Today was a perfect weather day for getting on a bike, riding along the river and seeing some amazing railroad artifacts. The original Allegheny Valley Railroad (unrelated to the one operating today) was a very early railroad in this region. Originally it was incorporated as the Pittsburgh, Kittanning, and Warren Railroad on April 4, 1837. The name of the railroad was changed to the Allegheny Valley Railroad on February 12, 1852. The road was completed to Kittanning on January 23, 1856 after which the railroad ran out of capital. Things were stagnant until the oil boom in the northern counties kickstarted the railroad back to life. The road began construction from Kittanning north in 1863 and eventually made it the whole way to Oil City by 1867.
In 1900 the Pennsylvania Railroad leased the Allegheny Valley Railroad. After this the railway is listed as a Pennsylvania Railroad branch until the Pennsylvania's collapse. After that Conrail ran the railroad until 1984 when it was abandoned.
The Pennsylvania did a lot of improvements on the railroad starting around 1913. Several tunnels were constructed which shortened the length of the road and eliminated sharp curves. A couple years ago I did a post on a section of the railroad north of Emlenton. That can be seen here along with some more history of this railroad.
There are a lot of really cool things along this 15 mile section from Templeton to East Brady.
Coming out of Templeton. This is looking over at the now abandoned Pittsburgh & Shawmut Railroad bridge. This bridge was abandoned after the Reesedale Power Plant closed in 2012. The power plant was the railroad's only customer. East of here are some really nice tunnels. We explored a few of them last summer and they can be seen here.
This culvert would date back to the 1863 northern expansion of the railroad.
Today it is a very serene location with a really nice waterfall. There are some old stone walls remaining but the area is heavily posted.
Looking up around a bend in the river a little bit north of Gray's Eddy is the first railroad treasure. The Redbank Coaling Station.
To the right is the old Pennsylvania Railroad Low Grade Division. It is now the Redbank Valley Trail which goes through New Bethlehem and up to Brookville.
This is a small "tunnel" section behind the tower. I'm assuming this is where the coal was unloaded from the trains.
There is a long stone wall behind the coaling tower.
Some of the upper windows at the top of the coaling tower. There is no way into this thing though.
Underneath the coaling station. Obviously the steel hoppers are gone.
I think the odd hole at the upper left of the photo might have been the way into the tower. I'm picturing steps.
The 1915 keystone.
The bottom of the flume.
A look inside the flooded tunnel.
This is the endless stream of water flowing down the side of the tunnel portal from the broken flume.
Another view inside the southern portal.
Another view of the water rolling down the side of the hill and the supports for the flume.
This is the bottom of the flume. I don't know if the water was saved. Could there have been a water tower here at one time?
Some of the huge gears required to turn a 400,000 pound locomotive.
Side of the turntable.
Some of the curved track and a wheel that drove the turntable.
Looking across the top of the turntable.
Looking down at one of the drive wheels.
Looking down at the curved track. The cut stone walls surrounding the turntable are about four feet high.
One of the wheels.
A final shot of the turntable.