Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by Ralph D Kautz
My favorite PRR branch was/is the Youghiogheny Branch.It started in 1873as a 3FT Narrow Gage Railroad built by the PennGas Coal Company toservice its mine lands.A few years after it was built(date unknown)it was regaged to standard gage and operated as such until it was sold in 1899 to the PRR.It then became the Youghiogheny Branch of the PRR.It served PennGas Coal Company Mines at Hanntown and at (Blackburn) now Lowber Pa.The mines and Railroad were sold to Westmoreland Coal Company which operated the railroad for a few years then sold it to the PRR.Passanger Service was on line from 1873 to 1918.The stations were Irwin (point of origin on the PRR mainline),Hanntown,Linencross(now called Cereal),Chambers(now gone)Mcgrews(present day Rillton and former sight of the Westmoreland Company Criterion Mine)Dick,now Dicks Station,Cowensburg(Junction with the Hempfield Branch and Youkon Branch PRR)Blackburn(now Lowber) and Gratztown Junction with the B&O Maineline and the Youghiogheny River.The Branch Survived intact until the Lowber and Rillton Mines closed in 1939,abandoned in 1940 but the track was not Pulled up until 1945,from Cowensburg to Lindencross tunnel.The line from Irwin Pa to Cereal remained intact until 1982.The track from Gratz town to Cowensburg until 1972,inconjection with the abandonment of the Yukon Branch.From 1904 to 1931 the branch was paralled from Irwin to Rillton by a Trolley Line the Irwin Hermine Line Which left the railroad at Rillton and proceeded along the Clay Pike(Irwin-Hermine Road to Hermine.The road bed is still almost completely intact today,the bridge abutments acrossed Brokers Lane are still there,the small bridges acrossed litte sewickley creek are stiil there.I rode the old Roadbed on my Bicycle in 1955 .It was still clear to Dicks Station the last time I was Home in 1993,although the line from Dicks Station was Still Intact it was very overgrown and Diffacult to Navigate.The lindencross(Cereal) Tunnel still Exists as does the roadbed along Tinkers Run to Irwin.I now live in Knoxville Tn.and don't Get back to Pa. often but I did grow up just to the west of Rillton and saw the last Working Mine on the Branch which Closed in 1953,the Hanntown Mine.

  by Schuylkill Valley
Thanks for the information Ralph . your never to old to learn .
The PRR was a huge railroad company , you just don`t really know how many rail company`s make up the PRR.

  by brian7492
Is anybody still following this thread? I see it was started QUITE some time ago...