Saturday, February 22, 2014

Greensburg From A Mountain Top

I was looking for the remains of the old Radebaugh Pennsylvania Railroad tunnel and perhaps something from the old mine up there. What I found was probably the greatest view of Greensburg. I did find some possible evidence of the railroad tunnel but I think I'm taking that back to the drawing board.

Nice view of a train coming into town.

Courthouse and downtown. Seton Hill soccer field on the left.

I guess it was just the day that made this cool. This wouldn't be so great on a rainy day.

Seton Hill.

This old piece of an Amoco truck was just laying in the middle of the woods.

 These are some old photos of the Radebaugh Tunnel I was looking for. It was built in 1852 and I know it's gone but I was hoping to find some remains.

West portal of the Radebaugh Tunnel.

East portal of the Radebaugh tunnel.

Radebaugh Tunnel photos taken from the book "Triumph I- Altoona to Pitcairn 1846-1996" 1997 by Charles S. Roberts.

Valley Coke Works and Tip Top Coke Works

The Valley Coke Works are located south of Everson off of the railroad. All the fronts are missing but some of the remaining ovens are in relatively decent condition considering their age. The coke works were built in 1869 by the Wilson, Boyle and Playford Company and eventually contained 250 ovens. The H.C. Frick Company leased the plant in 1877, which was idle at the time and contained 102 ovens. He re-fired the ovens and took over operations until finally purchasing the coke works on Feb. 28, 1882 and operating it until it was abandoned in 1918.

There are two banks of ovens and they sit parallel to each other.

I couldn't count them but I wouldn't be surprised if all 250 ovens remain. There were a lot of ovens!

None of the fronts remain. Only the back halves.

This one was interesting. Notice the hole on the left that goes into the other oven. In the back, where the rag is, were the remains of a huge old hornets nest.

It was hard to get a picture. Could it be a beehive in a beehive oven?

This is the other bank that sits behind the other one.

 The Tip-Top Coke Works, sitting further down the railroad, are in incredibly bad shape. They are very easy to miss and only a handful are even identifiable as coke ovens.

The Tip-Top Mine and Coke Works began operations in 1878 by the Charles Armstrong Company. They were purchased by the H.C. Frick Company in 1879. Circa 1908 they contained 121 ovens. I'm not sure how long they remained operational but circa 1917 they were purchased by the Tyrone Coal Company of Connellsville.

Bad shape.

I think a lot of it has to do with the steep hillside behind them. It looks like a lot of erosion probably just buried them.

The coke oven track sitting above the current SWPA Railroad.

This is the area. The ovens circled in red are The Valley Coke Works. The area circled in black are the Tip-Top Coke Works and the area circled in blue are the Clinton Coke Works. I did a post over the summer of the Clinton Coke Works and that can be found here.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Return To Salina Railroad Tunnel

Today turned out to be the perfect day to return to the Salina Tunnel. All the fog I had to deal with the first time I went out was gone, and all the water in the flooded section was frozen solid. There was no problem getting the whole way through the tunnel. A hard hat is absolutely necessary because some of the brick section is starting to fall. Not a lot, just some debris, but if it fell on your head you'd know it. 

I'm not going to get a lot into the history of the tunnel in this post. For a more in depth history see my previous post here:

Or you can click to the right under "Popular Posts".

These are a couple of the manholes where you would jump into if a train was coming.

I would imagine in the age of steam engines, this would be a pretty awful place to hide. The tunnel would be full of smoke.

The flooded section completely frozen solid.

Another manhole. These were placed every 200 yards on alternating sides of the tunnel. The section of the tunnel that is just solid rock has them cut right into the rock.

Huge icicle.

Right past the furthest icicle is where the tunnel turns into solid rock. My co-conspirator Libby messing with her camera.

Looking into the frozen western portal.

Brick ceiling and the reason you need a hardhat.



This is the end of the masonry part of the tunnel. After this it is all solid rock until you reach the eastern portal.

Solid rock roof. There's a couple sections where pieces of this have fallen as well.

An old rail.