First guestbook post
I have been having issues with my DSL service so I haven't been able to move more pages over from the old site.
Love the site. I found it on theatvzone.com a while back and have been checking from time to time. I rode the NEPA Snow Trails on my snowmobile this year and enjoyed seeing what some of the beds looked like when not snow covered. I came across this picture that was labeled as possibly being an electrical device. It appears to be the drum brake backing plate for an automobile. It still has part of the parking brake cable attached as well as the wheel cylinder. Just thought I'd give you the heads up.
There were a few items discovered by those concrete remains that didn't seem to be railroad related, that was one of them.
I as looking at your site and wanted to tell you that the home I was raised in used to be a resting place for the steam engines and a water station in the back side of our home near the old railroad was a huge stone circle with water pipes in it , on the granite stone we could pull flit out of it . it is now covered up as it was before but my dad uncovered it for a while than recovered it up and close to the road was a huge square water holding like a big well in the ground we were never allowed to get close to it , but it is all there , the trains evidently stopped to refill the engine with water and the workers stayed at the house don't know if this information is important ,but I always found it interesting
I abandoned my old website as of today. The model railroading section will be installed as soon as possible. The old site keeps breaking down so I had to do this before everything was installed.
Caught wind of your website off the Northumberland County OHV site. I'm a retired contractor that did alot of projects in the Wyoming Valley. I often noticed the old RR grades in the winter time and was fascinated with the history of coal mining and the railroads. We are hoping to preserve the Anthracite heritage at AOAA.
You website is fascinating and took me places I could only wonder about traveling routes 81 , 309 and 11. Keep up the good work Mark~
hey mike theres a pic from 2011 of the suscon pittston would love to see a bigger pic is that possible thanks great job
Which one, use the contact form and let me know which one
hi mike in the section of wilkes barre eastern erie suscon to pittston under updated maps 2011 its the 2nd pic the rails still in place. also the pic of broken spike near poconos state game 127 is interesting did u find alot of spikes near the abundments off route 940 ?
Enjoyed your site. I am the owner of the Pitcairn historical Society website. Always enjoy railroad history as that is what built our town.
I came across your site today, & it is great. Up until I moved to the Bethlehem area 7yrs ago, I traveled from NJ to hunt in the Orviston area. I have been hunting there for 30 years, & have always liked the RR history in that area. I have been researching the area to build a model RR of the area of Orviston. I have come across old pictures of the area from residents, but I am still looking any pictures of trains in Orviston or in the Hog Back tunnel. Would you have any pictures or information on the types of engines used on those line? Perhaps sometime I can send you some of what I found. Feel free to email me, I hope to hear from you soon. Steve L.
I just like your web site,
does any one have any idea of the Grave of a black man that died while working on the WilksBarre & Eastern Rail Road in Langans, just behind the homeStead of the Blattner Family, Now. it Belongs to the Dupont Sportsman Club,
My Grandfather, and My Dad, and Brother Stanley, and myself had taken care of the Grave
Also; Helen Blattner Niezo, kept the Grass trimmed
I would like to add any one who visit this Grave have Respect, and also try to keep it clean,
My last visit to the Grave, Broke my heart as some one has broken the Cross Marker
Thanks for reading this
Eddie Urbanski [Tuffy]
Thanks for all the work it had to take to get this all together. A fine job. Much appreciated!!
Keith, I have just put a comment in this web site, I'm sure you will read and search it
Contaning [ The Body ] by Stephan King
also I suggest that you search the web on AOL as I have said it will bring back your childhood walking the rail Road, Gee Thanks Eddie
I regularly visit your site. I appreciate that you keep adding content. I like to walk the D&H Rail Trail and your guides have been a big help. I also enjoy my hikes much more being armed with the knowledge from your site. Thank you for all your hard work. Tom
Hi Tom, thanks for the Reply I don't know if you are from the area here in the Scranton/Wilksbarre, Springbrook area, and reading your blob, you will be very excited, to see the Video, [The Body ] its based on the Novel The Body By Stephan King, it was on Turner Classic Movie last week, and I am sure it will bring intrest to your childhood days, My friend said the Book is great It looks like its from this area with the Railroad tracks, and the High Bridge of the Wilksbarra railroad, Eddie
love your site and this topic. Is this the latest on your site and what is your e mail for contact. Thanks.
Hi-- great site--we need to get together, My dad and I have done a lot of exploring like you, sure is great!!! I run the Pocono Drag Lodge reunions in Bear Creek..cheers and keep up the good work!!
Awesome site... stumbled on it by accident when investigating the reservoirs along route 502 in springbrook. I have a few questions if you wouldnt mind sending me an email
Use the contact form to the right to send me an email and I can contact you.
Love your site!!!
Born, raised, and still live in North Scranton. A DLW fan but live very near the old O&W line on Keyser Ave. I have become very interested (obsessed?) in finding out more about the branch section from Main Ave. Dickson City to the Keyser Valley. I know of a few places where the line is evident: (corner of Rockwell and Gilbert you can still see the raised roadbed through the backyard of residence as well as a concrete "block" which I would assume was the base of a RR crossing sign? Also another one of those concrete bases where the line would've crossed Stanton St.) I plan on doing some of my own "archeology" in the spring. I really would like to get more info/pics about the bridge that crossed Legget's creek. Unfortunately I have been able to find very little info or maps of this section. I am fascinated by this stuff!
Thanks for all the great information and pictures!!!
Thanks for sharing your hobby on this great website. As a NEPA native and steam train fan, I enjoyed reading about these sites that were in my own backyard. It's too bad that so many sites were destroyed while constructing I-81, 380 and CSE. I always thought they should have conducted some archeological studies before tearing everything up for new roads. My grandparents told me about the Laurel Line, Old 611 and Luna Park. It was great learning more about them. Awesome!
Hi - I stumbled on your site today while trying to find out about East Stroudburg's railroad history. I'm a casual rail fan and like enjoy exploring abandoned tracks. You have a lot of great material here, thanks for all your work!
i looked on your site at all of the abandoned rail,bridges,equipment and buildings along with rail caes.i would like to know what is still there.please let me know.thank you.
Great site! What a great hobby. I stumbled upon your site when looking for information on the Jefferson branch of the Erie RR. I found your page on the Ararat WYE - very nice. Where did you get the track schematic? I was looking for a one for the next leg to Thompson. My ancestor was a foreman on the construction of the original wooden trestle over Starrucca Creek in 1870. He was knocked off the bridge and killed by a timber swinging from a crane. I've been looking on Google satellite maps but can't really find the track bed. Apparently the site of the trestle is near where the train crossed Buck Falls Road. Have you explored that region? Thanks!
OK I see, you did explore Ararat to Thompson, and Thompson to Starrucca. Wonderful! Your topo allowed me to find the site of the trestle on Google maps. I saw your photos of the trestle remains. Is it much of a drop?
Thanks so much
No it is not much of a drop and there is a small bridge at the bottom to allow crossing the creek
I guess that I'm as crazy as you are in that, over the years, I have volunteered at three steam tourist railroads. Keep up the good work. When the leaves are off the trees I plan to walk some of the roadbeds that you have identified.
One suggestion to document would be the Bear Creek branch of the LV. It passes through the Bear Creek Lutheran summer camp where I have volunteered in the past and continues into State Game Lands, where it ends. It was abandoned around 1939 as the ice industry went away. If you look hard there is a small yard, ice house foundations and some ancient brake rigging in Bear Creek, including a cast iron brake wheel, no doubt the residue of a long ago wreck. If you just ask in a nice way you can get permission to walk the line on camp property and anybody can walk through game lands.
They have some old photos on file in the office, too, that show ice being loaded into boxcars many years ago.
One more comment - on ice lakes. Both of the lakes on Bear Creek Camp property are drained and have been for many years. After one dam blew out in 1957 the state demanded that the other be demolished ASAP. State regulations have become very tight. Unless the lake is being monitored constantly for weakness in the dam or berm, they want the lake drained. They do not want another Johnstown flood. Natural lakes are exempt.
Nice site! Keep up the good work!
I had a great time exploring your website. Thanks for taking the time to make this available.
Great website and hobby! I have long been an enthusiast in finding abandoned rails. I look just about anywhere. I live in Colorado but can go into Google satellite and see the grades you are talking about.
(It's good to know others are out there who enjoy this sort of thing!)
Wonderful site. You have obviously done your homework and a lot of footwork too. I explore abandoned rails in south jersey and unfortunately all traces are being lost as nature and development take their toll.
Born in Scranton 1941 and left 1961. My Roots are still there. Where ever I go and hear the sound of a Train, My thoughts go back to Scranton. Loved hiking back in the woods in the South Side back then.
Enjoyed photos of the area I hiked twice as a Boy Scout. Lake Ariel to Dunmore in the early 1970s. It was very esy to find our way at that time. The Erie ran to Lake Ariel until around 1970. Thanks.
Hello, I am working on an exhibit focusing on the railroads and ice houses and was wondering if you had any old maps or images that might show the railroad spurs to the ice houses at Gouldsboro and/or Tobyhanna? You can contact me directly through email. Thanks!
I saw one of your comments that you saw some maps showing a double track on the LV main line in Mountain Top. I run on the D&L Trail from south of Glen Summit to Moosehead Lake and farther south. It appears to me that a portion of this was double tracked but I'd like to see a map just to verify. I haven't been able to find one.
Thanks again for a great site!
in re. laurel line. I have found foundation of powerhouse in Scranton. also found remains of dam and pipe used to draw water from roaring brook to power house .active.active railroad area.
Just a note -- have visited website many times...love the photos especially D & H Penn Division/Jefferson Junction. My grandfather grew up in Starrucca, was manager of communications for the D & H in Albany in 60s. I'm about 5 hours away and have done a trip in one day more than once. Can't believe how open the Jefferson Junction area was way back then. In the 60s I went to the Starrucca Cemetery with my parents and while there heard one blast from an air horn. At the time did not know the line went through there, was unaware of the steel viaduct, etc. Have hiked all through there now with my son...and your photos have been just great. Thanks so much....
The Olyphant Power Plant was one of two built by the Hudson Coal Company to power their mining operations. (The other was at Carbondale.) It had 4 steam turbines generating a total of 13,600 kw. Generators were added or shut down, based on the demands of electric mine water pumps which normally ran only at night. In the spring and fall, mine pumps often ran day and night at peak load for the plant. Although breakers used lots of power, most power consumption happened underground.
With automatic stokers, the plant burned fine coal which the company otherwise had difficulty marketing.
I doubt Olyphant residents were sold power from this plant, as it was 25 cycle rather than normal 60 cycle.
Building and operating their own power plants was a profitable enterprise for Hudson Coal as well as Glen Alden. They ran some very impressive, vertically integrated operations the likes of which we'll never see again.
Thanks for putting up a great website.
Great work. I am a locomotive engineer, and have been watching rail lines in NE Pa. disappear for 40 years. I dont remember the O&W- but I do remember Lehigh Valley trains in Montrose, and EL trains in Nicholson. I remember E8s and Stillwells in Port Jervis. All gone. At one time, there were three rail lines into Montrose, PA. I saw a picture of my Grandmother at the Lackawanna depot in Montrose. She was twelve at the time, the picture taken in 1912. There was a DL&W Camelback behind her. The picture disappeared, along with all those quaint old rail lines. Keep it up! I live in Shohola PA- Erie Country. I travel to the Montrose area on a regular basis, as my grandparents farm is now my brothers and mine. Always lookin for old rail lines!!
Great site, fills in some background info for my genealogy research. Also, I live near "Franklin Junction", and not far from the old CNJ Ashley Engine Terminal and Car Shops, which were adjacent to the Huber Breaker. There are still some remains on Cemetery St. off of Main St. in Ashley over to Culvert St. in Carey's Patch. Franklin Junction is where 3 lines that crossed Division St. in Wilkes-Barre split up and three tressels crossed East St. Mary's Road. Only one tressel remains and is active, serving Hanover Industrial Estates.
You can see the Cemetery and Culvert St's in the CNJ Ashley Engine Terminal and Car Shops blueprint, which you probably already have. If not, let me know and I can send you an "inverse" copy in black and white that's easier to see and read.
I am the guy that talked to you on 1/13/15 at Elk Mt. I am looking at your Web site for the first time but not the last. I see that you have put a lot of work into this site and I will be back to you. Happy Trails and Happy skiing.
Nice site. Like the photos.
I was looking around in that area the other day and had a 2 hour conversation with a homeowner in the area. I never knew this history and also never heard of a town called Una (?) that had a large amusement park back in the day.
Excellent page! I too am an avid Laurel Line fan since the 60s. I still hike it all the time, usually 3 days a week at least, searching for more artifacts for my sizeable collection. I was born and raised at the end of Meadow Ave., right along the Over The Hill branch. Still live in the neighborhood, and played there before I-81 went in. Hope to be in touch with you since I'm really obsessed with the subject! Regards, Fran...
I saw your section on the O&W RR through Dickson City. The pictures you show in the sequence of the crossbucks and the line through the neighborhood are NOT of the O&W RR. That line is the old Storrs Colliery branch of the DL&W railroad. The Storrs Colliery was owned by the DL&W. This branch connected with the NYS&W which paralleled the O&W north of the O&W Dickson Yard.
The crossbucks are at the Hallstead Street crossing. I grew up within 50 feet of this crossing in the '50s and '60s. My dad told me that there was always a DL&W engine servicing that branch, never an O&W engine. Coal trips of up to 10 hopper cars would regularly pass over this line during the '60s, bringing coal from the Storrs strip mine. Operation of this line was discontinued in the early '70s. The tracks were finally torn up in the '80s.
The Storrs Branch crossed Main Street at the intersection of Grier Street & Main Street, less than 1 block south of St. Thomas Church, which is the church symbol on the map. The O&W Capouse Branch crossed Main Street about 3/8 of a mile south of the Storrs Crossing that you show. The Capouse Branch junction with the O&W mainline was located about 20 feet south of the Bowman Street bridge, which was at the southern end of the O&W RR Dickson Yard.
great pictures, there is something magical about abandoned railways going thru the woods, you want to hike them.
Great site!! I grew up in the area and remember all of the railroads that were in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton/Dallas area. Brings back a lot of memories.
Thank you for your website. I stopped at the Starrucca
Viaduct (amazing) on my way back to Fla from New Hampshire but didn't know about the two iron bridges just East along the old D&H until I got back home. Thanks to your effort I have now at least checked them out "virtually". Absolutely amazing how fast mother takes back the land once we don't have a need for it. I've heard her referred to as "delicate" but she is anything but delicate.
Just today I found all the free, downloadable, topographic maps at the USGS.gov website. I believe that you have to pay for the latest maps but the earlier ones are no cost. I just downloaded the 1x1 map of the Scranton quadrangle from 1962 and it shows the line from Carbondale to Lanesboro and also every other line in the Scranton area. From the USGS.gov homepage, choose "Map Locator and Downloader", then its just zoom in to the area you want the maps for. You'll also have to download and install "TerraGo", which is a plugin for Adobe Reader. The link for "TerraGo" and a "how to install" video are also on the USGS site.
Thanks again for your site.
In your O&W section where you found a very old wood boxcar and returned at a later date gaining access to the interior of that boxcar. It is slightly difficult to see the large gray painted item laying on its side on the floor, but it looks to me to be a Fairbanks Morse scale platform for inside installation. There are many still in use today. Most do not have the cover on the bottom where the rods, mechanism, etc, that attached to the mechanism under the drive-on platform usually outside. Very reliable scales which use weights that slide and stackable as well. I have seen and used them with an 80,000 capacity. Surely they were offered in higher catagories since I have seen them used for coal cars in historic photos. Very interesting find. Thanks
Thanks for the info. I did no know what that was and shortly after taking the picture we were told to leave. The area is totally obliterated now and that boxcar is gone.
Please add me to this site. I now live in Oaks Pa. The old Perkiomen Branch, of The Reading, bridge over the Schuylkill river is within view of my home. I am interested in reading all I can, information wise & comment wise, about the railroads that plyed this area and the people that worked them. Thank you.
Enjoyed the site. Please contact me - Tom Dimmick
What a treasure trove of photos for an old O&W fan! Very glad I discovered you. I live in the Syracuse area and have long mourned the passing of the Old & Weary. I remember as a teenager when I first got my license driving US20 and NY80 and wondering about the tracks I kept crossing. In time I came to find out, long after the tracks were gone. Recently visited the remains of the Lyon Brook bridge and drove along the old Oswego Midland in Beaver Meadow and Plymouth. So many memories, too little time. Enjoy what we can.
I find your work fascinating - appreciate the captions you leave with your photos - thank you for doing this!
Thanks for all the info and photos. I live in MA., and like to hike and explore in the woods. We have a few abandoned railbeds in the area, and some in VT. & NH, but nothing like what you have in your pictures. It looks like PA. has quite a few still intact.
Love your posts and photos. When I return to my home town of Ashley, I can be seen walking the Ashley Plains and the LVRR and CNJRR old railroad beds. The LVRR passenger trains came near my back yard in West Ashley when I was a kid. My uncle was fatally injured by a LVRR passenger train in about 1953. This incident took place in back of Sively Street in West Ashley. Unfortunately, he was deaf and did not here the warning whistles.
Hi Mike, I found your post on the Garmin website and followed to your website here. Looks like a great hobby Mike. I'm from lower Michigan. We had a huge logging industry here but most were moved on the water not rail. This would be a great hobby in our upper peninsula due to the many railways used in the mining industry up there. Interesting site Mike, thank you.
Image of the CNJ Railroad Station in Taylor, PA and the bridge on Depot Street when it crossed the Lackawanna River. The smaller bridge crossed Keyser Creek.
Does anyone have photos of "Sibley Junction" Austin Branch of LV with O&W? Old Forge Pa.
Just came across this website today. So delighted to find it. I'll spend more time here. As a youngster I grew up near Otselic, NY. The old rail line from DeRuyter to Norwich was near us. I so enjoyed walking over the old trail. In those days the dips in the ground where the ties lay was quite visible. Did not live far from Beaver Meadow, where that rail line used to pass through. Even earlier when we lived in Cherry Plain, NY, I remember the lonesome sound of the trail whistle as it passed in the middle of the night between Berlin and Stephentown. Thanks again for your website!
Just an old Chenango Valley fan. Had the privilege of walking through the tunnel under Route 92 late Sixties.
P.S.: I also had the privilege one time of speaking on the phone with the engineer who ran the demolition train that took up the rails when the line was abandoned south of Manlius. He said the lashed several sections of rail together after taking them up from the ties and dragged them back t the East Syracuse yard where they were disassembled. He tld me about he tunnel doors to keep the snow out and that they were automated. I don't think I understood him. He also regaled me with the story how they used to stop the train and help themselves to the milk that was on board and how they used to haul ice from Cazenovia Lake to East Syracuse.
Yesterday I was walking along the laurel line in DuPont . I parked on the side of Quail hill drive which is right off route 11 after u cross the green bridge . I followed the line until u got to that bridge that is missing . Looks like a narrow gauge railroad ran under it . If u don’t have it download Osm and Maps app , very helpful .
Great work Mike. Thanks for preserving , detailing , documenting and painstakingly publishing the history of this area.
Your work will ensure that the past will not be forgotten.
Great site. I live in NJ, but I am interested in the Carbondale area. Thanks,
We have a place up behind the old Vitale saw mill in Cadosia. I was always interested in the O&W RR. I was 4 years old when the O&W was abandoned , My Niece and I would walk the RR bed from Vitales Lumber to Lower Cadosia, We passed a house where Mr. Hogland lived, walk pass Coon Hill Rd to the end of lower Cadosia to DeBresha's little store. We would buy milk and bread. I was about 7 or 8 and Mr. DeBresha use to say, and 2 cents for Mr. Rockefella was the tax we paid. He was so sweet, a really cool older man. He always had a smile. I walked up the hill from DeBresha's store to the Depot and was amazed of all the tracks that were there, I was like WOW! I went to Jr High School in Hancock, NY in 1967, 68, and 1969. As a boy and young teenager, I really loved the area, things change and I decided to return to NYC. There I met my wife 51 years ago, we're married for 47 years September, 2020. My son and his family live in Preston Park, PA. I love to visit to see the grandkids. My Dad helped take down the lower Cadosia train trestle that went from the Depot across Cadosia Valley. Frank Possematto (THE DO DROP INN) was a life long friend to my family, really miss Frank
Lovely blog you haave here
Great Web Sites. I look forward to going out in the field and seeing the sites for myself.
I grew up on Laurel Run Road. I remember the RR crossing at the bottom of Giant's Despair in the 1960s with coal still being hauled from Ashley on the backline track. One thing I have never come across on-line is a train wreck in Laurel Run Boro. It was west (towards Mountaintop) of the bridge in Laurel Run that crosses the tracks. About 1 mile west just above Pine Run Road and a little west of the old farm fields on south side of Pine Run Road and Brushes Pond. I believe there is still a path up the railroad bed from the road (along a fenceline). I was a young boy, but I remember it and it was around 1968-1970. It was horrific. I believe it was a head on collision but maybe not. Cars were derailed and stacked up on each other. It was on the double track section, not the back track line. Maybe someone out there remembers the specifics of the wreck.
Somewhere around here I have a history of ice harvesting in the Poconos. I recall that the last commercial ice harvest occurred in 1949. I am not sure on which lake the ice harvest took place, but by that late date I would assume that it had to be on the DL&W.
I enjoyed this I spent many summers at Mt. Springs and was in the mid sixties
The truly horrific wreck that Dave references occurred just after the Lehigh Valley and the Jersey Central thought that they had worked out an arrangement to use each others trackage with the goal of abandoning duplicate sections. Obviously and tragically they had not thought things through and a head on collision resulted. There was loss of life, although I do not remember if both engine crews were killed. At the head end of the Lehigh Valley train were two brand new Alcos, I think C420’s, on their delivery trip to the L&HR. They both went back to ALCO for rebuilding. The CNJ lost two RS3’s. On a railfanning trip that I made up the valley sometime around 1970 I found them sitting totally destroyed on a siding in Jim Thorpe.
The CNJ was so down on its luck that it no longer had a proper wreck train. The Reading was called in with their wreck train and worked jointly with the Lehigh Valley wreck train to clean up the mess.
One of the Morning Sun railroad books covers the wreck with a lot of pictures.