Montour # 9
Bob Ciminel's Montour No. 9 Report
No. 9 was located at McAdams, MP 16.77, which had a 38-car siding
listed in all the timetables between 1940 and 1977. The mine was
listed as station 93 and the siding was 93A with a derail at the east
end. A new station was added in the 1947 timetable, 93B, which was the
ramp on the supply track to No. 9 mine. The timetable also
cautioned that an engine would not clear the tipple. In the 1968
timetable, stations 93 and 93B were gone and 93A was listed as Pitt
Processing Company. The siding still held 38 cars. There were no
changes in the 1977 timetable. Bob Ciminel
No. 9 mine was opened by the Pittsburgh Coal Company sometime after
1914 and the completion of the Montour Railroad Mifflin
Extension. It was located at McAdams, northwest of McDonald,
along PA Route 980. The main entries passed beneath Route 980 and
were oriented to the northeast and southwest, with side entries aligned
northwest and southeast. Another set of entries passed beneath the
railroad tracks; however, that area was not extensively mined because
it abutted the
Shaw Mine north of Midway.
seam at Montour No. 9 was 1,100 feet above sea level, rising toward the
northwest and dipping toward the southwest. The surface elevation
at the intersection of Route 980 and North Branch Road is 1,104 feet
above sea level, which meant that No. 9 entered the seam as soon as it
went under Route 980 and drainage from the mine went directly into the
tributary of Robinson Run that parallels Route 980.
No. 9 was a large mine, as evidenced by the employment numbers in the
table below. The Keystone coal report says the mine closed in
June 1954, but other records indicate that deep mining ended in 1946
and stripping ended in 1947. I think they may have confused No. 9
with the Shaw Mine on the other side of the hill. During its peak years
of 1932 and 1934, the mine loaded about 2,600 tons a day, or
approximately 50 cars a day, for the
Montour Railroad to haul back west to Champion for cleaning and sizing.
The coal seam at No. 9 was at 1,100 feet MSL, which was probably
why they put the mine entries underneath Route 980. They could tunnel upward to
the seam and use natural drainage and gravity to bring the coal down to the
tipple. The intersection at Route 980 and North Branch Road looks to be around
1,097 feet MSL.
Gene P. Schaeffer
- A few footnotes of info regarding McAdams from life after #9 closed.
On several occasions, Eastbound coal trains for interchange to the PRR
at McDonald had mishaps coming into McAdams west switch in 1975. Not
sure the cause of the accidents, but I have seen two significant coal
train derailments between the dirt road crossing & the West Main
Track Switch where cars turned over spilling coal everywhere.
into McAdams the gradient was just starting to ease coming down from
Mile Post 17. Montour RR Engineer Jack Harvard often schooled me
when he allowed me to take the GSCX loaded unit train over to
interchange at McDonald ...
"Boy - From #9 cut down to McAdams its fairly steep".
put too much air on em, just enough to get em down to McAdams and if
you feel like they're getting away from you, put a little engine brake
on em to keep em in check. If that don't work, you'll need more air
which is might bring you to a stall east of McAdams as the train is
leveling out and you have all that air on back there. Remember you
can't release em and put em back on, they'll take off on you and you'll
have a real mess.
When your arriving McDonald West Switch,
you have to nearly stop for the switch which some crews do. But Jack
likes his head man to line you in without stopping. If you keep em
moving remember once you start in on the transfer, you have another
steep drop down past the crossing.
Jack use to phrase it
as..."Float em down that hill"... Not too much air and don't power em
too much as your wasting fuel, creating way too much heat on the
wheels, and if your pulling em too hard, you might get a knuckle or
even pull out a drawbar, which I never did.
is also known for the beginning point for the run-a-way flat car with
the earth moving Euclid pan that heavily damaged Locomotive 76. Coal
company workers were trying to use a steel cable to move the flat car
for unloading. I guess the cable broke, the derail at the East End of
the siding didn't work, the flat car entered the main track and ran
from Mile Post 18 to just beyond Mile Post 19 where Jim Lane, Dave
Sherwood were coming across McDonald Viaduct on Extra 76 West.
Leaonard and Conductor Mike Desko told me they knew that had a problem
after the air went into emergency and when they looked across the
train, they saw a gigantic cloud of steam coming from the locomotives.
I guess the caboose was out on McDonald Viaduct when they
stopped. And one other instance at McAdams when coal for Champion
was set off one winter in 1978(?) as Champion was having mechanical
problems and no room at Champion or Boggs...the east car load of coal
went over the derail and leaned way over on its side, but surprisingly,
didn't turn over completly. I photographed that P&LE hopper leaning
In later years I walked the East end of McAdams
a few times. You could distinguish the layout of the loaded yard tracks
as the area was all cinders. I also have a 8 mm movie made at McAdams
with locomotive 85 I believe. There was a derailment and McAdams siding
was being used as the main track, which was denoted in train orders. Gene P. Schaeffer
Click on the images to get a high resolution view.