BR&P wrote: ↑Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:22 amSo the same crew ran all the way from Cherry Tree to Newberry (Williamsport)? I would have thought one crew to Clearfield and another from there eastward. How many crews a day worked out of Cherry Tree?
Back in the day, the track speeds were higher, 25 mph between Cherry Tree and Clearfield, with no 10 mph restrictions like today. The roughest part of the line between Cherry Tree and Clearfield is between Cherry Tree and Mahaffey due to the curves. In steam days they needed pushers to get downhill (not much downhill, but still downhill) due to the wheel resistance on the curves (lots and lots of wheels with 50-ton cars). Cherry Tree to Mahaffey on the former Pittsburg & Eastern, then former Beech Creek and Beech Creek Extension tracks to CB Junction, former B&O tracks to Clearfield, through the yard, West Branch Valley line to Keating, the PRR to the connection with Avis Yard just outside of Jersey Shore. From there it was on former Fall Brook District tracks to Newberry Jct. All of this was Pennsylvania Division trackage, so it was essentially one big crew district, maybe. A one-way, straight-through run from Cherry Tree to Newberry Jct. would have been no problem, time-wise. It was going out and back that was the trick.
How many crews? Unknown. The last New York Central employee that I knew of passed away a few years back, and the G.M. in Clearfield was a former Pennsylvania employee (and they worked out of Osceola Mills, not Clearfield or Cherry Tree), so that knowledge source is lost. The PRR probably handled all of the Heilwood business since the mine there was a Bethlehem Steel mine, and most of their traffic got handed off to the Cambria & Indiana for hand-off to the PRR for Johnstown. The Central received a lot of traffic from the Cambria & Indiana at Manver simply because they owned 40% of the railroad, and some of the C&I's mines were Clearfield Bituminous mines (which the Central owned). I'm sure there were at least two or three crews working the CT&D with all of its branches. I'm told there were once up to five trains a day coming off the CT&D to the NYC yard just north of Cherry Tree (and all of this with nothing more than crossbucks at the Cherry Street crossing). Cars at Cherry Tree had to be sorted and weighed, so that was at least one yard crew per shift. The engine facilities were at the south end of the yard, and the track scales were at the north end.
On the bright side, the track is still in, and it's being used. The yard is gone, as are the assorted branches, but the main line still sees service.