• Reading Perkiomen Branch

  • Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.
Discussion Related to the Reading Company 1833-1976 and it's predecessors Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road and then the Philadelphia and Reading Railway.

Moderator: Franklin Gowen

  by MrBill
Thanks Alex for bringing back your great research project on The Perk.
For anyone who's interested, I've been working up a Perk-based HO scale track plan to fit a 13 square foot room. It was inspired by and designed for a fellow Reading branchline modeler. I concentrate on developing station area scenes into a workable plan. Check it out and let me know what you think.
  by Jeremy Zella
Does any one know about this business? It looks like it could have been served by either the Perkiomen Branch or the East Penn Branch. It looks like it was a coal/feed dealer. I could never figure out if it was a break off the East Penn or the Perk.

In the image the business is in the center. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  by AlexC
Mr Bill, that looks like a great layout! I've tried drawing various Perk Branch HO railroads, but was never really satisfied with the entry/exit of the layout. I always thought that Schwenksville and Dillinger would make great scenes.... looks like you got them both!
Has that layout been built yet?

If you look at that site in Emmaus in Google Maps, you can see by the property lines that it could have been reached via the East Penn Branch. The Perk at that point was higher up the hill, and wouldn't have been able to make it.
  by jrevans
The replacement road bridge in Spring Mount is apparently having some of the old Reading Bridge removed according to this article:

(disregard that they spelled it as Sprint Mount....)

I can't remember if the RR bridge was already gone before construction and just the abutments remained, but I think that was the case.

http://www.thereporteronline.com/articl ... 13235.html
LOWER FREDERICK - Tamara Twardowski, the manager of Lower Frederick Township, says the patience of commuters and residents of two neighboring municipalities will soon be rewarded with the opening of the Spring Mountain Road Bridge.

The new structure, which connects Lower Frederick and Upper Salford townships, is scheduled to open next week. That's according to Charlie Metzger, a community relations coordinator with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Metzger said Friday, Oct. 29 is the target date.

"Everyone is very excited about the bridge reopening," Twardowski said.

Crews spent approximately 12 months installing a prestressed concrete beam bridge over the Perkiomen Creek. Earlier this month, torrential rains washed away the prep work for paving of the approaches to the bridge, according to Kevin O'Donnell, an Upper Salford supervisor.

"It looks like we're making great progress," O'Donnell said. "We're still well ahead of schedule in terms of what was originally anticipated. The esthetics are very nice."

Initial discussions called for completion of the $4.643 million project — financed with state money — to last between 14 and 18 months, according to O'Donnell.

The replacement bridge measures 28 feet wide with two 11-foot travel lanes and two three-foot shoulders. A 12-foot-wide bike path will connect to the Perkiomen Trail in Upper Salford and Lower Frederick.

"We're very pleased that this project will be finished on time, if not early," Twardowski said.

The project includes the removal of an old railroad tressel on the Lower Frederick side, according to the manager. She said the work, overseen by the Montgomery County Parks and Recreation department, will make trail access safer.

"The work is underway," Twardowski said.

Lower Frederick's emergency service agencies have experienced no problems following their detour — which covers Route 29/73, Haldeman, Dieber and Pennypacker roads — according to the manager.

The detour for Spring Mountain Road sends drivers to Route 29/73, Park Avenue and Schwenksville Road.

"Traffic has been more delayed," Twardowski said. "Especially during rainy weather. People have done a good job dealing with what they have had to deal with."

The old stone arch bridge — constructed in 1869 — closed for a week in January 2008 after excessive rainfall caused a supporting wall to collapse, according to Sen. Bob Mensch, R-24th District.

A hole in a wing wall that supported the road approaching the bridge — measuring 15 feet high, eight feet wide and six feet deep — compromised the bridge's structural integrity, according to a statement made in 2009 by Henry Berman, a district bridge engineer with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Later that year, PennDOT officials utilized steels rods and a high strength adhesive to make the bridge passable, according to Mensch.
There was a picture linked to the story too with the caption:
GEOFF PATTON/THE REPORTER An worker chips away the abutment for the old railroad bridge near the new Spring Mountain Road bridge spanning the Perkiomen Creek on the border of Upper Salford and Lower Frederick townships.
  by IRN750
Jeremy that industry was served from the East Penn Brch. some of the rail is still in if you drive to the crossing at 7th St. The track was still in service into the the early 80's if i remember correctly and it served Air Prod. next to the mainline and Volney Felt which was the large building at Broad St. I'm sure there could have been more business there in the yrs prior to that.
  by AlexC
One bridge for sale.
Purchaser responsible for pickup.

http://www.municibid.com/detail.asp?id= ... tle-Bridge
Bids are being accepted for the sale of a heavy duty wooden railroad trestle bridge, 16’ 6” deck width by 42’ deck length which is currently located on Salford Station Road in Upper Salford Township, Salford, Pennsylvania. Purchaser shall provide a certificate of insurance and accept all responsibility for the removal of the bridge from its existing location and all clean-up associated with that removal. The successful bid will be awarded at the regularly scheduled township supervisors meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9, 2010. The successful bidder shall provide a Performance Bond for 100% of the total bid within 15 days of the bid award. Removal of the bridge must take place prior to February 28, 2011.
It's a neat wooden automobile bridge, it will be a shame when it comes downs.
  by Jeremy Zella
What was the importance of Delphi Jct.?

  by AlexC
Jeremy Zella wrote:What was the importance of Delphi Jct.?
I got a very old Philadelphia water company map that predates the railroad. The future railroad is drawn onto the map, however.

According to that map, the railroad was projected to follow the Swamp Creek to the north. If you remember, at Delphi Junction / Zieglersville, the railroad continues to follow the Perkiomen Creek.

I imagine they still wanted to do that at some point. In fact, the station at that location was triangular shaped. http://west2k.com/papix/zeiglerville.jpg
I could never find any evidence it went much beyond a coal trestle / dealer that was there.
  by Jeremy Zella
Moccia's Train Stop is there in the old passenger station, was the triangular shaped station just north of that? Is the map on your website Alex?
  by jrevans
Jeremy Zella wrote:Moccia's Train Stop is there in the old passenger station, was the triangular shaped station just north of that? Is the map on your website Alex?
I'm pretty sure that the Moccia's Train Stop (at Delphi Junction) is a new building, made to look like an old station.

I believe that the "Moccia's Main Street Station" (the breakfast and ice-cream place by the gas station) is the actual old Schwenksville train station.

Both of the places are great to eat at, with railroad themes throughout, and the Moccia's are nice people.
  by jrevans
Just happened to see that somebody has:

Wonder what the plans/intentions are for the site?

I now pass under the tracks in Palm every day on the way to work, and actually work at one of the largest customers on the line. :)
  by Alco630
I could not help seeing the comments regarding the RDG Perkiomen branch and Emmaus. The station was located at the crossing at S. 5th street. And you are correct – it was quite small but functional. You can see the station clearly on the popular lithograph of the hand drawing “bird’s eye view” of Emmaus done around the turn of the century. I don’t remember the exact year of this work.

I remember back when I was in grade school they took us on a day trip to the old Connie Mack stadium to see the Phillies play. We all gathered at the small station at 5th street to board the train. Documents from the Upper Milford Historical Society show that in 1912 there were 4 passenger trains in the morning from Emmaus (and points south) to Phila. And later in the day there were 4 trains returning from Phila. Passenger service ended in the mid-50’s.

The sidings on the South side of the RDG main served Volney Felt and Air Products and Superior Combustion Co. All of these sidings were removed about 10 to 15 years ago although you can still see some iron protruding from the ground in a few places. At the turn of the century (1890’s to 1920’s) the south side was dominated by the Donaldson Iron Works and those sidings from the main line served for the transporting of finished goods. However, on the south side of the company property, a siding from the Perkiomen line served the iron works with their coal deliveries. It was a fairly long siding due to the grade down to the iron works, and it connected with the Perk line west of the current S. 10th St at-grade crossing. The concrete piers for the trestle works are still in place at the coal storage bins. All other supports leading to the bins have been removed. Another major coal trestle was at the silk mill just east of the S. 2nd street overpass. Later this building became the home of Lehigh Safety Shoe Co., then part of Rodale Press, and today it is a charter school. I remember as a kid walking the rails of this trestle. I was a quick was to find out who amongst you was “chicken”.
  by Trails to Rails
Thanks for the recollections!
  by jrevans
Anyone know why the trash cars appear frequently at the end of the line in Pennsburg? I know that on the Bethlehem Branch, there is a car repair business in Quakertown, but I have no idea why I see the trash cars in Pennsburg. Are they just there for storage or is somebody using them? Anyone know?

I finally got to see the crew switch out my plant a few times. I don't know the crews, but hopefully I'll get to eventually. It's neat watching them move the cars into and out of the building. From outside I can hear them switching the Chocolate factory, but can't see them from my plant.

Also, what is the deal with the Pillsbury plant across the way? I see references on the web saying that they used to be a rail customer, but the place appears to be closed now. If it is shut down, when did that happen?