• Mystery line from Scranton north to Susquehanna, PA

  • Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.
Discussion relating to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Erie, and the resulting 1960 merger creating the Erie Lackawanna. Visit the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society at http://www.erielackhs.org/.

Moderator: blockline4180

  by pumpers
In my Steam Powered Video maps of PA (an early version of them,
maybe they have changed), an Erie line is shown going north
from Scranton direct to Susqhehanna -- going from Scratnon
through Jessup, Tompkinsville,
Clifford, S. Gibson, Jackson, N. Jackson and finally to Susquehanna.

THis is NOT the line going north from Scranton that the Erie shared
with D&H (the one to Jefferson Junction, that continued on the DH going under the Erie Southern tier at Lanesboro/Starucca viaduct) but one west of that. But still east of the DLW mainline.

I can't find any info on-line about this line, or any old maps
other than SPV that show it (even dotted lines on topos).

ANy ideas???

I have seen occasional branches omitted in SPV before, but never really
a line that never existed!
  by henry6
No other railroad was ever built between Scranton and Susquehann than the Erie Jefferson Div with trackage rights to D&H Carbondale to Jefferson Jct. and in mid 50's sold to D&H. There were surveys done, however by both the D&H and DL&W in the late 1800s and early 1900s for another way out of Scranton but nothing was ever built. Your maps may be survey maps by either railroad...what are the names on the map...surveyor names? cartographer names? initials of any kind?
  by pumpers
The map is the "Steam Powered video" series, a modern
set of booklets
each with 60 maps or so for a different region (this one is northeast US,
an older version that included New England).
THey show all lines abandoned and active, with past and current owners, stations, shops, what is electrified, what is still active, what was/is narrow gauge, etc. The series is very popular.


It is out of ENgland, but they are very good for US maps, most people think.
I've seen branches that were omitted, but never anythign in them
that never existed. THere is a first for everything I guess.
Maybe they picked it up from a survey of a potential line by accident
like you suggest.

They list the line as an abandoned ERIE line, not DLW or DH.

Thanks, JS
  by henry6
Still, no railroad ever existed on the line you indicatel... The DL&W first ran up from Scranton on a line parallel to Route 6 to Factoryville then Route 11 to Hallstead (Rt 11 built on old roadbed after 1910 Cut Off Clarks Summit to New Milford built); the Northern Electric trolley line along the same route as above to Hop Bottom; the LV from Tunkhannock to Montrose; The Erie Jefferson Div from Carbondale to Jefferson Jct. and Lanesboro. Nothing else was ever built.

  by brward
Could it possibly be the O&W line from Cadosia? There is a point where the lines converge outside of Carbondale.

  by henry6
Well, yes and no. O&W came down from Hancock NY to Pleasant Mount then parralleled the Jeff mostly on the east side into Carbondale jumping across the town on a bridge then on down the Lackawanna Valley. Went nowhere near Susquehanna or Lanesboro.
  by pumpers
I heard over on the Pennsylvania railfan forum that the new SPV edition
has removed the mystery line. Given that and the comments here by
henry6, that's the end of that!

  by nessman
The SPV atlases are known for their inaccuracies.

  by Vern
I'll venture to say that the line shown was the *proposed* Erie line from Susquehanna to Scranton, which never got beyond the initial proposal stages.

The Jefferson Division route was built instead, likely due to the major grades involved in getting out of Susquehanna. Following the available watersheds the grades would have been twice what the Jefferson Division encounters following Starrucca Creek.
  by ChiefTroll
There is no historical record of a proposed Erie line from Scranton or Carbondale to Susquehanna, other than the line actually built by the Jefferson Railroad. The Jeff was a subsidiary of the Erie with financial backing from The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. That's a long story, involving bonds of the Boston, Hartford and Erie, held by the Erie and then purchased by the D&H.

I suspect that the cartographer had heard of an Erie line, and then found the D&H owning the Jeff (true, after 1957), so he assumed that the Erie had a separate route and he "fudged" it in.

Now, if someone ever wants to compile a map of railroads of Pennsylvania and New York State proposed and never built, it would be a lifetime research project that would look like a bowl of spaghetti when completed, but it would be a reach to add a parallel to the Jefferson Railroad.

  by pdman
But what would be neat, and no doubt impossible to research and publish, would be maps of all the ideas and proposed routes that various railroad interests had in the early days of the industry. For example, there was one for the DL&W that was to go from West Millington to the Delaware River. This was an industry that was the Silicon Valley of the American economy from about 1870 to about 1895. There must have been hundreds of these ideas, proposals, mapped, etc. routes.
  by henry6
If maps of "proposed", "chartered and not built", "chartered and surveyed", and "just plain dreams" for either PA or NY were to be published they would look like blocks of black ink! There were truly so many up every valley, along every river, over or under or around every mountain from 1830 through the depression and beyond. Some were seperate routes, some were alternate routes, some were partially built, some were never built, some were on top of those built. IT would be fun to see, though.