Berwind-White Coal Mining Co. hoppers similar to cars Conductor Brown handled from their Ocean Colliery #1 mine on Hempfield Branch. Photo from the Hagley Digital Archives Collection.
Above is George C. Brown’s conductor book from late 1921 and early 1922. This books lists the trains that Conductor Brown worked, as well as departure and arrival times and the consists of most trains. Unfortunately the specific contents of most cars aren’t listed unless they carried anthracite coal, bituminous coal, or coke, but car types are listed as well as set out and pickup locations so there is still a great amount of information available.
The 1923 Central Region CT-1000 book available from Rails and Trails is invaluable when trying to read Conductor Brown’s book.
How to Read the Book
This column shows the commodity. “X” means the car is a load, something other than coal or coke. The table below from the CT-1000 explains the four codes used:
This column shows where Conductor Brown picked up and set out the car. It does not give the ultimate origin or destination of the car, just the points he handled it during his tour of duty. The station codes used are also from the CT-1000 book. See the bottom of this page for a list of most of the codes Conductor Brown used.
The next column lists the type of car. PRR uses the following abbreviations, again from the CT-1000 book:
Finally, the number of loads and empties are listed, engines used (sometimes as many as four when including helpers), and the departure and arrival times at some stations. Again the station codes are those from the CT-1000 book.
Working Through Trains Between Altoona and Pitcairn
During the first section of the book, Conductor Brown was working through trains between Altoona and Pitcairn. There are a mix of symbol freights and extras. The symbol trains were mostly non-coal loads in both directions, while extras included solid eastbound trains of coal and coke and westbound trains of empties including some reefers and boxcars with the many coal hoppers and gons.
Working the Youngwood Coal Region
Conductor Brown then started working around the Youngwood area, including trains between Pittsburgh and Youngwood, and runs on the Yukon, Hempfield, and Sewickley branches. This is almost entirely coal and coke related traffic from the area mines.
For more information about how coke traffic was handled in this area, this 1915 interview with the Pittsburgh Division Freight Train Master provides some details and has a few coke oven track plans. For example, it is stated that Youngwood’s coke empties arrive in solid trains from Altoona. Conductor Brown did make one trip from Altoona to Youngwood on November 2nd, and it appears he had 95 empties, but unfortunately none of the cars are listed so the car types are unknown.
Youngwood Yard. Photo from James Falcsik’s Facebook post about Youngwood Yard on Abandoned Rails.
CT-1000 Station Codes Conductor Brown used (page number refers to CT-1000 page):
A: Altoona (p. 244)
BO: Bolivar (p. 252)
CZ: Coleman (p. 302)
D: Derry (p. 253)
EA: East Altoona I assume, though this isn’t the official abbreviation.
EP: East Pittsburgh (p. 260)
P: Pitcairn (p. 261)
RA: Radebaugh (p. 268)
V: Conemaugh (p. 250)
YD: Youngwood (p. 268)
A225: Morningside – River Siding (p. 301)
A227: Morningside – Hill Siding north end (p. 301)
336: Gallitzin Tunnel Colliery / wb station (p. 244)
339: Cresson (p. 245)
347: Junction Ben’s Creek Branch (p. 245)
384: Junction Bolivar Branch (p. 252)
392: Hillside (p. 252)
410: Greensburg (p. 256)
424: Trafford (p. 258)
435: Wilkinsburg (p. 261)
436: East Liberty (p. 261)
436A: Reddog Products Corp.- East Liberty area (p. 261)
5107: East End New Portage Branch (p. 244)
5218: Gallitzin shop track (p. 244)
5413: Biddle (p. 257)
5501: East Greensburg (p.255)
5515A: Power Colliery (p. 270)
5520B: Reed Colliery (p. 271)
5648: United Colliery #1 (p. 269) Sewickley Branch
5660: Bover Works (p. 268) Boyer Run Branch
5665: Mount Pleasant Plant (p. 269) Boyer Run Branch
5671: should be on Brinker Run Branch (p. 269)
5680: Calumet (p. 269) Mammoth Branch
5684: Mammoth #1 (p. 269) Mammoth Branch
5685: Clare Works (p. 269) Mammoth Branch
5688: Mammoth (p. 269) Mammoth Branch
5692: Myers Plant (p. 271) Tarr Branch
5750: Hunker Colliery (p. 270) Yukon Branch
5750A: Beck Colliery #1 (p. 270) Yukon Branch
5756: Magee Colliery (p. 270) Yukon Branch
5757A: Klondike Colliery (p. 270) Yukon Branch
5801: Cribb (p. 267) Hempfield Branch
5804: Hillside Colliery (p. 267) Hempfield Branch
5806: Arona Colliery et al (p. 267) Hempfield Branch
5811: Ocean Colliery (p. 268) Hempfield Branch
5822: Greensburg Colliery #2 (p. 267) Radebaugh Branch
5834: Keystone Shaft (p. 268) Andrew Run Branch
5836: Ocean Colliery #2 (p. 268) Andrew Run Branch
5907: Criterion Colliery (p. 277) Youghiogheny Branch
5909: S. Obermayer Colliery (p. 277) Youghiogheny Branch
5913: Marchand Colliery (p.277) Youghiogheny Branch
5914A: Lowber Colliery (p. 277) Youghiogheny Branch