Bob Ciminels' Report on the McDonald Mine.The McDonald Mine was another one of those should I include it or not decisions. Technically, the mine was not located on the Montour main track or any of its spurs or branches. In fact, up until 1920 the Montour simply passed over the mine on the McDonald Viaduct - there was no siding or transfer track prior to then.
Because the McDonald Mine was already serviced by the PRR and the Champion coal washer wasn't built until 1928, why Carnegie Coal asked the Montour to connect to their mine remains a mystery. I suspect it had a lot to do with where the company was shipping its coal. The Montour's connection with the P&LE provided access to the Midwest and the Great Lakes coal customers as well as the steel mills in Youngstown.
All of the records I've been able to locate show the McDonald Mine closing in 1934; however, the 1940 Montour timetable contains numerous references to the mine. It was Station 95A on the timetable with east and west connections off of the McDonald Transfer track and derails located on the No. 1 and No. 2 tipple tracks west of the transfer track switch. However, the mine is not mentioned in succeeding timetables and only the McDonald Siding and Transfer Track are listed.
One item in the 1940 timetable that seems to indicate the mine was not a Montour customer was a caution to crews working McDonald Transfer to protect against PRR engines working the empty and loaded yards at the tipple. Bob Ciminel
The McDonald Mine was located beneath the McDonald Viaduct timetable east of McAdams and Montour No. 9. Rail access to the mine was via the McDonald Transfer Track that passed underneath the viaduct.
McDonald Mine was owned by the Carnegie Coal Company, which was not affiliated with Andrew Carnegie, and opened around 1917 mining northward on the west side of the Montour tracks and eastward, crossing the tracks on a trestle similar to that used at Montour No. 9.
McDonald Mine was service by the PRR Panhandle Division on a spur that came off of Track No. 4 just below Midway, PA. Hopper cars were stored in JO Yard east of the McDonald Viaduct. The Montour Railroad did not provide service to the mine until 1920 when Carnegie Coal Company asked the Montour to build a connecting track down to the mine from a point west of the viaduct. This new track eventually became the McDonald Siding and McDonald Transfer Track.
McDonald Mine closed around 1934; however, the former mine site was extensively stripped mined in later years when it became economical to dig down to the abandoned workings and remove the coal remaining in the pillars.