Waddell Breaker

The Waddell Breaker, or Waddell Coal Mining Co. was 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 1963, the machinery was salvaged inside the framework and continued to process coal up until the end of the 1980’s under the name American Silt Co. The breaker was owned by Pete Brojack, and sometimes referred to as the Brojack Breaker. 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 the Keyser Valley Coal Pockets, at 1500 N Keyser Ave, Scranton, where the cars would be used as bins to hold coal for filling of delivery trucks. The cars were painted in a brilliant bright orange scheme as a billboard advertisement for the 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. Remains of the Waddell Breaker, out buildings, and miscellaneous mine equipment on site were finally scrapped and an old shaft used for pumping water for the breaker was filled in the summer of 2003. One of the last things to be scrapped was an old Erie Lackawanna Hopper car stranded at the breaker site. 

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

Photos from Amy Hlavaty Belcher of her Great Grandfather Peter Brojack, breaker owner.

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.