I forgot this extract from the 1960 7.5-minute quad map showing Minerva. It may help to explain that confusing crossing of the NKP, NYC, and PRR.
1. Minerva OH. 1:24,000 quad. 1960. USGS. Click here for a larger map.
2. This 1970s view of Alliance OH shows the Cleveland and Fort Wayne main lines. The old NYC line cutting across north to south is no longer there. 1:24,000 quad. 1966. USGS. Click here for a larger image.
3. We headed from Alliance to Warren via OH 8 and Newton Falls. It appeared the Erie-Lackawanna through Warren had been ripped up not long ago. We turned on Warren-Niles Rd. following a track that I thought would lead to DeForest Jct., the former B&O yard in the area. I thought the view above was the B&O and E-L. Turns out both of those lines were just a short distance east of this location. This is the NS Niles Secondary formerly known as the Pennsy PY&A Branch (Pittsburgh, Youngstown & Ashtabula). That’s Warren in the distance looking northwest. NS near Warren OH, to the north.
4. Penn Central employee timetable circa 1976. CR E&A PY&A.
5. Map of the PRR Erie & Ashtabula (PRR E&A) Division circa 1942. Click here for a slightly larger view.
6. Map of the Penn Central Valley Division circa 1976. We will look at that ex-NYC JF&C Br. from Stoneboro to Brookville PA later. Click here for a larger image.
7. That area between the PRR and the Mahoning River was a Republic Steel plant. The facility on the west side of the river is the coke plant which is still in operation by Cleveland-Cliffs. Warren OH. 1:24,000 quad. 1994. USGS. Click here for a larger image.
8. Looking south on the NS Niles Secondary. Saturday, 06-19-2021. NS near Warren OH, to the south.
9. Looking west across the industrial wasteland that was formerly the RG Steel plant (Republic Steel in the glory years) at the Cleveland-Cliffs coke plant. Republic Steel property Warren OH.
10. Telephoto looking toward Warren. Although the rail is not shiny NS must still serve the coke plant. That would be the track going straight ahead at the switch. NS near Warren OH, to the north.
11. A little further south on Warren-Niles Rd. looking south toward Niles. NS near Warren OH.
12. Looking north. NS near Warren OH.
13. Driving back toward Warren we stopped at “Pine”. I think the track curving to the right (west) goes to the coke plant. NS near Warren OH, at Pine, to the south.
14. On this 1999 NS employee timetable W&T is the Warren & Trumbull RR (WTRM) which was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming in 2008. In the Warren-Niles-Youngstown area G&W operates WTRM, Youngstown Belt RR, Youngstown & Austintown RR and Mahoning Valley Ry. I can’t sort it out! NS Niles Sec 1999.
15. NS near Warren OH. Pine. To the south.
16. As the timetable indicates, “Pine” begins another railroad now. The signal indicated the approach for crossing the E-L and B&O Lake Sub. NS near Warren OH. Pine. To the north.
17. From Pine St. looking across the vacant property at the Cleveland-Cliffs (formerly RG Steel, Severstal, LTV, and Republic Steel before that) coke plant. Cleveland-Cliffs coke plant. Warren OH.
18. Cleveland-Cliffs coke plant from Austintown-Warren Road. Cleveland-Cliffs coke plant. Warren OH.
19. Cleveland-Cliffs coke plant. View 2. Warren OH.
20. A sign indicated the entrance for “blast furnace no. 4.” I learned that it was shut down in 2012 and demolished in 2017. Warren primarily supplies coke for the Cleveland works. I couldn’t see any hoppers from the road. Cleveland-Cliffs coke plant. Warren OH.
21. Clear signal for an eastbound on the CSX New Castle Sub. west of Niles near the former site of Niles Jct. (PRR had trackage rights from Niles Jct. to Ravenna, but that connection is evidently gone now). CSX signal 862-2. Niles Jct OH.
22. I could see the approaching headlight for a long time. CSX 562-354 rips through with a string of coke empties. CSX 562-354. Niles Jct OH.
23. CSX 562-354. View 2. Niles Jct OH.
24. Note the “coke express” hoppers with the extended sides to handle more volume of the lighter coke. Authorized speed here is 55 m.p.h., and I am sure he was pushing it! This train will probably load at U. S. Steel’s coke plant at Clairton PA via the Union Railroad. CSX 562-354. Niles Jct OH.
25. CSX 562-354. Rear view. Niles Jct OH.
26. NS maintenance-of-way shop at Briar Hill OH. This is the former Erie-Lackawanna engine terminal in the Youngstown area. 06-19-2021.
27. Ohio Central 2129 and 8712. Ohio Central is one of Genesee & Wyoming’s 113 shortlines and regionals, but it doesn’t serve Briar Hill OH. From the G&W website looks like Briar Hill may be under Youngstown Belt Railroad, and the power is leased. Briar Hill OH.
28. OHCR 8712 and 2159. View 2. Briar Hill OH. 06-19-2021.
29. OHCR 8712 is a “GP11” from ICG, MBTA, CR, PC and NH. OHCR 8702 likewise comes from ICG as a rebuild. Briar Hill OH.
30. OC GP38-2s 2159 and 2162 are ex-NS, nee-Southern via LTEX (Larry’s Truck & Electric) in nearby McDonald OH. Briar Hill OH. More on them later.