Montour Railroad 

Montour Railroad








Working on the Montour

Sposato Stories


Railroading 101



Westland Mine

Read Bob Ciminel's Report on the Westland Mine.

The Westland No. 1 Mine was located at Milepost 26.32 on the Montour's Westland Branch, 3.76 miles from Gilmore Junction.  It was designated Station 112 in the Montour timetables. In the 1968 timetable, Westland Branch was designated a Secondary Track of no assigned direction and extra trains could operate on the branch without train orders between Gilmore Junction and Westland. Timetable direction between Gilmore Junction and Westland was eastward.
In 1977, the branch was still listed as the Westland Secondary Track and yard limits were in effect from 100 feet west of Gilmore Junction to Route 50.

Westland Mine No. 1 was owned by the Pittsburgh Coal Company and located at the eastern (timetable) end of the Montour Railroad’s Midland Spur/Westland Branch, just east of Route 519 at the aptly named community of Westland.  It was adjacent to the Midland No. 2 Mine on the east and the Arden Mine on the south.  The exact date when Westland No. 1 opened is not known, but it was concurrent with the completion of the Montour Westland Branch in 1928.  An article in Coal Age magazine in 1916 reported that the Pittsburgh Coal Company was opening two mines at Westland that had been closed for two years.  In all likelihood, these were the Midland No. 1 and 2 mines since the Montour Westland Branch had not been built yet.

Quite often westbounds ready to depart Westland, were given verbal permission by the Montour R.R. Train Dispatcher to depart Westland and come out to Gilmore Junction for their train order. The crews would stop back at Morris Mine behind the crossing circut sign for their train orders. Sometimes the Westland crew would wait a little longer for an eastbound.
This was done when eastbounds were in the picture, wanting to have the eastbound pass Gilmore before allowing the westbound out. - Gene P. Schaeffer

Here are the maps for Westland Mine. Note that Westland was on the south side of the Cross Creek Syncline and the coal seam is back up to almost 1100 MSL. That's why Westland had horizontal entries instead of a shaft. I'm pretty sure the two surface entries were only for mantrips and supplies. It looks like the car dump was underground and the coal was lifted to the surface on conveyor belts.

The Westland Mine in 1956

Click on the images to get a high resolution view.