Bird's eye view of Rockville Bridge near Harrisburg Pa....

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, April 22, 2006 10:19 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by dwil89

Here is an old pic from the late 1800's of the old Iron Bridge on those very supports you mention. http://www.explorepahistory.com/displayimage.php?imgId=1605
Well ill be.........Thanks.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, April 22, 2006 10:22 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by southpennrailroad

The South Pennsylvania Railroad was incomplete. However you might be interested in learning that they had done a survey just to the north of this PRR Rockville bridge. That aligment was called the Perry County alignment. It was to pass through Marysville traveling west into Fishing Creek Valley to eventually pass around ad through Landisburg, Shermandale and Germantown in te west sections of Perry County They wuld have built a tunnel just up the side of the Tuscarora Mountain west of Germantown to get them to passs into Horse Valley to Concord Gap on highway 75 and down the backside of the Tuscarora Mountain to reach Burnt Cabins. Tat is where the present grade is found to this day. This alignment would have eliminated the BLUE, KITTATINNY and the present TUSCARORA mountain tunnels. Thats your history lesson for this day.[2c]
Uncle Russ. How did you know I was on here?
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Posted by Modelcar on Sunday, April 23, 2006 1:24 PM
The bridges across the Suquehanna are an interesting aspect of the several railroads that had to get across there but speaking of "these" railroads, I think a very interesting part of the South Penn was how they designed the route to get up and {through}, the Allegheney range of mountains on it's way to Pittsburgh and or Wheeling. They were on their way to moving "mountains" of dirt to get that job done....Of which of course never did get totally completed. Massive cuts and fills. Seems the route took it high on the elevations instead of the typical locations of railroads being low in the valleys and following lesser aggressive terrains. It is an interesting subject.

Quentin

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Sunday, April 23, 2006 9:03 PM
Modelcar!

Your correct in that the climb up the Allegheny Mountain to this day I have photographed 8.5 miles of the work up that side of the mountain. Some as high as three stories high. Cuts 8 stories deep. crossings as wide as 1/3 the Rockville Bridge. I wish I could put all this on the net but I have to admit that ten years of research is not for free. I have a CD which now was supose to be split up into two but after just adding some new shots has caused me to split it up into four. I will now have to sell them in two CD's of two CD's east Harrisburg to East Somerset County Line and East Somerset County Line to Wheeling and Pittsburgh. I have letters explaining how they planned to remove cemeteries, How they wanted the bidding process to take place. tunnel sites which was later decided upon to not be built. so so much more. Oh did I mention I have a Pennsylvnia Turnpike Permit? With this I am always just dareing a state trooper to give me a problem It's neat just to see them change their attitude about a possible trespass arrest. Now its just that they are getting to know me. They don't hand out these permits to everyone. If you want to know about the South Penn, stay connected to the southpennrailroad.com web page for add ons and changes.

Thanks Russ

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Sunday, April 23, 2006 9:53 PM
ENJOY this Map

I have for your enjoyment I have just uploaded up on my southpennrailroad.com web page the Marysville or Perry County Map under the OLD MAPS button. Enjoy! Remember this map was made in 1883. The map is to large to send to everyone via e-mail

Tracking the William Henry Vanderbilt South Pennsylvania Railroad right of way along the Historic Pennsylvania Turnpike.

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Posted by Modelcar on Sunday, April 23, 2006 9:56 PM
....Russ: I've seen your various work on the "net" over time and realize you have a real keen interest to get in to the sights and record for history....It just bogs my mind to realize the abandoned parts ot the Turnpike now are retreating into history....My first ride across the Somerset to Donegal section about a week after it was opened seems still fresh in my memory....and how "modern" that road was to our first exposure to it....Awesome...!

Quentin

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Sunday, April 23, 2006 10:09 PM
I recall when I was about 10 years old my dad was a truck driver and took me on a trip to Philadelphia. He said when we first got on the pike in Pittsburgh that from that point on we would have no traffic lights to stop at. That was in 1964. I had not cared what so ever. It was just a ride to me. I even recall waking up watching the workers build the new Allegheny Tunnel, I again cared nothing about it. Now I am deep in shssssss looking for everything railroad related. Did you know that the Laurel Hill west portal is the original railroad tunnel but that the east is 1000 feet shorter and it is not the railroad tunnel? The old tunnel was cleaned out and the now present tunnel is shifted a short piece to the north. Also the railroad grade is still there and just as you would descend down the illegal part of that old turnpike that you would actually cross over the remaining railroad grade. It (railroad grade) is still there including a quarry and arch stone built culvert. with a very long railroad grade virgin that is.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Sunday, April 23, 2006 10:24 PM
Think about this: If you study the turnpike you will only know about the turnpike but if you study the railroad history of the turnpike you will also have learned about the turnpike history. Two for the price of one. What a bargin. What is, What was, What could have been.

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Posted by paulstecyna21 on Monday, April 24, 2006 9:14 AM
that is one cool bridge and one long train
http://www.trainweb.org/csxphotos/photos/CW44AC/0001CSX-bc.jpg
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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, April 24, 2006 10:00 AM
Russ...I can trace the route up around a long sweeping curve after it leaves the Quemahoning tunnel heading west, and nearing the Laurel Hill Tunnel but your comment of the Turnpike builders adjusting the angle of the tunnel bore is a new one on me....That I have never read anything about. Do understand they did not use the railroad tunnel at Allegheny because of bad rock strata, etc....and constructed first Turnpike bore 85 ft. south of rail bore......

Quentin

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Posted by dwil89 on Monday, April 24, 2006 10:27 AM
I was just on the PA Turnpike between Bedford and Carlisle a few weeks ago. I have ridden on that Turnpike many times, mostly in the later 1960's as a youngster when my parents and I would take holiday trips out from NY to their hometown of South Fork, Pa before Rte 80 was completed. As I was driving along, I recalled the history of the South Penn RR's alignment being used for the Turnpike. I thought that I read somewhere that a tunnel originally used the the turnpike was later bypassed. I can't remember the exact location, maybe between Bedford and Somerset...
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, April 24, 2006 11:03 AM
David,

Thanks for the great photos. My wife and I have traveled by that bridge 4 times in the past 6 years and never saw a train on it.
Usually the first weekend in April we go to York, Pa for the Large Scale Train Show. The week before the train show in April 2005 was a very wet week and it continued into the weekend. There is an island there that had to be evacuated as it was going to flood over.
I clicked on the location/date of photos and I was looking at the pictures of the bridge. On page 8, taken April 9th, there is a picture of a CN train crossing the bridge and the water level is way up. The stone piers are mostly covered by the water in the river.
We remember seeing a similar sight when we were there, and it brought back memories.
douglast
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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, April 24, 2006 2:47 PM
....David: Laurel Hill, Rays Hill and Sideling Hill Tunnels have been bypassed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The other four have had parallel tunnels constructed next to them making the roadway continous 4 and someplaces 6 lanes wide. The bypassed tunnels are west of Somerset and east of Breezewood.

Quentin

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, April 24, 2006 3:10 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Modelcar

....David: Laurel Hill, Rays Hill and Sideling Hill Tunnels have been bypassed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The other four have had parallel tunnels constructed next to them making the roadway continous 4 and someplaces 6 lanes wide. The bypassed tunnels are west of Somerset and east of Breezewood.


Sidling Hill Tunnel?

I run the pike alot in trucking and recall Tuscacora, Kittatitnny (Spelling?), Blue Mountain, and my personal favorite Allegheny Tunnel. Have they gone to the extreme of building whole new Right of ways around the old tunnels?
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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 3:15 PM
Ok felows

Here it is. The Blue and Kittatinny 's west bound tunnels are the original railroad tunnels. The ventiltion section is the railroads true tunnel bore. The Tuscarora Railroad Tunnel is the east bound traffic tunnel.

Sideling Hill & Rays Hill are the rairload tunnels and were used by the turnike until 1968. The are now part of the Southern Allegheny Conservancy Bike trail. 8.5 miles. Half of the railroad grade is not on that alignment that the turnpike used. The Railroad tunnel that is believed by most people to be the turnpike tunnel at the Allegheny Mountain is not. That railroad tunnel was never used. I have pictureofme in it. The Negro Mtn. Tunnel is located at the 116.0 mile post cut and is located on the north side of the turnpike about 400 feet inside the evergreen trees. The Quemahoning tunnel was one of the railroad tunnels that was indeed begun by the South Penn but was used completed and used by a railroad called the Pittsburgh Westmoreland & Somerset Railroad which operated between 1906-16 between the communities of Ligionier and Somerset. It sat and is still standing just along the shoulder of the turnpikes 106.4 mile post on the westbound lanes. Good so far? Ok the Laurel Hill tunnels listd as the east portal as seen today is NOT the original railroads tunnel. The turnpike shifted to the north slightly and bore back 1000 feet into the mountain to build their new tunnel portal. However they alignend the tunnel to exit at the original west portal of the railroad's constructed portal. That tunnel is now bypassed as of 1965. to present and will never be used again. This information is found in the turnpike report describing the rock formations along its right of way. Got it from the turnpike library. Nothing is said without written facts. Oh nine Italians lost their lives less then 10 feet inside the west portal. Turnpike also lost 4 men in that same tunnel.

If you would like a turnpike made drawing map showing how the Laurel Hill three portals are designed e-mail me for a map I will send in the e-mail return.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 3:22 PM
Safety Valve

The BLUE & KITTATINNY will never be changed or bypassed. Its almost impossible to do so. However plans were made for the Allegheny to be bypassed by shifting the turnpike alignment to the north Traveling eastward,they would have cut a slice out of the mountain and reconnecting with the turnpike at the 124.7mile post. However, a good fight with the hunting club which owns the right of way above the tunnel and north Allegheny Mountain range seems to have caused a delay in that idea. The second plan is to build a third tunnel and use it for when maintannce is neded. That is from the lawyers at the turnpike as well.

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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, April 24, 2006 3:57 PM
Safety Valve....To give a simple answer to your question...Yes, they constructed bypasses around the 3 tunnels I mentioned in above post.
Russ.....Laurel Hill Tunnel must then have 3 openings......the two of the final Trunpike design and as you say a different {eastern}, location of where the railroad builders opened the mountain on the eastern side, and a bit south....If so, have you seen that opening....?

Quentin

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 4:08 PM
No The turnpike cleaned it out. Today if you were there that opening would be where the state police qualify. Trust me with a written permit to explore the railroad, I searched for its possible location and I brought a 200 foot tape and measured out to see where it should be and it is no where to be found. While typing this I am in the process of uploading this map. Here it is.

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Posted by PBenham on Monday, April 24, 2006 4:12 PM
Cool, Is it an easily accessible and will one be able to wait there without worrying about being hassled? I'll answer that myself, NO. There will always be one[censored][D)]cop, self appointed or real, that does not understand that what we are doing is harmless!
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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, April 24, 2006 4:12 PM
...Ok, Thanks for the update Russ....

Quentin

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 4:18 PM
Ok Guy's are you interested in seeing more photos?



Hows this shot of the railroad grade at Breezewood Interchange. This is located on the west bound acceleration lane. You will probably never see it as you will be watching for an opening to merge into the slow lane. Remember: construction was during the years 1883-1885

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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, April 24, 2006 4:24 PM
....That's interesting stuff on that map. Do the photos as you see fit Russ.

Quentin

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 4:28 PM
I don't understnad the question. OHHH I understand now. The flat cleared area in the forground was the original cleaned out railroad tunnel That is why the working on tunnel is the turnpike tunnel.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 4:37 PM


This is the east portal of the Sideling Hill Tunnel east of Breezewood. This tunnel site is actually in Fulton, county. It is part of the Pike to Bike trail now. You can see the South Penn railroad grade is leading to the tunnel portal. Or is it? Also notice how the grade is actually a bit higher then the turnpike surface grade.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 4:45 PM
Hey! I have to ask. Is this south penn topic hijacking the Rockville Bridge topic. If it is, should maybe I start a new topic or is the owner of this topic willing to let this stay?

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Posted by dwil89 on Monday, April 24, 2006 5:07 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by southpennrailroad

Hey! I have to ask. Is this south penn topic hijacking the Rockville Bridge topic. If it is, should maybe I start a new topic or is the owner of this topic willing to let this stay?
No,I would say to go ahead and continue here with the info...its all interesting...it all ties in with the history of the general area....
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Posted by dwil89 on Monday, April 24, 2006 5:16 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by douglast

David,

Thanks for the great photos. My wife and I have traveled by that bridge 4 times in the past 6 years and never saw a train on it.
Usually the first weekend in April we go to York, Pa for the Large Scale Train Show. The week before the train show in April 2005 was a very wet week and it continued into the weekend. There is an island there that had to be evacuated as it was going to flood over.
I clicked on the location/date of photos and I was looking at the pictures of the bridge. On page 8, taken April 9th, there is a picture of a CN train crossing the bridge and the water level is way up. The stone piers are mostly covered by the water in the river.
We remember seeing a similar sight when we were there, and it brought back memories.
douglast
Well, some good vantage points can be found along Front Street in Rockville. There is also a park and picnic area to the North of Rockville along Front Street. On the other side of the River, River Road runs under the other end of the Bridge,between Marysville and Overview, at the West end of Enola Yard and there are several places where one can watch and shoot pics of trains on the Bridge from along that road too.
David J. Williams http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nsaltoonajohnstown
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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 5:23 PM
Here is one for you. I took the time to calculate how many times the turnpike crosses the railroad right away between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. ANSWER: 50. The first being at the 231.7 mile post just west of the highway 641 highway turnpike overpass bridge crossing. The last is located at the 68.6 mile post just east of the Irwin interchange. The South Penn was to cross from the south shoulder of the turnpike just before the turnpike enters the Allegheny Mountain Turnpike built Tunnels. Then once again it crosses directly in front of the west portal on the west side to eliminate cutting as the turnpike did the hill about 3/4 mile west of the turnpike tunnels.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 5:34 PM
In this shot the South Penn grade is seen along the south shoulder of the turnpike with a stone culvert at the exact mile post 123.7. I am parked on the turnpike berm facing the east direction. Just outside the Allegheny Tunnel curve.



Get the southpennrailroad CD titled Tracking the South Pennsylvania Railroad fromHarrisburg to Pittsburgh and Wheeling, WV. I made this Cd showing all the sites seen so far on this forum and 3,700 items just like it.

Tracking the William Henry Vanderbilt South Pennsylvania Railroad right of way along the Historic Pennsylvania Turnpike.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, April 24, 2006 5:47 PM
This old photo of the railroad crew is standing in front of the Kittatinny Tunnel as this tunnel is the only one with a creek passing in the front of its portal. This is located in the valley between the twin tunnels.




Tracking the William Henry Vanderbilt South Pennsylvania Railroad right of way along the Historic Pennsylvania Turnpike.

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