PRR Steam at PENNOR Yard
This series of photos were taken between Grogan Yard and Pennor Yard showing coal trains being transferred from Pennor to Grogan and in at least one case leaving for the Sandusky docks on Lake Eire. Coal would come from the south on the Norfolk and Western. In 1930 when the N&W expanded their Joyce Avenue yard the PRR built the 10 track Pennor Yard on the northside of the N&W yard. The west end of the yard throat led to a crossing of the PRR's CA&C and to the east throat of Grogan yard. The N&W would leave the coal cars in Pennor Yard. Sometimes the PRR would pull them into Grogan for staging and sometimes it would just couple on the road engines and head for Sandusky as the photos will show.
From Grogan Yard there was a slight grade as far as Lewis Center about 15 miles north. A helper engine would be added to the front of the train, usually a J1, 2-10-4. At Lewis Center the train would stop, the helper cutoff and cross over to the south bound track. It would back all the way to Grogan Yard ready to help the next northbound coal drag.
The following photos are taken around the N&W roundhouse between Grogan and Pennor Yards by Donald A. Kaiser, April and September 1955.
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An I1s is adding a caboose to the train. An N&W class A, 2-6-6-4 can be seen in the distance. It just brought a train from Portsmouth and as soon as the I1 and train gets out of the way it will pull forward and return to N&W territory by the escape track in the foreground.
The bridge in the background is Joyce Avenue. The tracks from the class A and to the left of it, are the west throat of Pennor Yard. The tracks to the right of the class A belong to the N&W's Joyce Avenue Yard. To the right off camera is the N&W roundhouse where the class A is trying to reach.
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Very close to the same spot as the last picture are two J1's. Shortly they will cross the CA&C and enter Grogan Yard. It looks like they are pretty much ready for the 104 mile trip to the Sandusky docks. In both pictures the train is headed west. At the west end of Grogan Yard the track turns north going along the west side of the Ohio State Fairgrounds. When the Sandusky and Columbus Short Line was built in 1893 it came through what would now be the middle of the Fairgrounds. That was changed when Grogan yard was built.
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This photo of the same two J1's is taken west of the last picture. The lead engine is just crossing the CA&C and starting to enter Gorgan Yard. The back of the N&W roundhouse can be seen on the right.
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It's a little closer.
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A different J1 again just crossing the CA&C. The PRR had at least seven yards in Columbus that required the constant shifting of cars from one yard to another. While the N&W to PRR transfer had this very short and convenient connection, C&O coal cars destined for Sandusky came into the Grandview Yard on Columbus' Westside and had to be moved to Grogan Yard in preparation for the Sandusky trip. In the 1950's the PRR used I1s, 2-10-0's and these Lima-Hamilton 2400 HP transfer diesels to move cars around Columbus. It looks like #5673 has all its caboose needs covered.
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Sometimes the coal cars would just be brought into Grogan Yard by an I1s, such as #4607, for later movement to Sandusky. Before the J1's came to Columbus around 1943 the I1's along with N2, 2-10-2's may have been the primary road engines on the Sandusky Branch. In the 1950's I1's were relegated to use as transfer engines and heavy switch engines in the yards.