Railroads of the First and Second Anthracite Coal Fields of Pennsylvania




The following was scanned from the pages of the Bulletin of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, Volumes 105 through 110, published in the early 1960Ős. These articles are the most thorough record of the early anthracite roads known to this collector (J. McVey, Nov. 2005)


There are few, if any, parts of the country which have been the scene of more railroads, or have witnessed their growth from the earliest days, than the First and Second Pennsylvania anthracite coal fields centering chiefly in Schuylkill, Carbon and Northumberland Counties In the following articles, the author has assembled the records of the founding and development of these early roads, most of which ultimately became components of larger railroad systems that exist today, although many of these components have long since been abandoned because of the depletion of the coal fields in the areas they primarily served.


The author has arranged the lines into nine groups, those in each group bearing some association with each other, and will treat them in the following sequence.


1. The Railroads of the First Coal Field centering at Pine Grove, viz., the Union, Swatara, Lorberry Creek, Dauphin & Susquehanna, Schuylkill & Susquehanna, Allentown Railroad, and the railroads of Dauphin County.


2. Influence of the Schuylkill Navigation Canal; the arrival of the Philadelphia & Reading Company; the Mt. Carbon & Port Carbon.


3. Schuylkill County activity, 1827-28; the Mill Creek and Schuylkill Valley Railroads.


4. Mine Hill & Schuylkill Haven R. R. in the First and Second Fields.


5. The Mount Carbon; Danville & Pottsville-Philadelphia & Sunbury; Shamokin Valley & Pottsville Railroads.


6. Little Schuylkill Navigation Railroad & Coal Company; East Mahanoy; Little Schuylkill & Susquehanna-Catawissa, Williamsport & Erie-Catawissa; Tamaqua, Hazleton & Northern; and the Delaware, Susquehanna & Schuylkill Railroads.


7. Mahony & Shamokin Railroad.


8. Railroads in the Lehigh Valley & Pennsylvania R. R. groups, viz. Beaver Meadow; Hazleton; Sugar Loaf; Buck Mountain; Lehigh Luzerne; Quakake-Lehigh & Mahanoy; Sunbury, Hazleton & Wilkes Barre; and Nescopec Railroad.


9. Railroads of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, viz., Mauch Chunk; Nesquehoning; Lehigh & Susquehanna; Tresekow; Lehigh & New England.


This article will appear in several installments. The first covers the railroads of Group 1, inclusive. Others will appear in subsequent issues of the Bulletin.


Bibliography, Elevations


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