service West Penn and the State as needed (several times a week in Summer).

Service to North Warren continued into the '90s but with few cars spotted after '90.

One aspect of the DAV&P not really touched on above is the extant trackage in Titusville, which is currently operated by the OCTL.

  by pablo
A couple of additions here.

In the paper in Warren the other day was a proposal (for lack of a better word) about turning the old roadbed into a trail. What they wish to do first is connect the current trail, which dies just north of the hospital, to the mall, and then go north on the other side of it.

It's odd...I just had a conversation about the stub to North Warren, and was told the rails were pulled up (or last load delivered) in 1986.

Further...I thought I read somewhere that PC still operated a stub of the DAVP south of DV to Falconer someplace for a bit after the line was broken up to serve someone. Perhaps Falconer Feeds?

Dave Becker

  by Cactus Jack
RE: DAV&P north of Warren - Allegheny RR made a run to North Warren on Nov 15, 1986 with a CF-7 and a tank car. There would have been at least one more run, but it was shut by by end of 1986. Check with our buddy Randy at Stone Consulting for details and pics

I am not real sure about Falconer. The EL side under CR served the feed mill, Regal Lumber and maybe? Vac Air (Keywell). Diamond was gone in '76. Not sure what happened in late PC days. Saw an article about 20 years ago with a photo nearing CR start up with a PC GP38/40 at the diamond but don't recall the details. I had the System Reports of lines under USRA not part of the Final System Plan but think I pitched it out a couple years ago after about 11 moves. Article may have been in an old RailPace CA 1982-92

  by pablo
In fact, it was Randy who gave me the info regarding the last move and how food was delivered to the state hospital, and then trucked back into the city.

You all are most helpful regarding the DAV in around Warren.

I had heard once that there was a book in progress about the DAV. Does anyone know about it?

Dave Becker

  by rnetzlof
[quote="Cactus Jack"]The OH stands for Open Hearth, the cooling process as opposed to Ohio[/quote]

I beg to differ. Blast furnaces produce iron which (in the Good Old Days) was then passed to either the Bessemer Converter or the Open Hearth Furnace to be processed into steel.

If one starts from the same iron, Bessemer steel tends to have a different chemical composition than open hearth steel (higher sulfur? higher phosphorus? don't remember). Bessemer steel was somewhat less expensive than open hearth steel, as blowing a heat in a converter was done in a few tens of minutes, while open hearth processing of the same quantity took hours.

After using both for a number of years, the railroads found that open hearth steel rails lasted better in their service than Bessemer steel.

But you're right, OH on the rail stands for Open Hearth, not Ohio.

Bob Netzlof

  by Cactus Jack
Yeah, Bob is right. I tripped over my tongue a little. Rail will either have OH for Open Hearth the mfg process or later (CA 1940's or so) be stamped CC - Control Cooled. CC is it gives a more uniform metalurgy and is less suseptable to various failures under stress. If rail is marked OH, it is almost for sure going to be WWII era or earlier although it seems someplace I ran across some 1946 OH somewhere.

  by rnetzlof
[quote="Cactus Jack"]If rail is marked OH, it is almost for sure going to be WWII era or earlier although it seems someplace I ran across some 1946 OH somewhere.[/quote]

As luck would have it, I was out this morning walking the dog along a track. Continuous welded rail (ex-B&O). Saw several lengths of rail from Inland Steel, marked OH, rolled in 1946; along with Carnegie OH 1941.

All 13128 RE section, if anybody cares.

Bob Netzlof