LEHIGH & SUSQUEHANNA DIVISION
GARDNERS SWITCH TO LEE MINE
BRANCH MP 0.00 TO MP 17.00
JUNCTION - PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD (NANTICOKE)
JUNCTION - LEHIGH VALLEY RAILROAD (SUGAR NOTCH)

Map of Nanticoke Branch

BRANCH MP 6.51 Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Corporation's (successor to the old Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co.) Sugar Notch No. 9 became redundant when acquired by the Glen Alden Coal Company during the early 1930s. Their nearby Warrior Run, PA, Truesdale Breaker was newer and better equipped to process coal. The old Sugar Notch No. 9 breaker in Sugar Notch, PA,  was abandoned. - postcard view from F. M. Kirby & Co. - Circa 1910

BRANCH MP 6.89 At Sugar Notch the CNJ Nanticoke Branch crossed the LV on diamonds. Movement through the interlocking was governed by Sugar Notch Tower (LV). - circa 1930 - authors' collection, photographer unknown

The CNJ's line northward to the PRR interchange at Nanticoke diverted from the Nanticoke Branch east of Alden, PA. In this scene of an eastbound PRR freight about to cross over its track to the DL&W (on the opposite bank of the  Susquehanna River), the connection from the CNJ is out of view near the end of the train. northwest view, December 11, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs

BRANCH MP 12.29 - Wanamie Breaker in Wanamie, PA, was originally a CNJ Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Co. owned and operated colliery. The Glen Alden Coal Co. acquired it early in the 1930s along with all of the assets of the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Corporation. The breaker was east of town on the south side of the branch.  Preparation equipment included Wilmot Jigs, Hydro-Separator, and Hydrotator. During 1946 the Wanamie colliery employed 1,208 and had a daily capacity of 3,500 tons. It was served by a 3-foot gauge mining railroad that delivered coal from various slopes, drifts, and tunnels located in east and west Wanamie. - northeast view, Circa 1950 - Glen Alden Coal Company/Raymond E. Holland Collection

Map of Wanamie Breaker

   

BRANCH MP 12.73 - Left -  The CNJ Wanamie Station was west of the breaker on the same side of the tracks. The narrow gauge Wanamie Mine Railroad ran behind the station. In this scene banks of culm rise in the background. - northeast view, April 16,1966 - Charles Houser  Left & Right Center - There were two mine openings operating throughout the 1960s at Wanamie. After Wanamie No. 18 Breaker closed in the late 1950s, the CNJ delivered Glen Alden Coal Co.'s mine run to the Huber Breaker in Ashley. These two views show the rear of the depot and the Center Street grade crossing. - April 14, 1967 - A. W. Kovacs  Right - In this scene the CNJ Ashley Turner is waiting at the station for train orders. The radio active medallions on either side of the caboose end door have, hopefully, been affixed by a trainman with a whimsical sense of humor. The Nanticoke Branch had never been signaled and operated by Form 19 over its entire 17 miles. - eastward view, Circa 1966 - Roger Cook.


The Wanamie Railroad:

   

Left - Wanamie No. 4 blasts across Center Street grade crossing on its way eastward from the west end diggings with a train of loaded, wooden, coal jimmies in tow. For all the fury of smoke, steam, and thunder - No. 4 is probably rolling at 5 or 6 miles per hour! - westward view, Circa 1966 - Roger Cook  Center - A few minutes later No. 8 rolled over the crossing in the opposite direction with a train of empties. The crossing sign is rather unique and certainly most decorative. The Wanamie Railroad crossing flagman had the responsibility of protecting his single mine track, as well as the two tracks of the CNJ (foreground). The train has just passed by the CNJ depot (out of view to left) and will converge on the tracks of the Nanticoke Branch. - southwest view, Circa 1966 - Roger Cook  Right - The narrow gauge line paralleled the Nanticoke Branch almost its entire distance (about 1-mile) to the diggings west of town. - westward view, Circa 1966 - Roger Cook

 

Wanamie No. 19 Slope and Strippings - West End Wanamie:

     

Left - Wanamie No. 8 steams eastward through the strippings area past a gargantuan Bucyrus-Monioham drag line crane. - northwest view, Circa 1966 - Roger Cook  Left Center  - Strip mining was less costly and safer than shaft mining but it created moonscapes out of the landscape. Although not visibly apparent in this view, the CNJ Nanticoke Branch is in the background running below the buildings. - northwest view, Circa 1966 - Roger Cook  Right Center - No. 4 emerges with a string of loaded jimmies from the hollow descending to the No. 19 Slope opening. - April 15, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs   Right - No. 19 Slope was a shaft sunk into the mountain at an angle. - April 15, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs

Wanamie No. 18 Slope - East End Wanamie:

       

Mine run coal from the west end diggings was delivered to the site of the old Wanamie Breaker at  the east end of town for loading into standard gauge hopper cars. Several of the original colliery service and office buildings remained in use on the property. - April 15, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs

     

The Wanamie Railroad retained the quaintness of antiquity that the march of progress somehow overlooked. In these scenes shoring timbers are being loaded onto ancient, 4-wheel, coal jimmies and bunker flats by an equally ancient railroad crane. In the view at the right, No. 4, stops for a drink - and by the proximity of that nearby fire hydrant it's city water - on the way to the west end with a load of shoring timbers.

   

Left - No. 8 is busy shunting cars around a storage yard full of mining equipment and supplies. In the background looms a huge pile of culm, the waste byproduct of the coal processing operation, left over from the days when Wanamie Breaker was still operating. Culm piles or banks, as they are also called, contain sufficient coal to make it worthwhile for contemporary operators to reclaim. The term breaker, which is often incorrectly used synonymously  for colliery, came from the separate operation of crushing or breaking mine run coal into smaller bits. The towering structures where this crushing occurred were properly called breakers. All of the operations, equipment, and buildings associated with the processing of coal were collectively know as a colliery. Center - A cut of three coal jimmies are spotted to descend into the opening of No. 18 Slope. The two covered jimmies at the left are powder cars. Right - Each jimmy could carry about 4-tons of coal. It was transferred to standard gauge hopper cars by this loader. - Circa 1966, Clarence T. Thorp photographs - Wayne Sittner Collection

   

During the 1960s the Wanamie Railroad operated three, 36" gauge, Vulcan, steam locomotives of saddle-tank, 0-4-0 wheel configuration. They were Nos. 4 (left), 8 (center), and 9 (right). It appears that No. 4 is about to lose its smoke-box number plate and No. 9 has already lost its cab number, having had its metal cab side replaced with plywood. The Wanamie Railroad had the distinction of being the last steam mining railroad in the anthracite region. - April 15, 1966 - A. W. Kovacs


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