Re: Steam era freight yards, take II

Jim Wolf

P'burg is correct from my track chart from 1963. It shows about the same number of yard tracks (about 12) in the foreground, and it appears that the "bowl" or class yard is behind the photographer.

Jim Wolf
Belen, NM

--- In STMFC@..., "Dave Evans" <devans1@...> wrote:

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@> wrote:


That was my first thought too, but the terrain seems wrong for L&NE
or LV. The lack of any tall surrounding hills plus the river, gives
me the impression of somewhere along the Susquehanna, or the Delaware
south of the Water Gap -- way south -- but I couln't think of any
yards just like this along the Delaware. Actually my very first idea
was Wilkes-Barre PA where the valley of the Susquehanna opens out.

I hope someone can identify the location!

Tim O'Connor

I doubt that any of these tracks belong to the PRR (although I could
be wrong). If the location is NJ, then it must be somewhere in the
north/west parts of Joisey, due to the hills. Location could also be
in northeast PA.

The 2 offset 2-bay hoppers in the nearest string of cars - Lehigh and
New England?

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

You were getting warm. This is the PRR's Phillipsburg, NJ yard on the Bel-Del. The yard is on the east shore of the Delaware River, although at this location the river bank along the tracks is facing due south. The Bel-Del mainline is at the far right, intermixed with the loaded yard tracks. This was the PRR's interchange point with the Lehigh Valley (over the photographers left shoulder - I think all visible track is PRR). I am not near my books, but according to a PA railfan web site, there was a hump yard here, and the hump would be just over and behind the photographers left shoulder, with a tower just behind the photographer on the same side of the tracks. The empty yard tracks to the left center would be the bowl. Further over the photographers shoulder would be a PRR roundhouse, a smaller yard, and then the interchange with the LV.

Pictures from Penn Pilot pretty much confirm the geometry, although the 1939 Penn Pilot does not suggest quite as many yard tracks, while the 50's Penn Pilot photo shows quite a bit. Was this one of the PRR's WWII expansion projects? Locally the terrain is pretty much a flat plateau about 100-150 feet above river level, and this matches the view one gets in Google Earth.

The main line itself still exists, and based on Google Earth, the bridge across the creek in the distance looks to be unchanged. The yard and engine facilities look to be long gone.

I would love to get a hi-res image of this for, dare I say, a WWII fleet balance count... ;-)

Dave Evans

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