Would be a bit of a kick in the backside for this branch to go down but it's been headed that way for a while. It gets rustier and weedier as the years pass and customers close up. Allied is now occupied by a textile operation that probably has no use for rail. Testimony to businesses leaving the city, I suppose. One by one the customers go away. The same crew that did the branch also did the whole length of #5 Track all the way down to near Cottman Avenue, old Morris Iron and Metal on Rhawn at Tulip, and the Holmesburg Prison siding off of #4. All of that is long gone. Others in the area as well. Eastern Metals and the varnish company went out and the Baxter Water Treatment plant no longer receives chlorine but instead different chemicals by truck.
Sad. Really sad. I've been watching trains on the branch since the late 1960's. We never thought it would ever go down as far as it has -- it's been a familiar fixture for so long. They would often run two trains each weekday back then, sometimes one on Saturday. Schedule varied but it was frequent - one morning that came back in afternoon and sometimes a second one that went up late afternoon and came back around 10:00 pm or so. Twenty to thirty cars sometimes -- never saw any cabin cars up there. Crews would spend hours up there -- there used to be a supermarket at Rhawn and Torresdale where the crew would sometimes get lunch before heading up -- Power varied; I saw Baldwins once in a while along with the usual "SW" type -- never saw anything else but doesn't mean that they didn't run others. I got to know some of the old Penn Central crews who carried it into Conrail. The beer distributor received big loads for a while back in the mid-late 1070's and a few bad guys robbed it a few times, throwing cases of beer into the woods -- this until the Conrail police set up a sting and caught them. Bleigh Street Yard was a hopping place at one time.
I wandered by the storage track off Blue Grass Road back where Whitman's Chocolates once was (another major customer long gone) and saw the two locomotives sitting, curiously, on the west side of Blue Grass Road -- on a sharply curved siding into an unused commercial building that was, sadly, also customer at one time. Usually they sit on the other side of Blue Grass Road.