Bellefonte Central: Pine Grove Mills branch

For some years I have wondered about the short-lived Pine Grove Mills branch of the Bellefonte Central Railroad, mainly because I used to drive across it several times a day. Some parts of its route are evident, some were less clear. Where exactly did it run? And where was the station?

One time I encountered Cecil Irvin (who operates a farm on Nixon Road and has lived his entire life there) and asked if he remembered the route. He pointed out the fence row along his property. And someone (Mike Bezilla?) pointed me to a suspicious foundation adjacent to the PGM school which might have been the station…

I’m currently reading Rails to Penn State by Mike Bezilla and Jack Rudnicki, and I’m back exploring the branch. Unfortunately, recent renovations at PGM school have paved over the site which Bezilla confirms was the station, and I’m fairly certain the foundation was bulldozed out before the paving.

I’ve created a map based on current and historic aerial views…

To play with a “live” map of the branch, download this .gpx file (it is a just a text file, nothing evil) and upload it at GPSVisualizer.com. You will get a live map which you can pan, zoom, switch between various views, e.g. Google hybrid, USGS topo, etc. If you like GPSVisualizer, please send them a couple bucks!

I’ve shown the approximate locations of the related stations and the Struble ore bank. You may also wish to upload .gpx tracks for the Oreland and Gatesburg branches (see other postings), thus creating an interactive map of the whole region.

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