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

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Friday, April 28, 2006 9:59 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by eastside

I'm astonished as to how much has been contributed regarding the Rockville Bridge.


The earliest? Here's a nineteenth century view of the PRR's Pennsylvania Limited coming off the Rockville Bridge. As the PRR's premier train, it was their first to have all vestibule Pullman cars.




It seems that we got a little off track but if you read the chain from the beginning you will see where it lead. It really does have its feet in the South Penn. I am very interested in the competition of this Pa. Line with that of the SPRR.

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Posted by Modelcar on Friday, April 28, 2006 9:59 PM
So much to look at Russ.....{and by the way I have an S-10 pickup too...an Xtreme. I have {on the computer here from some time ago, the maps showing the PW&S over the Laurel Hill but have not seen from Quemahoning tunnel down to Somerset before....Your views show it and easier now to understand as it makes it's way to connect to the B&O, etc.....
Like the way the SP shows up on the top. maps....Great bunch of stuff....
Understand about getting lost on the maps...Thanks.
More later.....

Quentin

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Friday, April 28, 2006 10:02 PM
I'm out of here for the night. Good night.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Saturday, April 29, 2006 12:59 PM
Even a super highway or one like it didn't seem to totally destroy all the traces of the remains of the South Penn railroad. At the crssing of highway 219 passing beneath the South Penn grade just north of Somerset and east of the Walmart store.



Look just above this auto traveling north on highway 219. You can see the shape of the railroad grade embedded in the hillside just below the evergreen trees.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Saturday, April 29, 2006 1:35 PM


This is part of my CD And some great reading about getting men to the Fort Littleton, Fulton County area..

"B. Gordon" wrote:

> George Regi"s

> Laborors on the Vanderbilt Railroad

> One spring afternoon in 1883 George Regi, with 399 Italians, left the train in Ft. Loudon, Franklin County. Regi asked how he was to get his men over the Cove Mountain, learning that not enough vehicles could not be assembeled in a week, he decided to lead the way on foot. It was 8 miles over the tortous dusty road to McConnellsburg and the grade 12 to 14 per cent in some places. Each of the Italians had one piece of heavy luggage, and their thirst upon reaching McConnellsburg can be imagined. Consequently, they decended upon the first hotel in their path and depleted the bar's content in no time at all. Regi then lead the 4oo to the Fulton House which had been catering to thirsty travelers since 1776. The supply at the old stone hotel lasted barely longer then the first stop. Beer, liquors, wine--they disappeared in no time at all down the parched throats of the Italians. The propritor said he would order a supply from Chambersburg but that meant a five day delay. So the laborers moved on to the last saloon in town, where the supply was consumed in no time. Regi then took his men to a camp in the hills near Hustontown. McConnellsburg was completely dry for the first time in existence. Regi spoke 7 languages and had been in the United States for 4-5 years. He was the first labor contractor to bring Italians to this country, and the Vanderbilt interests gave him the contract for supplying labor for the entire job. He had 2300 men on the job when orders came to stop work. His men were paid $1.25 a day for the ten hours work and he opened 31 commissaries. As this was the first time Italian labor was used in Pennsylvania, Regi's men attracted considerable attention. Ten or fifteen years later Italian's were found on all construction jobs in the east and the army which worked for Vanderbilt's in Fulton County was the for runners. When the dramatic order was sent to stop work, Regi believed the suspension was only temperary and kept the Italians on his payroll. He saw they had food and did not become thirsty. Very soon all the men were in his debt for sums ranging from $5 to $4oo. But Regi did not worry as he believed work would resume shortly and then he would collect what was coming to him. In the mean time the Vanderbilt's and the Pennsylvania railroad came to terms. Work went to the big boss to discontinue everything. He was to send out the donkeys,'engines,'cars, the teams and wagons. Sometime later, Regi saw the last of his labors disappear over the hill while he held the IOU's for over $40,000. Regi remained in the area. Then some 30 years later M.H. James wrote this article: We picked up George Regi in Knobsville,and he showed us some cuts and fills not far from Ft. Littleton. He pointed out a cut half a mile away which was 113 ft. deep. He then showed us where the Ft. Littleton depot was to have been located. We then went to Hustontown near where we saw fills so deep that a load of hay might easily be driven throught masoniary culverts built to let the water through. This railway right-of-way was in splendid condition and a years work with modern equipment would soon put a two track line in operation.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Saturday, April 29, 2006 1:45 PM
Well now that we see just how the railroad crews got over the mountains near Fort Littleton, Lets explore some of their work that still lays in the woods today along the Pennsylvania Turnpike there as well.



Above: A completed fill hidden in the mountains south of Fort Littleton.This can be found on Microsoftterraserver.com



Closer to the Pennsylvania Turnpike is this view of the turnpike crossing from left (west) to right (east) over the South Pennsylvania Railroad. Mile post 182.4 exact marker. The dark cut on the opposite side of the turnpike is the South Penn grade crossing to the point where the red turnpike marker is seen just to my right.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Saturday, April 29, 2006 2:20 PM


Gunther Valley

Trout Run

These two names are best known for the area between the Twin Tunnels. Those who don't know this area, this is the valley between the Blue and Kittatinny Mountains (mile post 198.0) just west of Harrisburg, Pa. This view shows and interesting South Penn work site found by me reading up on some old 1935 newspaper articles writtn by David Fensler. He mentioned that some of the stones which were to be used for the railroad were still seen in this valley. I got permission to explore this valley and here is what I found just to the south of the eastbound lanes along the turnpike. WARNING!!! SNAKES ABOUND PLENTY HERE. also it is llegal to explore this area or almost anywhere alongthe turnpike. The State Police frown upon you leaving your vehicle to explore on their property. $375.00 fine for doing so.

The tunnel farthest away from me is the railroad tunnel.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Saturday, April 29, 2006 3:01 PM




Finding the South Penn railroad is one thing in areas where the grade is actually built showing tangible work sites to view. Examples are as we just saw on the previous posts. However locating exactly where it was to be built in areas that not a bit of dirt was turned by the railroad is a whole new search. Difficult. Well not if you have the maps. It was really simple as the surveyors did the work some 120 years ago. But knowing what to look for along the turnpike is the real mystery.

This paticular site is the Rumbaugh proeprty located in Mt. Pleasant twp. Westmoreland County. Now remember no work was done west of Donegal which is the 90 mile post and we are now located on the planes west of the Chestnut Ridge Mountain at mile post 80.6. As I did in a previous posted map, I pieced together the individual plat maps making one long one and included on that map long map is this proepty.

I include the photo and the map showing that the location where the turnpike is was indeed built on the exact location where the railroad would have built on. According to the 1884 report, this site is where the South Penn was going to split off and one branch would travel north to the Frick coke works east of Latrobe (Saxman works) and another southward to the Frick coke works in the Mount Pleasant area in the Westmoreland County area noted for its thousands of coke overns which were at the time being only serviced by the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was hoped that the new South Penn would take some or most of that business from the Pennsy and get it onto Vanderbilt's NYC lines.

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Posted by Modelcar on Saturday, April 29, 2006 5:12 PM
...Speaking of snakes Russ, back several pages I note the picture of a person...{you..?}, at the opening of a tunnel with lots of ice columns and wearing high leather shoes and I figured a good foot wear and leg protection from the rattlers all over the mountainous area.....Especially in warm weather.
Additional pictures in last posts great.....!
You had asked in a post last evening if I had ever seen any remains of construction of SP just west of Laurel....and I believe I must answer yes, but sometimes the memory starts to run together since I only get to do it roughly twice a year or so.....

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Saturday, April 29, 2006 6:43 PM
No that is not me, it is a Pennsylvania state trooper who worked no the turnpike for 18 years and was unaware of the tunnel he is seeing at that time. He was quit excited about it. Yes I try to wear walking boots, however I sometimes get a few hours off work and head straight up to see the sites and don't get a chance to get them from home. So often its just tennis shoes.

I figure that if you have seen so much from afar, that you must have made some effort to just see them. I decided that to just see them was not enough. I figured I might as well make the work they did a focal point and a subject. After all trains never ran on it so I had to find a subject to picup and show. So the culverts and other works became my trains. Not many people look at the actual work but focus on the trains. The South Penn was a diffrent subject and neded to be looked at diffrently. If shown properly it too could be interesting. I've seen many photos of trains, but color schems can only be done so many times. I do say that at times, I do see trains at a certain spot that I know would make great shots butjust stay away from them.

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Posted by Modelcar on Saturday, April 29, 2006 7:23 PM
...To carry the thought a bit from my point of view....Sure actual trains working past on a line has an interest to me but....thinking about it all, my root interest in railroads is the structure...The engineering and work that was required to put it all there. The challenge of the terrain to the surveyors to find a way to get the ROW to their destination and still keeping an acceptable gradient. Suppose that kinda sums it up. Perhaps then that explains my interest not only in present operating systems but the ones that were put in place many, many years ago......Or like the SP effort 120 years ago but didn't quite make it. And especially the SP that attempted to cross Pennsylvania hence crossing the mountains in a perpendicular direction which is not the easy way.....

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Posted by CMSTPP on Saturday, April 29, 2006 8:18 PM
Very impressive. Almost looks like the Milwaukee road bridge in Montana right on the river beside Sattle Mt.
Were did you take the pic? from a cliff?

James
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, April 30, 2006 9:23 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by blhanel

Fantastic shot, David![8D][bow][tup][wow]


That is one heck of a FANTASTIC shot.

You should have it enlarged and frame it. That would make a most super excellent hanging in your den or train room.

CONGRATS on taking such a super shot.

And did anyone notice the hihood unit in the second spot? [:D]

And the switch engine last in the engine consists? [;)]

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Sunday, April 30, 2006 7:28 PM


On the west slope of the Laurel Mountain, the Blair bros. who ran the PW&S logging railroad had moved to this west side of the mountain. In the logging railroad book Steam Winders in the Laurel Mountain it is said that the B&O reached all the logging railroads here and shipped their logs to market. However in the early 1900 before the turnpike came in, the logging industry went out. The abandoned rails were then purchased by the turnpike and shipped by the B&O to the east slope for the turnpike to use for it seems to be used for electric cars used to finish cleaning out the railroad tunnels. It seems this is what they also used them for.

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Posted by Modelcar on Sunday, April 30, 2006 7:42 PM
What a connected history from the logging roads to the Turnpike...In looking at the maps I've noticed a tram road in the vicinity of the Laurel Hill Tunnel, that extended south from near where the eastern portal would be.

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Sunday, April 30, 2006 9:37 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Modelcar

What a connected history from the logging roads to the Turnpike...In looking at the maps I've noticed a tram road in the vicinity of the Laurel Hill Tunnel, that extended south from near where the eastern portal would be.


There you go. The South Penn is a wide unknown history. In William Shanks book and Dan Cupper's book, they speaks of it (the PW&S) and I have to admit I wanted more then what they mention. That is why I went in deeper and explored all possible historic avenues about the route of the South Penn and its after owners. Oh by the way I was out exploring the PW&S right of way in Linn Run State Park today. I got some new photos to replace the old ones.

The whole area stretching off the PW&S line was the Blair Bros. line including both sides of the mountain. I think if you read the map it says Blair sideing. That southern line is now a bike trail leading into Jones Mill and onto the ICVVRR Line which is also a bike trail. The Indian Creek Valley Rr Line was the B&O trunk line and the logging lines were branches feeding off the ICVVRR/B&O ine.

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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, May 1, 2006 8:21 AM
Russ....I have a mystery in my mind and it's been there for years...Sometime in the 30's as I was a child less than 10 years old, but even then with an eye on railroads...I was with parents and a Sunday School picnic. The best I can describe would be the location at the top of Laurel Hill {on Rt. 30}, and then turn south on the dirt {red dog road}, and travel back, lets say several miles...I just don't know how far....Too young to really know, but someone had a cabin back there not far off that road and that was the location of the picnic gathering.

Let's say it would be about 1937 give or take a year or so....One thing I remember is a section of railroad track in the brush and not something that was n use but actual track still in existence at that location....Now I know the PW&S did not exist since the mid teens so all these years I've wondered just what did I see......I have been back that road later as an adult several times {years later}, but have never been able to catch an area where it might have been....That track would have been right at the ridge {or very close to it}, of Laurel Hill elevation....Have wondered and wondered in years hence, wonder what I did see......Memory says the track was brush covered and no activity in years as I think back what a young child was looking at.....

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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, May 1, 2006 9:02 AM
James....I really like your photo of the Milwaukee units in the above posts.
Weren't the motors in the right of the pic the ones designed to originally be sold to the Soviet Union....And one has to marvel at the Immensity of what seems to be massive cast frames under the units and with their multiple locations of piviot points. Those "motors" must have been massive in weight. Which means their west extension network had to be rather stout to hold them, etc....

Quentin

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, May 1, 2006 1:25 PM


The map I provided you with is the only one I know of showing actual railroad rails close to thetunnel. Unless this is what maybe you saw. If that is the case then you were right up to the tunnel andthis is what you maybe saw. Is maybe was this site ocated onthe west side of te mountain or was it the east.? I know you were quit young and can't recall. I know the feeling.

Oh by the way this is the west portal where 9 Italians from the construction of the railroad tunnel died in less then 10 feet inside.



page one

I left at the Commisarry at 10;30 AM. to check up the men who were working on the approach to the west end of the tunnel. If my memory serves me rightly after a period of fifty five years, there were one hundred and fifty men working on three benches up to the face of the tunnel. The cut at this point was seventy-two feet to grade, and after checking up the men's time at the lower benches, I walked up the cut to the face of the tunnel where I found John Duff, one of our best Foreman, in charge of eleven gigantic Italians from the X North of Italy, in fact they came from Milan, and they were digging a heading, and seemed to be underground about twelve feet. After checking the time of the men, I discussed with John Duffy the make up our base-ball
team who were to play Shannon & Company's club at Somerset the following Sunday. Just after I left Duffy's
gang, I ran into Major Barkley, the walking boss. for the west end of the tunnel. Mr. Charleds H. Patterson, a brother of W.P. Patterson, the senior member of the firm of Patterson & Kuhn acted as walking boss at the east end of the tunnel. I said "Major you should be happy now for you have heading started". He replied that' he would be much happier if the heading had been ten feet further in". He than asked me to meet him over at our boarding house, where he had some over-time to give me. Elias Knupp's home was only a short distance from the west end of the tunnel, and when I climbed the ladder out of the cut, I said "halloe" to my cousin, Tom Myers, who was lying down looking at the men working in the heading, and continued on over to the Knupp homestead where I had the appointment with Major Barclay, but had hardly gone one hundred and fifty feet from the cut untill I heard a terrific crash, and when I turned around, Tom Myers started running towards me, shouting "they are all buried under the slidew". When I arrived at the top of the cut, say John Duffy squeezing out between a heavy timber and the side of the beiginning of the heading where we had been chatting together a few moments beforw. Both Tom Myers and myself hurried down the ladder and tried to get the Italians, mostly Sicilians and Calabrese, to come up and dig their comrades out of the slide. We could see an arm here and a leg there, but nothing would move them for rock and earth were still fallin. Just at that moment Major Barclay came upon the scene, and as i was
page 2

very young, and it was the first time that i ever saw a man killed, I said Major, "please let me get a horse and ride to Stahlstown for the doctor for you will surely get some of those men out of the slide alive." "Go ahead and ride for your life".

I never knew how I managed to get the saddle and bridle on that splendid bay mare, for I took the best horse in the stable, which I was never allowed to ride, and started over the hills
for Stahlstown seven miles away. I had just managed to get to a level strech of road after I surmounted the first long hill when I ran into a herd of cows, while they separated, and I had thought I was through all right, one of them started across the road, and the horse struck her amidships. The horse and cow went down, but I kept on going right over the horses head on to the road, and struck my head and right shoulder, but I remained consiouss, and as I raised my head, I saw the horse struggling to his feet and half turning around to back track if for the tunnel. I shouted at a twelve year old boy, who apparently had been driving the cows, to stop the horse, which he managed to do, and I resumed my journey to Stahlstown, minus my hat.

The Doctor fortunately was at home, and after he had dressed my head hastily, he started for Knupp's tunnel at a pace that I knew I would not be able to keep up with, for I had made the seven miles in thirty five minutes. I remember distincly looking at my watch when I mounted my horse at the barn, and I looked at it again immediatly after I notified the Doctor of the accident. All my friends on the job afterwards declaired that my watch stopped when I get the fall from the horse, but it was still going when I arrived in Stahlstown for it was a goodsilver watch that my Dad had given me when he bought his repeater.

When I arived some time after the Doctor, I found that eight of the eleven Italian laberers were dead, anf the remaining three were seriously injured. John Duffy owing to his tremendous strength, had managed to escape with a broken collar bone. He was only twenty-four years old at the time,and had been recently married so that was good news to me.
page 3

After I had taken something to eat, Mr. Kuhn, the junior member of the firm, who was a Cathlic, the same as myself, notified me that I would have to start away over the mountain for the recreation house of the Arch Abbey of St. Vincents and secure the service of a Priest for the injured men. I was perfectly willing to go provided they permitted me to ride the same horse for I knew him to be sure footed in the dark. After stopping a number of times at widely scattered farm houses to inquire the right road, I finally came to the mountain house of Arch Abbey, and upon inquiry, I learned that there were no Priests there for they were all Brothers, who were not eligible to officiate and administer the last Sacraments of the Cathlic church. By that time it was one O'clock in the morning and one of the Brothers promised to take a short cut over the mountains down to St Vincent's and notify the Abbot to send a Priest, so I turned around and started on my long twelve mile ride back to the tunnel where I arrived at daylight.


Above: Site of where Mr. Barr rode to get spirtual help for the Italians killed after the deadly cave in at the Laurel Hill Tunnel work site. he small building on the right is as I am told was a pony express stop.


Saint Vincent Collage, Latrobe, Pennsylvania. This shot was taken from highway 981 just south of Latrobe and north of route 30.

When I awakend at five O'Clock that afternoon, I found a Pittsburgh newspaper man on one side of my bed , and a Benedictine Priest on the other. The good Priest sain a kindly way, "it is all right Mr. Barr, I arrived in time and took care of the injured men" which relived me greatly for Mr. Kuhn rerimanded me severly for not continuing on down to the Monastery for another twelve miles. Needles to say my adventure, together with the account of my fall from the horse, were spread over three columns of a Pittsburgh newspaper. The account of my fall from the horse after running into the cow, causd a great deal of merrment amoung my old schoolmates at the then Holy Ghost College, now the Duquesnw University.

We buried nine of those splendid North Italy men on May 30th, Decoration Day on the heights near the Commissary. There was a touching ceremony and the good Benedictine officiated. Nearly all the men of every nationality attended the funeral, but the saddest function, was the writting the news to their home folks in beautiful Milano.

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Posted by Modelcar on Monday, May 1, 2006 4:18 PM
.... A sad story for the men who lost their life just starting the tunnel....
Two things. First the gauge looks like it would not be up to standard width RR gauge which the brush covered tracks most likely were.
Next, the location where I was, was somewhat north on the ridge of Laurel Hill away from where the Laurel Hill tunnel was {is}, located. Plus I was up on the max elevaion of the mountain ridge and of course Laurel Hill Tunnel is several hundreds of feet below the top of the mountain range.
Guess it will remain a mystery of just what I did see so many years ago....For many years I have thought it simply was a section of the PW&S RR that never was torn up to salvage the rails, etc...at that time....And I kinda still believe that has to be the explaination of what remains of track I did see.....Not much way of knowing now. Can't even pin point just where the cabin was. There are some of the family members of the cabin ownership still living and when we're in the area the end of the month perhaps I might remember to inquire just where that cabin was really located. maybe it was farther back {south}, than I imagine which might put it in the area of some of the logging tram sites.....Hence railroad track.

Quentin

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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, May 1, 2006 6:18 PM
I think what your telling me is that this was a definate track OVER the highest ridge on the Laurel Hill. If this is the case then it most likely was the PW&S as I have read in the logging Railroad books that the PW&S tracks were not immediatly ripped up after the end of the active PW&S line which was in 1916. The tracks were then left in the woods until I believe the date of 1927. A man I personally talked to who just passedaway this past yearand who livedin the comunity of Allenvale, Somerset County told me he use to ride one of those railroad hand carts into Somerset which included the Quemhoning tunnel just before they ripped up the tracks. Also their use to be a park in the Allenvale area were people would be able to have picnics. A miniture type of Idlewild Park for that was all Idlewild park was like in those days without rides. A ballfield was probably all that it was.

Anyway, the remains of these PW&S tracks were over the summit in those days. The maps shows this as eing north of the tunnel area and at the exact location of where the maps says Blair Siding. Thatpoint on the map is the crest of the mountain.

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Posted by CSXrules4eva on Monday, May 1, 2006 6:37 PM
southpennrailroad, you must be a native Pennsylvaniain. Because you seem to have a lot of information on Laurel Hill, the tunnels PW&S and the turnpike. Only someone from PA would relay that information about the PW&S and their semi involvement in the builiding of the PA Turnpike. I really liked that story you posted about the Laurel Hill Tunnel workers, very interesting facts. See I learn something new about my state every day.

The miniture story on the Laurel Hill Tunnel workers sort of reminds me of some of the stories that used to be told about the workers building the Holland Tunnel under the Hudson, from Hoboken, NJ to Manhattan NY.
LORD HELP US ALL TO BE ORIGINAL AND NOT CRISPY!!! please? Sarah J.M. Warner conductor CSX
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Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, May 1, 2006 6:48 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by CSXrules4eva

southpennrailroad, you must be a native Pennsylvaniain. Because you seem to have a lot of information on Laurel Hill, the tunnels PW&S and the turnpike. Only someone from PA would relay that information about the PW&S and their semi involvement in the builiding of the PA Turnpike. I really liked that story you posted about the Laurel Hill Tunnel workers, very interesting facts. See I learn something new about my state every day.

The miniture story on the Laurel Hill Tunnel workers sort of reminds me of some of the stories that used to be told about the workers building the Holland Tunnel under the Hudson, from Hoboken, NJ to Manhattan NY.


Your correct. I live in the east sub of Pittsburgh or be exact off the Pittsburgh mile post 57 turnpike interchange. A 5 min. drive to the Somerset area. My work involves me installing glass in home use. When I get finished I often jump the pike to explore. With 1915 maps, I can follow the route. I also have the South Penn maps from the South penn surveys. These survey maps are more acurate then the topo maps of this period. By the way where are you from. Be exact if possible.

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Posted by dwil89 on Monday, May 1, 2006 6:49 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by CMSTPP

Very impressive. Almost looks like the Milwaukee road bridge in Montana right on the river beside Sattle Mt.
Were did you take the pic? from a cliff?

James
It was more or less a cliff....A road leads up to the top of the mountain ..then a hike of a mile brought me to the spot....which is about forty yards or so from the top of the mountain on a steep slope....
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Posted by dwil89 on Monday, May 1, 2006 6:53 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by jhhtrainsplanes

QUOTE: Originally posted by blhanel

Fantastic shot, David![8D][bow][tup][wow]


That is one heck of a FANTASTIC shot.

You should have it enlarged and frame it. That would make a most super excellent hanging in your den or train room.

CONGRATS on taking such a super shot.

And did anyone notice the hihood unit in the second spot? [:D]

And the switch engine last in the engine consists? [;)]


Thanks....the high hood unit is an SD40-2 high hood I believe, by counting the number of fans on the roof...The Southern Railroad ordered most of their power in high hood versions....including GP38's and 38-2's, SD40's and 40-2's and GP50's...NS inherited that fleet when N@W and the Southern Railroad merged..
David J. Williams http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nsaltoonajohnstown
  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: Louisville, KY
  • 1,345 posts
Posted by CSXrules4eva on Monday, May 1, 2006 7:10 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by southpennrailroad

QUOTE: Originally posted by CSXrules4eva

southpennrailroad, you must be a native Pennsylvaniain. Because you seem to have a lot of information on Laurel Hill, the tunnels PW&S and the turnpike. Only someone from PA would relay that information about the PW&S and their semi involvement in the builiding of the PA Turnpike. I really liked that story you posted about the Laurel Hill Tunnel workers, very interesting facts. See I learn something new about my state every day.

The miniture story on the Laurel Hill Tunnel workers sort of reminds me of some of the stories that used to be told about the workers building the Holland Tunnel under the Hudson, from Hoboken, NJ to Manhattan NY.


Your correct. I live in the east sub of Pittsburgh or be exact off the Pittsburgh mile post 57 turnpike interchange. A 5 min. drive to the Somerset area. My work involves me installing glass in home use. When I get finished I often jump the pike to explore. With 1915 maps, I can follow the route. I also have the South Penn maps from the South penn surveys. These survey maps are more acurate then the topo maps of this period. By the way where are you from. Be exact if possible.


NICE [:D][:D] I live in Philadelphia, PA (born and raised) and am very rich in Pennsylvaniain History. I tend to know more about easten and central PA. I also have been up and down just about all of the mountain ranges here in PA. It is really cool that you take little memory lane trips allong the PA turnpike, it can be a very senic road at times esp. in the Allegheny County area. Over in southeastern PA, I tend to take a lot of the back roads, due to their sincery, the PA turnpike over in my area isn't all that senic, and faces a lot of congestion.
LORD HELP US ALL TO BE ORIGINAL AND NOT CRISPY!!! please? Sarah J.M. Warner conductor CSX
  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: Plum Boro, Pennsylvania
  • 320 posts
Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, May 1, 2006 7:42 PM


I'm sorry I should have read your profile before asking as the answer is in there. Here is a shot I just took yeasterday of the 100 year old line now a bike trail. I won't do it. Out of Shape! Walk Yes! Easy to walk!

The Somerset/Westmoreland County line is just behind me and this view is facing east and would eventually be on the same route as the turnpike used part of this line between milepost 105.5 to 110 mile post on the turnpike.

I have been out to Philadelphia and don't really like it along that section of the pike. I am however interested in any remains of the original PRR, 1850 right of way as it would look today in that area.

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

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Muncie, Indiana...Orig. from Pennsylvania
  • 13,456 posts
Posted by Modelcar on Monday, May 1, 2006 7:57 PM
Russ...You mention Idlewild Park....Are you aware that park was built by or for the Ligonier Valley Railroad before the turn of the 20th century {I believe}, for the employees on weekends, etc....You probably are most aware the RR went right through the center of it. Also had a tiny railroad station inside the park for the doodlebug to stop with passenges , etc....

At one time there was a siding or two there in the park to locate special passenger trains that would bring out train loads of special groups, etc...for a day in the park.

Quentin

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: Plum Boro, Pennsylvania
  • 320 posts
Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, May 1, 2006 8:06 PM
Back on the South Penn, is this view of the east slope of the Allegheny Mountain South Pennsylvania Railroad stone quarry located just above and a little to the south of the tunnel. We counted 47 stones strown about this mountain side It ison private property and belongs to a hunting club. I was first made aware that this site existed in 2000 when I was sharig with the public when I had a display set up at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza.A turnpike worker revealed that he was the right of way utility personel who knew the right of way of the turnpike and that he was amazed that I or anyone else for that matter would be interested in the South Penn. He said he was greatful for what I knew and even provided me with topo maps the turnpike used in 1938 that showed South Penn alignments nd even sent me copies. That was one of the times I was about to quit searching for remains of the SPRR but his maps kept me going. It seems the material came into my possession in spurts. Just enough to keep me on track of the South Penn. Thus my title of my CD Tracking the South Pennsylvania Railroad.

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

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: Plum Boro, Pennsylvania
  • 320 posts
Posted by southpennrailroad on Monday, May 1, 2006 8:16 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Modelcar

Russ...You mention Idlewild Park....Are you aware that park was built by or for the Ligonier Valley Railroad before the turn of the 20th century {I believe}, for the employees on weekends, etc....You probably are most aware the RR went right through the center of it. Also had a tiny railroad station inside the park for the doodlebug to stop with passenges , etc....

At one time there was a siding or two there in the park to locate special passenger trains that would bring out train loads of special groups, etc...for a day in the park.


Let me look in my files for maybe this great shot of the station and train belonging to the Mellons. Yeh! The rich guys!



The mellons had purchased an unfinished railroad grade and basically junior recommended to his father that he wanted the line completed. Dad had junior sit and count the freight passing along what is today route 30 and add up what was possible to ship by train instead of wagons. Well they bought the right of way and while work was going on an incentive to finish sections by days end was accomplished by the Mellons digging a hole and burying a keg of beer at the end of what was wanted done that day. If they didn't get to that spot. Well! No beer. I understnd they never mmissed getting the beer.



The Mellons Ligionier Valley Railroad Yards in Ligionier, Pa.

By the way the Mellons are well known in the area as their Rolling Rock Farms are there. The trains passed through ther farms including Mellon Crossing was a stop. They dicatate the building codes in the Ligionier area. You can't get nothing built unless itgoes through them or their placemen.

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

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