PENNSLVANIA RAILROAD SHAMOKIN BRANCH: Ore Trains & Coal Mines
by Dan and Blake Marnell
Color laminated hardcover, 8.5x11x4", 816 pages, photos, maps, graphs, drawings CD of rail maps included. 2017. "Pennsylvania Railroad: Shamokin Branch, Ore Trains & Coal Mines is a 190-year comprehensive history of the PRR's Shamokin Branch, dating from its charter in 1826 as the Danville & Pottsville Railroad. Originally conceived as a portage railroad to link the Schuylkill and Susquehanna rivers, it soon morphed into two coal-hauling lines which supplied the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Branch canals. Following two bankruptcies and reorganizations, the line emerged as the Shamokin Valley & Pottsville Railroad in 1858, retaining this corporate name until the coming of Penn Central. The Conrail-years rate a separate chapter, as does the current operator, the Shamokin Valley Railroad. The collieries and coal branches are given extensive coverage. A substantial photo-retrospective of the well-known ore trains that traversed the line during and after World War II is also covered in a separate chapter. Motive power and operations get their due throughout. Attention is also given to the Reading and Lehigh Valley railroads wherever they interchanged with or challenged the Pennsy. Attention is also shown to the towns and the peoples who settled them, whose common experiences, despite diverse backgrounds, created what some scholars have called a 'Coalcracker Culture'." "The book is printed on quality 80-pound sterling gloss paper and features numerous photos, maps, graphs, and drawings (in b/w and color). A CD is also included with the book. It contains ICC maps of the Northumberland yards, rail lines in Sunbury, the SV&P, and the Lehigh Valley/PRR Mount Carmel yards, as well as a number of USGS maps of the area."
This book was released at the PRRT&HS annual meeting in mid-May. It is available via Amazon.