Old D&H Route through Susquehanna County PA?

Discussion relating to the D&H. For more information, please visit the Bridge Line Historical Society.

Moderator: MEC407

Old D&H Route through Susquehanna County PA?

Postby Snowmojoe » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:37 pm

There is an old rail line that runs north/south roughly paralleling Route 171 through Susquehanna County PA. It is now known as the "D&H Rails-to-Trail", which I have been on many times for various purposes (hiking/biking/snowmobiling/etc.) This old line comes north out of Carbondale and runs north through Vandling, passes just east of Forest City, then just west of Stillwater Lake, through Union Dale, Thompson, etc. and then possibly used to pass under the Starucca Viaduct?

My family has owned a house south of Thompson for many years (early 70s), and it is not far from this old rail right of way. I have dim memories as a child of hearing the train whistle and running down the road to go see the train go by with my mom and dad. I am curious to know what year it was that trains ceased to operate on these tracks, and when the rails and ties were torn up. Was this line always the D&H? Or did other RRs operate over it?

Years of fishing with my dad in the general area - primarily along the various branches of the Lackawanna and Lackawaxen (there's a string of good spots along the Rails-to-Trails I mentioned above) uncovered numerous old stone bridge footings/abutments/etc. My father would somehow find out about some crazy fishing hole from someone, and then lead me and my brother through what seemed like miles of brambles and bushes, hanging up my line dozens of times, getting lost and having to echo-locate my dad, cursing under my breath... and then all the sudden we'd pop out of the brush into a clearing with a beautiful pool next to some giant old bridge footing with a bunch of big trout waiting for us. I always wished I had taken pictures back then because now I can't find the places on my own. This leads me to wonder how many other lines used to operate in that area, what they used to service, and how long they have been abandoned, because many of these old fixtures didn't seem to make much sense when considered in relation to the old D&H tracks.

Were these also likely from the D&H, or do they pre-date the D&H? I always figured they were abandoned products of the "golden age" of coal mining in the area, I just don't know who built them or how old they are.
"Don't open the gates!! Who the hell needs a wooden horse that size anyway?!?!"
User avatar
Snowmojoe
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:22 pm
Location: Wyckoff, NJ

Re: Old D&H Route through Susquehanna County PA?

Postby mikeexplorer » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:38 pm

It was known as the D&H's Penn Division, the last of the rails were torn out around 1985. Originally it was the Erie's Jefferson branch. I have photographed that rail line and posted them here.

http://www.nepaview.com/dh-railroad.html
mikeexplorer
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: Old D&H Route through Susquehanna County PA?

Postby Snowmojoe » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:31 pm

That is the one. The crossing at Fiddle Lake Road was the one down the road from my house.
"Don't open the gates!! Who the hell needs a wooden horse that size anyway?!?!"
User avatar
Snowmojoe
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:22 pm
Location: Wyckoff, NJ

Re: Old D&H Route through Susquehanna County PA?

Postby Snowmojoe » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:36 pm

Looking at some of your other pages though I see that some of the artifacts I had "found" were NYO&W from the Simpson-Browndale and Browndale-Stillwater sections.
"Don't open the gates!! Who the hell needs a wooden horse that size anyway?!?!"
User avatar
Snowmojoe
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:22 pm
Location: Wyckoff, NJ

Re: Old D&H Route through Susquehanna County PA?

Postby Snowmojoe » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:01 pm

Looking at some of your other pages though I see that some of the artifacts I had "found" were NYO&W from the Simpson-Browndale and Browndale-Stillwater sections.
"Don't open the gates!! Who the hell needs a wooden horse that size anyway?!?!"
User avatar
Snowmojoe
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:22 pm
Location: Wyckoff, NJ

Re: Old D&H Route through Susquehanna County PA?

Postby frank754 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:10 pm

I've read that the Erie retained ownership of the Penn Division trackage and for a while that both the D&H and Erie used the line concurrently. Interestingly enough, in the Wilkes-Barre area, the Erie once ran through freights down through Avoca PA to Pittston, then down the CNJ Canal Branch to the Nanticoke Branch at Gardners Switch then down the east side of Wilkes-Barre to Ashley where the Huber Breaker was located and also the large CNJ yard and shops. I'm wondering if these runs on the southern end were through freights up to NY State and then down to NJ, or were the cars usually interchanged and switched to other runs which used the Penn Division? Also I've never figured out exactly when the Canal branch and northern portion of the Nanticoke Branch fell into disuse/abandonment, probably the late 60's?. I know the southern portion of the Nanticoke branch from Coal St (Wilkes-Barre) to Ashley survived until the late 80's and there's still a good deal of trackage remaining.
User avatar
frank754
 
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 11:58 am
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA formerly New Jersey


Return to Delaware & Hudson

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest