Up until now I have done this completely from memory but tongiht I had to
look up the name of the location that we tied up one Friday night. Although
we started out on the Buffalo-Harrisburg main I had no idea where we were
going. At Driftwood the Chief said he hoped we were not going out the
branch. Naturally I asked why.
"Junor, the chief said, "There's a hundred miles of nothing that way." I did
not fully appreciate what he was getting at (Does the Low Grade Secondary
We continued south and went down through Renovo, and into Lock Haven. I did
not realize that we got off the Buffallo Harrisburg Main and made a right
turn onto the Bald Eagle Branch. I think we tied up at Lock Haven for the
weekend. I can not explain why looking back from 27 years ago, but our next
weekend tie up was at Milesburg, oinly 25 miles south of Lock Haven. I guess
at one time there was a CP MILES or Block station MILES. My foggy
recollection was that it was a cinder block type building that was well
secured and boarded up. I vauguely remember a blue sign on the building.
There were several tracks there that kind of remiinded me of Fonda, NewYork
where the FJ&G interchanged with Conrail.
Anyway we tied up on a Friday afternoon. I recall that the main was on our
west. Next were a couple of yard tracks. One of them seemed to peter out
into the woods. Another went past the buildng and then curved away to the
east and uphill. I think this is today what is known as the Bellefonte
So we go into a side track off the siding. As soon as we are tied down Ivan
and Jimmy take off for home. They are probably three hours from the Valley.
Roger and I are left alone on the car for the weekend. I survey the place.
Couple of tracks. The Mainline. The boarded up building. no town. Nothing
except right accross the tracks from the Sperry Car is a bar. The building
is a one and a half story concrete or cinder block building. We are not in
the hole ten minutes when a southound comes along. The thing is he stops
with the head end right between the Sperry car and the bar. Someone drops
opens the door on my side of the unit, walks across the porch on the front
of the unit (must have been an SD-40-2) and drops off the opposite side of
the engine. He walks aover to the bar. About eight minutes later he
reappears with a large paper bag that is full of something. I assume it was
food. The train takes off. Over the courase of the weekend I saw this
repeated several times.
I shower and wander over to the place.
Now at 19 with long hair in this part of the world I was probably in a
little more jeapordy then I knew. I went inside the place. I got a beer.
"Where you from?" the bartender wanted to know. "New York" I responded. The
guy eyed me suspiciously.
Somehow I wound up playing pool. The guy offered to let me break the rack.
I was not a very good pool player. But on the other hand once in a while you
just get lucky. I sank the eight on the break.
I spent the rest of the evening at the place as though I were a celebrity.
I was from New York. All they wanted to know about was tall buildings. I
could have been from Albany but they wanted to hear about tall buildings. I
did not pay for a beer all night.
The next morning I set out along what I was certain was the Bellefonte
Central to see what I could see. It was damp although the sun was out. I
walked about a mile and headed back. I can not remember what else happened
that weekend but I was glad to see Ivan and Jimmy and get the heck out of
there on Monday Morning.
As I look at a map right now (Rand McNally RR Atlas 1971) I have no idea why
this railroad exists (Does it still?). I mean why go from Lock Haven to
Tyrone? Other than the branch to Bellafonte I remember there being very
little between Lock Haven and Tyrone ( I would like to hear from someone on
The next few instalments will incliude changing the exhaust stack, running
through the streets, Altoona and the odd looking SW unit, Enola and the FM,
The Broken Relay, backwards at 60 mph and GG-1 4930.
So let me ask, what's in your archives?