Search for a never completed railroad - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-13-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
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Search for a never completed railroad

I have the maps, letters and research them and locate this never completed railroad from the 1880's when Wm. Vanderbilt was building it to get the Pennsylvania Railroad from entering into his territory. He started this construction in the hope that the Pennsylvania would leave but they didn't J.P. Morgan put an end to it but not before over 60 miles of it was almost completed. I have been doing this for 15 years and document all the work and study the maps to see just where it was to be built in places they never began building. I have hundreds of letters which also reveal survey routes not found on the maps.

Like going back in time. I get to meet all the property owners and the Pennsylvania Turnpike who bought the route but really never used it as well backs my work. I was even issued a permit to walk on the Turnpike to photograph what is on there as well such as when I took this shot.

Sorry my web page is down and I can't get it backup working.





The above tunnels are one in the same but 75 years apart. I have thousands of photos showing this route.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:00 PM   #2
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Is this on the E-W toward Pittsburg part or the N-S toward Philadelphia at Jim Thorpe?
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kbeale NY View Post
Is this on the E-W toward Pittsburg part or the N-S toward Philadelphia at Jim Thorpe?

Between Carlisle (Harrisburg and Pittsburgh) The turnpike would cross this grade 50 times. This tunnel is at the 197 mile post known as the double tunnels. That is looking west after you exit the Blue Mountain Tunnel.



here is the same tunnel with the actual railroad crew in front of the same site. Notice the bridge in all three photos. It is the only tunnel with a creek passing directly out side of it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:21 PM   #4
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what you are doing is not only interesting, but also important...
If not for folks like you much of our history would be lost.
Thank You!
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
what you are doing is not only interesting, but also important...
If not for folks like you much of our history would be lost.
Thank You!
Thanks!

When you leave Harrisburg this is what it looked like when the turnpike go the un finished railroad in 1939.

Fifteen years. I often take my camping trips to Harrisburg to photograph the documents such as this one to review when I get home. Maps and all.



Above: Now!

below Then!

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Old 01-13-2011, 01:56 PM   #6
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Here is a shot of an old Bowling alley hidden in our Pennsylvania Countryside. Two lanes and you have to set your own pins up.dated around the early 1800's



Oh! it was a post office as well.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:26 PM   #7
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The reason for the railroad

Some one sent me a pm and I didn't know how to use that tool. I just figure everyone would get this as the question often comes up. It is interesting subject as i have been doing this for 15 years.

OK! here is the deal on that Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad. Carnegie was not the starting factor of the South Pennsylvania Railroad that eventually became the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was Wm. Vanderbilt. he didn't want to start that line but wanted it to be built because the Pennsylvania Railroad was backing the West Shore a shadow line along his New York Central corridor. Can you say Invader? He found that the Pennsylvania Railroad was backing the West Shore. So he invaded Pennsylvania country along the southern tier where the Turnpike is located today. However he was doing this in the hopes that the Pennsylvania Railroad would vacate New York country and quit backing the West Shore. Instead the Pennsylvania Railroad didn't back down and went deeper into building the West Shore by supplies and motive power. So Vanderbilt continued building the South Pennsylvania Railroad as well. However J.P. Morgan bought a good amount of the New York Central stock just staying outside of being the majority owner. He went to England to sell his stock and found that the South Pennsylvania was a new problem along with the Pennsylvania Railroad & West Shore. So he hurried back from England. While en route, Carnegie convinced Vanderbilt that he had more investors and that he should continue building instead of dropping the construction of the South Pennsylvania Railroad. So with new influx of fresh cash, Vanderbilt went on. But he still had reservations. It wasn't until J. P. Morgam steeped off his tour that the deal to switch railroads amongst enemies took place and the South Pennsylvania Railroad was to become Pennsylvania Railroad ownership and the West Shore New York Central. But by that time Pennsylvania in acted a law forbidding ownership of a route that could be utilized but locked up so it couldn't be a competition route was an illegal act. The Pennsylvania Railroad had to leave the South Pennsylvania Railroad alone and it became the B&O and the Pennsylvania Railroad as well. They were allowed to cut it up only. Nothing was done so for fifty years it sat until the Pennsylvania Turnpike was dreamed up and the rest is history.

As for the Bessemer Carnegie was so upset over the South Pennsylvania Railroad that he would never again be held hostage to another railroad for his shipments so he bought up several short lines making up the North /South line which he called the B&LE line to Lake Erie from his Mon plants which of course goes through turtle creek passing beneath route 22 in Monroeville crossing over the Allegheny River at Harmorville to eventually end just east of Cleveland and west of the Pennsylvania State line.

It's amazing that I learned all this by my just wanting to find the remains of the South Pennsylvania Railroad. it's like having to learn the safty of tool usage before you want to make a wood project. It just come with the subject.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for the history lesson. Guess, it is about time for me to head back to my old stomping grounds, setup camp at friends, and start looking for little historical nuggets.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:41 PM   #9
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I also look for these sites that the railroad was working on but never completed.Its a quarry for them to cut stone to place in front of the tunnels which never were completed or the culverts which likewise were never completed.





This is suppose to be a railroad to be built through this precipice.



Oh just in case your interested, that is a straight drop to a river below on my right. Look at the sky line through the trees in the distance.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:34 AM   #10
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Old railways are certainly interresting, especially if you go back to their early steam days. Living in the town of Tillsonburg, we had access to the MC [Michigan Central ] also called the NYC [New York Central ] that ran through Ontario joining Buffalo and Detroit. The CNR [Canadian National RR], the CPR [Canadian Pacific RR] and the WR [Wabash RR] also connected in the town or on it's outskirts. Back in the 40's and early 50's we would sit along the fence line of the Michigan Central where there was a big water trough between the tracks and watch the huge monster steam engines as they dropped their water pickups and sucked up a load while at full speed. Wheels turning, smoke and steam filling the air and water spray to the fence line. What a site for a ten year old boy to see.
The CNR line that ran south to Port Burwell was on an old trackbed some of which was originally built with wooden rails. Some of the old port structre is still visible where the coal trains used to board the Astubula Ferry to transport coal between Astubula Penn and Bort Burwell Ont.
Most of it's gone now but some of the tracks are still in use by small local haulers that have leased or bought the old lines. Many have had their rails removed and the right of way defaulted back to the local farmers or they have been converted into hiking and biking paths. I think that it's well that you can preserve even a little bit of it for someone else to enjoy. Keep it going.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:18 PM   #11
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Ken I don't have a great attention span so having a hobby for 15 years and still finding things about this railroad is fun. I liken it to a card collection. W/0 that one card to make up a whole team, it isn't complete when trying to get a whole team together. I went out for a hundred mile trip yesterday just to get a photo of a hidden grade inside an evergreen tree site. The grade well hidden only can be seen when the sun is shinning on a snow covered grade and that was yesterday. Got my picture though!

It's not a good picture but this is what I was after. The snow covered grade is just inside the trees on the left and it was suppose to cross the bridge on the right.



http://www.fiberglassrv.com/attachme...b1cbadb692.jpg

Let me know if you want a better shot. I can mail it to you.

sprr18811885@gmail.com
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
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Ken I don't have a great attention span so having a hobby for 15 years and still finding things about this railroad is fun. I liken it to a card collection. W/0 that one card to make up a whole team, it isn't complete when trying to get a whole team together. I went out for a hundred mile trip yesterday just to get a photo of a hidden grade inside an evergreen tree site. The grade well hidden only can be seen when the sun is shinning on a snow covered grade and that was yesterday. Got my picture though!

It's not a good picture but this is what I was after. The snow covered grade is just inside the trees on the left and it was suppose to cross the bridge on the right.



http://www.fiberglassrv.com/attachme...b1cbadb692.jpg

Let me know if you want a better shot. I can mail it to you.

sprr18811885@gmail.com


I sometimes wonder of the South Penn and visit a few 1820's Pennsylvania Canal sites. This one is near Harrisburg along the former Pennsylvania Railroad behind me about 1/4 mile.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:24 AM   #13
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Here am I standing on an finished section of the railroad and you can see the Pennsylvania Turnpike crossing from west (left) to east (right). The railroad actually would curve onto the turnpike but at a slight climb to a point east of this sight.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:28 AM   #14
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This is the 120 year old railroad map of the same area seen in the 1938 aerial photo below



You can see in the aerial where the turnpike is being built.
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