Manor Valley Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad – Harrison City to Jimtown

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Sunday gave us a nice dry and sunny day. I had been noticing on trips to work in Irwin that there were some intact railroad tracks glimmering in the snow off of Route 993. I was aware that the tracks existed but never walked this section. I did the section coming in from Manor about five years ago when I posted about the Jimtown/Penn Manor No. 1 Coke Works. The tracks had been lifted in that section.  The Manor Valley Branch was an extremely important railroad that opened up the coal fields at Claridge and later McCullough. In 1885, the Pennsylvania Railroad began acquiring the properties along the right of way of the proposed branch.  This branch would follow the east side of Brush and Bushy Run from the mainline at Manor to the Denmark Mine in Claridge. It was 2.3 miles from the mainline junction at Manor to Harrison City, and 1.9 miles from Harrison City to Claridge. There were stations at Manor, Harrison City, Claridge and one at Clark’s Crossing, which was 1.2 miles past Harrison City and .7 miles before Claridge Station. The majority of the railroad’s traffic were coal trains, but there was passenger service consisting of two round trips per day (except Sundays) between Claridge, Manor, and the points in between.  The freight and passenger station at Claridge was located in a large two story building that E.M. Gross and J. Howard Patton (a man that has been popping up repeatedly due to his Louise and Mt. Grey Mines) constructed as a general store. The Denmark Mine was located .4 miles from Claridge Station. It closed in 1932. The station at Harrison City, we believe, was located in a small area between Route 130 and the second railroad bridge behind the Harrison City Fireman’s Club. There are visible…

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