"Stroudsburg, Water Gap & Portland"?

General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.

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"Stroudsburg, Water Gap & Portland"?

Postby salminkarkku » Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:23 am

I looked at the topo map trying to figure out the route of this eastern PA interurban, and between Delaware Water Gap and Stroundsburg it either followed the river or took the road over a big hill. Can anyone say which? Thanks.
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Postby CarterB » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:30 am

According to:
http://www.dutotmuseum.com/history.htm

"Wanting to gain access to the resorts at Water Gap for their "Liberty Bell" route, the Lehigh Valley Traction Company invested $50,000 in the Water Gap and Portland Street Railway Company. On February 21, 1911, portions of the mountain at the narrowest part of the Gap were dynamited to permit space for the tracks. By October, trolleys were running between Stroudsburg and Portland on the newly created Stroudsburg, Water Gap and Portland Railway Company. Open, screen-sided double truck cars painted lemon-yellow were in service in the summer and enclosed cars were used the rest of the year." .........."At Portland, where the Lehigh and New England still refused a right-of-way to the trolley, passengers had to pick up their bags, get off one trolley and walk across the L.N.& E. tracks, and then board another trolley for the ride into Delaware Water Gap." ...."In 1917, the Stroudsburg, Water Gap and Portland Railway Company became the Stroudsburg Traction Company. The growing popularity of the automobile, however, rang the death-knell of the trolleys. On March 20, 1926, the Bangor-Portland was abandoned and the right-of-way was sold to Northhampton County for construction of a new highway between Portland and Mount Bethel. In November of the same year, the lease of the right-of-way between Portland and Water Gap, which was owned by the D.L.& W., was canceled thus ending service between the two towns. Stroudsburg Traction Company ceased operations in 1928 after trying unsuccessfully to compete with growing bus lines. "

"The abandoned lines of the Stroudsburg Traction Line, or the Water
Gap Trolley right-of-way
, and the New York Susquehanna and
Western are both utilized in the greenway and rail-trail project under
development as the County’s demonstration project (Greenway
Project Feasibility Study). The latter parallels the south side of the
Brodhead Creek, while the former traverses Godfrey Ridge. Greenway Project Feasibility Study – Stroudsburg to Delaware Water Gap, Monroe
County, PA
This project was financed in part by a grant from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. The feasibility study evaluated the potential for establishing a greenway corridor and trail along the south side of the Brodhead Creek roughly paralleling the route of the historic
Stroudsburg to Water Gap Trolley line.


Also a book, if you can find it: Trolleys to the Delaware Water Gap by Benson Rohrbeck
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Re: "Stroudsburg, Water Gap & Portland"?

Postby GlennAR » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:58 pm

I live not far from this area.

I am under the impression that there once was a gravity / donkey powered trolly before the traction railway. The line was put in by the business fathers of the Stroudsburg area when the town of Delaware Water Gap was more prominent that Stroudsburg was due to all the large hotels in the DWG area on both PA n NJ side.

As a young man I walked this line with my father, an avid hiker of any trail he had never walked before and on this trek he told me about the obvious RR bed we were walking on that day.

Off the Park Avenue exit of east bound rt. 80, just to the right is a building that is said to be the trolly barn n perhaps stable. The building does have large doors and looks like it could vary easily been designed n used for this. Also if you look on Google Earth you can easily see how the so called trolly barn does line up perfectly where the gravity RR bed is still evident about a 1/3 mile toward DWG.

My dad said he was told that the rail car was hauled up the grade by the animals and once at the top the animals were loaded onto a flat bed car and they all rode down either side of the hill, donkeys and passengers alike.

My dad was a old US Navy sea captain, not the type of person to at all embellish on something he was told.....

Love to hear more........
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Re: "Stroudsburg, Water Gap & Portland"?

Postby CarterB » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:44 am

East Stroudsburg

A: According the Switchback Gravity Railroad Foundation Inc.'s Web site, the railroad was built in 1827 to haul anthracite coal from the mines at Summit Hill to the Lehigh River in Mauch Chunk, now known as Jim Thorpe, in Carbon County.

Although originally constructed to transport coal, the managers of Lehigh Coal & Navigation, creators of the Gravity Railroad, soon realized that the unique trip through the Pocono woodlands could be converted into a thrill ride.

As the coal industry faded, the train — powered by gravity for the trip down the mountain and originally by mule for the trip up — became a popular tourist attraction. The train's downhill trip could reach up to speeds of 50 miles per hour, according to the Jim Thorpe Today Web site.

The 18-mile round-trip ride closed in 1933, and the equipment sold for scrap in 1937, the foundation's Web site reveals.

In 1976, the Gravity Railroad, also known as Mauch Chunk and Summit Hill Switchback Railroad, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Today, the railroad is generally acknowledged as the first roller coaster in the United States, and the railroad bed is part of a biking and hiking trail.

To learn more about the railroad, visit the foundation's Web site at http://www.switchbackgravityrr.org; write P.O. Box 73 Jim Thorpe, PA 18229-0073; or phone (570) 325-8255.

THE MOUNTAIN VIEW TROLLEY LINE IN STROUDSBURG
The Mountain View Trolley was established on July 10, 1907, after booming tourism increased the need for transportation between Stroudsburg and the town of Delaware Water Gap. In the late 1800s, visitors began flocking to the region to enjoy the beautiful scenery and pristine wildlife. Built by the J. R. Brill Company in Philadelphia, the Mountain View Trolley ran on a narrow-gauge track and was capable of hauling a large number of passengers. The trolley cars operated on overhead wires and battery power and ran year-round, shuttling residents and visitors and working as a school bus for local schoolchildren. The introduction of motor coaches and automobiles brought about the end of the trolley age, and the Mountain View Trolley ended its run in September 1928 http://books.google.com/books/about/Mou ... ou3EyBFbYC

Info also says it ran from 7th Street, Stroudsburg to the gap. Since 7th Street crosses the bridge and becomes Park Ave, perhaps what you mention may have been a car barn?

The Stroudsburg, Water Gap & Portland Railway was a trolley interurban that connected the namesake cities until around 1928. It was also known as the "Mountain View Trolley" because of it's spectacular views and the double horseshoe curve necessary to lift the cars to the summit of Godfrey's Ridge between the towns of Delaware Water Gap and Stroudsburg, PA. In the early part of the 20th Century, the trolley line published 8 views showing the interesting features of the railway. This is number 1 of the set. It shows the trolley crossing over the 4th street trestle. http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/s ... ley-view-4 http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/dr0105/swg2.jpg See also if you can find: Trolleys to the Delaware Water Gap by Benson Rohrbeck.
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