Steepest Grade DL&W

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Steepest Grade DL&W

Postby ut-1 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:29 am

In December's Trains magazine, pages 56-57, a map details the highest and steepest points on America's classic railroads. It is stated that the DL&W's steepest grade was "Scranton-Pocono Summit, Pa 1.8%". However, in Taber's excellent two volume treatise, "The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in the Twentieth Century", it is asserted that "The Utica Branch had the stiffest main line grade on the railroad, 1.8%, from Clayville to Paris on Paris Hill" (Volume I, page 322).

Who is correct, Trains or Taber?
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Re: Steepest Grade DL&W

Postby scottychaos » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:31 pm

Considering they both say 1.8%, they are both correct, and both wrong! ;)
It would technically be a tie..

If the maximum grade on both is the same, then the tie-breaker for "worst grade on the railroad" would have to go to distance covered over the grade..
if one is 1.8% over a much longer distance, and the other is also 1.8% over a much shorter distance,
then the "winner" would be the longer one..although if just counting grade only, it would be a tie..
doing a quick google search:

Scranton, MP 133
Pocono Summit Tower, MP 103
So thats 20 miles..

Cant find the exact MP's for the Utica branch..but looking at a map,
its clearly a much shorter grade..only a few miles..maybe even one mile.
So Scranton "wins"...
Dansville Hill in western NY was also a serious grade..not sure what its percentage was, (presumably less than 1.8%) but it was a major hill.

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Re: Steepest Grade DL&W

Postby Cactus Jack » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:07 pm

EL Track Charts of 1965 show Utica Branch MP 278 - MP 270.5 as being 1.55%
That would be from about Sauquoit (north of Clayville) to just north of Paris Station where the grade breaks off before attaining the summit at Paris.
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Re: Steepest Grade DL&W

Postby RSD15 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:01 am

Pocono track charts have east from Scranton to Nay Aug at 1.48% and then up to Gouldsboro varying between 1.02% and 1.32%.
Westbound from Analomink to Pocono Summit is almost all 1.52%.
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Re: Steepest Grade DL&W

Postby ut-1 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:50 pm

Thanks for the interesting replies!

Here's a short YouTube clip where you can get a glimpse of the grade between Chadwicks and Paris Station (this was taken about 1/2 mile north of Clayville at the Holman City Road crossing in Sauquoit):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMD-Caf ... ature=plcp
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Re: Steepest Grade DL&W

Postby Cactus Jack » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:27 pm

UT-1, thanks for posting the video.

If I recall in EL days two 1200's (GP-7's) were rated at 1700 tons.
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Re: Steepest Grade DL&W

Postby agvter » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:02 pm

LACKAWANNA’S DANSVILLE HILL GRADE

577’ at the Groveland Wye
585’ Groveland Depot MP 325.8
627’ Underpass
826’ Parker Hill Road underpass
1015’ Dansville Depot MP 318.5
1099’ Cell Towers
1181’ East Hill Rd. end
1225’ Rt 63 Wayland Rd.
1239’ Perkinsville Back Road
1296’ ½ way around Perk. Horseshoe Curve
1341’ Perkinsville Depot MP 313.2
1355’ Wayland Tank Wye
1363’ Wayland Depot MP 311.9



788’ lift in 13.9 miles
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Re: Steepest Grade DL&W

Postby Cactus Jack » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:28 pm

Looks like 1.073 % if the old calculator is working correctly.

788’ lift in 13.9 miles
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