"Wilkes-Barre & Eastern" at Wilkes-Barre?

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

"Wilkes-Barre & Eastern" at Wilkes-Barre?

Postby salminkarkku » Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:25 am

Help!

If you look at

ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BP ... heet_1.pdf

you will see the WB&E (labeled ERIE) running from Suscon via a big reverse curve, south of Yatesville to peter out north of the DH yard at Hudson.

But I understand it used to terminate at "Plains Junction", and its passenger trains used to run trackage over the CNJ Canal Branch to Wilkes-Barre.

Where was Plains Junction? Was it by the city boundary at Hilldale, and was there another WBE line to it from the Yatesville area?

This query is for the revised edition of the "Northeast" volume of the SPV atlas. I know there's a book out there on the WBE, but we will find it difficult to access a copy.

Thanks!
salminkarkku
 

Postby Urban D Kaye » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:09 am

According to my SPV Atlas, Plains Jct is just NW of Inkerman (between the two small islands on the east bank of the Susquehanna).
Urban D Kaye
 

Postby salminkarkku » Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:11 pm

I've done a bit of digging, and found out that the WB&E was originally chartered to run to a terminal on the north side of the river at WB, by the Market Street bridge. The "Wilkes Barre Connecting" took over or leased a section of this route, including the river bridge.

There seem to have been two "Plains Junctions" in the area. One was the familiar one, end-on between the CNJ Canal Branch from Miners Mills and the "Erie & Wyoming Valley". The other seems to have been between the Connecting line and the original WB&E line on its way to Suscon, this junction being just west of the DH yard at Hudson. The WB&E had a station at Plains north of this junction, and this was the terminal of passenger services from Stroudsburg after WWI. I don't know when this second Plains Jct was taken out.

Also, I don't know if anything was done at the intended passenger terminal just north of Market Street bridge. This would have been served by a line running along the north bank of the river from the railroad bridge, not the WB Conn line to the north. If it existed, it would have operated between 1894 and 1912 at the most, the latter year being when the WBConn took possession of the river bridge and the section of line eastward towards Hudson.

Does anybody know what the WB&E had on the north bank at WB before 1912? What I'm guessing is that there was some sort of passenger service to WB on this route before 1912, which was cut back to Plains in that year.
salminkarkku
 

Postby njmidland » Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:34 pm

The WB&E originally crossed the river and had a fairly grand station in Kingston. When the line opened there were two Wilkes-Barre to Jersey City trains each day. They were no competition with the LV and they were gone early in the 20th century. Service was cut back to Plains and also to mixed train service. By 1912 the mixed train didn't even connect at Stroudsburg to the NYS&W mixed train, requiring an overnight stay to go to Jersey City.
User avatar
njmidland
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:30 am
Location: NJ

Postby JhnZ33 » Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:50 pm

Some photos I aquired quite some time ago. I can't remember where I got them except for the Kingston depot. That one came from ebay which I bid on but didn't win.

First is WB&E Plains Depot:

Image

WB&E at Stroudsburg:

Image

And finally, the depot at Kingston taken during the 1902 flood.

Image

As it's a low resolution grab from ebay, it's not all that great. I thought I had another photo of the station somewhere, so I'm still looking through my photos. I'll let you know if I find it.

JJP
Riding the rails of the past via media and exploration
User avatar
JhnZ33
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 7:16 pm
Location: Ashley, Pa.

Postby henry6 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:01 am

The RAILROADIANS published a book in the 60s and reprinted in the 90's about this road (and another about parent NYS&W). Should be available through NRHS groups or museum bookstores. Maps, anecdotes, history, pictures, etc.
henry6
 

Postby cjvrr » Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:38 pm

There is a Harold Fredericks authored book from 1986 entitled the "Wilkes Barre & Eastern Railway". It was published by the Railroadians.

Henry, are you refering to the "Next Station Will Be...."Series. This too should have photos?

The NJ Midland Society and the Railroadians of America merged in 1996.

"NJMidland" whom posted above would be the best source of information.

Maybe with enough interest the books will be reprinted.
CV the Civil E
cjvrr
 
Posts: 1310
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Morris County, NJ

Postby henry6 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:39 pm

No. I am referring to the same book you are. But come to think of it there was a "...Next Station Will Be...", too!
henry6
 

Postby njmidland » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:10 pm

Volume 5 of The Next Station Will Be... covered the NYS&W from Beaver Lake to Stroudsburg and all of the WB&E.

The Harold Fredericks WB&E book has been out of print for about 8 years.

We have not considered reprinting the Next Station book. Sadly, when we reprinted Volume 1 the sales were not all that hot. We had a vision of reprint the first 5 or so volumes but it appears most people would rather buy the various color books out there.

On the other hand, we have been looking at reprinting the WB&E book. Based on the prices I see it go for on ebay and the various out of print sites it looks like the demand is there. Before we go ahead with the project we want to make sure we have enough photos. As you may have seen, there were no photos in the WB&E book, only sketches. We would also look at adding Jim Guthrie's landmark "WB&E - A Retrospective" that ran in the first two issues of the Midlander.
User avatar
njmidland
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:30 am
Location: NJ

Postby JhnZ33 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:59 pm

njmidland wrote:Volume 5 of The Next Station Will Be... covered the NYS&W from Beaver Lake to Stroudsburg and all of the WB&E.

The Harold Fredericks WB&E book has been out of print for about 8 years.

We have not considered reprinting the Next Station book. Sadly, when we reprinted Volume 1 the sales were not all that hot. We had a vision of reprint the first 5 or so volumes but it appears most people would rather buy the various color books out there.

On the other hand, we have been looking at reprinting the WB&E book. Based on the prices I see it go for on ebay and the various out of print sites it looks like the demand is there. Before we go ahead with the project we want to make sure we have enough photos. As you may have seen, there were no photos in the WB&E book, only sketches. We would also look at adding Jim Guthrie's landmark "WB&E - A Retrospective" that ran in the first two issues of the Midlander.


Count me in for a copy if you decide to take on the project. I only live about 4 miles from where it originally terminated in Kingston. I'm always interested in collecting history of the area.

Interesting of note: there are WB&E tracks that still exist today in the Pittston/Suscon area.

JJP
Riding the rails of the past via media and exploration
User avatar
JhnZ33
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 7:16 pm
Location: Ashley, Pa.

Postby salminkarkku » Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:18 am

The WBE as originally built seems to have been engraved on an older map at

http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgenweb/maps/ ... zernbg.jpg

Here's the station list for Wilkes-Barre in the 1910 OG:

CNJ (a)
DH (b)
LWV (e)
LV (b)
NYSW (i.e. WBE) (c)
PRR (b)
WBH (d)

(a) & (b) c100 yds apart
(a) & (c) c0.5m apart
(a) & (e) 200 yds apart
(b) & (c) c0.5m apart
(b) & (e) adjacent
(d) c0.125m from (a) (b) (c) (e)

WB&E Jct.

---------------

The distances for (d) above seem to be wrong.

What was WB&E Jct? My guess it was a connection with the LV enabling freight to be switched through to (e.g.) Buttonwood Yard via Main Street Jct.

If the last passenger trains were mixed, then there was either a terminal yard at Plains or a freight connection there with the WBC. I would guess both.

Did the WBE have a yard at Kingston before the WBC was built?
salminkarkku
 

Postby choess » Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:20 pm

Basil:

I have a copy of the Fredericks book, if there's any particular information you'd like.

According to Fredericks, stations/junctions west of Suscon were as follows:
*(unnamed) junction with the Everhart Branch, off the bottom of the S curve where the present trackage ends (per SPV 2nd ed. PA-19b). That ran off south and west to meet the CNJ Everhart Branch. I'm not entirely sure of the trackage arrangements there; see the map at http://www.gingerb.com/cnj_map_of_trackage_rights_over_d&h.htm, which leaves off part of the WB&E to eastward, aerial images at http://www.pennpilot.psu.edu.
*Jenkins Jct. WB&E jumps over LV: connection comes southward off the LV, to the south of the bridge, joins the WB&E to go westward.
*Yatesville WB&E jumps over D&H; interchange yard on west side of D&H tracks, north of the WB&E crossing.
*Plains station. No junction. Just north and slightly west of Hudson Yard. Line abandoned west of Plains 1926.
*Algonquin Switch. Joined the Wilkes-Barre Connecting RR at NC tower, about 800 feet east of bridge over LV and CNJ. The map in the book also shows a DL&W colliery branch running to the north of both lines, which then crosses over just east of "NC" to run between the WB&E and WBC line to Hudson, then crosses over the WBC and curves southeast. It is marked as going to Peach Orchard eastward and to Pettybone Breaker westward.
*(unnamed) junction, diverging from the WBC along the north bank of the river, running to the station at Kingston "just north of Market Street".

Fredericks notes that Plains became the western terminus of passenger service "when the Susquehanna River Bridge became unsafe for passenger trains". As of 1914, the WB&E still owned the Kingston station, which was "occupied by a truck farmer who takes care of the property". However, the wooden trestle and track which had brought the line off the Susquehanna River Bridge to the station were removed in 1908. (n.b.: The line from "NC" tower to the junction for the station was originally WB&E; later leased to WBC and sold to it in 1939.)

There was a freight shed, enginehouse and turntable at Kingston, but I find no mention of a yard.

The only mention I can find of a "WB&E Junction" was the connection with the NYS&W at the other end of the WB&E.
choess
 
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:36 pm

Postby salminkarkku » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:51 am

Thanks. That's about the information we need.
salminkarkku
 

Postby nyswray » Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:36 pm

There is a great resource for discovering old ROW's in Pennsylvania at:

http://www.pennpilot.psu.edu/selectcounty.html

This site provides historic aerial photographs. There are a series of photo's taken in 1938 - 1939 which show the entire railroad.

A number of these should be included in any reprint of the Fredericks Book

Ray Hessinger
Albany, NY
nyswray
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:01 pm

Postby pumpers » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:45 pm

The west end of the WBE is something I’ve been interested in for a while for some odd reason. I should add I never have been able to look at any of the books mentioned above, unfortunately. A few comments.

1. In http://www.gingerb.com/cnj_hudson_to_wilkes-barre.htm it states that Plains Junction is the “the point of connection between the CNJ's Canal Branch and the ERIE/NYS&W Wilkes-Barre & Eastern Railroad.” Why did it say “ERIE/NYS&W Wilkes-Barre & Eastern Railroad” and not just ERIE????

It could just be a mistake, but although I’m not an expert, it seems to me that www.gingerb.com is very careful and precise. Could it be that after the Kingston station died out, that a connector was built from the WBE to the Erie and Wyoming Valley (what the Erie branch was called), and that westbound WBE passenger trains (or just passenger cars when there were mixed trains) continued onto the Erie and then the CNJ canal branch as described in the first post in this thread?

Also, where did this idea of WBE passenger trains continuing onto the CNJ Canal Branch mentioned in the first post come from?

2. I am a little leery of the 1873 map posted earlier in this thread. This is 20 years before the WB&E. I have seen maps before showing planned lines as those which really exist, but 20 years is hard to believe. Maybe the map is really from later (e.g. 1900) and the web site it is from has the date wrong.

3. I also found the following on line, taken from a PRR corporate history, about the Wilkes Barre Connecting (WBC).
http://rnetzlof.pennsyrr.com/Corphist/wbconn.html
It states that the WBC leased the WBE starting from a point 0.75 mile past the Plains station (presumably on the WBE) – I guess this is “NC” referred to by Choess in his post. This leased stretch went 0.85 miles to a point 0.25 miles west of the northern bridge over the Susquehanna. After that the WBE diverged (to Kingston, although abandoned?) and the WBC had its own tracks (and another lease) to get to Buttonwood. What is interesting is that it says that the WBE had trackage rights on this continuation to Buttonwood. So presumably if passengers had to get off at Plains, the freight could also continue on to the WBC at NC and then over it to Buttonwood. I’m not sure how this fits the idea of passengers continuing onto the Erie and then the CNJ Canal branch. In theory both are possible, I guess.

4. I have both the first and 2nd editions of SPV for the northeast, (bought what I guess is the 2nd edition about 6 months or so ago) and although I don’t have them in front of me, IIRC (which might not be the case) neither has the CNJ Canal branch to Plains. Further, the Laurel and Wyoming Valley and the Erie are all mixed up – it shows one line generally from around Dupont to around Wilkes Barre instead of 2. (I think this is what the lines looked like after they were merged – not sure when this was).

JS
pumpers
 
Posts: 1732
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:56 pm

Next

Return to Pennsylvania Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests