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Eastern Railroad Discussion > NS. Devalt Line ???


Date: 11/15/07 14:34
NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: Schuylkill_Valley

Hi all, I saw today down in Oaks that NS has clear cut trees back along the old PRR Schuylkill Valley line, Does any one know what there up too?

Len.



Date: 11/15/07 15:40
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: Gonut1

Len,

NS was appropriated a sum of money from Pennsylvania to build a siding into the "sand reclamation" company that is back the dirt road (private) along the track at Longford Road. A few months ago the track from Longford to the river bridge in Oaks was full of stored NS covered hoppers. They were removed just prior to the brush cutting. For the record the "Phoenixville Industrial Track" as CR named it is cut and bent to form a derail near the old Phoenixville Army hospital. There are no active customers anywhere on the line. At least until the sand siding opens.

Gonut



Date: 11/15/07 15:46
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: Schuylkill_Valley

The tress are clear cut all the way past Canal Street crossing. i saw a NS truck sitting at the crossing ,but I didn't stop because I had my Mother with me. I had just took her to the doctors and we were coming home.

Len.



Date: 11/15/07 19:45
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: Kemacprr

I noticed that the brush had been cut back at the PotHouse road crossing recently. It only has been cut about 150' from the crossing. ------ Ken McCorry



Date: 11/15/07 21:45
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: RRmemories

My grandpop read this and would like to know where this rail line crosses Route 23 near (or in) Phonenixville. He says that there was a trestle over pass and there was also another line across the road of which Valley Forge Scenic was once a part of to Kimberton years ago all before my time. He recalls a high trestle along Route 29. From an industry near there. he says a vandal once left molasses drain out near Phonenix Steel. He tells me the Schuylkill Valley Branch went through a tunnel somewhere near Cromby which later got all it's coal from the Reading Company side (NS now). I know this is bits and pieces but he'll appreciate anything that jogs his memory. Aaron '07



Date: 11/15/07 23:19
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: Kemacprr

Aaron your Grand Pop has a pretty good memory. The DeVault line does cross over Rt 23 on a thru girder bridge at the west end of Phoenixville just east where rt 113 meets rt 23. The Valley Forge Scenic ran on the ex RDG Pickering Valley branch which went underneath the PRR DeVault line just north of the rt 23 bridge. The ex RDG line used to run to Byers Pa which is about 2 miles from where I now live in Eagle. My understanding is that the line was abandoned from Byers to Kimberton back in 1948. The line from Kimberton to Phoenixville was abandoned by CR in the 80's . The DeVault line is intact to Devault and does cross over rt29 on a nice curved steel trestle. The molasses your grand pop spoke of was actually corn syrup which was spilled by the old Phoenix Steel plant.It was in the spring/summer and the clean up crew had a major problem with bees attracted to the corn syrup. These cars were stored for the American Sweetener plant which was located in DeVault and which was the main reason for the branches existence in later years.After the spill Sweetner built a storage track in DeVault so they would not have the vandalism problems in Phoenixville. They went bankrupt a number of years ago and the plant was taken over by Minnesota Corn products who only ran the plant for a year or two then shut it down. Right now there are no active customers on the most of the branch.I keep hoping that NS will come up with some customers to keep the rails in place. ---------------- Ken McCorry



Date: 11/16/07 05:28
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: Gonut1

ADM bought the sweetener trans-loading facility. They then transferred the traffic to Morrisville where they have another facility. Most of the liquid sweeteners go to soft drink bottlers.

Gonut



Date: 11/16/07 07:56
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: RRmemories

My grandpop said thank you! His hands shake so he gets me to type for him but he reads everything. He was wondering if there was another track rail line that accessed Devault to a quarry from the south?

He's so glad the line over the high trestle is still there along Rt 29. (so am I). Is the Phoenixville station still there? He says there was a branch track behind it that crossed Bridge Street into the steel plant. Is that the line to Devault over the high bridge?

He has a b/w photo of one of the FP-7A's on the ground near the Blackrock tunnel on the Reading main but can't seem to recall where it put it.

Aaron '07



Date: 11/16/07 09:14
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: Schuylkill_Valley

Hello Aaron,
I'm a local historian for the area you speak of. For the past 10 years I've been working a book, about the Pennsylvania Schuylkill Valley Line and it's connection with the Phoenixville & west Chester branch.

Starting with the PRR Schuylkill Valley Branch, The railroad enter Phoenixville on an high cement two track bridge over the Schuylkill River then crossed the Reading tracks at the North side of Phoenixville ( Tunnel Hill ) as the locals called it back in the 1940's. The PRR then cross over Main Street on a two track bridge. Going on a long straight away ducting under the Gay Street bridge, This is where the PRR Phoenixville Station once stood, It was burn down by Vandals in 1984. The strange thing was that the station was built in 1884, So it stood there for 100 years. Now going west on the PRR it duct under a walking bridge over pass which still stands, Then here is where the West Chester branch starts ( Devalt line) at this point is where the PRR had an Wye track.To this day if you walk in from the over pass over Rt 23 you still can see the double bridges over the Reading's Pickering Creek branch. This was the start of the Wye from south side of Phoenixville, on the North side there's only a piler that stands in French Creek where the other leg of the Wye once crossed.

Now you speak of the Fairview tunnel which was the PRR's tunnel through Tunnel Hill. The reason it's call Fairview is cause the village on top was known as fairview, which is now all part of Croby.
This tunnel was two tracks wide back in 1884, but was cut back to one track in later years.

Now going back to the West Chester branch the tracks crossed over the steel company on a long steel trestle, this is only one track wide, for most of the line is only one track. Then it crosses over Rt. 23 at the Car wash, then there's two more small crossing before it comes to where the PRR had a spur track that went over the the cement works/ tunerville Quarry. The track crossed over Rt. 113. Now getting back on track , no pond intend. The next crossing is township and Potthouse roads. Now here at the Potthous Rd. there was a small rail yard and with a small passenger/freight station, this station still stands it's part of the the building standing on that land now. OK now the tracks take a huge curve to the right a go behind the Tech School and then cross Buckwalter Rd. then curve to the left then go straight cross over on a wooden / steel bridge over a privet lane, then it goses over the Pickring Creek Trestle which was built in 1884, after leaving the bridge the tracks curve to the right and follows the hill side to Unionville and then Devalt where it crosses on a crossing at New Rt. 29. The PRR then went to Frazer on the main line where the passengers would switch trains and go to West Chester.

Now you asked about the connection with the quarries at Devlt, The Prr had a spur that went off the line at Unionville went down through the valley crossed over Rt. 202 and then connected with the Reading's Chester Valley's branch.

You also asked about the tracks crossing Rt 29 at the station of the Reading. The tracks were removed in 1988.

Hope that helps.
Len.

1. photo Fairview tuunel as it looked in 1884
2. this is what the Phoenixville station looked like.






Date: 11/16/07 13:37
Re: NS. Devalt Line ???
Author: Kemacprr

Aaron the PRR had a branch that came off the Trenton Cutoff at Frazer just west of where rt 401 meets rt 30. The track ran thru where the McDonalds is now. This line crossed over rt 401 in fact one abutment is still in place. It also crossed over the RDG's Chester Vally branch before ending at The Knickerbocker Quarry. This line was pulled up during WW 2. The Knickerbocker quarry was also served by the RDG Chester Valley branch.If you travel today on rt 202 you actually go thru the middle of the old quarry between rt 29 and rt 401 exits.
There was a branch that came off the PRR at DeVault . It crossed over rt 29 again and entered the Warner Cement quarry. This quarry was also served by a spur off the RDG Chester Valley branch at Cedar Hollow. It was called the Cedar Hollow spur. Both the PRR and the RDG branches connected in the Warner property. It shipped mainly cement in covered hoppers. Now back to teh DeVault line. It continued past where it ends today. It crossed over Swedesford road just east of Great Valley High school. It then crossed rt 401 at grade and swung south. It crossed over the Chester Valley Branch at Bacton hill. It served the Foote Mineral plant in Exton then crossed over rt 30 ( Lincoln Highway )on a thru girder bridge. It curved east then connected with the PRR Main line at Frazer. The section from Foote Mineral to DeVault was picked up some time in the 50's. The section from the Main line at Frazer to Foote mineral was picked up in the late 70's. I have lived in the area all my life and it's amazing what we have lost in branch lines and rr traffic in this area.
---------- Ken McCorry



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