• Unused/abandoned line near Port Road?

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

Moderator: bwparker1

  by Bobby S
Mr Moderator!! I hope I can ask this one last question regarding this topic even though it went a bit OT. I just noticed an abandoned rail line that seems to have come off the Port Road (ex-Amtrak route-LOL) go under rt 40 then disappear into brush to what seems to lead to the current CSX line. Was this a connector off the Port Road? Saw this off of the Rt 40 south bridge and found it on Google earth which just opened up new areas of exploration. Anyone??? And thanks to all for the previous info!!!

  by kevikens
Bobby, I myself have wondered about this. About three years ago I walked that rail connection. It's about a half mile long and a very steep grade. As you suspected it does connect the Port Line with the ex B&O line just east of the Susquehanna River Bridge. I'd guess by the vegetation it had not seen a train in ten years or so but for the life of me I do not know who used it. Considering the steep grade it must have quite a feat for any heavily loaded train to go up that grade. There has been new housing put up in the last two years and I don't know if the rails are still in place.

  by BaltOhio
As has been pretty clearly described, this was a connecting track between the PRR's Port Road and the ex-B&O Philadelphia line. It was used erratically for detours and, in fact, was originally built for that purpose in 1908. At that time the B&O was rebuilding its Susquehanna River bridge, completely replacing the old single-track iron spans with the steel double-track structure that exists today. But on 9/23/08 one of the spans collapsed under a coal train, putting the bridge out of service and requiring an alternate route.

On the south (west) end, a connecting track to the PRR was built at Swan Creek, and at the east end, the steeply graded line at Perryville. Helper engines were stationed at Perryville, but as you might imagine, it was a slow, laborious detour. I'm not sure how long this original detour lasted, but it may have been as long as a year or so. It's possible that after the collapse, the engineers decided not to try to replace the bridge under traffic. Whatever, the new bridge opened in January 1910.

Afterward the Aiken/Perryville connection was retained and occasionally used, but I have no info on how often or under what circumstances. The Swan Creek connection was removed earlier, and as far as I know there's little or no trace of it now.

  by RussNelson
I can't find any sign of a crossover at Swan Creek (as BaltOhio says), but I think this is the Perryville connector:

  by BaltOhio
The Swan Creek connection ran from east (B&O) to west (PRR), connecting with the PRR at what I think was called its Oakton station. Thus all bridge detours had to make a reverse move here. I think this track was removed early in the game -- 1920s or even earlier -- but I don't know when.

  by JimBoylan
If you can believe current DeLorme maps, Swan Creek is PRR, Oakington Station is B&O.

  by Bobby S
Any landmarks I can use to find the Swan Creek connection. Is there anything left of it?
  by Gunsnclapton
OK... I have never seen spam like this before...