OTHER Your favorite ghost shortline & why?

John Barnhill Oct 20, 2006

  1. MotoArts

    MotoArts New Member

    I am in the process of researching two of the fallen shortlines in my neck of the woods here in Pittsburgh; the Cheswick and Harmar RR and Pittsburg and Shawmut. For the C&H, it served a typically inconspicuous coal mine in Harwick, PA, delivering coal to one of the many electrical generation plants (Duquesne Light). The mine is/was the site of several explosions and is known for having one of the deadliest mining disasters ever (do a google search for Harwick coal and you'll see what I mean). If you stand at the seemingly tiny mine site, it is soooooo hard to believe that there were 9 sets of rails in the yard and a mine that ran for 75-ish years there. It has seemingly all been forgotten or cared about. Grown over, consumed by mother nature. Something with so much local history, simply evaporated. The rails connected to the Conemaugh line of the PRR in Cheswick on one end (by the powerplant), and to the Bessemer and Lake Erie on the other end. I'm going to guess that the total track distance of this line was maybe 3 miles long. I used to ride the railbed on a dirt bike as a kid in the mid 70's, and remember seeing the rails being torn up then.
    The P&S is a good bit larger than the C&H, but generally served the same purpose hauling coal. What little I know, and the fascinating part about it, was that it served 30 something mines in its single track heyday. In the diesel era it used mainly several SW-9's (I believe) lashed together for power. The C&H had 2 small switchers that I remember, one being a GE44 and an equally small unknown one.
    I recently purchased a new Bachmann HO GE44 and plan on modeling it to the C&H, along with a couple of GLa 2 bay hoppers. Unfortuantely I don't have enough room for modeling the layout, just the train itself. I may do the same with the P&S, but will wait to see how the first set turns out!

  2. Wolfgang Dudler

    Wolfgang Dudler Passed away August 25, 2012 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam


    can you tell more about these shortlines? Trackplan, roster, pictures?

  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I have never been able to get a clear explanation, for any connection between the P&S, and the PS&N. Are they, or are they not related companies? Anyone have a history or link?

    Boxcab E50
  4. MotoArts

    MotoArts New Member

    There's a fair amount of info on the P&S, compared to the C&H. This link explains the "northern" deal:
    Also, try a google search for "Shawmut Brookville" to get some other info. Pretty interesting stuff!

    Some cool pics of it's colors progression:

    PS&N info:

    WD, here's the track plan:
    This site is LOADED with things to see... click through the links... excellent...

    My Uncle actually owns 53 acres several hundred yards southeast of the Mahoning Creek bridge of the P&S. I've known it was there, but never paid attention to it all of these years. I've hunted the property many times. Who'dve thought...

    As for the C&H, there's minimal onfo online. Pics can be found here:
    Methinks I really have dropped the ball on this one, unfortunately. I obtained Jim Mc's phone # several years ago, but never called it. Now I see that the caption includes the word "late" before his name in the top photo... :(

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2008
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

  6. ICfan

    ICfan TrainBoard Member

    The Bellview and Cascade RR ... Milwaukee Rd 3 foot gauge in Iowa ...

    I saw a guy building an HO model RR of this line ... pretty neat obscure prototype
  7. Chad Cowan

    Chad Cowan TrainBoard Member

    The Cadiz Railroad - located in Western KY. The original trackage spanned 10.3 miles from Gracey, KY to Cadiz. They interchanged with the IC at Gracey until the 1980s when the IC abandoned the line. The Cadiz then leased trackage from Princeton, KY to Hopkinsville, KY to maintain their connection to the ICG.

    During that time, they rostered three Alco (S-1s and an S-3). The traffic was sparse but interesting. They hauled military unit trains to and from Fort Campbell, KY. Imagine two Alco switchers doubleheading on a long train of 89' flats and open bi-level autoracks for a 30 mile run!

    The Cadiz was also known for their fleet of bright yellow and blue 'per diem' boxcars that were so prevalent in the 1980s.

    They finally shut down in the 1990s... all trackage removed.
  8. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    Another ghost railroad that existed in northeast Texas was the Paris & Mt. Pleasant RR, built in 1910 to operate between the two aforementioend towns. Operated stean its whole existence, and even had a couple of gas-electric motorcars. The discovery of an asphaltic oil deposit near Talco, TX boosted carloadings until a pipeline was built from Talco to Mt. Pleasant. The little railroad was abandoned in 1956.

    Today, if you drive along US 271 from Pattonville to the North Sulphur River bridge, you can see the original ROW to the right of the road. One locomotive, the 316, is now on the Texas State Railroad.

    [​IMG] This slightly fuzzy logo was used by the "Pa and Ma".
  9. Helitac

    Helitac TrainBoard Member

    Hi all, I've been gone for a couple of years (life has it's twists and turns), some of you may remember me from when I lived in Nevada. My favorite is the Feather River Railway and it's subsidiary the Western Pacific.:tb-biggrin: Goes back to when I was a kid growing up in that area. (Oroville CA). Lot's of RR activity in that area in the sixties.
  10. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

    Well, I could have sworn I posted this once...can't find the darned post though! Clearly, as my hearald reads my favorite is the Colorado and Southern, Narrow Gauge line. This is what I like to call the "forgotten" line since the focus on Colorado railroads is all about the DRGW and the RGS. This thing was an amalgamation of several small railroads and since I model it in the year it was formed (1899) I can have rolling stock from many of the earlier roads. Trips through Colorado invariably include parts of the route up the Clear Creek, and riding the George Town Loop was a real high point in my life. Of all the "baby roads" this one had it all...
  11. John Barnhill

    John Barnhill TrainBoard Member

    Helitac, welcome back. Check out my Foothill Rails site for some Oroville related stuff. I've got a page for Oroville on my Extra Board and a Feather River roster too on the Shortline Roster page under 'F'. Also I have a Swayne roster. You wouldn't happen to be able to pinpoint the Swayne mill site for me?
  12. Helitac

    Helitac TrainBoard Member

    Sorry John, I disremember it right right now, Check your PM'S, maybe there's stuff there that will help. It was a while ago.
  13. SDP45

    SDP45 TrainBoard Member

    Came across some info about the Wenatchee Southern Railway. Lots of ICC notes, but no rail ever laid.

    See my blog for a bunch of details.
  14. DLK

    DLK TrainBoard Member


    My favorite was the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee RR. It was an electric railroad started in 1891 as the Waukegan & North Shore Rapid Transit Company. It ran between Chicago and Milwaukee, with several branches in the Chicago area. In 1894 it became Bluff City Electric Railway Company. In 1898 the Line was renamed to The North Shore Inter-Urban Railway Company. This little known name only lasted 5 weeks when it was renamed again to The Chicago and Milwaukee Electric. Service ended on Friday, January 25, 1963.

    The crowning glory of the line were the ELECTROLINERS. The Electroliners were built in 1941 by the St Louis Car Company. The Electroliners were/are 4-unit articulated trains 155 ft. 4 in. long. During speed trials in 1941, the Electroliner reached speeds of 110 MPH. They ran every 3 hours and had a luxury lounge on each end of the train. After the fall of the line in 1963, the Electroliners went on to become Liberty Liners in Pennsylvania on the P&W Norristown Line.

    I used to ride the train, as a boy, and, though I am saddened now when I remember the demise, at the time, I was totally apathetic. It was a different time; affluence and cars were common, and it was easier & more convenient to just jump in the car & go. The line fought bankruptcy for many years since the end of WWII.

    The biggest mistake that was made, in my opinion, was the selling off of the right-of-way. It could have been made into a hiking/biking trail and, possibly, now, returned to train service. Oh, well . . . . . .

  15. Odd-d

    Odd-d TrainBoard Member

    One of my favorite lines was a Boston area narrow gauge commuter line, the Boston Revere Beach & Lynn. In steam days they used 2-4-4T Mason Bogie engines until electrification in 1929. They also had a walking beam ferry boat. They went out of business in 1941. Odd-d
  16. MioneRR

    MioneRR TrainBoard Member

    Colorado Midland

    To me, it was a standard gauge railroad with a narrow gauge mind set. I've explored a bit of the row when I lived in Colorado. Now that I've returned, I hope to do some more.
  17. Geared Steam

    Geared Steam Permanently dispatched

    I have 2 favorites at the moment.
    1) McCloud River Railroad- Love the area, the history, and that red ballast! Plus it was mainly a logger.
    2) Butte, Anaconda and Pacific-Hauled copper from Butte to the smelter in Anaconda. It used electric trolleys as motive power, and ran alongside the Milwaukee Road and Northern Pacific mainlines.
  18. MOPMAN

    MOPMAN TrainBoard Member

    Many years ago when my parents lived in SW Arkansas, I ran across a little shortline called the Graysonia, Nashville & Ashdown. At the time the line ran between Nashville and Ashdown (the line between Nashville and Graysonia was abandoned). The line was owned by the Okay cement company (the railroads primary shipper). The GN&A interchanged with the MOP in Nashville and the KCS in Ashdown. A very railfan friendly railroad. I loved riding those Alco S-2 switchers. Now I think the railroad is owned by the Kiamichi RR.
  19. stoneduck

    stoneduck New Member

    1900's line

    How about the Columbia and Southern between Biggs and Shaniko. It was reportedly the largest wool shipping railroad in the US. The line was syrveyed all the way to Prineville But Mr Hill beat them all to central Oregon. Three trains running south within a few miles of each other. There could've been some very unique photos from the area near the mouth of the Deschutes.
  20. SDP45

    SDP45 TrainBoard Member

    I read that the lower portion of this line was washed out pretty badly at Biggs. UP then decided to abandon the whole line, without repairing anything.

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