Railway Preservation News

White Deer Bridge
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Author:  PYZedd [ Fri May 10, 2013 9:45 am ]
Post subject:  White Deer Bridge

Does anyone on the Interchange know the current status of the White Deer RR bridge replacement project? Work on the tracks north of WD is in progress. Will the tracks reach the Great Stream Commons? I had heard SEDA-GOG was working on getting it done. Thanks! ..................John-PYZedd

Author:  JTKovach [ Fri May 10, 2013 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

I understand subcontractors will begin bridge work on or about May 15th.

Author:  G. W. Laepple [ Fri May 10, 2013 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

I was by the site last Thursday and saw lots of paint marks on the nearby roadways, as well as a team of surveyors shooting from the existing abutments. All that leads me to think work is about to begin.

Up at Allenwood, the track has been finished up to the property line of Great Stream Commons, but nothing has been done beyond that point.

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Fri May 10, 2013 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

For the many that are probably confused, this is a three-span deck girder bridge on the former Reading main line over White Deer Creek opposite Watsontown, Pa. on the line between West Milton and Williamsport, Pa. The bridge suffered from an undermined, collapsed pier in a flood in January 1996. The two bridge girders were removed and stacked atop the one remaining span at the time.

The station just north of the bridge, and 1.4 miles of track to the south, are owned by the Central Pa. Chapter NRHS (of which I am a member), which acquired the trackage around 1983 after abandonment by Conrail. The track south of this section is owned/operated by the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority; the track to the north, six miles to Allenwood, was privately purchased by West Shore RR head Dick Sanders in the 1980s. The Central Pa. Chapter operates a rail museum at the station, which includes several ex-camp-car PRR/NYC Pullmans and a variety of local freight cars and cabooses, as well as a GE 45-tonner from the Harrisburg area.

A Union Pacific-controlled company leased the Chapter trackage and bought the Sanders trackage around 1990 with the intention of installing an "industrial park" at Allenwood whose primary occupant was to be a hazardous waste incinerator. This aroused considerable "NIMBY" opposition, and was eventually "chased away." The lease remained in effect, however, giving the chapter some income up until the bridge collapse. (The real dilemma was faced by the Chapter president at the time, also the local fire chief and a professional fire/emergency management consultant--the railfan in him wanted the line leased for service; the emergency-management part of him wanted no part of the incinerator....)

The restoration of the bridge is part of a plan (that I confess I haven't been following closely enough) to restore rail service to Allenwood for freight of some sort. When the project was first announced and started, small trees had to be mowed off the right-of-way north of the station, and at least one washed-out culvert replaced. I seem to recall that some proposals for a rail-trail had been proposed for this trackage, and this would definitely be a case of the NRHS Chapter not only preserving rail history, but also rail service.

Brother Laepple can try to fill in my memory and remote presence; my recollections are mine only and not official Chapter views, policy or history.....

Author:  PYZedd [ Fri May 10, 2013 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

The word I heard was a supplier to the 'fracking' Gas drilling business wanted to build in the Great Stream Commons industrial park, but only if rail service could be provided. The GSC has been a White Elephant for way too many years... I'm sure investors want some return on their money! I understand there were so many restrictions on who or what could occupy the industrial park, that simply NO ONE would. It must have gotten UGLY! I don't know if that original customer still wants to move in to the park; with all the time that has passed, that opportunity has more than likely passed, too. I guess that 'Incinerator' deal really spooked a lot of people! I believe Target had been interested, too. (Before the economy tanked) John - PYZedd

Author:  PYZedd [ Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

I got to stop in last Sunday at the W.D. Station monthly open house. The work has started on the bridge replacement. The north abutment had the bad concrete chipped away and reinforcement wire attached, making it ready for concrete work. There was excavation going on opposite side of the creek. The girder bridge sections were gone. I heard they were trucked away for sandblasting and painting. A rumor I heard is that the bridge sections may be used at a different site and a whole new bridge may be built at W.D.!?!? ....... John - PYZedd

Author:  digger [ Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

Speaking of the White Deer area, What is going on with the fireless steam engine parked down near Lewisburg? Will it be moved to White Deer when the bridge is done?

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

What I know of the situation with that 1949 0-6-0F loco (which is all from firsthand conversation with the supposed principals, but if you play in this game long enough you learn that ownership is a vague concept at best), is that it was acquired from the former Pa. Power & Light power plant in Shamokin Dam, Pa. (below and across the river from Sunbury) when that plant changed hands in the late 1990s, by a local railfan (who is most assuredly a Central Pa. Chapter NRHS member). The loco had been on display on a siding adjacent to the plant's main gate for several years since its retirement in 1988. Since its acquisition, it has drifted back and forth from place to place in the area, at one point being stashed at "end of track" in Mifflinburg on the ex-PRR West Shore RR tourist line. It was removed to "Delta Place" north of Lewisburg when the West Shore was ripped up for a rail trail a few years ago; the very last non-speeder movement on the Lewisburg-Mifflinburg line was the removal of that locomotive to Delta Place just before the rails were ripped up. (There was a speeder "farewell" run as well.)

I suspect that the ultimate plan is to get it to the "line-up" at the White Deer station, but I have no guarantees or assurance in that regard.

That power plant had a "sister" Porter fireless 0-6-0F, which was sold in the early 1990s time frame to the steam agent of the Blue Mountain & Reading/Reading & Northern; at last report it languished in the RCT&HS "stash" at Leesport, Pa., actual ownership and ultimate destination still a mystery to me.

Author:  digger [ Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

Thank you for the update,
I used to be a member there, got busy with other things and let my membership slide.
I need to get "back on track" with that, It's the closest place for me to volunteer for an RR preservation club

Author:  PYZedd [ Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

Concrete work on north abutment. Photo taken 06/09/2013.
PYZedd - JL

Bad Concrete WD abutment.JPG
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Author:  PYZedd [ Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

Foundation pit for new pier. Photo taken from north abutment. Existing pier visible in photo. Pit is on far side of road and creek.

PYZedd - JL

Wide shot.JPG
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Author:  PYZedd [ Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

Closer view of pier foundation pit work. 07/09/2103


White Deer construction.JPG
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Author:  PYZedd [ Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

Progress report: Pictures Taken 7/24/2013. Excellent progress, pier 1 almost complete, Pier 2 Foundation pit dug, North abutment nearing completion. South abutment bad concrete chipped away, ready for repair work.

Pic From North Abutment.jpg
Pic From North Abutment.jpg [ 341.53 KiB | Viewed 8167 times ]

Author:  PYZedd [ Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

North abutment has added support column.

North Abut.jpg
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Author:  PYZedd [ Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: White Deer Bridge

Pier 1 is built at a slight angle. Note creek flows against it. No doubt it will be Rip-Rap'd!

Pier 1 Angled.jpg
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