Updated on Aug 17, 2019
To attend this event, you must register at: https://www.pay.berkscamera.org/product/coal-mine-tour-2019/
Check out the Tunnel's web site for information at www.pioneertunnel.com.
The plan is to have everyone take shots down the tunnel from just inside the entrance & then begin a group walk toward the back end, setting up intermittently as we proceed. There are a few side tunnels along the way & as well as at the back end of the tunnel to photograph. After completing our shoots at the tunnel's end, we would then begin a group walk toward the front entrance looking for more images. The experience will be done as a group. We will need to take turns shooting then step back to give others the same opportunity. It will therefore be a somewhat slow process. A mine guide will be present with us the entire time. We will explore the option of taking the tram one way but that will not likely work out as the tram will be in the way of the scenes.
The tunnel is 1800 feet long & 52 degrees cool. The floor is not solid since we'll be walking on railroad ties. The lighting is low. The mine advises that "adequate" shoes must be worn in order to walk in the mine for safety reasons. Hiking boots would be best & certainly no open shoes. Long pants & a jacket are recommended.
In regard to equipment, a 24 or wider to 70 mm zoom will probably be the best. There will probably not be much use for a telephoto lens but one could certainly be brought along. A tripod with a remote shutter release or in-camera delayed trigger will be needed for the best results because of the low lighting as accessory illumination will be used only very selectively. It could be a little wet inside with dripping water in areas. If that is a concern then some form of camera protection should be available, even if just a plastic bag. You should probably not take an entire camera bag into the tunnel since the space is a little tight & its contents will get dirty from the coal dust. Head lamps are not needed.
The photo shoot will begin at 7:30 AM. We will have until about 10:00 inside the mine. The drive to Ashland is 75 minutes (50 miles) & therefore must begin at 6:10 AM. We will meet at 6:00 AM in the Berkshire Mall parking lot at 1665 State Hill Road at the lot entrance off State Hill Road near the door entrance to Boscov's.
But, There's more! After the Pioneer tour, we hope to visit a nearby operating coal mine. Tentative plans are in place pending their operating schedule for the day. We expect to be there for about an hour and a half. A telephoto lens would be helpful at this site. More details to follow for people who sign up for this trip.
But, there's even more! After finishing up at the Tunnel, we'll travel 10 minutes to Centralia which has been destroyed by an underground coal seam fire burning since 1962. All but 2-3 homes are still standing from a former population of 1400. Although very interesting, there is not much to photograph in the former town but we'll explore & photograph the "graffiti highway", old Route 61, that runs through the area & try to find one of the mine polluted orange waterways. See a few of Vince's photos of the highway below.
There are other spots in the region to investigate if the desire is there & time permits. This could include the old mining village of Gilberton. For those who want to add their own stops along the way, there is plenty more to see. In Ashland there is the Mother's Memorial. For those who want to hike, outside of Frackville/Gilberton are the remains of the Mahanoy Plane on the side of the mountain.
This will be a rain or shine event.
This event will be limited to the first 20 people to sign up, and it's filling up fast! Click here to register. Cost to BPS members is $30, and includes admission to the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine. Cost for non-members is $50. Registration will be opened to non-members on August 1 so act quickly to grab your spot!
we will meet at sheets in lititz on 501 on the north side of town. Will leave around nine from there. the Take a nice Sunday ride up thru pa...