Montour Railroad 

Montour Railroad








Working on the Montour

Sposato Stories


Railroading 101



Russel No. 1 and No. 2 Mines

Bob Ciminel's report on the Russel No. 2 Mine.

Bob Ciminel's report on the Russel No. 1 Mine.

The Russell Mine does not show up on the 1940 timetable, but is listed as a station at Milepost 14.47 on the 1968 timetable.  There is no mention of Russell Mine in the 1977 timetable. The 1970 TT lists Russell No. 1 as Station #88 east of Champion and Russell No. 2 as Station #77 east of North Star. Russell No. 1 had a derail on the East End and on the crossover from the main track to the empty yard. Russell No. 2 had a derail at the clearance point on the West End of the Loaded Yard.

I believe that both of the Russell operations were strip mines based on the attached aerial photographs from Penn Pilot, but I can find no evidence of a tipple from Russell No. 2 mine.  Based on the station list, it was somewhere between North Star and Solar Mine.  I've not come across any train orders that mention Russell Mine.

Russell No. 1 Mine was a stripping operation on the west side of Route 980 south of the Champion coal washer.  The Pittsburgh coal seam was at elevation 1180 feet and the highest point on the surface where the mine was located was 1200 feet, leaving only 20 feet of overburden that had to be removed to reach the coal. The tipple for Russell No. 1 was located east of Route 980 on the Montour right-of-way with aconveyor built across the highway from the haul truck dump site.

Russell No. 2 Mine was located west (railroad east) of the North Star wye on what was originally the Solar Mine Spur. Russell No. 2 was a strip mine that opened sometime after 1941 and was stripping the coal pillars left in the abandoned Partridge Mine on the north side of Boggs Road. Russell No. 2 closed sometime after 1968.

Bob Ciminel

If you look in the weeds, you can see the concrete footers for the tipple. At one time the track was still there including crossovers to the main. The crossover was not connected to the main, though. Russell Mine was inside Champion Yard Limits... Possibly switched by the Champion Yard job. I think the East End Russell main track switch was outside the Yard Limits...
Gene Schaeffer

This is a photo of mine, taken of Montour 84-76-83-75 East passing through the West End of Boggs, taken from Potato Garden Road.  The ties on the left are where Solar Branch  would of connected to Boggs Yard. I think the one rail head that is visible is part of Solar.
It appears Solar would of connected between West End Boggs #1  and West End Boggs #2. The date of this photo;    January 4, 1980 Back behind the locomotives on the right you can see where the cut was, but now removed since it was strip mined a few years ago.

Russel Mine Track Chart

This is an aerial photo from 1939 of the Russell No. 1 Mine.

Russell No. 2 Mine from 1939.

Click on the images to get a high resolution view.