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PC: SE Ohio/Mingo Junction(Long)
- Subject: PC: SE Ohio/Mingo Junction(Long)
- From: "Shawn O'Day" <soday@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 22:47:34 -0700
SouthEast Ohio Trip....We set out with Mingo Junction as a destination
point. Leaving Detroit(Wyandotte) at about 0630 on Saturday, August 22,
1998. John D., Mark D. and Shawn O. in MD's New Explorer. JD is on
crutches - he snapped his archilles heel tendon...
*First stop- Toledo, east of Vickers.
WB UP SD60, SP SD40-T2: Auto racks
Parked WB merch/Local on siding.
*Millbury. EB 3 SD60s???? : Merchandise - long, B&M boxcars
*east of Milbury there was a WB train sitting dead short of the interlocking
....Heading East along US 20
*Clyde. EB NS local.
DEEX coal and other hoppers parked on siding.
*Bellevue. WB NS move into their huge yard - four locos and mostly
*Monroeville - WB Coal : two SOO SD40-2s with about 50 loads
Now heading Southeast to...
*Greenwich(is it pronounced like the GMT??) - this area was crawling with RR
construction workers placing the new connection tracks and the new signals
to control the new interlocking. The old AC&Y, now W&LE crossing is a
series of switches and crossovers-complete with new (ugly) hooded
interlocking signals. No trains of course due to the construction, we
really did not expect any, just wanted to check on the progress of the
Onward to Akron...I really like the city (Home of the band DEVO) due to all
of the interesting industrial history. CR's presence has been sold off to
CSX and the W&LE 3-4 years ago but the mighty EL and PRR were major players
up to the 1970's. The town has many interesting RR related structures such
as the Hilton, and, the still PC jade green, JO tower. A neat little two
track access road (the Eastbound EL main) serves a great access point to
view the B&O, EL, AC&Y along the east river valley. These tracks seem to be
crammed onto a shelf typical of many model RRs. At the end of the two track
lies Arlington JCT. with the PRR/PC (still intact somewhat) and the EL JCT
also somewhat intact. The B&O is the about the only player here though.
Two yards are actually located here at Arlington. There is even a massive
Concrete coaling tower. The upper yard along the B&O main just west of the
tower is a compact little 7 track yard which is usually filled with cars
serving the plastics and rubber industries (carbon black) mixed in with
freight from steel related industries (coil cars and scrap). The old CR/PRR
yard is quiet and the EL....gone.
Onward to Alliance and the PRR line from Cleveland to Yellow Creek.
*Moff Rd (North of Atwater) - NB ??? Merchandise - long.
*Alliance - SB Merch/local -
JCT with Chi-Pitt main-Cleveland -Pitt: SB to WB? three locos : intermodal
This town was once a great industrial town gathering from our investigation
around the city-now it looks sort of derelict. To the north of the PRR main
JCT lies remnants of an north - south NYC branch line (Phalanx to Ohio
River??-mostly gone). The ROW and diamond location are barely noticeable
and a track leads northeast off of the PRR now and hooks around to the NYC
and the north side of the Alliance Midwest Tubular Product's huge tube
rolling mill - which is parallel to the NYC line. The NYC itself peters out
northeast just past a very short switchback lead into the tube plant. There
is also a huge scrap yard next to the tube mill but it is not presently
served by CR (Hey NS!!). The Tube mill was fully operational and looked
quite prosperous and clean. It was neat watching the blue SW type remote
switcher shunting bright yellow bulkhead flats of tubes around the plant
into the different mill structures.
We stopped into Rob's train shop and he has a nice model RR in the store and
lots of RR memorabilia in the window.
To the south of the PRR property is two rather large steel related complexes
sandwiching the PRR main to Bayard in-between. One of the industries was
actually an old mill property parceled off to several different
manufacturing companies.. The other industry is the American Steel Foundry
Alliance Works a maker of RR freightcar sideframes. The scene looked
totally Pennsy - Steel and heavy industry - there was even a signal bridge
that was placed only inches away from the mill on the east of the main (sans
signal heads though:( ).
Somewhere the NYC traverses through this area to ....or used to. We
couldn't make it out even though the Delorme map showed it.
>From Alliance we traveled south along the single track main through
progressively steepening rolling hills. Several nice photo opportunities
await between Alliance and Yellow Creek. Bayard must have been an important
junction back in the PRR days. One line is the line to Newcomerstown
(Panhandle) the other a shortcut from the Chicago main that allows
eastbounds to cut off at Louisville and travel southeast to Bayard then to
Eastward to Pittsburgh and the Ohio River Valley. Most of this main up
until Summitville is signaled by using a small rectangular switch light
indicator on it's own mast. It was at Summitville where we discovered the
first Pennsy color position light signals! Roads started to become a little
bit more remote as we pushed further down the main. Foundry Hill road was
especially treacherous...we could see tree tops just to our left-and no land
whatsoever. Finally after following several creeks and runs the PRR line
reaches Yellow Creek and the Ohio River. There is basically a Wye at this
point with the north end heading to East Liverpool and the south line
heading to Mingo JCT. PRR signals guard all three junction points and the
lines to the north and the west diverging back into double track (long
sidings?). Access to these points was difficult at best.
Continuing south along the Ohio River we pass by a mammoth coal fed (barge)
power plant that is built right over the highway. Rounding the bend into
Steubenville we notice a large cable stayed - center pier suspension bridge
that is out of this world (the original is in Germany I believe). We head
into West Virginia via the older, very narrow bridge (two lanes and no paint
lines). In the valley ahead lies Weirton, W. Virginia - Home of Weirton
Steel Company. We take a right turn after reaching land and head up to a
track owned by the steel company. Shortly thereafter a switcher shows up
with a train of eight - fifty foot box cars loaded with something heavy and
covered with paper/tarps (molten steel??). The heritage of these cars are
Ann Arbor, Boston and Maine, and some old Penn Central - all stenciled WSX.
We found the location where the Panhandle line from Ohio crosses the river
and joins with the branch that follows the river south on the West Virginia
side. We mapped out the PRR's connection to Weirton Steel's huge support
yard. The old Pennsy trackage looked to be in fairly decent shape but is
worn out near the yard's connection from years of heavy use with little
maintenance... According to Railpace the Panhandle was dismantled east of
this area to Burgettestown, PA in 1995. This was noticed when we passed
over the line just east of the line on US 22. The ROW looked to be in
decent condition though - what a shame though - the Panhandle relegated to a
switchback tail track. What we reckon is the the PRR Panhandle/CR Tailtrack
is used for locals heading south down the Ohio River on the West Virginia
side to the Wheeling/Benwood Jct. area.
After attempting to map out the massive WSX yard we decide to make the final
push for Mingo Junction. Back across the Ohio River we go, this time taking
the new bridge. At Stuebenville we follow the river sub and did not check
out the Panhandle through town a few blocks to the west. We headed south
toward Mingo Junction. Across the river lies the huge industrial center of
Coketown, W. Virginia. Just north of town we came along a gas station
(Willie's?) that overlooks Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Company and their
sprawling locomotive shops. This has to be the best Before we got there
we did hear that there was a train coming down the low grade sub. calling
out "CP Rock" (which is located under the Ohio River bridge), we hoped that
he was heading our direction. We then made it to Mingo Junction, went
through "downtown" and parked behind the carwash where the original tower
stood but nothing is left, in fact the whole junction is single tracked and
non signaled apparently. Behind Mingo Junction was the huge Wheeling Pitt
blast furnace. This would be a good photo for the loco that we had heard
about on the radio. The original Panhandle still heads west for Graham
tunnel but we do not know how far it goes, this may even be operated by the
Ohio Central(?). We did make it to Mingo Junction Yard. The turn table is
gone and it looks like the yard has been recently reconstructed. MD did take
a few pics but it was getting pretty dark and we'll have to wait until I get
the pics back to see how they turned out. We have noticed a lack of photo's
of this line from Alliance to Yellow Creek and down to Mingo Junction-It is
BTW**In 1942 the Cleveland docks unloaded 8.7 million tons of ore while in
1991 the boats delivered 2.5 million tons of Taconite
Weeling Pitt uses 100 Ton hoppers while Wierton Steel uses the 70 Ton Ore
Jennies (Bob Todten "Twilight of the Titans", RP 8-92:PG37)
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