• Coatesville

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

Moderator: bwparker1

  by NYSW3614
I finally had a chance to look around Coatesville this afternoon. My interest was heightened when I saw a local book on the city that the steel mill plant there- Lukens- was best known for rolling flanges (boiler?) for steam locomotives. I also read that two mill sites will be partially demolished end of the month for redevelopment and possibly a museum. Since it was my first visit to the area I haven’t a clue which buildings are doomed. What an area. Thought all the mills would be shut down and quiet but nope- there was some activity in most mill buildings- now run by ISG. There's a narrow gauge 0-4-0 cosmetically restored and lettered for Lukens with some mill cars by an office building, and the maze of industrial tracks throughout the place is almost a modeler’s dream. There are many in-plant RR cars, industrial engines, and a local RR- the Brandywine Valley. I took a few pictures, but not many due to the weather and nature of the site. Look carefully and you can see bits of narrow gauge track where the tank engine no doubt toiled. I wish I could have a look beyond the fences and take pictures at will.

Is this the same plant that has the remote-control electric Alcos? I think I saw one or two but wasn't sure. There's also a huge stone viaduct that carries the active AMTK and NS line to Harrisburg.

Any information on this area would be much appreciated. Glad to see there's some industry left in the northeast!

PS- Forgot to add that Lukens produced steel here for many well known projects, including the USS Natilus, the World Trade Center, St. Louis Arch, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Great site here- http://www.lukenshistoricdistrict.org/lukenshome.htm

  by kevikens
I, too, have done some railfanning in the area but have not been out there for about six months or so. You can get some good pix of Amtrak croosing that viaduct in the PM from the main street vehicular bridge. On Sundays, if they still do this, NS runs a train from Abrams to Coatesville which accesses the Lukens Plant. It arrives mid to late AM and it is a sight to see it coming off the Harrisburg Line to get down into the Brandywine Valley. In the south of coatesville there is a public road that crosses a track connection from one part of the plant to another using really weird looking locomotives, maybe a Whitcomb or something like that. Just south of Coatesville is Modena where in the AM on weeksdays you can photograph trains of the Brandywine Valley coming out of the yard heading south to Wilmington. At that spot is an old Reading stattion now used as an aprtment building. Don't think too many people know it was a Reading station. Good luck railfanning and let us know what's happening there now.

  by walt
Coatesville actually has a pretty extensive railroad history. In addition to the lines mentioned, Coatesville is where the trolleys of the Conestoga Traction Co. from Lancaster and the West Chester Street Railway ( later the Chester Valley Lines), from West Chester met. At one time, it was possible to ride, by trolley, all the way from Philadelphia ( at 63rd & Market- before the 69th Street Terminal was built) all the way to Lancaster changing cars in West Chester and Coatesville. And, in the PRR days there was a fairly large rail freight yard in Coatesville.