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Discussion Starter #1
Now that the switchman Shanty is basically complete, and I on vacation, and the temps are low, and the humidity is low, I decided to get the oxy-acetylene torch and loosen some bolts, remove a broken platform bracket, and straighten the bent ladder. The signal was brought to the park last spring, and one of our volunteers, took the signal heads apart and replaced the bulbs and relay that was missing. He also wire wheeled the entire pole. It needs some sanding in spots then primer and paint. The base was poured last summer, so everything is set to go once it's painted. Since it's laying horizontal on horses, It will have to be touched up once it is erected.
We are hoping to have it completed by Labor Day. An anonymous benefactor paid for a PA Historical Marker which will be unveiled at a re-dedication ceremony. It would be nice if we could get at least one of the two mine cars back from restoration. A local technical school is doing one, and a contractor that has done a lot for the park is doing the other one.
I just talked to our society president this morning, and he confirmed that Luzerne County has donated a signal box that is on some property it owns. This will be used as an interactive control for the tower, describing the different light configurations, and how they apply to train movement.
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Took me a while...till the last photo...to figure out that the twisted up metal was a ladder. Looks like quite a project.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Took me a while...till the last photo...to figure out that the twisted up metal was a ladder. Looks like quite a project.
It wasn't too bad. Ninety percent is done, I have to make a spacing jig to fit between the rails, as there are some places where hay are twisted slightly. At our meeting last night, several members were pleased with it as is.
 

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This morning, I fabricated 4 steel horses to re-position the mast signal, (I had mistakenly identified it as a tower), for repair and painting at Miners' Memorial Park in Ashley. The wood horses are beginning to lean, and the mast is too close to some birch trees where it is currently located. Hopefully, tomorrow with the help of a small excavator, we can move the mast to the new horses. There is a contractor doing some grading and lot extension work, so the equipment is on hand.
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Discussion Starter #5
This morning, with the much appreciated help of an excavator, the mast signal was re-positioned to its new location onto the new steel horses. It is now away from the trees, and safely resting on the four horses, which replaced about ten rickety wood horses. Painting will commence next week.
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Don

Thank you for the work you are doing. These pieces
of our history should be preserved for the future.
I hope folks around your town appreciate what
you are accomplishing.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don

Thank you for the work you are doing. These pieces
of our history should be preserved for the future.
I hope folks around your town appreciate what
you are accomplishing.

Don
We have a fair following on our Facebook page, and all who follow are supportive. There have been several who have made substantial donations. One example was the purchase of an historic marker that will be unveiled at a ceremony on Labor Day. We have obtained many donations from local vendors of materials used for some of our restoration projects. Not so much for some of our borough officials. A multimodal grant was applied for, and one of the councilmen eliminated the part requesting funds for sidewalks that pass the park, which would have been a major selling point in Harrisburg. And some of these same council members are considering the purchase of a potential super fund site at the former Blue Coal property, which abuts our park. The borough would assume full responsibility for clean-up, and the taxpayers would shoulder the cost. We will persevere!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yesterday and today, I repaired the upper platform rail bracket that was damaged. After doing a comparison spark test, I determined that the bracket is cast iron, and not suited for welding, so I brazed it instead. I also had to fabricate a piece that was missing.
I picked up the paint from Sherwin Williams that was donated, which includes primer, Silver Brite top coat, and satin black for the shrouds around the signals. Last year, Sherwin Williams donated the paint for the interior and exterior wood work. A big thank you to Steve Dotzel and Sherwin Williams.
A cleanup and weed pull is being organized for the Saturday before Labor Day. Tis is so the park can be spruced up for the re-dedication ceremony scheduled for Labor Day. The historic marker will be unveiled during the ceremony. More details to follow.
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That looks like so much fun!!! What a great way to spend your time - Rebuilding pieces of a lost era.

Could you post a picture of what this signal looked like in it's day? I did some searching but CNJ Signal Tower opens up a world of different structures.

Also, I know you have posted links to the groups you are working with, but could you redo them here so we could see the overall plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That looks like so much fun!!! What a great way to spend your time - Rebuilding pieces of a lost era.

Could you post a picture of what this signal looked like in it's day? I did some searching but CNJ Signal Tower opens up a world of different structures.

Also, I know you have posted links to the groups you are working with, but could you redo them here so we could see the overall plan.
I used the wrong terminology, it's a mast signal, single pole double signal, with a platform for each signal head. I'll have to search my files for to see if I have a photo showing it in its original location.
One link is the Huber Breaker Facebook page for those who have FB accounts. Here is the web page: http://huberbreaker.org/home/home/
If you do a web search for Huber Breaker Preservation Society, you will get several links, including several articles in The Citizens' Voice Newspaper.
My web site has photos of the shanty project, and several of the photos I have posted here of the signal.
http://don195657.wixsite.com/oandsloads
 

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Thank you Don. It would be nice to see the original but, don't spend time looking for it. I did a search and have a good idea of what it will look like. I'll leave it to you to surprise us all. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yesterday evening, I was able to do some priming. It's a good thing that at 61, I still have a substantial amount of flexibility, as I had to lay on my side to do the underside of some of the components! I always tackle the hardest tasks first, and painting the signals and platforms definitely fit the bill! Tomorrow, I will hopefully have some assistance from two high school seniors, one of whom is a friend's son, who is bringing his friend.
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The CNJ mast signal is primed. While I was painting, a friend's son who is a senior and needs community service sanded the nuts and bolts, and the ladder after we finished straightening it. Next step is the Silver Brite top coat, and the satin black for the fronts of the signals and shrouds. Monday, we'll be starting the Silver Brite top coat, then reconstruction.
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Looking even better Don. It is such a good thing to engage those young men. No telling where they will go, but working in the trades is a lost art to most kids and their families.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looking even better Don. It is such a good thing to engage those young men. No telling where they will go, but working in the trades is a lost art to most kids and their families.
I can't wait to get the finish coat! Declan is very diligent, and I asked him which he preferred, working on the signal, or helping with a church bazaar, which was one of his other service projects, he liked the signal work. His friend couldn't make it yesterday, but he will try for Monday. There was a nest in the box, but I didn't see any birds. It could have been from last year, or abandoned already.
 

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I did some internet research on the Huber Breaker. Watched the videos, looked at pictures, satellite images, Newspaper clippings, Facebook page, etc. The location has a very deep and interesting history.

Even though satellite images still show the breaker and buildings and with the exception of the large stack, it appears from the facebook photos, everything has been cleared to the ground by Paselo Logistics.

I chuckled a little when I read about Blue Coal. I remember that designation from High School when we studied American History and leaned about Anthracite Coal being called Blue Coal. Little did I know, the Glen Alden/Blue Coal Co simply dyed the coal blue.

Is that a Class 1 rail siding passing through the site? It is a very large piece of property and offers an excellent location for redevelopment. Given the ability to clean the site up, I noted multiple groups including the State of PA have long term development plans. It may not be something the families of the previous Coal industry are looking forward to.

Fortunately the Huber Breaker Preservation Society has a nice piece of property and the willingness and financial support to provide an historical reminder of the Breaker.
 

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Wood, breaker site was the CNJ Ashley Yard. It had a large round house, turntable, and an extensive shop facility for repairing and re-painting trains. The property extends behind the house we live in. My wife has fond memories of going in the cabooses that were parked near her house; she grew up in Ashley, and many of the men in her family worked in the mine.
There are approximately 26 acres of land that are embroiled in controversy due to the contamination both from Paselo's reckless disregard for DEP demolition procedures, leaving a large area around the boiler house site contaminated with asbestos. There is a lot of oil contamination, and PCB contamination, all carcinogens. Paselo was ruled in contempt of two court orders to clean the property, and is in violation of both DEP and EPA environmental standards. Currently, several borough council members are in favor of obtaining the property via free and clear tax auction with a starting bid of just over 2 grand. I and a few other council members are doing everything possible to stop the borough from pursuing the purchase. There is an investigation through the PA State Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Division, so hopefully this will negate the sale until the investigation is complete. If Ashley is successful in obtaining the property, the borough would assume all responsibility for cleanup, which would most likely cost millions, or tens of millions, which state and federal grants would not sufficiently cover. The sale was scheduled for August, but was delayed until October. This gives us some time to continue to convince the borough not to bid.
 

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Hi Don, is this what it looked like?
Curious, is there a CNJ stamp/mark on it anywhere?

That is dedication.......sanding the nuts and bolts. :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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