• PQ Tower

  • Discussion of the historical operations related to the Central Railroad of New Jersey; Lehigh & Hudson River; Lehigh & New England; Lehigh Valley; and the Reading Company. Visit the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society for more information.
Discussion of the historical operations related to the Central Railroad of New Jersey; Lehigh & Hudson River; Lehigh & New England; Lehigh Valley; and the Reading Company. Visit the Anthracite Railroads Historical Society for more information.

Moderators: metman499, scottychaos, CAR_FLOATER, Franklin Gowen, David, Marty Feldner

  by 56-57
 
Back in December I drove up to the newly reopened Nesquehoning Junction Bridge. I saw during the track construction the door on the tower was ripped out. I took a look in and also upstairs. A damn shame, the roof was removed in the early 80's and not replaced, the "machine" room has been exposed ever since. Small trees growing in the floor. Nothing left. Downstairs the GRS cabinets remain, but contain nothing. There's the rusted out remains of a wire conduit from the cabinet tops to the bottom of the machine upstairs. That's it.

Does anyone have better memories of the tower, or maybe some momentoes?

Mike

  by Tamping Pick
 
Yep a darn shame.
I remember back in the early "80's some one was trying to fix the roof.
I haven't been down there since R&N fixed the bridge.
PICK
  by carajul
 
There are some great old pics of the tower and Nesq Jct at http://www.gingerb.com

Even in the 1960s the place was great looking. How all that trackage is nothing more than a single semi-rusty track today is sad. That's what happens when the coal biz went bust.

The tower is privately owned now and there are often hillbillies up their having bond fires and getting drunk at beer parties. A homeless guy also called a tent located along the C&S main just south of the tower home a few years back.

  by 56-57
 
Over in Railfan.net, under the ABPR Jersey Central pix, you can find a shot of the tower, in color, taken in the 60s, probably from 209, or the coaling shed on the hillside. It's the best picture I've ever seen of the junction, you can even see the machine in the tower! Plus, the yard on the left gives you an idea of the amount of traffic coming to and from the Reading at Haucks. Most of that was then from the NYC at Williamsport, it was a back door into Pennsy territory for the New York Central, and it all dried up after the Penn Central merger.

The gingerb pix are cool too, I find the 1988 aerial shot to be interesting, the yard had just been torn up, the fill removed, and the tower roof destroyed. (Sounds more like a war than 'business'.)

Mike
  by 2nd trick op
 
I visited PQ on a number of occasions as a teenager in the mid 1960's. It saw about 12 moves per day (4 through freights in each direction, 1 local on the Nesquehoning Branch, and an as-needed ore run from Bethlehem to a mine on the D&H at North Creek, New York). Switching moves at the west end of Jim Thorpe yard also required occasional participation by the operator at PQ.

The feature I most remember about PQ was its all-semaphore signals, with 5 or 6 mounted on a bridge on the east approach to the plant, If I remember correctly, one on the bridge, as well as the home signal for the branch, were of the three-blade variety, with the lowest of the three (used to display a diverging route) somewhat smaller in size.

Although the employees' timetables listed the interlockings between PQ and Ashley as controlled from PQ, that description applied only to the relays on the first floor of the tower; the control panel was in the Dispatchers' Office at Allentown. The interlocking machine at PQ was a GRS machine with over-and-under pistol-grip levers. The board was simply a printed diagram, not illuminated.

When I first discovered PQ in the spring of 1963 or '64, the Jersey Central was already in rough shape, operating on a mix of first-generation power. A handful of GP40's financed by parents B&O and Reading didn't arrive until 1966. The shared-track arrangement with Lehigh Valley evolved over the same time span.

I was seldom to visit PQ after 1966, having moved on to other, busier lines, but I did pass through on two steam excursions in 1967 and '68, and stopped in for a last visit in March of 1972 when CNJ cut operations back to Phillipsburg. Later that same day I caught the "funeral train" at STEEL tower in Bethlehem.