8th Ave. Railroad Crossing?

8th ave train gate operator

Above Photo by Neal Ranauro • Click Photos to Enlarge

So something interesting happened to me this morning. I was sorting through some photos and came across this one I’ve been ignoring. It was really crazy because I had this labeled as 13th ave crossing, but when I took a good look at it, it didn’t make any sense at all! The water tower is on the wrong side of the photo, and is facing the wrong way. In fact… after some careful examination I came upon a new Manville mystery. The 8th Ave railroad crossing.

The old water tower you see in the photo there was formerly located on the north side between 9th and 10th aves, which would seem to put this crossing on South 8th. This was all pretty crazy to me, since I was completely unaware that this existed so I popped open a google maps street view to investigate…

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.38.58 AMThat is a shot of the end of South 8th next to the tracks looking from South Street (behind the VFW) Sure as hell looks like there used to be a crossing there huh?

UPDATE: According to some Manville folk testimony this crossing did exist on 8th Ave.

“Fred Sopko confirmed that there was indeed a temporary railroad crossing at 8th Ave in the late 1940s. It was a detour for traffic traveling through Manville while the underpass on Main St. was being built.”


12 thoughts on “8th Ave. Railroad Crossing?

    • The 8th avenue RR crossing was put up when the underpass was constructed on S. Main St. So, the time of the photo was roughly late 40’s. Well into the 60’s and 70’s vertical RR ties alerted motorists that the 8th avenue crossing was closed.

  1. Thanks for all these wonderful photos! Wonder if anyone living in those houses on the picture would remember anything? What I can say is that we moved from Lost Valley to N. 7th Ave. in the spring of about 1945, so I had to finish that year of school by crossing the tracks to get to Camplain Rd. School. I clearly remember jumping the tracks (in front of an on-coming train one day!) in an area which was NOT a crossing. Wouldn’t I have used a legitimate crossing (one block from my home) at 8th Ave., were there one there at that time? Does that time-line tell anyone anything? Also, do you know when Manville got the new water tower? Pat Papawick Beronio

  2. That explains the dip in the spot where i used to cross as a kid, I used to cross the tracks right there, we all did who lived in that part of town. boy my house on the corner of north 9th looked different back then. My parents both it for $1700 back in the early 50’s because it was mostly burnt down, which explains why it looked different LOL. GREAT PHOTO. and YES you can see someone in that booth. Don’t know why they didn’t leave it as it was though, made more sense to keep it the crossover right where it was.

    • I believe the 8th Avenue crossing was temporary and was used when the 13th Avenue crossing was being worked on. In the photo you’ll notice that the 8th Avenue crossing appears to be a single lane.

  3. If you take a look at historic aerials at http://www.historicaerials.com the 13th Avenue crossing does not appear in the 1956 view but does appear in the 1963 aerial. This means the 13th Avenue crossing was built some time between 1956 and 1963. Now if you look at the 1963 view of the 8th Avenue crossing it looks like the watchman’s shack is there. So it seams the crossing was there around 1963 or a little before, which was about the same time period that the 13th Avenue crossing was being constructed. Another time period indicator is the signals and crossing gates. This style was used around the early 60’s.

  4. Well I found out some more information. The 8th Avenue crossing was installed while the Main Street underpass was under construction. I believe the construction of the underpass took place around 1949. After the new underpass was open the 8th Avenue crossing was taken out. My mother-in-law lived on 8th Avenue and she said the crossing was closed by 1951.

  5. I talked to my father Fred Sopko and he confirmed that there was indeed a temporary railroad crossing at 8th Ave in the late 1940s. It was a detour for traffic traveling through Manville while the underpass on Main St. was being built.

  6. I started out at MHS in 1964 and walked from Little Weston all the way and used 13th ave-the crossing had been there a while.

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