From Liverpool to the Little Schuylkill Railroad, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

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1st Lieutenant
Mar 16, 2016


From CWT poster @chubachus site - please visit to see an animated stereoscopic view


One of the many anthracite railroads that became part of the Reading System and instrumental in delivering coal during the Civil War...

Sunday June 23, 2019 11:21 AM
Discussion highlights historical figure’s tie to the Little Schuykill Railroad
Prof. Eugen Wendler of Germany talks about economist Friedrich List at the Schuylkill County Historical Society.
Written by Ron Devlin

A visiting German professor shed light on a little known chapter of coal region history Saturday during a visit to the Schuylkill County Historical Society in Pottsville. Dr. Eugen Wendler, 80, professor emeritus of the University of Reutlingen, visited the society to do research for a book on the Little Schuylkill Railroad. The railroad, one of the earliest in Schuylkill County, was founded by German economist Friedrich List and Isaac Hiester, both of Reading in 1831. Wendler's research suggests the Little Schuylkill Railroad, which carried coal from Tamaqua to Port Clinton, was the first in the region to use steam locomotives. List and company imported two locomotives, named Catawissa and Comet, from England in 1832. The society has a photo of the Catawissa, which Wendler says cost $5,000 new. The Catawissa remained in service until around the Civil War, which it was scrapped. The fate of the Comet is unknown.

Full article can be found here -

The Little Schuylkill Navigation, Railroad and Coal Company (LSRR) was a railway company in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania in the 19th century. The main line ran from Port Clinton to Tamanend, for a total of 28 miles (45 km).

The railroad received a charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on February 28, 1826. Construction began in 1830. The tracks were constructed with strap iron on wood rails. The LSRR operated between Tamaqua, located at the end of the coal rich Panther Creek Valley and the Port Clinton terminus of the Schuylkill Canal, beginning in 1831 with horse-drawn cars and later to a rail junction with the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company.

Two steam locomotives, built in Liverpool, were acquired by the railroad in 1833, but the wooden tracks did not support the engines, requiring a resumption of animal powered operations. This over-extended investment nearly bankrupted the young company. It was twelve years later before iron "T" rails belatedly replaced the wooden rails in 1845, and the costly English locomotives were then returned to regular service.

The LSRR completed a junction with the Catawissa Railroad at Tamanend (also called Little Schuylkill Junction) in 1854. In 1857 it built a roundhouse in Tamaqua, housing 21 locomotives and a turntable. In 1863 the company was leased by the Reading Railroad for 93 years. It formally merged with the Reading in 1952.,_Railroad_and_Coal_Company

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