Railroads of the Lehigh Valley - Pennsylvania Railroad Groups
By EARL J. HEYDINGER
RLHS Bulletin Vol 109, Pages 18 - 29
THE BEAVER MEADOW RAILROAD
This was the pioneer line in the Lehigh River Valley to use locomotives. It was organized on April 7, 1830 with $250,000 capital. The Company, taking immediate advantage of a charter provision which allowed them to own and work 200 acres oŁ coal land as a reward for building a railroad from mines to the Lehigh River, purchased lands and the next day raised their capitalization to $800, 000 The Beaver Meadow Mines, discovered in 1813 by Nathan Beach. had an unclear title until Judge Barnes. owner of the conflicting claim. purchased Beach's 550-acre tract. The established Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company labeled the Beaver Meadow a speculative venture, as Barnes had promptly mortgaged the newly purchased coal tract for $23,000. Reports of friction between the two companies appeared in Hazards. with regularity, and in pamphlets. Anti-Beaver Meadow sources told that the Pennsylvania Secretary of State had declared the B. M. stock subscriptions questionable as two conflicting stockholder lists came to him. Even when the patent had been granted, its fees were not promptly paid.
Planning a railroad to either the Little Schuylkill River or the Lehigh Canal, the Beaver Meadow inquired of Philadelphia locomotive manufacturers, Rush and Muhlenburg, and Baldwin about costs and operation charges of locomotives capable of pulling thirty tons of coal at ten miles per hour. Both companies reported initial costs of $3000 per locomotive with a life of 12-15 years, and yearly repair costs of $150 to $200. The B. M. incorporated this information into a report which listed two-ton capacity coal cars at $100. Including interest on their investment, the estimated yearly operating cost of a locomotive and 25 coal cars was $3159. Making 136 trips in 46 weeks. delivery of 6900 tons of anthracite costing per ton thirty cents for mining, forty-six cents for transportation, ten cents for boat hire and sixty-five cents for canal toll, a total of $1.51, left a profit of $1.00 on each of the 6900 tons sold in Philadelphia. Train crew wages included in the above estimates were for engineers' $7.50 a week, man cartenders. $6.00. and a boy, $3.00. Construction in 1831 was to be $12,000 per mile, with grading to cost one-third of this estimate.
Needling the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company for its delay in extending its canal up the Lehigh to Stoddardsville as required by its charter, the B. M. compared the fifty-eight miles of railroad built in be Schuylkill Coal Field with the complete lack of progress in the area above Mauch Chunk. The road proposed Easton and Allentown at various times as terminals. In 1852 Philadelphia became the goal via a direct line from Allentown using the proposed Allentown & Norristown and the Philadelphia, Germantown & Norristown u Railroads.
By 1833 Engineers Hopkins, Canvas S. White and Ario Pardee (later the coal magnate of the Hazleton region) had located the Beaver Meadow from the mines to the Lehigh and down that river on its northern shore beyond Turnhole (later Glen Onoko) to Parryville between Mauch Chunk and the Blue Mountain Gap. The double market of .New York and Philadelphia and the favorable grades were factors in the choice of routes. Legislature authorized ownership of 800 additional acres of coal lands. which had veins twenty-seven feet thick. The Beaver Meadow cited the B&O locomotive "York" costs of $16 a day in comparison with wagon operation. Forty-two horses and twelve men performing the same work would have cost $33. As late as 1834 .Allentown was mentioned as the road's terminus. One advantage of a line to that city, the railroad announced, would be an exact comparison of costs over the forty-mile rail line with the parallel Lehigh Canal. By 1836, twelve miles from the mines to the Lehigh were finished, while the remaining fourteen miles to Weissport were under contract. Locomotives were to be in operation on the completed line by 1837 a promise the company kept. Conflict between the B. M.. and the paralleling Lehigh Canal on the south shore from Penn Haven to Turnhole caused the Mauch Chunk Courier to comment little on the railroad's progress. The railroad company canceled its subscription, but conflict soon passed from the printed page to court and almost to armed action. An L. C. & N. contractor, who placed a "private" car on the railroad. as allowed by nearly all charters of that day, was "bumped" into!
Alfred R. Longshore, who worked with engineers Pardee and Fell in the summer of 1836 locating the Hazleton R. R. from Weatherly to Hazleton witnessed and reported in the Publications of the Sugar Loaf Historical Society the arrival of the first locomotives of the Beaver Meadow R. R. Prior to November 1st 1836 the line with a Lehigh River bridge at Turnhole and five over Quakake Creek. was ready for operation. The "Samuel D. Ingham " named for the road's president (and Jackson's Secretary of the Treasury) and the Elias Eley" arrived at Parrysville, the line's coal port on the canal. Longshore, writing in 1909 reported the second locomotive as the "Wetherell.") These 4-2-0's had builder Eastwick and his foreman Hopkin Thomas as engineers for this first delivery of Garrett and Eastwick locomotives. A party including Long shore rode a truck from Weatherly to a water station near the Turnhole to see the engines arrive. The locomotives brought the party back to Weatherly. Leaving the engines below the two inclined planes—never mentioned in early discussions of the road—the party proceeded to Beaver Meadow for the opening celebration. William Gordon and Thomas Evans who were to be the regular engineers remained with the engines to prepare for the Monday morning opening. Mule power had delivered a train of sixteen 3-ton cars of coal to the head of the planes for each locomotive to deliver at Parrysville.
On November 5th 1836 the Beaver Meadow Register noted "The Beaver Meadow Railroad opened and beside. some bottles of champagne". On this first trip the engine handled by Eastwick burned out the boiler tubes but Thomas's engine pushed its train to Parrysville. When repaired, this locomotive was "hauled" over the 145-foot-high planes, and delivered coal from Beaver Meadow to Weatherly. Mules pulled the empties up the planes at this time. As on the Mauch Chunk road, a special car carried the animal motive power down the planes. Whether these planes were steam -powered is not known by the writer. In 1850 two plane ropes cost $1,619.74.
The 1836-37 crew and their boom-time daily pay for the Weatherly - Parrysville train consisted of engineer Gordon at $2.00; fireman .John Edward at $1.50; and brakemen Jacob, Derr. Fred Rustee and Longshore at $1.00. Their day began at 4:00 A.M.. when the locomotive fire was ignited. At six o'clock; the trip to Parrysille with sixteen cars began. In emergencies water came from the Lehigh. and hemlock knots from the mountainside furnished the fuel. With the open winter of 1837, husk brooms on the locomotives swept snow from the rail. The worst enemy of the pioneer trainmen was the shower of sparks which burned impartially the wool, fur, and oilcloth clothing.
The "Samuel Ingham" had outside 10" x 20" . cylinders, five-foot drivers behind its firebox, and a Bury boiler. Eastwick used his newly patented method of reversing, which was easy to build and effective in operation. Another first was the use of a covered rear platform for the protection of the engineer and fireman.
Officials of the line at the opening were John Ecky, Secretary, Captain George Jenkins, Supt. of Transportation, Colonel William Lilly, Shipping Clerk, Morris Hall, Treasurer, and James D. Gullop, Roadmaster. Presidents succeeding Ingham were. Budd, Pearsoll, Dulless, Rowland, and, in 1849,W. Longstreth.
Niles listed B. M. achievements on August 19th, 1837.. Ten-ton, eight-wheeled locomotives were delivering 59 cars, or 150 tons oŁ coal, from Black Creek (Weatherly) to Parrysville, and returning upgrade with 60 tons of empty cars. Traffic far exceeded early estimates. During 1837, the road delivered 30,598 tons of anthracite to Parrysville, where this tonnage loaded 1158 canal boats. On March 19th, 1838, the Courier reported that the four Garrett and Eastwick locomotives were fired exclusively with hard coal and, later, that the road had carried 12,000 tons to Parrysville after the close of 1837 navigation. The engines had ceased working until frost came out of the ground. However, a horse" drawn passenger car made daily trips over the road.
Bulletin No. 62, of the R. & L. H. Society, lists the pioneer Lehigh region locomotives as all of Garrett and Eastwick production: -.
Beaver Meadow R. R.
1836 Samuel D. Ingham 18 HP 4-2-0
1836 Elias Eley 18 HP 4-2-0
1836 Quakake 18 HP (?)
1836-38 Beaver 26 HP 4-4-0
1837-38 Nonpareil 26 HP 4-6-0
Hazleton R. R.
1838 Lehigh 18 HP (4-2~0 ? by H)
1838 Hazleton 26 HP (4~4-0 ? by H)
The Courier, June 10th, 1839, listed the arrival by canal boat at Penn Haven of the 4-4-0 "Hercules" for the Hazleton R. R., and the "Ajax" for the Sugar Loaf R. R., from the same builders. A series of illustrated articles in the 1955 Hazleton Plain Speaker credited the Beaver Meadow with the construction of the "Quakake' during April 1837, and of the "Beaver " in August, 1837, and of the six -drivered "Nonpareil" during 1838, at Beaver Meadow. Reading newspapers partially verify these statements by reporting the passage of an assembled boiler through their city. Possibly, in the rush to secure locomotives, the B. M. did assemble the locomotives mentioned above in their shops. Historian Henry, in 1860, also credited Hopkins Thomas with construction of the "Nonpareil" at Beaver Meadow.
Ario Pardee, engineer of the road and superintendent of the Hazleton R. R in 1836-38, in writing to Eastwick and Harrison about eight-wheeled locomotives used for two years on the Beaver Meadow, described the track; construction. Iron was 22xs" on 5"x7" oak rails over three-foot centered ties, with 5"x8" rails on four-foot centered ties. Under the ties were 22"x10" or 12" mudsills. The line's shortest curve had a 300-foot radius and was 200 feet long. However, at the foot of the plane (on Plane Street, in Weatherly) there was a 250-foot radius curve, 300 feet long, over which these eight-wheeled engines passed daily. The heaviest grade was 96 feet per mile, and there was one five-mile stretch of track which had an average grade of 80 feet per mile. On the heaviest grade, the shortest curve had a 550-foot radius and was 400 feet long. All these heavy grades favored the then-descending-only traffic.
Owning six locomotives, the B.M., in 1839, reduced its labor forces at its mines, landing, and on the railroad from 225 to 117 men. On the railroad alone, the reduction was from 35 to 24. The Parrysville canal landing was quite crowded, but the main improvement proposed was double-tracking the line from the planes to Parrysville.
On March 14th, 1840, the B.M. offered to lease its line and its 30- to 60,000-ton annual coal production, and to furnish to the lessee cars, engines and engineers. The Milnes Coal Company operated the railroad until a lawsuit ended the lease. Between 1841 and 1851, Daniel Moyer operated a stage between Beaver Meadow and Tamaqua, via Hazleton. After the flood of 1841, the B.M. abandoned its trackage from opposite Mauch Chunk to Parrysville, partly rebuilt by the Lehigh Valley in 1855. The new coal port at East Mauch Chunk was known as "Lousy Bay." In 1841, the Morris Canal and Banking Company owed the Beaver Meadow $156,000 and two years' interest for a subscription on the road's stock, which, naturally, was never received.
The terminus at Beaver Meadow had a railroad foundry as well as the machine shops until these facilities were moved to Weatherly in 1849. Water power was a factor in the move as much as was the difficulty of crossing the planes with locomotives needing repairs.
Floods were extremely expensive for the railroad. both in lost tonnage and wrecked structures. On occasion there was doubt in the minds of faint-hearted directors as to the work of reconstruction. Recall that the line crossed Quakake Creek five times and the Lehigh River as well. After the 1841 flood, Supt. A. H. VanCleve rebuilt the Turnhole Bridge after the design of F. C. Lanthorp, as a single 200-foot arch-and-truss span. Sitting at right angles to the Lehigh, this bridge had sharp curves at its approaches. After its destruction by the flood of 1850.
John W. Murphy, of Philadelphia, erected two 140-foot iron Whipple spans which carried a double track. In 1956, three double-tracked bridges and a tunnel are at this location. The second C. R. R. of Pa. bridge and the tunnel are unused. Glen Onoko station was at the up-river end of these bridges. The flood of September, 1850, also destroyed a large portion of the newly double-tracked B.M. line between Weatherly and Penn Haven; the loaded track had T-rail laid in the summer of that year, and the up-bound empty road was wood with strap rail. In 1857, the Penn Haven - Mauch Chunk also had double track.
By 1849, when the line had 2.5 miles of H-rail, five locomotives and 297 coal cars delivered 84,396 tons of coal to the canal at East Mauch Chunk.. The road was in three divisions, viz., Upper, mines to Weatherly, six miles; Middle, Weatherly to Penn Haven. five miles; Lower. Penn Haven to East Mauch Chunk, nine miles, laid with 62 tons of flat bar iron rail. In 1851, the Reading sold its eighth-built locomotive, the 19-ton "Susquehanna," to the B.M.
Two years after the Hazleton R. R. opened its high-level line of 1852 to Penn Haven, the B. M. decided to eliminate the two inclined planes at Weatherly, having obtained legislative assent on March 15th, 1853. With the purchase of the abandoned Hazleton R. R. line, plane operation ended on August 14th, 1855. The new section of the Beaver Meadow had a grade of 145 feet to the mile for 1.75 miles, and 135 feet for the next 4000 feet. The B. M. also built to Honeybrook during 1855-56, thereby gaining all coal production from that pit until the Tresekow R. R. opened in 1870. Equipment in 1859 consisted of fifteen locomotives, two passenger, four freight and 1001 four-wheeled coal cars. Henry's 1860 map shows the road as a complete loop beyond the town of Beaver Meadow.
In 1863, the line extended 24.5 miles to Audenreid, had five engine houses and a machine shop. Equipment worth $400,560 consisted of nineteen locomotives, two passenger cars, one for baggage and mail, three freight and a thousand four-wheeled coal cars each worth $180, and 300 eight-wheeled coal cars valued at $420 each. In delivering 1,595,729 tons of anthracite, the B. M. had operated coal trains 208,573 miles. Passenger and freight trains carrying 21,500 passengers and 15,022 tons of freight traveled 38,500 miles. On capitalization of $1,983,900 and $1,000 of funded debt, the railroad paid a dividend of 121/2 percent in cash and 10 percent in stock.
Merged into the Lehigh Valley R. R. on July 8th, 1864, the Beaver Meadow brought to the new owner its first coal lands. Equipment was substantially as in 1863, except for 100 additional eight-wheeled coal cars, 11 eight-wheeled flats, seven dump cars and trucks, and a derrick car.
In 1956, one notes the old B. M. to the left above Weatherly as an abandoned line. This scrapping occurred in 1938. The coal in the Beaver Meadow area is tapped from the west by other L. V. lines.
THE HAZLETON-SUGAR LOAF RAILROADS
After incorporation on March 18th, 1836, the Hazleton Railroad built its line from Hazleton to Weatherly, from which point it operated over six miles of the B. M. to Penn Haven, where the Hazleton's wharf on the Lehigh Canal was under construction in 1836. The new anthracite line shipped its first coal from Penn Haven on May 14th, 1838. Ario Pardee, who located the line in 1836, and superintended its operation from 1838 to 1840, began mining operations near Hazleton in 1838, as Pardee, Miner and Hunt, and, later, as A. Pardee and Company. Known best today as the benefactor of Lafayette College, at Easton, Pa., he became prominent in coal, iron, and lumber production, and was a director in the Lehigh Valley and other roads with the merger of the Hazleton R. R. into the former.
In a letter dated June 8th, 1839, Pardee described the road. Two Garrett and Eastwick eight-wheeled locomotives operated on a 22''xs" rail atop 5 x 9" yellow pine rails, with ties on four-foot centers. Mudsills, 22''x10" or 12" were under the ties. The heaviest grade, 140 feet to the mile, had not been intended for locomotive operation when built, but, in practice, doubleheading locomotives proved more economical than the intended animal power. Regarding the two classes of Garrett and Eastwick engines in daily use for over two years, Pardee held the 4-4-0's be easier on the roadway than 4-2-0's of the same weight. In June, 1839, the B. M. and Hazleton Railroads had seven locomotives with horizontal tube boilers burning anthracite coal. The 15-ton "Hercules" was performing well, running curves with great ease.
The Sugar Loaf Company, with mines in the Hazleton area, connected "with the Hazleton Railroad (which runs through their lands) about two miles below the mines of that company by a short railroad of easy grade, about three-fourths mile long. " So the L. C. & N. report of January 14th, 1839, described the Sugar Loaf operation. The company completed its line and operated two locomotives during 1839, says a later report. The Sugar Loaf's Garrett and Eastwick locomotive 'Ajax," arrived at Penn Haven on the same canal boat as the Hazleton's 'Hercules," before June 15th, 1839. Possibly the Sugar Loaf operated e locomotive between its mines and the planes at Weatherly, and the other below the Beaver Meadow Planes to Penn Haven. During 1839, this company loaded 561 canal boats of anthracite, the Hazleton Company 1352 at Penn Haven, while the B. M. sent 1038 from Parrysville. These shipments compare well with the 1898 loads sent from Mauch Chunk by the L. C. & N. the same year.
The Beaver Meadow was unable to operate after being flooded out in 1841 from January to August, and again in 1850, when five Quakake Creek and the Lehigh Turnhole bridges went out. As a result the Hazleton Company constructed a six-mile line on top of the mountain to Penn Haven, completely eliminating by 1852 the use of the B. M. line. This route is visible in 1956 to the right above Weatherly as a shelf on the mountain side high above the old Hazleton right of way, which is used by the L. V. out of Weatherly. At Penn Haven, a self-acting plane, 430 feet high and 1200 feet long, lowered coal to the canal wharves. In 1859, a second plane linked the flood-proof Hazleton line again with the B. M. at Penn Haven. This coal port, with 300 inhabitants, a hotel, school, and store in 1860, reflects the activity of the Hazleton Company.
Glinder's Penn Haven canal boat yard was destroyed by Bood in 1862. When this flood tore out all L. C. & N. transportation of coal below Penn Haven, the Hazleton Company sent coal to the Philadelphia market via the P. & R., until the Lehigh Valley was again able to accommodate traffic.
When merged into the L. V. on May 25th, 1868, this company added coal lands as equipment to that road's holdings. Its mileage consisted of 14.67, Hazleton to Penn Haven, 3.68 to Clifton, 3.43 to Ashburton, and .59 to Mt. Hall. In 1878, the L. V. abandoned the high-level Hazleton line to Penn Haven and its planes.
RLHS Editor's Note:
Subsequent to the completion of this paper and its editing, the author took down his copy of "The Development of the Locomotive Engine," by Angus Sinclair and discovered the following:
On p. 317 the author tells of two geared locomotives that evidently worked on the two planes near Weatherly in 1857. Niles of Cincinnati built the "Champion" and "Defiance"; the Beaver Meadow R. R. bought them at a sheriff's sale. Equipped with cog gearing for rack rail, they had four cylinders, one pair inside, and four pairs of drivers— "kept in service probably twenty years."
Pages 323-325, Littleton quoting Ario Pardee, Sr. on the Hazleton R. R. This company built a locomotive, the "Lehigh," in 1840 at their Hazleton Shops and modeled it on the "Hercules" of the Beaver Meadow R. R. The Hazleton R. R. never owned a wood burner. David Clark, Master Mechanic of the Hazleton R. R., 1855-1868, the year of the merger, built the "Superior," 0-60 type 14 or 15x22", 44" drivers, boiler about 42" and swallow tail firebox similar to Winans but with fire door to the rear. All drivers were coupled with main rod to the rear wheels, scrapped 1885-1886. The "Oswego" of the same design and built about the same time was in service at Easton in 1895. Encouraged with the success of the "Superior, " Clark built 8-driver rigid wheel base locomotives and, in 1867 engines with 20x26" cylinders— "something rather strenuous in those days." When Mr. Clark retired as Master Mechanic of the Lehigh Valley in 1892, that road owned 659 locomotives. Of these 450 had been built in their own shops and 130 were of Clark's design.
Page 335. On the Sugar Loaf R. R. Sinclair tells that Baldwin built in 1841 one geared locomotive under their 1839 patents and sold it to the Sugar Loaf R. R. (The Baldwin records show this locomotive was built under C/N 154, August 18, 1841, 13x16" cylinders and 44" drivers.) (The locomotive is completely described in Bulletin 87, page 13.) A cut appears of this 4-2-0 type of locomotive in Sinclair's book bearing the name "American" but the Baldwin records show the name—''Sugar Loaf. " A very favorable report on its performance was received but the locomotive was never duplicated.
BUCK MOUNTAIN RAILROAD
This company, chartered in 1836, began construction during 1839 with E. A. Douglass as engineer, and shipped 54 tons of anthracite in 1840. With its mines at Spring Mountain, the four-mile railroad with two inclined planes and a 200-yard tunnel delivered coal to the company breaker at Rockport (formerly Lowerytown), which was powered by a 24-foot overshot water wheel. While the Mauch Chunk Courier announced the first delivery of coal to the Lehigh Canal on March 21st, 1840, it failed to report in its December 5th resume of the coal trade why only 54 tons were produced and shipped. The flood of 1841 delayed operations a full year.
Tonnage exceeded 100,000 by 1850. An 1855 description reported three coal basins, T-rail on the planes, and a trestle capable of supporting a locomotive. Carbon County historians tell that a small wood-burning locomotive came to the Buck Mountain R. R. on a wagon, via the Quakake Valley from Tamaqua, but give no date. Rope marks from snubbing the wagon down grade are reported. The Quakake was re-railed in 1858, hence this wagon traffic must have been prior to that time. Coal shipments over the short railroad continued until the Lehigh flood of 1862 wiped out the upper Lehigh Canal. After this flood, the Hazleton R. R. built a branch from Hazle Creek bridge to the Buck Mountain Company's Spring Mountain mine, and the line to Rockport was abandoned. The route, the location of the planes and their dimensions are all unknown to the writer.
Today, Rockport is one of the few spots along the Lehigh River which can be reached by automobile. The tunnel of 1840 is still visible back of the C. R. R. of Pa. station.
THE LEHIGH LUZERNE RAILROAD
This anthracite railroad was a merger of the Jeddo & Carbon County R. R. with the Lehigh Luzerne Railroad, incorporated on March 23rd, 1854, and March 16th, 1855. Mining operations, which developed this road began when Sharp & Leisering sent coal via Lumber Yard (Ashmore) before the Hazleton R. R. opened the 1023-foot Hazlebrook Tunnel. Their first coal passed over the mountain by a shoo-fly track, a switchback on each side of the mountain. In the Jeddo area, George B. Markle and Company (Markle was a brother-in-law of Pardee) began operations in 1858. The first train over the Lehigh Luzerne from Eckley passed through the tunnel on August 29th, 1859, ending the use of the switchbacks. Capitalization was $750,000 in six percent bonds. In 1863, the 9.5-mile line, extending from the Hazleton R. R. to Milnesville with 56-lb. rail, carried 547,884 tons of anthracite. It was merged into the Lehigh Valley on June 16th, 1868, owning no rolling stock.
LOCOMOTIVE CONSTRUCTION IN THE LEHIGH VALLEY REGION
The locomotive construction which began at Beaver Meadow in 1837, under Hopkins Thomas, continued in the area until ended by the P. & R. control of the Lehigh Valley by lease, in 1892. Delano, on the Lehigh & Mahanoy, became a railroad town with locomotive building a main part of its operations. Baldwin built the first Consolidation or 2-8-0 type to the specifications of Alexander Mitchell, Master Mechanic of the L. & M., and named it "Consolidation" in honor of the consolidation of that road with the L. V. in 1866. Among the Delano-built locomotives were the 2-6-0's " New York, " completed in August, 1869, and the "L. Chamberlin," of June, 1870; also the "Logan," a 2-8-0, of February, 1882, and the 4-4-0, "Evangeline," of 1888. Hazleton Shops built two 0-8-0's, the "Jeddo," which went into service in 1869, followed by the "Jupiter" in January, 1870. The Weatherly-built 4-8-0's, "Rambler" and "Hopkins Thomas," began service during July and November, 1881. The L. V. Report of 1884 told that Delano had built seven locomotives, while Weatherly and Hazleton had each constructed six.
THE QUAKAKE-LEHIGH ~ MAHANOY RAILROAD
The Lehigh Branch of the Little Schuylkill & Susquehanna R. R. became the Quakake R. R. under an incorporation act of April 25th, 1857. The act specified that the line begin on the Beaver Meadow, at the junction of Quakake with Black Creek, and extend westerly 14 miles up the Quakake Valley to link with the Catawissa, Williamsport & Erie between its two summit tunnels—Ryan's Cut of today and the Summit Tunnel at Lofty. Capitalization $454,000, with $20,000 in ten percent bonds owned by the C. W. & E., the B. M. and the L. V. Railroads.
Opened on August 25th, 1858, the C. W. & E. paid the Quakake $26.98 for its share on the New York traffic during the remainder of the year, and only $3800 for the next year, an operation that was not too productive or satisfactory for stockholders. A supplemental act of March 22nd, 1859, authorized an extension to and down the Mahanoy Creek. On September 30th, 1862, the bondholders sold the line which was reorganized as the Lehigh & Mahanoy, on November 11th, 1862.
At the end of 1862, the line had 22 of its 40 miles between Black Creek Junction and the Shamokin & Pottsville, at Mt. Carmel, laid with 50-lb. rail. Equipment owned consisted of two locomotives, and 100 coal ears worth $230 each. Of the million dollar capital, $719,400 was subscribed and $498,805 paid in. There was no funded debt. Income from passenger service was $1000; freight $12,738. The line's heaviest grade westward into Delano was ninety feet to the mile. A 2.5-mile branch opened to Mahanoy City on September 1st, 1862. Rails reached Mt. Carmel during 1865 and, on June 30th, 1866, the line merged with the Lehigh Valley. Its equipment at the time of the merger included fourteen locomotives, one passenger, two baggage and 200 coal ears. At that time the B. M. owned 3000 shares and the L. V. owned 1629 shares of L. & M. stock.
Soon after June 1st, 1868, the Lehigh Valley merged with the Hazleton Company and the Lehigh Luzerne Railroads. A. Pardee and Company had lease-operated both roads. Equipment consisted of 17 locomotives, (one nearly finished), one passenger and one baggage car, and 1274 miscellaneous cars in which were included 615 five-ton, 186 six-ton, and 451 ten-ton coal ears; also five road trucks and two snow plows. The30.8-mile road consisted of 7.42 miles of double track, and 19.7 miles of sidings, a total of 64.5 miles. During 1869, the L. V. purchased 1000 coal cars from the Hazleton R. R. trustees.
Lehigh Valley locomotive construction between 1866 and 1876 is indicated by annual reports as follows:—1866. "In view of the large profits paid locomotive manufacturers, (it was) recommended that provision be made for building locomotives necessary for the road. " 1867. One locomotive in process at each South Easton and Delano. One passenger engine rebuilt at Weatherly. 1868. Built two passenger and three freight engines. In process at Hazleton and Delano, one each. 1869. Seven under construction at South Easton, Weatherly, Delano, and Hazleton. Built five during the year. 1870. Built two freight, four passenger, and the "Cricket," an inspection engine. Under construction were one for freight and three for passenger service. 1871. Eight were built and four were under construction. Six were built in 1872, four in 1873, six in 1875, six in 1876, and two in 1877. Correspondence with L. V. locomotive fans has never determined the origin of L. V engines "Mountaineer" and "North Star." The D. & P., at Sunbury had a pair of Eastwick and Harrison engines with these names.
LEHIGH ~ MAHANOY LOCOMOTIVES
The Lehigh Valley Report of January 14th, 1867, lists fourteen L. V. locomotives, Nos. 64 to 76, and one without number, as former L. & M. locomotives. From mileage statistics, it can be determined that coal train engines Nos. 64 and 65, each with 65,000 miles, were the oldest owned. Passenger engine No. 66 and gravel train engine No. 67 were next in age, followed probably by Nos. 69-71, while Nos. 68 and 72, also engaged in coal traffic, were probably new in 1865. It appears that Nos. 73 to 76 began to operate in 1866, being listed without previous mileage. These engines traveled 185,191 miles over the 60-mile L. & M. 'This same year the Beaver Meadow operated 304,434 and the L. V. 741,966 miles. Locomotive repair costs per mile were $7.06 for the L. & M., $4.77 on the B. M., and $7.18 for the L. V. Without doubt considerable L. & M. locomotive mileage was due to double-heading coal trains to the top of the grade at Delano from Mahanoy Valley. This report listed L. & M. coal cars numbered 1510-1769, 4571-5000, a total of 729, as six-ton ears, and thirty-nine ears without numbers. There were also 700 ten-ton coal cars which came from the L. & M. merger, -making a grand total of 1429 from this coal railroad.
Lehigh Valley R. R. reports do not list the line's sources of coal before 1865. However, the Beaver Meadow and the Hazleton roads furnished all coal to the opening of the Penn Haven & White Haven and the L. & M. Railroads. Because all lines delivered coal to the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Canal, as well as to the Lehigh Valley, there are constant duplicating statistics in the totals for the two lines.
LEHIGH VALLEY AND P. R. R. EXPANSION
The Lehigh Valley continued to expand its lines in the Hazleton Delano, and Mahanoy Valley areas after the mergers of the 1860's. Freight traffic from the P. R. R. to New York via the Northern Central, the old D. & P., the L. & M., and the Beaver Meadow began with the Reading's lease of the North Pennsylvania-Bound Brook route and continued until the P. R. R. built its connecting link in Philadelphia. This diversion greatly diminished the traffic over the Allentown route of passengers and freight via the Lebanon Valley and East Penn lines of the P. & R. and C. R. R. of N. J., and was a factor in the latter's leasing of the Lehigh & Susquehanna. The Ashland Branch, via Shenandoah and Girardville, opened during June, 1878, and existed until War II. North of this region the Lehigh Valley, in 1872, described Raven Run as the outlet chosen by the New York & Middle Coal Field R. R. for its most-costly, never-completed 1855 line to the C. W. & E.
Incorporated as the Coal Run Improvement Company, the N. Y. & M. C. IP. planned to deliver coal eleven miles from its own coal lands in the Mt. Carmel area. The 1884 Geological Maps located two coal tracts in this company's name, owned later by the L. V. Dividends from these two tracts appeared as L. V. income into the 1900's. The Montana Branch tapped coal north of Centralia, and the L. V. re-located the old L. & M. route west of Raven Run toward Centralia before 1884. After that year the Wilburton Branch opened coal lands north of Mt. Carmel.
By 1867, the L. V. had tapped the Delano Coal Estate at New Boston, partly owned by Franklin Roosevelt's grandfather, and in 1886 linked there with the P. R. R. line built parallel to the P. & R. up the Schuylkill Valley. In the coal regions this P. R. R. line was the consolidation of the Reading & Pottsville, the Pottsville & Mahanoy, and the Girardville Railroads. In building up the Schuylkill Valley in Schuylkill County, the Pennsylvania purchased, on June 1st, 1885, the Centre Turnpike of 1805, occupied sections necessary for the new railroad, and gave the remainder to townships along the route. The P. R. R. paralleled at a higher level the east branch of the Mt. Carbon R. R. out of Pottsville, tunneled into the Mill Creek Valley, as had Moncure Robinson fifty years earlier with his D. & P. line, and followed Mill Creek into New Boston. In the Mill Creek Valley the P. R. R. occupied some of the D. & P. right of way to its high bridge, above which a considerable portion of this 1833 line can be traced. Completed into New Boston on November 15th, 1886, the Pennsylvania carried coal southward on the 29th. The L. V. built a 15-mile line on top of Broad Mountain, linking Delano with Hazleton this same year. The view from a passenger car on this route was thrilling. Despite the paralleling mentioned and that of the Shamokin, Sunbury & Lewisburg by the P. & R., the P. R. R. obtained trackage rights from Mill Creek, at Wetherill Jct., 3.2 miles over the old Mahanoy & Broad Mountain to Frackville. From this town it built down into the Mahanoy Valley, opposite the direction of Mahanoy Plane to the L. V. at Shenandoah. To develop passenger traffic for its new Schuylkill Valley line the P. R. R. opened and operated, from December 7th, 1887, service in connection with the L. V. from Pottsville to Shenandoah, Mt. Carmel and Sunbury, and via New Boston and Delano to Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre. The service ended in the late 1930's.
Use of the Highland-Sandy Run Branch and the L. & S. Railroad's Sandy Run Branch enabled the L. V. to shorten its Hazleton-Wilkes Barre run by fifteen miles and also to provide a favorable grade for westbound freight. Work to provide an all-L.V.-owned cutoff from Ashmore to May's Creek, thirteen miles, began on August 15th, 1910. Opened on December 26th, 1911, the new route, with a fall of 437 feet, saved 10.75 miles in the westward movement of coal out of Hazleton. The bridge, 632 feet long and 87 feet high, for this cutoff is visible to L. V. passengers below White Haven.
In the scramble by railroads to purchase all available coal lands, the L. V. secured the Blackwood Tract on the West Schuylkill River, west of Pottsville. A Lehigh Valley Report map of 1868 had portrayed a L. V. line tapping this area. To market this coal over that road, the Schuylkill & Lehigh Valley R. R. received legislative approval on October 9th, 1886, with a four million dollar capitalization, half in bonds. This 39-mile line delivered its first coal from Blackwood Colliery on September 15th, 1890, to the parent road at Lizard Creek, via Schuylkill Haven and Orwigsburg, over the routes of the proposed Schuylkill Haven & Lehigh River R. R. of 1863, and the Manufacturers & Consumers Anthracite R. R. of 1868. The P. R. R. joined this line at Schuylkill Haven, while its entrance to Pottsville was over the Peoples Railroad. Incorporated April 4th, 1865, to build a six-mile road with "extraordinary powers," later legislation allowed that road to use dummy engines rather than horse power, and in 1873, the use of locomotives. It was opened in 1872 as a street railway between Mt. Carbon and Fishbach, a Pottsville suburb, and the next year built 4.6 miles of line to Minersville. Capitalization in 1895 was $149,000.
One of the consolidation plans of the 1920's called for passenger service from the P. R. R., at Dauphin, over the Reading's S. & S. branch to Pine Grove and Tremont, using the L. V. from Blackwood to New York. With the decline of anthracite mining, burning of the Blackwood Colliery, and the need for extensive and expensive repairs to the 1350 foot steel trestle over the Schuylkill River above Schuylkill Haven, the L. V. ran the last freight over the S. V. & L. on April 3rd, 1953. The trestle and line were soon scrapped.
A later Lehigh Valley-P. R. R. passenger run was the Pittsburgh Express from Easton via the old Beaver Meadow and L. & M. routes to Sunbury and the P. R. R. Inaugurated at the behest of Charles M. Schwab, of Bethlehem Steel, this run began in April, 1916, and ended in 1938. It is appropriate to mention that the proposed New York, Pittsburgh & Chicago Air Line, of 1909, passed from Sunbury to Mahanoy City, Tamaqua and Allentown.
Asa Packer willed the controlling stock of his L. V. Railroad to Lehigh University, which he had founded. This stock control existed after the P. & R. leased the Lehigh Valley. Packer's will stipulated that the school must subscribe to all new stock issued by the road, in order to maintain control, a feature later declared illegal because no one may direct his heirs "to gamble."
THE SUNBURY, HAZLETON & WILKES-BARRE RAILROAD
The S. H. & W.-B. was another P. R. R.-based line to enter the Second Coal Field. Incorporated as the Wilkes-Barre & Pittston R. R., on April 15th, 1859, and changed on April 10th, 1867, to the Danville, Hazleton & Wilkes-Barre R. R., contracts for grading began on October 10th, 1867. Grading was finished between Sunbury and a point opposite Danville by the end of 1867, and track laying was begun in March, 1869. The 45-mile line from Tomhickon to Sunbury opened on November 4th, 1869. The P. R. R. leased the road on March 1st, 1872, but a default on bonds brought a foreclosure sale in March, 1878. When reorganized on May 1st, 1878, the P. R. R. renewed its lease for fifty years. The M'Cauley Mountain & Black Creek R. R., organized in 1863 with Wm. D. Lewis as president, may have been an attempt to make the western Hazleton coal region tributary to the Catawissa R. R. Lewis was president of the C. W. & E. for nine years. The S. H. & W.-B. paralleled the C. R. R. up that creek to Mainville.
Equipment in 1872 consisted of five locomotives, two passenger, two baggage, ten freight and seven coal cars. Capital was $800,000 in stock and $1,500,000 in funded and floating debt, at seven percent. The P. R. R~ Shareholders Report for 1874 revealed the reason for the P. R. R. interest in this railroad. The coal lands in the Tomhickon area, 2119 acres purchased by allied P. R. R. interests for $259,000, were worth $2,000,000 in 1873. In 1895, the Pennsylvania owned a million dollars in stock and $400,000 in Second Mortgage bonds, which paid ten and six percent, and paid lease rental of $249,000. The road operated until the War II period.
THE NESCOPEC RAILROAD
This road, incorporated June
3rd, 1886, to build up Nescopec Creek, was the route of a 1787 turnpike
designed to capture the Susquehanna traffic for Philadelphia, and the proposed
route for the Lehigh and Susquehanna Canal of the 1840's backed by the L. C.
& N. Co. The 12-mile line from Nescopec, on the Susquehanna, to Rock Glen
Jct. had a capital stock of $551,389, in 1895. The P. R. R. owned $259,000 of
this issue and $200,000 of five percent bonds, neither of which paid
returns that year. This line provided a passenger route to Wilkes-Barre for the Pennsylvania, costing $2717 in lease payments in 1895.
Litile Schuylkill ~ Susquchanna Addenda
The relationship between the L. S. & S. and the Morris Canal & Banking Co. should call for an explanation which was inadvertently omitted in Bulletin No. 108.
The Morris Canal & Banking Co. was incorporated in 1824 to construct a 90 mile canal with 23 inclined planes and 23 locks to overcome the 1674 foot rise and fall between Jersey City and the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Canal on the Delaware River at Easton, Pa. This canal was given banking powers, something not unusual for this period, in order to help finance the canal. During the depression of 1834 its stock dropped to $50.00 but between recovery and manipulation in 1835 it rose to $111.00 and to $165.00. At this higher price a new stock issue was avidly sought by the investors. In February, 1835, when its stock had been "cornered" at $165.00, the New York brokers voted 28 to 24 not to recognize Morris Canal stock contracts and to rescind all the stock engagements. During May of that year, Louis McLane, Jackson's Secretary of the Treasury, became president of the company at a yearly salary of $6,000.00. At the time, the charge was circulated that Murray, his predecessor, had been hired to resign by speculators. McLane, an experienced and upright financier remained as president until the end of 1836, when he became president of the Baltimore & Ohio R. R.
In December of 1836, the Canal & Banking Co. leased their canal to the Little Schuylkill & Susquehanna R. R. for five years at six percent with provisions for a five year renewal. In June, 1838, this railroad offered, in the Mauch Chunk Courier, to rent canal boats to operators. To partially understand these maneuvers, no doubt made to boost the price and sale of L. S. & S. stock, we must recall that construction of the line had just been initiated in 1837 and that only 27 tons of coal were actually carried by the Lehigh Branch in 1840. It was only in February of that year that the L. S. & S. offer to lease their coal lands in the Lindner Gap area to miners and in this offer, coal consigned via the line of the Morris Canal & Banking Co. was promised rate advantages. The Lehigh Branch R. R. was to open on or before July 1st, 1840.
During February, 1841, the collapse of both the Bank of the United States and the Morris Canal & Banking Co. ended construction. In an effort to save the L. S. & S. coal lands, ownership of these tracts was placed in the State of Michigan, whose bonds both banks had sold. Through manipulation of Milton Stapp and Dr. O. Coe, Indiana Canal Fund Commissioners, the Morris Canal & Banking Co. had purchased three million of Indiana bonds on credit (probably the best terms sparsely settled Indiana could then obtain). However, Coe as a Canal & Banking Co. stockholder, received $96 per $100 for the bonds for which he credited Indiana with $88.
Indiana awoke from her dream that canal and railroad income would pay for interest, principal and state government costs to discover that 611 of her bond funds sold to the Morris Canal & Banking Co. were tied up in transportation, banking, industrial and real estate investments in eastern United States. Among these were a second mortgage of $1,250,000 on the canal of the Canal & Banking Co., 13,600 shares of L. S. & S. stock par $230,000, $100,000 in Beaver Meadow R. R. stock and 75,000 shares in the Baltimore & Ohio R. R. Indiana found the mortgage on the canal and the L. S. & S. stock worthless by 1843. Most important, state ownership, national wide in the United States at this time received a death blow through the depression of 1841 and most states sold their transportation lines to private investors.