Ironton Railroad at Coplay, Pennsylvania . Baldwin #571 & Red Caboose #6 . Watercolor . 12 " x 16"
... the Ironton Railroad (IRR), formed in 1861, was a shortline, working the iron mines of Ironton, Siegersville and Orefield, then expanding to serve the cement plants around Catasauqua and Coplay, Pennsylvania... adding a Lehigh Valley Railroad (LVR) interchange at Coplay. The Ironton eventually rostered two Baldwin DS-4-4-1000's (built 1948-1951)... #750 and #751. Each with the upgraded 606SC engine, producing 1,000 turbocharged horsepower. Illustrated... IRR Baldwin #751 with its red, IRR caboose #6, gliding past the old David Saylor vertical cement kilns in Coplay. The Ironton Railroad had the interesting habit of placing the caboose between the locomotive and the rest of the consist. The Ironton was swallowed up in the CONRAIL (CR) consolidations of 1976 and the #751 spent the remainder of its days switching the Allentown Yard... but by 1978, it was gone. Caboose #6 was built for the Reading Railroad (RDG #90738) in 1924 and acquired by the Ironton in 1953. It is the 2nd oldest surviving RDG caboose. It has been restored and sits at a trailhead entrance, along the former railroad right-of-way of what had been turned, in 1996, into the 9 plus, mile long, Ironton Rail Trail. Saylor's revolutionary, 1874 vertical kilns were already obsolete by 1904, the cement plant was dismantled and the historic kilns were allowed to deteriorate; although a partial stabilization was performed in 2004, under the direction of the architectural firm of Spillman-Farmer, Bethlehem.A Giclee Print is available of this watercolor painting / railroad art.