Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine and Steam Train

On Thursday, October 5, students from the fourth and fifth grades at SCA enjoyed a visit to Ashland’s Pioneer Tunnel, a horizontal drift mine. Students saw first-hand how anthracite coal was mined from deep within the earth’s crust. The Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine runs 1800 feet straight into the side of the Mahanoy Mountain. Inside the mine, students were guided by a real life miner who shared his knowledge of how the coal was mined.

Outside the tunnel, students enjoyed a ride on an authentic steam locomotive as they boarded the “Henry Clay.” The Henry Clay is an old-time narrow gauge steam locomotive built in the 1920’s to haul coal. The Henry Clay continues to puff its way up a three-quarter mile track around the side of the mountain. From this vantage point, students were able to look across the valley and see the smoke rising from the Centralia mine fire which has been burning since 1962 and is estimated to burn for another 300 years!

Thank you Mrs. Hoover and Mrs. McCann for providing this educational and fun trip for our students!