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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station


Date: 02/10/11 12:18
Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station
Author: birdman

I am seeking some historical information regarding the terminus of the Quakertown and Eastern Railroad at Riegelsville, PA. I have searched the internet and spoken with members of the historical societies in the area. Here are the questions for which I still need answers. Can anyone out there be of assistance?

1. After passing through the rock cut (now partially filled in) south of Riegelsville near the current day intersection of Route 611 and Route 212, where and how far into Riegelsville did the railroad right-of-way go?
2. Where was the location of the railroad station in Riegelsville?
3. Does the station still exist? If not, when was it torn down? If so, what is the condition of the station today?

Any info. would be very much appreciated.



Date: 02/10/11 13:18
Re: Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station
Author: wlankenau

Here's a topo map from 1932 that should help. Apparently the line didn't go into town:

http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.asp?fname=estn32sw.jpg&state=PA

There appears to be a station-sized building along Rt. 212 just before the line swings north.

The branch is not shown on the 1890 topo. I was hoping the Doylestown-Easton trolley line would be shown on one of these, but no such luck.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/11 13:22 by wlankenau.



Date: 02/10/11 13:36
Re: Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station
Author: birdman

Very interesting. I didn't think to look up old topo maps. The building to which you refer was an old iron furnace. There is a vacant building sitting on that site today that may incorporate the remnants of the old furnace. It's a little hard to tell in its present state. It's rather surprising to me how little the townsfolk in and around Riegelsville seem to know about the railroad. It shut down operation in the late 1930s. Of course, Riegelsville is a rather small town and somewhat isolated on the banks of the Delaware River. Based upon the map to which you have so helpfully guided me, I believe that the location where the end of track is shown is now the site of a bank with a rather large property around it. I always suspected that it may have once been the site of the station and there is room for a modest amount of yard trackage there.



Date: 02/10/11 13:40
Re: Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station
Author: birdman

I forgot to add in my previous response that the right-of-way of the Doylestown-Easton trolley line is quite visible today in places along route 611. In particlular, it is easily seen along the stretch of Route 611 from Riegelsville north to Easton. In that stretch of Route 611, the line can be seen right next to the highway. In some places a retaining wall was built between the highway and the trolley line situated above but right next to the road. Of course, this is most easily observed in the winter. The location shown on the topo map as Rattlesnake Hill was once the site of a serious derailment of the trolley. The trolley left the tracks on the curve there when it struck some rocks that had fallen onto the tracks. The first third of the trolley projected out into space about 10-15 feet above route 611. Workers were brought in and built cribbing under the car and the car was jacked up, pulled backward, and re-railed. Fortunately, injuries were minimal but it could have been a disaster had the car plummeted down onto the highway below.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/11 13:50 by birdman.



Date: 02/10/11 14:27
Re: Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station
Author: wlankenau

Yes, I always trace the trolley right of way when I drive 611. The carbarn still exists next to 611, in Raubsville, I think. The part of the trolley line that eludes me is the part from Kintnersville up the hill to Revere and Harrow. "Old Easton Road" in that area looks too narrow to have accommodated the trolley tracks, which ran on the shoulder of 611, I believe, from Harrow down to Doylestown. I suppose I should buy the book from the folks in Easton.



Date: 02/10/11 15:50
Re: Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station
Author: birdman

The book "Trolleys of Bucks County, Pennsylvania" by Foesig, Gummere, and Cox has a map detailing the route. It shows the trolley running on the river side of the road through Riegelsville, crossing over to the west side of the road just above Kintnersville. It then shows the right-of-way as being side of the road (west side) or nearly side of the road all the way to Revere where it crossed to the east side of the road. At Harrow, it crossed back to the west side where it stayed almost to Pipersville. Just above Pipersville it crossed to the east side to Plumsteadville. At Plumsteadville, it crossed to the west side and stayed there until running down the center of the road as it approached Doylestown. It appears that the entire route was right next to the road or very close to it all the way from Kintnersville to the approach into Doylestown. I suspect that for much of that route the right of way is now under the shoulder and/or paved lanes of Route 611. The derailment at Rattlesnake Hill took place in 1909. The carbarn was in Raubville and there was also a carbarn in Plumsteadville.



Date: 02/10/11 16:24
Re: Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station
Author: birdman

In an amazing coincidence, I just received a phone call from a friend informing me that the regular monthly meeting of the Anthracite Chapter of the NRHS will be held tomorrow night and the program will feature a presentation on the Quakertown and Eastern Railroad. The meeting will be held in the restored Quakertown, PA train station at 7:30 P.M. My friend assures me that the gentleman presenting the program is extremely well-informed and will be able to supply some answers to the things about which I have been curious for some time.



Date: 02/10/11 18:25
Re: Seeking Info. re Reigelsville, PA Railroad Station
Author: wlankenau

Thanks for the info on the trolley route. I guess Easton Road was a lot narrower back then than it is now. I'll have to keep your comments in mind next time I'm up there, and should get that book. Enjoy the program in Quakertown tomorrow!



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