Waddell Breaker

The Waddell Breaker, or Waddell Coal Co. was in put in operation in the late 1800’s. It was originally serviced by the O&W railroad. Sometime in the early 1900s, the breaker was rebuilt as a wet coal preparation plant. Although the breaker was destroyed by fire in the 1970’s the machinery was salvaged inside the framework and continued to process coal up until the end of the 1980’s. A unique aspect of the operation was in the 1950s the O&W dedicated 5 specially painted hopper cars to be used in service taking coal from the Waddell breaker to McCormack’s Coal Co Loading dock at the intersection of Ferdinand Street and Keyser Ave, Scranton, where the cars would be used as bins to hold coal for filling of coal delivery trucks. The cars were painted in a brilliant bright orange scheme as a billboard advertisement for Waddell Coal brand. These cars were never taken out on the mainline and remained in use only on the Capouse branch traveling from Keyser ave to Winton. When the O&W folded, the Erie Lackawanna Railroad briefly took over rail traffic but soon the line was abandoned and pulled up. The Waddell cars were stranded at Keyser Ave, and continued to be used as coal pockets, being filled from behind using trucks. At some point the coal dealer closed, these cars were scrapped and RJ Walker built on the site.

Photos from Walter Kierzkowski and the Ontario and Western Railway Historical Society, Inc.

The remains of this breaker were demolished and scrapped in the summer of 2003. Only the scale house and an Erie hopper car remained on the site as well as a small old dragline until the entire site was reclaimed. There was an abandoned haulage shaft there that the breaker pumped water out to wash the coal, but that has been filled in as of the reclamation. Plans are to build a housing development on the site.