Engine House No. 6

Engine House No. 6 (HM10DB)

Location: Duncansville, PA 16635 Aransas County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 27.366', W 78° 33.008'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 255 views
Inscription
In front of you is the site of Engine House No. 6, one of ten such power plants on the Allegheny Portage Railroad. The building was demolished in 1900, but portions of the stone foundation remain intact. The National Park Service is preserving the site as an historical exhibit.

Railroad locomotives of the day could not pull cars up the steep inclines. Consequently, the engineers decided to use stationary steam engines situated at the tops of inclines, with endless ropes to transmit the power. The engine house here had two steam engines, one of which served as a backup. Coal-fired boilers provided the steam.

Operating the engine house required a crew of at least four men. They kept the boilers fired continuously, tended the engines, lubricated the gears and bearings, and hitched and unhitched cars.

[Boiler drawing caption reads]
Firemen stoked the engine house boilers frequently to keep steam up for approaching trains. The boilers consumed 60 bushels of coal per day.

[Engine House No. 6 operational drawing caption reads]
1. Lemon House
Passengers stopped for refreshment at this old tavern on the summit level.

2. Engine House No. 6
The original wood structure protected the machinery and operators from the often-harsh weather here at the summit.

3. Engine and Sheaves
A 2-cylinder, 35-horsepower steam engine drove two vertical sheaves (pulleys) that engaged the ascending and descending tow ropes.

4. Hitching Area
After being pulled up the incline, railroad cars were hitched to horses or locomotives here. Track in this area was laid level to prevent cars from rolling away.

5. Horizontal Sheave and Weight Well
The main tow rope crossed from one track to the other by way of this grooved wheel 9-1/2 feet in diameter. A hanging weight connected by a chain to the hub of the sheave applied tension to the rope.

6. Water Brake
This hydraulic cylinder helped to control the descent of trains when there were no ascending trains to counterbalance the system.

7. Sectional Canal Boat
Canal boats could be carried on flat cars in two or three sections, then re-assembled for launching in the canal.

8. Smokestacks
These brick stacks vented smoke from the coal fires that heated the boilers. Boilers were located on the main floor. The smaller metal stacks discharged steam.

9. Idler Pulley
These freewheeling pulleys kept the main tow rope in line and prevented abrasion.

10. Safety Car
Also called a "buck," this ingenious device guarded against runaway trains. If the tow rope broke, the end car would ride up onto the safety car whose sled-like runners acted as a friction brake.
Details
HM NumberHM10DB
Tags
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 26th, 2014 at 9:51am PDT -07:00
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 707732 N 4481264
Decimal Degrees40.45610000, -78.55013333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 27.366', W 78° 33.008'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 27' 21.96" N, 78° 33' 0.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)814
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2633 Allegheny Portage Railroad & Incline Trail, Duncansville PA 16635, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?