Delaware-Lackawanna PT98/PT97

Sometimes finding the train is more than half the challenge. On Saturday October 17, 2015, Pat Yough and I had been following the old Delaware, Lackawanna & Western mainline with an awareness that Genesee Valley Transportation’s Delaware-Lackawanna was operating its ‘Portland turn’ to interchange with Norfolk Southern.

Finally, we found the train as it was arriving at Slateford Junction.

The attraction of D-L’s freights is that they operate with antique Alco diesels. Alco exited the American locomotive business more than 46 years ago, so finding these old machines hard at work remains a real treat.

Delaware Lackawanna Railroad's herald is patterned after the old Lehigh Valley logo.
Delaware Lackawanna Railroad’s herald is patterned after the old Lehigh Valley logo.
Alco's Century-636 (C-636) was among the last models produced. This locomotive served Penn-Central and Conrail, and still works for D-L.
Alco’s Century-636 (C-636) was among the last models produced. This locomotive served Penn-Central and Conrail, and still works for D-L.
DL-PT98 arrives at Slateford Junction. It is passing below the remnants of the old Lackawanna Cut-off bridge over the Delaware River.
DL-PT98 arrives at Slateford Junction. It is passing below the remnants of the old Lackawanna Cut-off bridge over the Delaware River.

While D-L’s portion of the freight movement tends to be well documented in recent years as a function of the Alcos, the Norfolk Southern connection is often ignored. As an historian this bothers me.

I have to admit that I too have been guilty of this photographic censorship. While I’ve photographed the Portland turn on several occasions, I haven’t made much of an effort to seek out the NS portion of this run. That is, until last Saturday.

Pat and I agreed, that if the D-L’s connection with NS were to be moved, photos of the NS at Portland would be a rare commodity indeed. So, while we made a point of catching the Alcos at work, we also went after NS H-76, which featured a nice collection of vintage EMD diesels.

Norfolk Southern local H76 delivers interchange to the D-L at Portland on October 17, 2015. Like the D-L this operates on former Lackawanna Railroad trackage.
Norfolk Southern local H76 delivers interchange to the D-L at Portland on October 17, 2015. Like the D-L this operates on former Lackawanna Railroad trackage.
At Portland, the D-L and Norfolk Southern interchange freight.
At Portland, the D-L and Norfolk Southern interchange freight.
1970s EMD's meet 1960s Alcos at Portland, PA.
1970s EMD’s meet 1960s Alcos at Portland, PA.
D-L's Alco/MLW diesels represent a local attraction at Portland.
D-L’s Alco/MLW diesels represent a local attraction at Portland.
Norfolk Southern SD40-2 3575 is framed by the old DL&W station at Portland.
Norfolk Southern SD40-2 3575 is framed by the old DL&W station at Portland.
Working westward, D-L PT97 charges below a road bridge at East Shroudsburg, Pennsylvania. This is the only regular move on this section of the old Lackawanna mainline. It made an impressive show!
Working westward, D-L PT97 charges below a road bridge at East Shroudsburg, Pennsylvania. This is the only regular move on this section of the old Lackawanna mainline. It made an impressive show!

All around it was a successful afternoon. It was also the first time that I’ve photographed the D-L using digital cameras. A fair few years had passed since my last visit!

 

 

6 thoughts on “Delaware-Lackawanna PT98/PT97”

  1. All your shots referencing shorelines/mainline RR’s is very cool and
    brings one back to know that small time RRing in a big way still
    exists. Also, the use of old ALCO’s in today’s RRing scene is very
    cool.

    Thanks for taking pictures of the obscure.

    Dan

  2. Nice set of pics, Brian. It’s very possible that someday passenger trains will pass over the old DL&W Delaware Water Gap bridge, running between Scranton and Hoboken, NJ. If PA and NJ can get their act together!

  3. Brian,

    Could you give a Google map reference or more context for us Irish that aren’t familiar with the fine details of the old railroads. Love to look a location like this on maps.
    (so far Slateford Junction on maps points me to a station in Edinburgh!!!!).

    Tx – John

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