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Eden Township 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 1¼ miles apart along the entire route and accessible to almost all levels of railroad employees. The unassuming wooden box (image lower right) protected a revolutionary communications network. Everyone learned how to use the telephone. The PRR would not run without it.

”Q” Tower (image upper left) 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 (upper right image) monitoring road conditions and track gangs
Marker detail: "Q" Tower image. Click for full size.
By Personal collection of William L. Seigford, Mount Joy, PA
2. Marker detail: "Q" Tower
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(right center) formed a steady reliance on a new technology via the delicate copper strands of telephone wire.

”Q” Tower (above) was located approximately 600 feet west of Bushong Road on the south side of the tracks. 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 (right) 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.

[on upper left image] Pipe-shielded lever bars
Marker detail: The solitary watchman image. Click for full size.
Conestoga Area Historical Society, Conestoga, PA
3. Marker detail: The solitary watchman
to move mechanical switches
 
Erected by Amtrak.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 39° 54.424′ N, 76° 6.448′ W. Marker is in Eden Township, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Marker is on Bushong Road 0.3 miles south of Valley Road (Pennsylvania Route 372), on the right when traveling south. 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 and south of the trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 114 Bushong Road, Quarryville PA 17566, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Atglen & Susquehanna Low Grade (within shouting distance of this marker); Jackson's Mill Bridge (1878) (approx. 1.6 miles away); Bartshire (approx. 2 miles away); A Stream for Steam (approx. 2½ miles away); Big Cut, Big Fill (approx. 4.2 miles away); The Christiana Riot (approx. 5.4 miles away); Drumore Township Illustrious Americans (approx. 5½ miles away); History of Railroad Pump Cars (approx. 5.9 miles away).
 
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
 
Additional commentary.
Marker detail: Track Gang image. Click for full size.
Conestoga Area Historical Society, Conestoga, PA
4. Marker detail: Track Gang

1.
In photo 7, a copy of "The Atglen & Susquehanna Low Grade / The Pennsylvania Railroad's Dedicated Freight Road", already existing as a separate entry here on hmdb.org at a different location, is on the other side of subject plaque.

Bushong Road is off camera to right. In the background is part of a slope from the level of the former railroad leading down to grade level at Bushong Road, so the railroad apparently crossed over Bushong Road on a bridge.
    — Submitted October 26, 2020, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland.
 
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 April 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2018. This page has been viewed 191 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on April 27, 2021. 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. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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May. 13, 2021