For many years, as I was growing up, service on the "Bloom" consisted of a Monday-Friday local freight, Kingston to Danville and return, which operated during daylight hours, and a nightly Scranton (Taylor yard) to Northumberland turn, which departed Taylor in late afternoon and returned in the early hours of the following morning. A second through freight operated only as far south as the RDG connection at Rupert at one time, and while the line had few interlocking plants, it was protected by lower-quadrant semaphore Automatic Block Signals until about 1961.
Going even further back, Lackawanna operated one or two "accomodation" passenger trains between Scranton and "Norry" until early in 1953. These runs stayed steam-powered until the end, and both Camelback and semi-streamlined power (skirts in the form of wings) have been documented. The two roads paralelling the North Branch, DL&W and PRR, co-operated in posting joint schedules showing service on both sides of the river in later years.
The late Clarence Weaver, of Sunbury, was the dean of East-Central Pennsylvania rail photgraphers, but his collection foumd little exposure until his heirs began to make it available to the public. The annual calendars of the North Shore Railroad have featured many of his photos.
Things began to change in 1968, when the NYC-PRR merger put an end to the use of NYC's Corning Branch as a route for a RDC-NYC interchange at Williamsport. The two roads diverted traffic via Rupert, but they paid the price for a lot of deferred maintenance in the form of reduced speeds and a couple of wrecks. The power was often pure "covered wagon" cab-unit lash-ups, so photographers were drawn once the word got around.
The Hurricane Agnes flood of 1972 put the line out of service for weeks, and the Final System "rationalization" plan drawn up at Conrail's creation found other routes for traffic between Philadelphia, Buffalo and points west. Through service was diverted, and the line cut backto the PP&L nuclear power plant near Beach Haven, all served from the former PRR connection at Northumberland. The rails north of that point came up in the summer of 1978.
What a revoltin' development this is! (William Bendix)