Tremont to Lebanon

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Along PA 72 beside Swatara Creek, at Swatara Gap just south of the I-81 bridge, looking south. Rails still exist in the side road that crosses Swatara Creek just to the left of the picture. Rails still existed in other places in the vicinity (with saplings growing through) until recently.

This abandoned railway was originally built in the late 1800s and at one time was the West End Branch of the Reading Railroad. The line extended from Tremont through Pine Grove, Suedburg, through Swatara Gap, and into Lebanon. It followed Swatara Creek much of the way. There was a spur off of this line at one time north of Pine Grove at "Paradise" that went to "Muir" with a switchback in route, but nothing more is known about this spur. The section south of Pine Grove was abandoned in 1975, the remainder surviving under Conrail only to be abandoned by 1981.

The right-of-way can still be made out in most places. Sections along Swatara Creek south of Suedburg are in the slowly developing Swatara State Park. Parts of it have been made into a trail in the park, and the Appalachain Trail crosses it at Swatara Gap. Some of the old railbed would be flooded by the proposed dam in the park, however. I-81 passes over the former ROW and PA-72 at Swatara Gap. In this same area there are old locks from the old Union Canal branch which extended along Swatara Creek into Pine Grove. A section of the old canal has been restored as a park in Pine Grove. This is a very beautiful area and is worth the trip.

If interested, I can post dozens of photos of this line.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v358/bolillo_quemado/?action=view&current=011-3.jpg

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v358/bolillo_quemado/?action=view&current=015-3.jpg

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v358/bolillo_quemado/?action=view&current=134.jpg

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v358/bolillo_quemado/?action=view&current=131.jpg

mfeeman
Lickdale, PA
1/26/2012

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i noticed abandoned bridges on the map.are they still there?please let me know.thank you.

george oakley
reading, PA
5/27/2013

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Unfortunately the links in mfeeman's comments no longer work.

Bob Lemmon
Whitestown, IN
4/7/2014

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thanks for the information on the links that do not work.keep in touch and let me know if there is any information on the bridges.

george oakley
reading, PA
4/8/2014

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Here are five slides of the Lebanon to Tremont Branch of the Reading Railroad attached to the Cornwall Railroad Album of my FB page.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=535191969933762&set=a.488355614617398.1073741857.100003288929249&type=3&theater

Gregory D. Pawelski
Wernersville, PA
5/14/2014

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will look at them.thanks greg.keep in touch.

george oakley
reading, PA
5/16/2014

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I made a FB Album just for the Tremont & Lebanon Branch.

https://www.facebook.com/gregory.pawelski.9/media_set?set=a.608327689286856.1073741894.100003288929249&type=3

Gregory D. Pawelski
Wernersville, PA
8/17/2014

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The spur off this line north of Pine Grove was at Lorberry Junction, along the Molleystown Road off Route 125 (Tremont Road) and went to Muir, Pa. The switchback was in the hills north of Muir.

Gregory D. Pawelski
Wernersville, PA
8/26/2014

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By using Penn Pilot, one can find historical aeral surveys of Pennsylvania. Just zoom in on the location you're interested in, click era you want, and either view it or download the file.

http://www.pennpilot.psu.edu/

I'm sorry, but I lost my previous accounts, and that's why my photos are missing.

cheers,

mfeeman

Lickdale, Pa.

mfeeman
lickdale, PA
11/12/2014

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