• Highest elevation on the NYC?

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by pumpers
Statkowski wrote:From Cherry Tree, Pa., the NYC had trackage rights "southward" over the PRR's Susquehanna Extension Branch to Spangler in order to access its "east-west" Cambria County Railroad. And, from Wigton Junction, the NYC again had trackage rights eastward to Patton, where it had an isolated branch off of the Patton No. 3 Branch. From Patton northward, the NYC had trackage rights to Mahaffey Junction, and from there ran "northward" to Clearfield and points east.
I was using Google to learn about the NYC in Pennsylvania coal country and found this post. I have been looking at old topo maps to trace this out, and think I found the NYC Cambria County RR and Wigton Jct (the jct. being where the NYC heading east ends when it hits a PRR branch coming west from Patton, right near a mine.) But I am not sure where the Patton No. 3 branch is (going to Patton No 3 mine?), and don't see anything else labelled NYC as the "isolated branch" off Patton No. 3 branch. My Steam Powered Video book of old RR maps has a close up of the Patton area, but what is labelled as Patton 2 and Patton 3 mine, and Patton 2 Jct and Patton 3 Jct don't seem to make sense.

Statkowski, do you know of any map showing any of this?

  by Statkowski
From the Keystone Crossings website we get this map: http://www.pennsyrr.com/kc/maps/images/ ... t&d_rr.jpg

Download the map, the enlarge it (it'll be fuzzy, but you'll be able to make out the gist of it).

Halfway up the hill, heading west from Patton, the Patton No. 3 Branch branches off from the Patton No. 2 Branch. The Patton No. 3 Branch continues westward to Wigton Jct. where it meets the New York Central's Cambria County Railroad, which then runs in a northwesterly direction to Spangler, where it joins the Susquehanna Extension Branch. Of course, from Spangler northward to Cherry Tree was PRR, so the New York Central crews had to be familiar with PRR dispatching and such.

Also out of Patton, in a northwestward direction, was the Patton No. 1 Branch, which connected with the NYC's Pardee Branch (?) continuing on to Seldom Seen Mine.

So, who did the switching at the Patton Clay Company? Probably PRR, but I'm sure some of its traffic ended up on the NYC.

Added: PRR 1958 track charts for what became their Cresson Branch, with the map showing all the New York Central lines criss-crossing all the Pennsylvania lines, not unlike a bowl of spaghetti at times. http://pennsyrr.com/kc/maps/downloads/t ... resson.pdf Note, by 1958 the Patton No. 3 Branch was abandoned, but the Cambria County Railroad still connected at Spangler.
  by Statkowski
A most excellent source of information are historic USGS maps (obtained here: http://historicalmaps.arcgis.com/usgs/) for anywhere in the country.

For the New York Central's Beech Creek District, you can click on maps dating back to 1905 to see much of what is now long gone. Some of the lines are identified by railroad, some are not. The 1905 Patton quadrangle erroneously shows the tracks from Patton northward to Mahaffey as New York Central Pennsylvania Division. These tracks never belonged to the Central, although the Central did run over them via trackage rights.

Once obtained on-line, but I can't find it any more, was a Pennsylvania Railroad collection of charts showing all Cambria & Clearfield junctions, including those with the New York Central at Patton (No. 1 Branch and No. 3 Branch), Spangler, Cherry Tree, Mahaffey, Burnside and Irvona.
  by pumpers
Thanks, these are really great. I found another version (very similar) of the track charts at http://www.multimodalways.org/docs/rail ... 201951.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. It claims a date of 1951, the scan is a little cleaner in some places.
The cover map shows a NYC dotted line coming east from Spangler (as in the 1958 version you posted), but if you look on the Susquehanna Extension RR track chart about half way through the file, there is nothing coming out of Spangler to the east, so maybe the NYC Cambria County RR branch was actually gone already.
Patton Br. #3 was gone already in 1951 too.
Regarding Patton Br#1, it was only 1.29 miles long, and looking at old aerial photos at http://www.pennpilot.psu.edu" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (which is down, but it links you to another source), it just headed west out of town, along Railroad Ave/Main St/Highway 36. What came off of that and headed north, and then turned west for a short stretch just south of modern State Rd. 4024 must have been the NYC branch. It doesn't get as far as location of the Seldom Seen Tourist mine, but who knows exactly where the mine was back then. In any case, the track charts show the last 1/2 of the #1 branch and all of the NYC branch out of service by 1951 anyway.

Finally - here is a brain teaser. Look at that first map link you posted. What the heck is that line labelled "NYCRR" running west from Clearfield to just south of DuBois, crossing the BR&P main just north of C&M junction, heading west to Rathmel ? This is not the BR&P Cleafield and Mahoning, which is on the map just south of the mystery line. Is this some kind of map error? Maybe a planned line that never was? Funny it should be on a PRR map of all things. And it doesn't note any towns/stations along it. I'm really puzzled.
Also, thanks for the topo link. It seems I spend half my life sometimes either there or at the topos at http://www.historicaerials.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Statkowski
Regarding the map version you provided, any New York Central trackage was posted as a dotted line on the big map. On the individual sections, well, the Pennsylvania had no reason whatsoever to show any New York Central trackage.

As for that mysterious New York Central trackage running west from Clearfield, it could be an error, it could be a proposed but never built connection, but looking at the topographical map it's hard to imagine that line existing with all the assorted ridges and valleys cutting across it. It's a mystery indeed.

Concerning Seldom Seen Mine, when my wife and I took the tour, it was explained that coal from the mine went down to the valley below (this is between the ridge to the east of Route 36 and Chest Creek) via a cable car arrangement between the mine and the loader. The tracks didn't have to make it all the way to the mine, just close enough to get the coal from the mine to the railroad cars.
  by pumpers
I was on google looking for info on the "mystery line" (and found nothing so far), but did find this interesting piece about the origin of the BR&P Clearfield and Mahoning from DuBois to Clearfield. here is a link to a scan of a 1908 Moody's Magazine article about the Reading RR https://books.google.com/books?id=FqxLA ... is&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It says that the Reading, which was king of Anthracite of course, wanted to get into the bituminous coal business. So in 1892 made a deal with the BR&P and the NYC for the BR&P to build to C&M, and to send all their coal for markets east and south over the C&M and then the NYC Beech Creek, and then to get on the Reading presumably at Williamsport for distribution. It doesn't say if the Reading paid for the C&M to be built.

  by pumpers
Bingo! Railway World, Oct. 15, 1909. https://books.google.com/books?id=v5FRA ... is&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It says that the NYC plans in early 1910 to build a direct line from near Brookville, PA to Clearfield - cutting out the trackage rights on PRR and the BR&P it used to connect its western and eastern divisions (a sort of southern backdoor paralleling the NYC mainline). It was to be built as an extension of the Franklin and Clearfield - which when first built only got as far east as Rose (just west of Brookville).
So it seems the mystery line is the planned (but never built) part of the Franklin and Clearfield.

This post says the NYC wanted to compete with PRR on the Cleveland to Philadephia route, so I guess they couldn't do that using PRR trackage rights and needed their own line. http://www.abandonedrails.com/NYC_Franklin_Division" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
[EDIT: The NYC eventually did one run one daily Cleveland-Philadelphia freight each way (using the PRR & BR&P). I don't know if they already had rights for that one train each way before they threatened to build the bypass, or if the bypass was just a stunt to get the PRR to give NYC freight rights Brookville to DuBois, or what the real politics was.]

Somewhere in some archive there must be a survey of the planned route. It would be interesting to see , given all the rough terrain in that area noted by Statkowski.
  by BR&P
While this is a bit off topic from the start of this thread, I'll offer an interesting tidbit about the BR&P trackage rights Pumpers mentioned.

The BR&P had milepost 0 in downtown Rochester. Anything going away from that was westbound, toward Rochester was eastbound. Leaving C&M Junction toward Clearfield for example, a train was going away from Rochester and thus was westbound, even tho by compass it was generally east.

So an NYC train might be Extra 1234 East until it reached the BR&P, at which time it became Extra NYC 1234 West. Upon returning to NYC jurisdiction, it once again became eastbound. Image
  by Statkowski
Sounds not unlike the U.K. where all "Up" trains go away from London and all "Down" trains go towards London. Compass direction has nothing whatsoever to do with anything. Theoretically, with all their lines criss-crossing one another, you could have an "Up" train in one direction meet another "Up" train going in the opposite direction, all depending on the train's origin and destination.

On a related note, all New York Central trains (this is a New York Central forum, so gotta get more or less back on track) going into Grand Central Terminal in New York, N.Y. were eastbound trains (east from Chicago to Albany, south from Albany to New York - on the NYC southward and eastward trains were even-numbered).

On the New Haven Railroad, which shared Grand Central Terminal with the Central, their trains ran east to Boston (for them, northward and eastward trains were even-numbered).

New York Central trains going in to Grand Central Terminal were running eastward while New Haven trains going same direction were running westward.

When the B&O took over the BR&P, did they straighten out the east-west deal?
  by BR&P
If I'm not mistaken, B&O kept the same directions.

Interesting that the RW&O designated their trains the opposite - I have a copy of an 1893 Official Guide page and their even number trains were westbounds.