Popular Posts

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

About the header photo.

The photo you see in the heading is the end of the double loop grade along the west slope of the Chestnut Ridge.

Here in this photo a set of broken curved arrows represent the end of the railroad descent down the Chestnut Ridge. You can see the Pennsylvania Turnpike coming out of the cut just to the right, east of the 84.6 mile post to join back up with the South Pennsylvania Railroad right of way. The last landmark that brought me to this site is hidden down below the present house seen in this view. I believe the original house was to be destroyed so the land was bought and the money was re invested into location and a new two story house you see here was built. The old house (seen in the next photo) still stands because the railroad never got built here and is little more then a very small log cabin pretty much not worth saving. Notice how the railroad was going to utilize the natural curve of the mountainside to curve from north (right north) to west (ahead in the center right of this view). This was one of those last landmark site that has been eluding me for some time.

 Notice how we are almost aligned with the Pennsylvania Turnpike at this point along the west slope. The turnpike is seen along the right side of the photo. The railroad is about to curve to join with the turnpike alignment.

Below: This is how the South Penn grade was suppose to descend down the Chestnut Ridge west of Donegal in Westmoreland County.  The area in which I am showing in the header photo is seen on this map at the center left to the top left side of the double loops. The upper loop is on this map at the top right and the lower loop is at the bottom left corner.


  1. The Pennsylvania Turnpike has been a great help just by issuing a permit that allows me to gather photos on their property. Not much of the grade is on the turnpike proper but non the less some is still used by them.

    I must warn you that walking on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is dangerous and illegal. The last I checked with a Pennsylvania State Police officer that I know he revealed to me that if found doing so would cost you upwards from $375.00 and up. That was ten years ago.

  2. I am presently looking for another elusive site that I once found some years back but upon my return recently was unable to get a picture of the object I had seen. On Peter Barton's property in Breezewood/Rays Hill Post Office I had accidentally found a pipe sticking out of the side of the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike and not until a few years later did I find a letter about this pipe that the Railroad contractors had put it there to protect the Barton's water supply. It was written in the contract that it was to be placed before the grade to cover the water supply.

  3. Qmong
    Russ....This must be a practice that was {is}, done in such construction of highways / railroads, etc...

    Next to my home {property}, in Pennsylvania, our neighbor's Spring that supplied the water to their home was covered by a large fill for the relocation of route 30 back in 1937-8. They provided cover for the Spring, and it then was covered by a large ground cover {fill}, for the new location of that highway.

    Proper piping and protection was done to assure water suppy for that property forward.

  4. Yeah that is what was happening here. I like this as it seems to make the pictures show up better. Your the first follower. Congrats

  5. ....I'm not sure I really know what I'm doing with Blogging....I'll have to watch and learn.

  6. Just keep writing. It is showing up. I need to learn how to up load pictures to the blog as in this comment section

  7. qmong

    Ok....I'll try to monitor and watch to where I
    might comment.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Russ,
    I am new to blogging, and obviously not as fast as Qmong. But, I hope you keep this going. I am fascinated by the map. It seams to provide much more detail on proposed cuts and fills than what I have previously seen for the horseshoe at the Chestnut Ridge approach.

  10. I am still working on this as I was hopping to be able to up load photos with each comment. I am having problems but glad to have posted that map. It turned out much better then expected. The turnpike is cutting the north loop from th south loop today.

  11. Hey everyone! I was out at the Chestnut Ridge curves yesterday to get replacement shots so I could use them in my book about the South Penn in Westmoreland County. Was in Laurelville.