Lorberry Creek Railroad

Lorberry Creek Railroad

The Lorberry Creek Railroad was an early railroad in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, USA intended to feed coal shipments to the Union Canal (Pennsylvania).

On March 30 1831, Jacob Culp and Thomas Adams (Philadelphia), Daniel D.B. Keim and Dr. George N. Eckert (Berks County), and Henry W. Conrad and William Hoch (Pine Grove) were authorized to build "a single or double railroad, from the northern end of the Union canal company's railroad, up Lorberry Creek, on lands of Ley and Hawk, to points most suitable in the heart of the coal region, in the county of Schuylkill.

The line, as constructed, ran west along the south side of Lorberry Creek from the junction, made a horseshoe curve to cross the creek and valley and turn east, and followed Lower Rausch Creek through its gap in Sharp Mountain. A switchback was located near Lower Rausch Creek Colliery. Beyond the switchback, the line climbed into Lorberry, at the headwaters of Lorberry Creek.

The railroad was originally laid with wooden strap rail and operated by horses. This was replaced by T-rail in the 1840s. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad obtained most of the company's stock in August 1862 and took over its operation.

Under Reading control, the line became the Lorberry Branch, and an extension known as the Kalmia Branch would bring the rails west from Lorberry and down a switchback to Kalmia Colliery, on the north face of Broad Mountain. In addition, a switchback at Lorberry would lift the line to its terminus at the Lincoln Colliery (opened 1869).

On March 25 1871, it was consolidated into the Lebanon and Tremont Railroad, which was soon after merged into the Reading. The line beyond the Lincoln Colliery was abandoned in 1940, and the rest of the branch in 1966.


  • Taber, Thomas T., III (1987). Railroads of Pennsylvania Encyclopedia and Atlas. Thomas T. Taber III. ISBN 0-9603398-5-X.

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