been a while since new railfan photographs of the Tuscarora Railroad
have come to light, but thanks to the publicity drawn to the TRR by the
National Garden Railroad Convention, we've uncovered a few which warrant
publication. These photos were likely taken between 1916 and 1920 or
so, though the exact dates are not known. Given the variety of trains,
these were shot on different days.
first shows the morning passenger run at Neelyton. Passenger traffic
was never particularly heavy on the TRR, so its trains usually consisted
of two or three cars leased from the East Broad Top RR. Today's train
consists of baggage #19 and coach #5. The baggage car handles mostly
mail and milk with milk cans outnumbering passengers by a comfortable
margin. The locomotive is 2-8-0 #5.
the same day, the same train, also at Neelyton. The stacks of timber
will be loaded onto flat cars and shipTped to customers elsewhere along
the line, or taken to Mt. Union where it will be transferred to standard
gauge cars on the EBT's overhead crane, more famously known as the
"timber transfer." Neelyton serves as the general offices of the
Tuscarora RR, and today we catch a glimpse of the superintendent's Model
T in the lot next to the station. Typically he walked to work, so its
presence by the station must mean there's someone important coming in he
needs to impress.
#5 again, this time on the north leg of the wye at Neelyton, coming
from Blair's Mills and turning to head west on the Shade Gap branch. In
the foreground, the school at Neelyton. The depot/corporate office is
pretty much right on the other side of the tracks.
at the depot, probably the same day as the earlier photo, but later in
the day as there's now a flat car delivered to the lumber siding. The
TRR seldom (if ever) ran mixed trains, so it's unlikely this flat car
came in behind #5. The Neelyton Depot was originally built as a copy of
the East Broad Top RR's Rocky Ridge depot, with the thought being that
they'd build a separate freight depot. Management decided that was a bit
too much, so they added a freight shed to the depot not but a few
months after it was first completed.
photo is unusual in that there's no hopper car spotted on the coal
trestle, which gives the photographer a neat way to frame #5 pulling
into Neelyton from Shade Gap. It can't be determined in this photo
whether #5 was pulling freight or passenger duties on this day. TRR #4
was more typically used on the passenger runs, as she was just a little
quicker (not that the schedule was hard to keep).
#5 again with a passenger train as it crosses over Trout Run. The
schoolhouse is in the background. It's late summer judging from the lack
of water in Trout Run. (Locals joke that they'd have called it "Trout
Swim" if it had water in it on a routine basis.)
is a rare view of the Locke Valley depot. Locke Valley was not much
more than a flagstop; how it rated an actual station is something of a
mystery. The depot was actually first built for Neelyton, but when the
railroad decided to move its headquarters (such as they were) there
instead of Burnt Cabins, they built a larger depot and moved this one up
the line to Locke Valley. Gotta put it someplace, I guess...
#5, this time on freight duties, eastbound coming into Shade Gap. The
tank car belongs to the Atlantic Refining Co, and is a sister car to EBT
2-8-0 #3 rounds the curve, approaching the Blacklog interchange track.
This is where the East Broad Top and Tuscarora Railroad leave cars to be
picked up by the other railroad, rather than tie up one of the EBT's
tracks in their Rockhill Furnace yards.
#3 passes the Blacklog water tower, which draws its water from nearby
Blacklog Creek. In this photo, the spout of this tank has been removed,
in favor of a water standpipe on the east end of the yard. Crews found
it more logical to water their locos after turning on the wye, which put
the locos on the opposite end from the tank. Crews would eventually
replace the spout, giving crews flexibility with regard to watering
photo shows #3 at the eastern water stand, though for some reason
facing west, which was unusual. The Blacklog depot can barely be seen
over the cab of the locomotive.
TRR #3 is facing east, pausing in front of the depot. The photographer
is standing near the doorway to the water tank, and the water standpipe
would be on the other side of the locomotive, forward about 100' or so.
In the background, you can see the tipple of Grove's Quarry, which
supplied ganister rock to the fire brick refractories in Mt. Union.
Beers & Green Woodworking shop proved to be a very steady customer
for the TRR. Primarily a pin mill, turning out any manner of pins,
spokes, and dowels, they also made barrel staves and other small wood
fittings as needed. The TRR would deliver raw timber on flat cars,
though the finished products would be carted from the shop across the
street to the Blacklog depot to be shipped out.
last photo is something of a rarity--a night shot at Neelyton. A photo
like this wasn't a casual railfan undertaking, so it's unclear why
(presumably) the railroad went through the trouble to set this up.
hope you've enjoyed this latest batch of historic photos of the TRR in
action. As always, if you come across others, we'd love to see them!