Kevin’s Komments 06/10/2022

I had been doing some more research on towns along the Cincinnati Northern, but got distracted by a series of pics on the Pennsylvania and PRR shops. This first pic got me started.

PRR #2644, a class H 2-8-0, along with the shop crew, pose for a photograph on the turntable at the Renovo shops, Renovo, PA. I couldn’t find much on #2644, and I had to look up Renovo. Unfortunately, I didn’t see #2644 on the PRR rosters I have. As far as I could find, this is the only pic of this loco. Renovo about half way between Pittsburg and Scranton, on the west branch of the Susquehanna River.

With the shops in the background, the Renovo coaling tower dominates the right foreground. Note the two empty coal hoppers directly under the coal bin, with a full one just beyond. The two trusses in the middle of the pic support a pretty good size overhead crane – I’m not sure of the purpose of this crane with it being out over what appears to be the incoming and outgoing tracks of the shop. The left side track under the crane looks like it has close to a half dozen tenders lined up to be paired with steamers.

Here’s a good pic of the yard and shops at Renovo taken in the mid to late ‘50s. The far left structure in the background with the tall stack is probably the power house. Check out the line of steam locos on the one yard track.

Renovo Railcar company took over the former PRR shops, but the remaining shops appear to be abandoned today.

Pretty clean for an abandoned shop!

There’s the coaling tower with some modern structures in the background.

I think I saw that there is a museum onsite with some RR equipment on the tracks.

Changing locations: I always wondered what the scale tracks look like up close. This pic appears to be either a new installation of a scale, or a refurbished scale at the PRR shops in Altoona. Notice the rails are awaiting to be laid over the scale. The gentleman in the suit is the Scale Supervisor.

Altoona was the largest and best known of the PRR shops.  PRR #436 works the shops in 1953.

#436 was a 0-6-0T switcher built in Juniata (part of the Altoona shops) as a B-8 (an 0-6-0 switcher) in 1912.  It was rebuilt as a B-8A (0-6-0 T tank engine) in 1924, and retired in 1956 after 44 years of service. Photo taken during the “Altoona Shops Inspection Trip” of 16 May 1937; partially visible at the right is the 130P70 tender associated with K-5 “Pacific” #5698. Harold K. Vollrath Collection; #5 of 11.

Here’s a great shot of the PRR Juniata shops at Altoona.

Going inside the Juniata shops, a shop worker gives hand signals to the crane operator while a huge 2-10-0 is floating 5 feet in the air. The 2-10-0 is PRR #4525, an I1sa built by Baldwin. The photo is taken inside the E&M shop at the Juniata Shops.

The PRR Altoona Works was built between 1850 and 1925 to supply the railroad with locomotives, railroad cars, and related equipment. For many years, it was the largest railroad shop complex in the world.  Now its run by the Norfolk Southern.  Here, NS #624 RP-M4C is under construction inside the smith shop.  There is a railroad museum at the Altoona site that can be visited.

This is a turn of the century photo of the PRR Grandview yard. Grandview is closer to home for us, near Columbus, OH – “located on the old PRR Piqua line south of Goodale Avenue between Grandview Avenue on the west and the Olentangy River on the east. It was a hump yard with capacity for 301 cars on the Grandview Receiving side and 367 cars on the Grandview Classification side. It was used for interchanging coal loads from the C&O destined for the Sandusky Branch or the Chicago direction on the Piqua line. It was also used as an overflow yard for PRR Yard A and Yard B. In addition it handled stone cars from the Marble Cliff Quarry located next to the Grandview Yard.” The Marble Cliff Quarry was the quarry just northwest of downtown Columbus in Upper Arlington. An interesting tie to the CNor – Marble Cliff owned the Lewisburg quarry during its early years. Marble Cliff sold Lewisburg to Bluffton, who later sold it to the National Lime & Stone Company (which was running the Lewisburg quarry during our era in the ‘50s). The limestone vein that includes both Marble Cliff in Arlington and the Lewisburg quarry stretches across most of middle and western Ohio. Most of the quarries in these areas are on the same vein.

#12, a 2-4-0, was originally a 0-4-0T tank switcher built by Alco in 1916 for the Marble Cliff Quarry as #23. It’s been modified a few times as well as changing roles and owners. The saddle tanks were removed. The pilot truck was added when it was put on display (as seen here) near the Oregon Coast Hwy by Gary Foglio Trucking

Here is Marble Cliffs Quarry #1. I have a pic of this with the Lewisburg Quarry info, but unfortunately, #1 never worked at Lewisburg.

A steam shovel and tank engine work the limestone stock piles at the Marble Cliff Quarry stock pile. The tank engine is #10. The steam shovel is unloading crushed limestone from the gondola. The snow covering give this pic a cold look! (A similar scene would easily work at the Lewisburg quarry on our CNor layout!)

Limestone was first mined at Marble Cliff in the 1840s. There is still an active limestone quarry at Marble Cliff, but sections of the quarry have been made into recreational areas.

Since we’re near Columbus, this is the PRR Columbus Twentieth Street shops.  The view is northeast.  Currently, Interstate 670 runs through this area. The City of Columbus’s road salt pile sits next to the St. Clair Avenue roundhouse foundation.

PRR compound Mallet #7693, a class CC-2s 0-8-8-0, is pushing a string of cars across the CA&C crossing headed for the PRR’s Pennor Yard.  The Pennor yard in Columbus was a set of ten tracks along the north side of the Norfolk & Western yard.  Coal would be brought in from the south by the Norfolk Western with some loads interchanged with the PRR at the Pennor tracks.  The CA&C crossing was just west of the Pennor Yard ladder.  #7693 is used in hump and transfer service in Columbus.  Photo is taken in the 1940’s; photo from the Jay Williams Collection.

Here’s a sketch of the facilities with the Pennor tracks shown on the right (marked as “10 new Pennsylvania receiving tracks”).

A PRR I1s, 2-10-0, is adding a caboose to a train between the Grogan and Pennor yards near the N&W roundhouse. An N&W class A, 2-6-6-4 can be seen in the distance. It just brought a train from Portsmouth and as soon as the PRR I1 and train gets out of the way it will pull forward and return to N&W territory by the escape track in the foreground. The bridge in the background is Joyce Avenue. The tracks from the class A and to the left of it, are the west throat of Pennor Yard. The tracks to the right of the class A belong to the N&W’s Joyce Avenue Yard. To the right off camera is the N&W roundhouse where the class A is headed.

“Pennsylvania Railroad Walnut Street terminal in Williamsport, PA. Source- B&O RR Museum collection” – I found a lot of pics associated with this photo, but couldn’t verify they were pics of the Walnut Street terminal.  I love the overhead view of all the steam power with the obvious PRR Belpaire fire boxes!

Not sure the location of this PRR facility. A brakeman is riding the tender step on the 0-6-0 switcher.

PRR GG1 #4897 leads westbound passenger train #137 (the Mount Vernon) across the Raritan River Bridge in New Brunswick, NJ, in 1963. Photo by Victor Hand from the Center For Railroad Photography & Art.

The Raritan River Bridge is now used by the NJ Transit Authority.

An investigation into the PRR facilities can stretch over months of these collections.  While PRR info pops up all the time in my projects, it’s not my main focus – so we’ll move on.  But for all the PRR fans, it’s gotta be one of the more fascinating railroads!



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