Pine Swamp and Little Shingletown

[contributed by Vince]

Today’s objective was to record a track for previously identified grade sections along Pine Swamp Road to the southwest of Hubler Gap. We had probed the area on two separate occasions in weeks prior and confirmed the existence of rock roadbed in this area as indicated in Kline’s map. Earlier in the year, we had regarded the possibility of finding any significant construction in this region with considerable skepticism due to the difficult terrain and distance from the sawmill in Linden Hall. As it turns out, this outer extremity of the Linden Hall Lumber Co.’s railroad was a rather ambitious line extending from the head of Hubler Gap up through a tight hollow (i.e. many stream crossings) and reaching at least as far up as the power line clearing near the saddle between Rudy Ridge and Tussey Mountain.

Starting from that point and working down the hollow, I was able to record a 0.91 mile track with only a few minor gaps where the exact route has been obscured by time.  I concluded the day’s survey at a point between the first and second camps situated above the junction of Pine Swamp Road and Little Shingletown Road.  At this point, the roadbed appears to swing out onto the present-day Pine Swamp Rd and probably proceeds under the road to a point within Hubler Gap where it comes out from under the roadbed and joins up with the previously surveyed segment in this gap.

One of the highlights of this section are the numerous stream crossings, some of which still have timbers remaining from the crude bridges. One of these contains two very well-preserved parallel timbers with nicely flattened tops to which rail may once have been directly affixed.

It should also be noted that the presence of roadbed to the northeast of Hubler Gap along the Shingletown Branch was confirmed in the earlier probes of this area mentioned above. As of this date, no tracks have been recorded but a pair of parallel bridge timbers and a section of rocky fill have been identified.