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Quarryville in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Job on the A & S

The Atglen & Susquehanna in Eden Township

 
 
A Job on the A & S Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 30, 2018
1. A Job on the A & S Marker
Inscription. Unlike routes that served passengers and local freight customers, the A&S required relatively few staffed facilities. Westward from Atglen, the A&S was desolate, compared to the main line's string of frequent village stops. Constructed after the PRR's decision to transition from telegraph to telephone, communication on the A&S was thoroughly modern. Pole-mounted telephone boxes were located approximately 1-1/4 miles apart along the entire route and accessible to almost all levels of railroad employees. The unassuming wooden box (below) protected a revolutionary communications network. Everyone learned how to use the telephone. The PRR would not run without it.

”Q” Tower (below) at M.P. 10.8 was the first A&S switching tower west of Parkesburg (M.P. 0.0) and a node of activity during the steam era. An operator in the tower received and relayed telephone orders governing train movement from a dispatcher in Columbia. The tower's trackside projecting bay provided visual confirmation of train movement and time markers. The solitary watchman (below) monitoring road conditions and track gangs (below) formed a steady reliance on a new technology via the delicate copper strands of telephone wire.

”Q” Tower (left) was located approximately 600 feet west of Bushong Road on the south side of the tracks.
Marker detail: "Q" Tower image. Click for full size.
By Personal collection of William L. Seigford, Mount Joy, PA
2. Marker detail: "Q" Tower
Even with an easy grade, eastbound freights on the A&S Often required "helper" engines to assist with the long ascent to Mars Hill Summit. There were six tracks at “Q,” including sidings that moved the helpers out of traffic, and crossovers to reverse their track direction so they could return to help another freight. Two pairs of water columns were positioned to serve all six tracks, providing essential on-route water to helpers.

Watchmen (below) were located along problematic areas such as cuts that were prone to landslides and fills that were subject to washouts. The stove-heated, single-room watch box was staffed in two 12-hour shifts, seven days a week. A watchman often boarded with a local farmer. His tools included, two lanterns, a white (day) lantern with round reflector and a red (night) lantern. In his left hand are red flags used to flag down (stop) trains if the tracks were blocked. The large wooden bin held coal for his stove. This watchbox at LG-27 was located on the west side of the Safe Harbor Viaduct, along the cliffs of the Susquehanna River.
 
Erected by Amtrak.
 
Location. 39° 54.424′ N, 76° 6.448′ W. Marker is in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Marker is on Bushong Road 0.3 miles south of Valley Road
Marker detail: The solitary watchman image. Click for full size.
Conestoga Area Historical Society, Conestoga, PA
3. Marker detail: The solitary watchman
(Pennsylvania Route 372), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located within the trailhead kiosk at the parking lot for access to the Enola Low Grade Trail, on the west side of Bushong Road. Marker is in this post office area: Quarryville PA 17566, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Stream for Steam (approx. 2˝ miles away); Big Cut, Big Fill (approx. 4.2 miles away); The Christiana Riot (approx. 5.4 miles away); Drumore Township Illustrious Americans (approx. 5˝ miles away); Pittsburgh and Lake Erie No. 508 (approx. 5.9 miles away); Lehigh Valley No. 40 (approx. 5.9 miles away); Pennsylvania Railroad No. 460 (approx. 5.9 miles away); Pennsylvania Railroad No. 7688 (approx. 6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Quarryville.
 
More about this marker. This is a large, "billboard-style" marker, mounted on the south-facing side of the trailhead kiosk for the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The Atglen & Susquehanna Low Grade
 
Categories. CommunicationsIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
Marker detail: Track Gang image. Click for full size.
Conestoga Area Historical Society, Conestoga, PA
4. Marker detail: Track Gang
Marker detail: Watchman at Watchbox LG-27, with tools image. Click for full size.
Southern Lancaster County Historical Society, Quarryville, PA
5. Marker detail: Watchman at Watchbox LG-27, with tools
Marker detail: Telephone Shelter Box image. Click for full size.
Collection of Pat McKinney
6. Marker detail: Telephone Shelter Box
Job on the A & S Marker (<i>wide view of kiosk; looking north; trailhead parking in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 30, 2018
7. Job on the A & S Marker (wide view of kiosk; looking north; trailhead parking in background)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 66 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   6. submitted on September 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   7. submitted on September 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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