Montour Railroad 

Montour Railroad








Working on the Montour


Railroading 101



Library Branch Mines

Gould, Gastonville No. 2, Knothole

Bob Ciminel's report on Library Branch Mines.

Although they were not serviced by the Montour, there were at least two mines on the Library Branch between Library and Snowden that need to be mentioned.  Both the Gould and at least one tipple for the Gastonville No. 2 Mine were located on the branch and reached by sidings.

Operation on the Library Branch past Gould was complicated because it was track that was owned and maintained by the PRR as part of the original Peters Creek Branch.  The 1940 Montour timetable contains a lot of details on how Montour trains operated on the PRR tracks and how the B&O interchange at Snowden was arranged.

The mileposts of interest are Gould (MP 39.42), Pennmont (MP 39.97) and Snowden (MP 40.77).  Trains operating between Gould and Pennmont operated under Montour train orders, and that included PRR trains.  PRR conductors could pick up train order forms at both Gould and Pennmont to copy movement orders from the Montour dispatcher.  PRR maintenance-of-way equipment also need a Montour train order and were listed as "Track Car Number ___" on the order.  Montour MoW equipment needed a flagman when running on the PRR track.

Montour conductors would leave their wheel report identifying cars, engines and cabooses operating between Gould and Pennmont with the agent at Library, who numbered them consecutively beginning at the first of the month.  The wheel reports were mailed to the PRR Superintendent, Monongahela Division in Pittsburgh each month.

The switch at Pennmont was aligned for Montour trains to take the diverging route to Snowden, but it had a PRR lock on it, which prevented Montour crews from accidently lining the switch to the PRR track.

Snowden had two interchange tracks each with a 60-car capacity.  Track No. 1 was closest to the B&O main track and was used for deliveries to the B&O.  Track No. 2 was for deliveries to the Montour.

The crossover switch from the Montour lead to the B&O main track was always lined for Montour trains to head on to the interchange tracks and it had a B&O lock on it so that Montour crews could not line the switch to the B&O.  The switch to the interchange tracks was always lined to No. 1 Track and had both B&O and Montour locks on it.  There were derails on No. 1 and No. 2 tracks on the Montour end that had double locks also, allowing both Montour and B&O crews to use the tracks from the Montour end.  The switch and derails on the B&O end of the interchange tracks had only B&O locks, again to prevent Montour crews from accidently entering B&O territory.

The station on the Library Branch were P10 at Gould, P11 at Pennmont and P14 at Snowden.

The 1968 timetable dropped the stations at Gould and Pennmont because the PRR had sold that end of the Peters Creek Branch to the Montour.  Snowden was still listed at P14.  The new timetable also allowed Montour trains to run between Library Junction and Snowden without train orders since there would be no opposing movements on the branch.

By 1977, as the P&LE began dismantling the Montour, Snowden station and the interchange were gone. - Bob Ciminel