Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by salminkarkku
I've got a list reference to a short line called the "Wellsburg & State Line" which operated 1905-15, then "property went to PCCStL" (footnote to list). Was this in the WV panhandle? Did it belong to the Pennsy? I can't find any reference to it elsewhere.

  by choess
Interesting! The sale must postdate 30 June 1916, as it doesn't appear in the PCC&StL valuation.
  by rnetzlof
Allow me to jump in and speculate like crazy.

In 1954 I went to Bethany WV to visit Bethany College. Our route took us to Wellsburg WV. There, we headed more or less eastward on a road which followed a creek valley all the way to Bethany. A couple miles short of Bethany, the road made a hard left turn and went into a tall, narrow tunnel. At the far end of the tunnel, the road made a right angle turn to the left and followed along the side of the valley to Bethany.

At the time, I thought it was a railroad tunnel. It looked like one and it seemed unlikely the West Virginia highway department would go to all the trouble of building a tunnel there. (Although a recent topo map seems to indicate that the tunnel was daylighted some time in the past decade or two.)

It may be that at the Bethany end of the tunnel I saw remans of a bridge abutment where the railroad would have gone straight out across the valley. It's been too long, all I remember for sure is the tunnel.

<http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?T ... =11134&W=2>

shows the road making the hard turn at the eastern end of the tunnel. (On the western side of the tunnel the road is hidden in the shadow of the hill.)

The USGS topo map collection at historical.maptech.com has a Wheeling quadrangle from 1942. That shows a railroad leaving the Ohio on the south end of Wellsburg, running a mile or so out the valley in which the road to Bethany is located.

One should note also that Bethany is a short distance, maybe a mile, from the West Virginia-Penna state line.

All the foregoing is fact. Now watch me leap from conclusion to conclusion.

I suspect, but can't prove, that there was at some time before 1954 a railroad from Wellsburg to Bethany. "Wellsburg and State Line" would have been a reasonable name. It may even have existed mainly to carry passengers to and from the college. Eventually, it went out of business, perhaps the creditors seized the property to try to recover what they were owed.

Note that "property passed to the PCC&StL", not "merged into PCC&StL", or "acquired by PCC&StL".

Perhaps the Panhandle bought the mile or so of track at the Wellsburg end to use as a spur to reach a factory or some such. If that was the way of it, all they bought was a piece of track, not a railroad company. Thus, even if it happened in 1915, the valuation report would not mention the W&SL because it had ceased to exist before the Panhandle bought the track.

http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?T ... =11134&W=2

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Bob Netzlof

  by choess
The 1942 map shows a new line (compared to the 1902 map) running from Wellsburg down Buffalo Creek to a mine at McKinleyville. At the site of your tunnel, though, both maps just show the Wellsburg & Bethany Turnpike. According to this history of the turnpike, it did construct the tunnels. And when we consult the 1945 CT1000, Central Region, we find the "Wellsburg & State Line Siding," just south of Wellsburg, 1.8 miles long and serving some coal mines. Case closed!

  by salminkarkku

Before 1926 there was a trolley line to Bethany called the "Wellsburg, Bethany & Washington", which also ran up the Buffalo Creek valley to Bethel only.

  by rnetzlof
Well, I did say I was speculating.

Thanks for the link to the article on the turnpike. I had not remembered that there were two tunnels. But it was 50 years ago.

Apparently the aerial photo had me fooled. What I took to be the road disappering into a tunnel was actually the road disappering into a shadow.

Last night I did not remember having seen the Wellsburg and State Line entry in the CT1000, but now that you remind me of it that must have been what sealed my doom. That is, having the memory of the tunnel(s) and my thought that there must have been a railroad in that valley, seeing the CT1000 entry promted me to say "Aha! There was!"

Bob Netzlof

  by choess
Apologies, no slight intended. I had been looking for paper railroads in Pennsylvania with the idea that "X and State Line" implied a connection at the state line, which appears not to have been the case.
December 6th, 2012.

Dear Sir:

The "Wellburg and State Line Siding Railroad" does not show up on the USGS Quad attached above, but rather the switch was just below the Buffalo Creek PRR Girder bridge, with the switch being entered from south to north (railroad west to east) and swinging across the Panhandle Traction Line (pre-1939) and W.Va. Route 2 and following generally the south bank of Buffalo Creek to a mine behind McKinleyville, W.Va.

The W&ST.L.Railroad shows up in the PRR 1923 CT-1000-C "Pennsylvania Railroad System List of Stations and Sidings, Phila.,Pa. 1923. "Wheeling Division", PG No. 382, 09A -Junction Wellsburg and State Line Siding RR Branch MP 8.5.
The Branch was 2 miles long and had Goldie Colliery(Carnegie-Wellsburg Coal Co. at MP 9.2;Vincent Passing Siding at MP 10.1; Manor Colliery (Panhandle Fuel Company) at MP 10.5; and Standard Colliery (Richland Mining Company) at MP 10.5. The Branch was two miles (2.0) miles long and had 3 bridges, each mine had its own sidings).

It shows up in the CT-1000 Pennyslvania Railroad List of Stations and Sidings, Philadelphia, Pa, 1945. "Central Region", Pg.310, 09A- Junction Wellsburg & State Line Siding" MP 9.3; Bethany Coal Company MP 10.1;Vincent Passing Siding at MP 10.9; and Mitchell-Jones Colliery (Mitchell & Jones) at MP 11.1. The discrepancy in mileages between these two CT-1000's was due to the shifting of the "O" MP at Weirton Junction when the entrace switch to the Wheeling Branch was moved 0.8 mile Eastwards on the Panhandle Main at Weirton Junction, W.Va., otherwise the actual physical locations of the facilities on the branch were the same. The line was torn up after WWII but most of the bridges were intact until the State of West Virginia realigned Route 67 in the 1970-1980 period (Old Bethany Pike). Have a good evening.


Kyle F. McGrogan