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Chestnut Ridge Railway/New Jersey Zinc co.

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Chestnut Ridge Railway/New Jersey Zinc co.
Posted by mthobbies on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 9:04 PM

I am currently trying to model the Chestnut Ridge Railway, a small shortline located in Palmerton, PA. The line served/serves the New Jersey Zinc Company, a zinc smelting/processing complex which, at one time, had two facilities in Palmerton--East and West plants. The West Plant was shut down in 1980... I think. 

If anyone has any info or pictures to offer I will be very thankful. I have done pleanty of research on the internet with little success. I especially need plans or pictures of the old NJZ West Plant which was demolished in 1991. Also if anybody knows the story behind the CHR's original Alco switchers, when were they retired? were they scrapped? I am modeling early-mid 1970s so I need to know about the locos and dates of when they were taken out of service. or are they still in use? 

I know that was a mouthful... if anyone else models the CHR please leave a reply.

Any info or insight, history, or knowledge about the Chestnut Ridge Railway or New Jersey Zinc Co. will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance - Matt

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Posted by ACY Tom on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 9:32 PM

The book, Pennsylvania Short Lines in Color, Vol. 1, by Gary R. Carlson, Morning Sun Books, 2003, has coverage of the Chestnut Ridge, including a selection of 12 color photos taken in the 1969-1979 period.  Chestnut Ridge Alco S-2 no. 11 is shown, as well as New Jersey Zinc S-2's no.'s 22 and 23.  Chestnut ridge caboose 602 is shown, as well as switching activities at Palmerton East and West.  I know I've seen coverage of this little railroad elsewhere, but can't remember where.  I also recall seeing steam era photos of their little 0-6-0 switchers.

Tom  

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Posted by mthobbies on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 9:41 PM

Thanks Tom! I am trying to build New Jersey Zinc West Plant in HO. Hard to kitbash/scratchbuild because it's been gone since '91 and very few pictures are availible to the public :(

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Posted by DSchmitt on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 9:09 AM

Have you seen this page?  http://www.abandonedamerica.us/new-jersey-zinc 

Also Refers to book which has Chapter on the place.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/2361950944/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=2361950944&linkCode=as2&tag=abandameri-20&linkId=5E3GACFWHUTYKAVV

 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by mthobbies on Thursday, July 30, 2015 8:58 PM

Looks like a good book.

 

Does anybody know the story behind their locomotives? 

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, July 31, 2015 5:44 AM
If you are modelling the 70s then you’ll need #21, Alco S-2, built 8/46, Builders # 74664, scrapped 4/21/2008.
dated  8/11/73.
dated June 1980 assumed to be #21
dated 12/7/87.
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, July 31, 2015 9:21 AM

From the Pennsylvania Short Lines book cited above:

"The shortline dieselized in 1946 with two 1,000-hp Alco S-2 switchers, No. 10, acquired in September and No 11, purchased in December.  The two locomotives handled main line freight and inter-plant chores, and four New Jersey Zinc Company Alco S-2 units, Nos. 20 through 23, took care of intra-plant work."

The book mentions that the steam era roster included one 2-6-0, two 4-6-0's, one 0-8-0, and four 0-6-0's in both conventional and saddle tank variations.

Mack/Brill Railbus no. 51 is also mentioned as being used in M-O-W service, and appears in three photos.  Unfortunately, nothing is said about whether that piece of equipment has survived.

Tom

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, July 31, 2015 11:45 PM

ACY
Mack/Brill Railbus no. 51 is also mentioned as being used in M-O-W service, and appears in three photos.  Unfortunately, nothing is said about whether that piece of equipment has survived.

It would appear it has Tom.
 
 
 
It would also appear that it was still in service in February 1979, so there’s another piece of equipment for conrail2 to obtain, along with another S-2 for #11.
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by mthobbies on Saturday, August 1, 2015 12:14 AM

If you are modelling the 70s then you’ll need #21, Alco S-2, built 8/46, Builders # 74664, scrapped 4/21/2008.

 

dated June 1980 assumed to be #21

That's good info, thanks. Was no. 21 repainted at sometime? I found a few pictures on ebay about a year ago. I have them saved to my computer but can't find a webpage so I can't post them. It is painted blue with a white stripe and lettered not for new jersey zinc, but chestnut ridge railway.   It matches the old 21 (painted black and lettered for NJZ) right down to the dent in the handrail. any thoughts? Maybe someone knows what I am talking about.

also good view of NJZ West plant in those other two photos.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, August 1, 2015 4:46 AM

conrail2
Was no. 21 repainted at sometime? I found a few pictures on ebay about a year ago. I have them saved to my computer but can't find a webpage so I can't post them. It is painted blue with a white stripe and lettered not for new jersey zinc, but chestnut ridge railway.

Unless we’re talking about different photos, they are different locos. From this site.....
Owner
Road #
Builders#
Chestnut Ridge
10
74795
Chestnut Ridge
11
73901
New Jersey Zinc
20
74327
New Jersey Zinc
21
74664
New Jersey Zinc
22
74794

 

The blue and white S-2 lettered for Chestnut Ridge Railway, Road# RE1055, according to this site has the builders#69654.
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by mthobbies on Saturday, August 1, 2015 1:25 PM

 

The blue and white S-2 lettered for Chestnut Ridge Railway, Road# RE1055, according to this site has the builders#69654.
 
 

no, thats not the one. There is another blue S2 but road# 21. I wish I could find a picture.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, August 2, 2015 5:53 AM
Well #21 was looking quite scruffy in that 12/7/87 photo so it’s quite possible it was painted after that date in the blue and white scheme and lettered for Chestnut Ridge.
I would however suggest that for your modelled early 1970s you’d be safe using the New Jersey Zinc colour scheme.

conrail2
I wish I could find a picture.

 Don’t worry, you’re not the first, I didn’t properly link to a photo I had turned up in researching one of my own projects, and I’m blowed if I can find it again.Bang Head

Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by mthobbies on Sunday, August 2, 2015 9:59 PM

"JaBear"

I would however suggest that for your modelled early 1970s you’d be safe using the New Jersey Zinc colour scheme.

oh yeah, definitely.

When was #11 scrapped? I know it doesn't matter for my modeling, but I'm just curious. What about that other S2 numbered RE1055?

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 5:47 AM

conrail2
When was #11 scrapped?

My well has run dry; I’m getting more hits for GP-7 #11.

conrail2
What about that other S2 numbered RE1055?

RELCO, there is still a company trading by that name, RE#1055 was leased (?) to Cargill according to this photo dated 10/7/2007.
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by mthobbies on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 7:56 PM

"JaBear"

 

RE#1055 was leased (?) to Cargill according to this photo dated 10/7/2007.

 

Thanks, that's helpful.

 

Anybody have any aerial pictures or info about the New Jersey Zinc Co?

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Posted by Beach Bill on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 10:58 AM

If I don't get struck by lightning by mentioning a magazine from another publisher, you might want to pick up a copy of the current issue (3rd Quarter 2015; Issue #3) of Trains & Railroads of the Past.  This still appears under the "TRP" logo and is the remaking of The Railroad Press from White River Productions.  It is on newstands now. 

Four photos of Chestnut Ridge right-of-way (and S1 #10) are on pages 34/35, and then there is a photo of S2 #11 on page 59 that is a different paint scheme than #10... and on a very nifty concrete trestle at the zinc plant.

Bill

With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost. William Lloyd Garrison
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Posted by mthobbies on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 11:14 AM

Thanks Bill; I'll check that out.

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Posted by jimfoley on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 11:05 AM

Hello, I grew up in Palmerton and am a model railroader, possibly because as a kid I watched steam and later diesel switchers work the yard behind Delaware Avenue, from my grandparents' house.  My grandfather was James Samuel Ziegler, an undertaker and also a member of the Chestnut Ridge Railway board of directors.  He arranged for my brother and me to have a short ride on the diesel.  Would love to see pictures of your models.  Jim Foley, james.foley@comcast.net

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Posted by caldreamer on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 12:26 PM

I googled "New Jersey Zinc Company, Palmerton NJ" and found a lot of information the company including a lot of pictures of the plant.  hope this helps.

       Caldreamer

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