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PRR Ellsworth Branch Power circa 1943

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PRR Ellsworth Branch Power circa 1943
Posted by cefinkjr on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 12:08 AM

I think normal power on PRR's Ellsworth Branch (MC to Marianna, PA) was probably L1, H10 or H9 class engines.  Can anyone confirm that from memory (doubtful) or documentation?

Another question on the same subject: Would I1 engines ever have appeared on the Ellsworth Branch?  Assuming they were available ("There's a war on, you know."), would the track have supported their weight?

Chuck
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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 6:48 AM

Chuck,This I know as a fact from studying photos of PRR.. PRR favored the H9/H10 for branch line service.

The I1s was the largest class of 2-10-0s and was PRR's dominant road engine that remain in service until the end of PRR's steam in 1957. I doubt if they was used in branch line service but,with PRR all things was possible.

I've seen photos of I1s in yard service. Shocking but,true.

Larry

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Conductor

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 6:55 AM

Most employee timetables from the 40's have a chart that shows engine restrictions on branches.  That would tell you whether the I-1 was prohibited (as well as other engines).

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by cefinkjr on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 12:02 PM

dehusman

Most employee timetables from the 40's have a chart that shows engine restrictions on branches.

Right but the problem is to find a PRR Pittsburgh Region or Monogahela Division Employee Timetable from the 40's.  I've been looking for one for years and the best I've gotten from a railroad book dealer is, "Yeah.  That's a rare one alright."  Very frustrating.

Chuck
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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 2:59 AM

Hello

I agree that the coverage on the Ellsworth Branch is indeed sparse. I have been browsing through some of my books and PRR Keystone Magazines hoping to stumble across a photo or two. So far, of course, no dice. Unfortunately, the Keystone Magazine does not have a decent, searchable index. I began to make my own but I have a long way to go.

I do have a C.T.1000 dated May 1, 1945 which lists sidings and businesses along the branch.

 PRR_Mon_CT1000 by Edmund, on Flickr

Perhaps you have this already but it is a handy reference to show what business was along the branch. Tonight I came across a PRRT&HS Keystone V. 22 No.3 which has some information regarding the main line of the Monongahela Division but there is little reference to the Ellsworth Branch itself. There is a list of assigned locomotives that you may find useful:

 PRR_Mon_0001 by Edmund, on Flickr

Provided by Jack Consoli

With only seven I1s I would imagine those kept pretty much to the main line and the branches were served, as previously mentioned, by the H and Ls.

 PRR_Mon_0002 by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR_Mon_map by Edmund, on Flickr

If I come across any further information I'll post it. There is a photo of MC tower and the Monongahela Depot in this issue. I could scan those and send them to you if you'd like.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by cefinkjr on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 12:54 PM

Ed

Thank you very, very much for your efforts to answer my questions.Bow

I have the same C.T. 1000 (rescued from a dumpster when I was working for PC in Pittsburgh).  I was born and raised in the small town noted on the page opposite that with the Ellsworth Branch as "West Monessen".  Only the PRR called it that; its official name is North Charleroi but locals call it Lock Four from the lock that was replaced  in the '30s (?) by a newer Lock #4 a mile upstream at "East Charleroi" on the other side of the Monogahela River.  Again, only the PRR (and maybe the P&LE) called this location East Charleroi; to me, it was simply where my Dad met or got off the riverboat he worked on.  The only thing there was and is the lock itself, the P&LE, a two-lane road, and a nearly vertical hillside.

I am particularly grateful for the roster of locomotives assigned.  It surprised me with the diversity of classes assigned to the Monogahela Division.  I would have guessed a couple of G5s (there are 3 listed), but the K2s (3) and the E3 (1) surprised me; at that time, I think there were only a couple of daily trains between West Brownsville and Pittsburgh.  Seven passenger engines seems excessive for the traffic.

The three N1s completely surprised me.  I had always understood that they were used only in the Western Region.

Any idea what the "A.R.F Code" was?  There are only two values, 354 and 373, in those columns of the roster.

That roster is particularly meaningful to me as it is dated a month and a half after I was born.  My very earliest memory is of being stuck at a grade crossing in Lock Four while a PRR engine, probably an H?, batted hoppers around serving the tipple there.  I couldn't have been more than 4 years old and was supposed to be frightened; I was fascinated.  The engine I saw is very likely on this roster.

I would love it if you could scan that photo of MC tower and send it to me.  I remember the tower very clearly but can't quite recall the track arrangement relative to nearby grade crossings (then PA 88) and the bridge(s?) over Pigeon Creek.

Thanks again for your help.

Chuck
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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 2:13 PM

cefinkjr
I remember the tower very clearly but can't quite recall the track arrangement relative to nearby grade crossings (then PA 88) and the bridge(s?) over Pigeon Creek.

Glad to be of some help, Chuck.

I'll get the photos scanned later tonight and send you a PM. The photo is from 1960 but clearly shows the curve, crossing and bridge you mention. 

Although I'm from the Cleveland area I always enjoyed visiting the environs of the Pittsburgh region. 

I'll see what I can dig up on A.R.F.*. I, too, was surprised to see those N1s in there. I have one on my layout and I can now justify its presence.

[Assistand Road Foreman Code! This may be related to the assignment codes stenciled on the pilots.]

We need to find a PRR M.P. 229 book to decipher the codes! Further digging required Whistling]

 

http://prr.railfan.net/documents/MP229_070157_150mono.pdf

 

Regards, Ed

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, October 3, 2019 3:17 AM

Here is a 2012 Google Street View of the site of MC Tower. It stood where the tall, wood pole is.

 PRR_Monongahela-MCtower-site by Edmund, on Flickr

Ellsworth Branch in the foreground with Railroad Street leading to Main St. The Pigeon Creek bridge, since replaced with a deck girder, is in the distance just beyond the crossing.

Compare this to the 1960 view:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmpullman/48836133962/in/photostream/

...and a 1960 photo of the Depot.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmpullman/48835957581/in/photostream/

I can see why the Ellsworth branch would be a good candidate to model. It has lots of curves.

 

Regards, Ed

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Posted by PRRT1MAN on Thursday, October 3, 2019 10:47 AM

Are you a member of the PRRT&HS?  We have a e-mail group that has a wealth of information. You have to join but this is the e-mail: PRR@prr.groups.io

 

Sam

Sam Vastano
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Posted by cefinkjr on Saturday, October 5, 2019 5:40 PM

Ed

Thanks much for the pictures.  The first is kind of sad and the third is several city blocks north of the beginning of the Ellsworth Branch at MC but the second answered a question I have had for a while.

You may be familiar with the area but, if not, let me put you in the picture.  We're looking south - timetable west - in this photo.  The Monongahela River is not more than a couple hundred feet to the left.  The tower and this junction are at the extreme southern edge of Monongahela.  (The tower is named for "Mon City", a local abbreviation of "Monongahela" although I don't think it was ever officially a city.)  The Monongahela Division's main, in the foreground, crosses the mouth of Pigeon Creek on a two-track through truss bridge just off the picture to the left.  That's the Ellsworth Branch curving across PA 88 and then crossing Pigeon Creek on the single track through truss bridge seen on the right.  And THAT's the part I couldn't remember clearly: I wasn't sure the Ellsworth Branch crossed Pigeon Creek here.  I guess I kind of ignored the branch while looking at the tower, the mains, etc.

Thanks again for refreshing my memory.

Chuck
Allen, TX

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, October 5, 2019 6:59 PM

cefinkjr
Thanks again for refreshing my memory.

Glad that helped a little. I'll keep my eyes peeled for any other information I come across.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by PRR in WWII on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 7:51 PM
Chuck, Do you still need information on the Ellsworth branch ? I have the Mon Division employee timetables from the 1930s through WWII that list the locomotive restrictions on the Ellsworth Branch. Andrew
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Posted by oldline1 on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 9:39 AM

Chuck,

Thanks for all that elusive information. I love the Pennsy steam but really hate their numbering "system".

oldline1

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Posted by PRR in WWII on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 2:48 PM

The code 354 was for Shire Oaks. 373 was for Youngwood . I have the Mon Division employee TTs with the restirctions. See my earlier post. 

 

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