Montour Railroad  

Montour Railroad


Bridges and Tunnels







Working on the Montour

Schaeffer Stories

Sposato Stories


Railroading 101



Roster of Montour Equipment

Details of the MoW MTR X-1 crane

  Montour Hi_Rail - Tim Sposato
The trucks tires were in contact with the rails, thus operating as it would on pavement. Hi rail gear was designed as a set of two rail wheel sets, one set for the front and one set for the rear. The center of the rail wheels tread were lined up with the centers of the rubber tire tread and the assembly was bolted to the truck frame.
The hi rail wheels had a rubber ‘tire’  slipped tightly over the steel flanged wheel.  This insulating design was so it would
not interfere with railroad operating signals or grade crossing signals. The MRR trucks were equipped with manually operated gear, many modern applications are now hydraulic.
The following is a quick description to prepare for MRR hi railing.
After driving the truck wheels on to the rails and getting it lined up parallel on the rail head you would then:
1.      pull the safety pin from the latch that holds the rail wheel either up or down.
2.      push the latch lever toward the truck that allows the rail wheel to release and drop to the rail.
3.      Using the aluminum bar you would insert into the upper locking socket, shoving the bar toward the truck until the wheels locks in position.
This will take some weight of the truck and apply it to the rail wheel.
4.      Continue the above procedure until all wheels are down & locked.
5.      Reinstall the safety pins through the latches.
6.      Be sure the front truck wheels are straight, then lock the steering wheel with a ‘U’ shaped device mounted on the steering column.
Do this same procedure to lift the wheels for highway travel, only this time the aluminum bar is used in lower sockets and pushed downwards to lift the rail wheel to locking position.
This procedure can be a pain at times when the gear gets out of adjustment or the rear of the truck is to heavy, many times we would use a track jack to lift the front or rear of the truck to get the wheels to lock in a hi railing position. Another cause is damage from derailing, this can be very hard on the gear, sometimes rendering inoperable.
The front wheels lean toward the truck cab, the rear wheels lean toward the cab as well, in a derailment while moving in a forward direction, the front wheels tend bounce along. If the rear wheels are off while moving forward they will tend to ‘flip backwards, causing gear damage.  I have seen this happen many times on the MRR.   Sometimes we had to jury-rig a repair using chains or come-a-longs to get us to the nearest crossing to set off. Each rail wheel is equipped with a flat metal bar, shaped in a way to act as a clamp to grab the rail head in the event of derailing, this was to keep the wheels close to the rail, sometimes it worked well, other times it bent or missed the rail head. This would allow the truck wheels, both rail & rubber, to drop off the ends of the ties.  That would really complicate rerailing the truck as well as the rail cutting into the side walls of the highway tires.

The Montour R.R. had 2 of these Ford Hi-Railers. Tim had one on Section #2 at Hills Station, with Bob Maga having one for Section #1 at Champion. There were other "Extra Gangs", but they did not have these Fords for transportation.
I remember one time Joe Adamski & Patsy Gileot were using a red Avis rental van as myself and a friend rode once with them out of salida as they searched for parts for the switch at the West ENd of Salida. - Gene P. Schaeffer
Steam Engine # 25 Bell

I responded to an ad in the Pennysaver of all places in Oct 2010 listing for sale a steam engine bell. I was fortunate to be the first caller so I ran straight over to look at the bell. I was surprised to find that the bell was kept outside in her back yard on its side under a tarp !  The woman selling the bell lives in Coraopolis. She told me first off that the bell is very rusty and that she thought that there was no way the rust  could be removed. She said her late husband  bought the bell from a man who lived in Glenwillard who had the bell displayed under a shelter in his yard for many years until he sold it to her  husband in 1975. She can not remenber the mans name but is positive he got the bell from the Montour R R.  She still has the paper ad listing the bell for sell for $300 in 1975. I would like to see a picture of the Montour R R engine # 25 to see if this indeed is the bell from that engine. Regardless I would like to see this bell restored to the condition that it deseves after laying in the mud for 35 years. Best Regards,   David B. Nagel

Montour Caboose 48, photo Michael Thompson Collection
The photo to the left is from the Carl Nicolella collection and was taken in 1978 or 79 at the Papp Rd bridge.

These photos show some of the last days of Montour 74.

July 2010 Update still has 'ole 77 setting quietly. Photos provided by Matt Provenza. Montour 77 still remains at RMDI Pittston PA on 7-1-10. This unit has survived an earlier scrapping of many locomotives this spring at RMDI.

Location;  Pittson Junction, Pennsylvania.
Date:  November 20, 1983
Headlight and long hood number board intact. Couplers and restricting blocks intact. Well oiled hinges on her long hood.
She was the last SW-9 to leave Montour RR property in March 1983
Gene P. Schaeffer Collection

New Pictures of MTR 77 Jan-2009 courtesy of Matt Provenza. I've left them in the highest detail the way Matt sent them. Excellent photos of 'ole 77.

 MTR77 1-2009 176.JPG (2290654 bytes)  MTR77 1-2009 181.JPG (2248042 bytes) MTR77 1-2009 184.JPG (2380738 bytes)MTR77 1-2009 185.JPG (2684697 bytes) MTR77 1-2009 187.JPG (2164895 bytes)  MTR77 1-2009 188.JPG (2445135 bytes)



View all of the roster pictures here 

Montour #70

Glassport, Pennsylvania. Saturday October 21, 2006. Here's a photo from RailPictures


Was in Glassport (Pa) this snowy Wednesday morning (25-Jan-2006). Stopped at the former "Glassport River Terminal" where a former Montour SW-7 works. Was surprised to see the river titled MonRiver something or another...vacant. No chains or gates to deal with, so I drove right up to the SW-7. Looks as if it hasn't been used in quite sometime. - Gene P. Schaeffer

Montour #70 was scrapped in Jun-2007. You can see the process here.


Montour #71
Here is a photgraph of the #71 on the North Shop track at Morgan Run Shops.   It was down for a 92 day inspection and is back at Sugar Creek, Ohio for brick yard switching during the evening hours.   The caboose it's coupled to is ex WM 1880, we use in the photo freight trains. This picture was taken in 2005. (Thanks Tim Sposato for the photo and details)

Montour #73   
Montour #74  
Montour #79 
Montour #76 

 76-BicentennialA.jpg (34549 bytes)76-BicentennialB.jpg (27975 bytes)  Let me tell you how the 76 got a new paint job. When the PL&E RR decided to finally buy and bury the Montour in 1976, they had a big meeting with the union personnel of the different union crafts on the Montour, they said the engine was finally coming home again and I made the suggestion why not paint it red, white and blue for the bicentennial since its number was 76,and low and behold they agreed.

Back then Bob Scofield was working in the storeroom and he created the design and it was painted in our shop.
R.J. Lane

MTR76CARoss-78.jpg (46967 bytes) Cab end of 76, C. A. Ross with the engine.

Montour #77

  SW9's #77, 76 and 78 are lined up outside the shops of this little coal-hauler at Coraopolis, PA on September 20, 1980. #76 is still in it's bicentennial paint scheme. - Doug Kroll (

77a_RRJan-April2008.JPG (2681900 bytes) 77b_RRJan-April2008.JPG (3077258 bytes) As of March 13, 2008, Montour 77 was still intact at a locomotive dealer near Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania. The Montour logos are still there. Photos by Matt Provenza

Update 2009-01 with more photos from Matt

MTR77 1-2009 176.JPG (2290654 bytes) MTR77 1-2009 181.JPG (2248042 bytes) MTR77 1-2009 184.JPG (2380738 bytes) MTR77 1-2009 185.JPG (2684697 bytes) MTR77 1-2009 187.JPG (2164895 bytes)  MTR77 1-2009 188.JPG (2445135 bytes)


Montour  #78 

Montour  #79 

Montour #80  
 Montour #81  
Montour #84   

SW9's #84 and 81 at Coraopolis, PA on 10/19/80. When the online mines shut down, operations were suspended in 1983 and the line abandoned in 1986.- Doug Kroll (


Here is a picture of an ex PRR hopper that has been restenciled for the Montour a few years ago. It is occasionally on photo freight trains. Its  currently stored on a siding in Dennison Ohio with some other vintage equipment.   The Brown hoist crane the MTR had is also sitting derelict at Dennison Ohio.  It was owned by the Briggs & Turvis Co.  The Ohio Central RR  acquired it, but it may not be feasible to repair.   Not sure what will be done with it.  The MTR stenciling is still visible, but peeling badly. (Thanks Tim Sposato for the photo and details)



16-Oct-2006 I pointed the car opposite of Western Maryland country and headed for Mahoning County, Ohio. Today's goal, find Montour wood caboose 42. Low and behold, in the Western Reserve Village of the Canfield, Fairgrounds there sat Montour Wood Caboose #42. Built in 1929 by the Standard Steel Car Company, Butler, Pennsylvania, Montour 42 stayed on Montour RR property until 1956. In 1956 she went to the Y&S where she stayed for a couple years before being donated to the Boy Scout Council, in Mahoning County. I was just tickled seeing caboose 42. I have never seen one of these particular class's of wood cabooses, until today. Other than her steel work, this caboose is in pristine condition. Inside and out, she is immaculate, other than her "Y&S" reporting marks. How do you tell the caboose on display at the Canfield, Ohio Fairgrounds is actual "Montour"?
Check the truck side frame.
Clearly...through all of the rust, "M.R.R." is still evident.
Gene P. Schaeffer



Montour Railroad Midado Specs
Montour #25
This picture of Montour #25 from Bill Macek - a Trail Volunteer who lives in the Moon area. His father has this picture of #25 under way. He said it is a good sized picture (probably 8x10) - not a snapshot - it looks like it could be a professional photo - but no markings on it. It is the loco in Gene's book with the string of brand new hoppers - Page 2 and it is on the tail end of the train at East End Hills that is on the cover - shown on Page 59

Looks like they have a good head of steam - and the coal load in the tender hasn't been used much -The gent standing in the tender looks pretty relaxed - not shoveling coal.. And the one in the fireman's seat is having a good ride also.


Montour #26
I attempted to find a builders photograph of the Montour # 25 only to find out that no builders photo of that engine was ever taken. However the # 26 was on the same shop order and the builders photo was taken of that engine. I was told that it was a common practice of ALCO to take a builders photo of only one engine on an order to represent them all. On shop order B-1412 the # 26 was the engine selected to be used in the builders photo . Being that all engines built off the same shop order would be identical this is as close as I could come to finding a #25 builders photo. Dave Nagel
MTRNo2.jpg (55917 bytes) #2   #14   #20
#21   #24


#28   #31   #35

#41 #44 #50



Caboose 36

Member Paul Wisnowski went to check out the caboose at Volant, PA and sent a few pictures. Tht caboose sits in a line of box cars that had been used as a series of retail shops - a strip mall if you will - but Paul says they are all empty now. This is caboose # 36 - one of 6 ex-Union Pacific cabooses to work on the Montour starting in 1970.
It retains its # 36 - but I couldn't see any hint of the Montour Logo in any of the pictures Paul sent.
The interior shows some of the benches and the coal stove - The electrical panels and air conditioner were probably added when it became a retail store. Also looks like a baseboard heater on the right hand bench and linoleum flooring. And someone decided that a caboose should be red - probably the same people that do barns. I don't know what kind of store it housed.
If you want to see # 36 in its Montour days - check out Gene's book - Pages 121 & 122. It is also in action on pages 57 + 133 + 141 
Thanks for the pictures, Paul
Bryan Seip