Pokey operations

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Apr 18 17:06:40 EDT 2022


I can't answer your questions, but I can interject one of my own.  The 
origin of the name Switchback has intrigued me.  The photos of the 
rather massive power plant on the hill above the mainline has made me 
wonder if there could have been a switchback track spur up to the power 
plant to deliver the massive machinery and building materials needed for 
construction of the power plant in an era when the railroad would have 
been the principal carrier of such items.  Also, how about coal 
deliveries by rail after the power plant was placed in operation, or did 
the plant's location give it direct access to a coal seam at that elevation?

Gordon Hamilton

On 4/18/2022 9:35 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:
> Does anybody have any insight into operations at Switchback prior to 
> the late '40s realignment?  Coal loads would have to be rounded up 
> from the Angle branch, Shamokin and Elkhorn and then brought up to the 
> main West of the power house.  But how was the traffic controlled?  I 
> haven't seen any photos showing signals to stop either mainline or 
> mine movements.  How did they insure the main was clear when they came 
> up?  Also, if they "pulled" up from the bottom, the movement would be 
> pointed West.  Where did they go for assembly?  Did everything go West 
> to Byrd at North Fork or even on to Ecklmann?  Any and all thoughts 
> will be appreciated.  Not to name names, but I'm hoping Mr. Grant 
> might chime in on this one and perhaps Professor Schust.
> Thanks,
> Jim Cochran
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