This section of the Turtle Creek branch was built between 1915 and 1917. This line supported the expansion of the coal fields through the two patch towns of Ringertown and Dunningtown, crossed under Rt. 66 through a now gone tunnel, traveled north of Delmont and branched off to support the mines at Trees Mills. The main line continued over a land dam through Beaver Run, serviced the Edwards Mines and continued onto the mines at Slickville. Eventually this section continued to Saltsburg, servicing numerous mines, before joining the West Penn Railroad.
This rail line also offered passenger service to the rural coal towns located along it's path. In 1936, due to lack of business, the passenger service was discontinued. At it's height, five passenger trains ran the line daily and on Saturdays passenger service was offered to Pittsburgh. The Saturday Pittsburgh trips became so popular that an average of 1,000 tickets were sold each weekend.
In 1972, The Pennsylvania Railroad filed for abandonment on the entire line east of Export.
Today the Westmoreland Heritage Trail runs from the point north of Delmont, at Athena Drive to Saltsburg. Eventually, the plan is to develop the entire line into a rail-trail linking Saltsburg with Trafford.
In July I walked/biked the section between Trafford and Murrysville. Photos are available on this blog in the July 2013 index.
|This is the bridge between Ringertown and Dunningtown over Morosini Farm Court.|
|Pennsylvania Railroad stamps on this railing support on the bridge.|
|Leaving Dunningtown headed back towards the Delmont Gas No. 2 Mine. There are two posts about this mine in the January, 2013 index of this blog.|
|This is the last intact window frame in the house. The back of it shows signs of fire damage. It could have been a fire that led to the houses abandonment.|
|One of the four remaining corners of the house.|
|The old chimney.|
|Looking out the window toward the abandoned rail line. Notice the burnt wood of the window frame.|
|The wood that wasn't burned suffered from severe termite damage.|
|Singed bricks and stone of the chimney.|
|A view from the northwestern corner of the house. Notice the rail grade in the background.|
|The eastern wall of the house.|
|It's amazing how tight the corners of the stone are still to this day.|
|This is a spring adjoining the house.|
|Some of the wood from the second floor beams remains.|
|This is the top of the window frame.|
|After leaving the old King house you come across this old stone wall. Possible barn foundation.|
|The rail line gets a little rough after this. There's still plenty of old railroad ties.|
|It got hard to follow at times. The slight cut and occasional railroad tie kept me going in the right direction.|
|This is the branch that went to the Trees Mills mines. There was also a passenger station located on the other side of Beaver Run near Trees Mills Road.|
|The old Trees Mills branch grade.|
|This seems like an old sealed mine before the bridge crossing Beaver Run. According to old maps there was a mine in this area but it isn't named on the maps.|
|The old bridge footers in Beaver Run.|
|This is where the bridge would have passed over Beaver Run.|
|These are a couple pictures inside the sealed up mine.|
|Geese swimming in Beaver Run.|
|This is looking off the bridge after Beaver Run at the old Bailey Road. This section is now on water company property and is no longer a public road. There is a portion of the road still open off of Athena Drive.|
|Old tipple bases of the old Edwards No. 3 Mine. The signs around here are pretty straight forward about trespassing on water company property so I couldn't explore above it.|
|Coming in to Slickville you come across the old company store.|
|You know you're in Slickville when.... Hollywood style sign on the slate dump.|
This is the area covered from the 1941 county map. The yellow is the main line of the Turtle Creek branch. The red is the approximate location of the Trees Mills spur and the blue is the Lauffer Mine spur.
This is the N. King house marked on the 1876 Salem Township map.